Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (Erased): Season 1/ Episode 3 "Bruise" – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

As things get worse for Hinazuki, and Satoru figures out how much time he has left till day X, he begins to put into motion whatever can be done to prevent Hinazuki’s untimely demise.

Trigger Warning(s): Child Abuse (Bruises and Depiction)

Characters & Story (with Commentary)

Topic 1: X-Day (Satoru)

Satoru knows he was transported 18 years ago to when Hinazuki was alive, but with her body being found after the snow melted, he doesn’t have a definite date of when she dies. So begins his investigation by first taking note the ages of the victims, of which Hinazuki is the only one not 11. Then he has to find out when her birthday is? March 2nd, Satoru’s birthday.

But while Satoru figures out he has about 11 days before Hinazuki’s death, so comes the question of how to prevent it? Then, as a viewer, you are left wondering if all he may be able to do is prolong things, if not just end up inadvertently swapping someone else in her place. Someone including Satoru. Alongside this question, however, is also: who is the abductor/ murderer? We finally get around to meeting Yuuki, and he pretty much just seems like an odd teenager who hangs around kids. Plus, when we get a glimpse of his porn collection, it doesn’t make him seem like some sort of child predator. Really pushing the idea that someone made sure he would be a fall guy. Now, as for who that is? Well, it seems whoever it is knows Satoru and Hinazuki’s teacher Yashiro.

Topic 2: Beaten, Bruised, and Embarrassed (Satoru and Hinazuki)

We know already Hinazuki is abused but seeing her mom who looks like Haruko from FLCL actual abuse her, it is something else. For whether it is striking her, dunking her head in cold water to help with the bruises, or pushing Satoru, it’s a bit hard to watch. Especially as you recall what was written in the last episode and you can tell Hinazuki is pretty much broken. Not necessarily beyond repair, but hope has flown out the window and all that are left are pieces of its wing showing it once existed.

Topic 3: A Christmas Tree in February (Satoru and Hinazuki)

Said wing would perhaps be Satoru. Someone who is beginning to change his personal history in an effort to save Hinazuki. Which doesn’t go unnoticed. Both Yashiro and Yuuki notice something different about Satoru, both as a kid and him sticking up for Hinazuki, and his friends as well. But what matters most is him presenting a silver lining in Hinazuki’s life and slowly leading her to open up to him. Which is so cute to watch, but oh my god does it make you fearful that perhaps Hinazuki’s fate might be sealed. Plus, considering how close she and Satoru are getting, so comes the question of what may happen if he does save her? Will we get some nice epilogue seeing them grow up together, or will he simply save her from her parents and then child protective services take her away? With perhaps the possibility that Katagiri, the girl from the first episode, ends up being Hinazuki’s relative.

Highlights

The Mystery: Though the abductor remains faceless, and lurks in the background, it is quite fun to analyze damn near every adult we meet and wonder if they are the one who will be the one Satoru faces off against. For, as of now, outside of Satoru’s mom, there hasn’t been anyone yet who hasn’t seemed just a bit suspect.

The Highs & Low’s of Hinazuki’s Life: While I’m used to watching some pretty messed up anime like Corpse Party which features horrible things happening to adolescent, there is a stark difference between a horror/ fantasy and watching what is a norm for many children. Making the cuteness of Satoru and Hinazuki a welcomed relief. For the two are growing quite a beautiful friendship and based on Satoru talking as if he has a crush, and seeing them hold hands and all that, it gives me such high hopes. Which will make something happening to either one of them so heartbreaking.

Low Points

Some Background Please: We finally get to visibly see Hinazuki’s mom, and what might be her dad, and I’m dying to know their background. For it’s just hard to imagine someone just think it is ok to beat their kid out of frustration. I mean, I know it happens, but a part of me hopes that they break Hinazuki’s mom down.

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