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In episode 8, “Spiral” you may think what we are going to be presented is a downward spiral, but what perhaps you may see is that as much as Satoru thinks he is changing things, he is still caught in a hurricane of death. Or not.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: Time for Plan B (Satoru, Kayo, Yokai)
With the discovery that the killer was likely but a few feet away from Kayo, but luckily didn’t look for her within the bus, it becomes clear it is time to move her out. Plus with sensei Yashiro calling the Child Consultation Center, it seems the wheel is starting to roll on maybe saving Kayo. Though with Satoru passing victim #1 Aya Nakanishi, you do have to wonder why isn’t Satoru feeling bad about the other girls who are going to die as he solely tries to prevent Kayo’s death?
That thought aside, being that there is no quick place to store Kayo, he decides to take her home and, to his surprise, Yokai is fine with this.
Topic 2: A Taste of Heaven Then A Standoff With The Devil (Satoru, Kayo, and Yokai)
Leading to perhaps the most perplexing moments of Kayo’s life. First and foremost, she has a female figure, a mother, who when she raises her hand it isn’t to hit her child. Then, while bathing, Yokai presents the type of intimacy Kayo may have never experienced as Yokai washes her hair. This, in combination of Yokai preparing a hearty breakfast, brings Kayo to tears. For, in comparison to her birth mother, she is used to being beat, going to school with a piece of bread, some corner store snack, and that being it, and likely just bathing herself and being forced to gently grace her bruises.
But under Yokai’s roof, she gets to experience what a good childhood is like. For even if Yokai may not have much besides a dining room/ kitchen combo, a bathroom, and a room to sleep in, this is seemingly paradise for Kayo. Sadly, though, she finds herself going from the breast of heaven to the gates of hell as she finds herself face to face with her mom. Someone who is all but ready to smack the mess out of Kayo until she sees Satoru and Yokai standing right behind her.
A Reminder That Children Have Feelings Too: Only within anime will you consistently be able to find strong roles for children in which they aren’t proof of parenthood, failed or healthy relationships, and sometimes be a burden in more ways than one. Speaking specifically on Erased and this episode, with Kayo we see the full-fledged effect that abuse does to a person, even a young person. We have seen the bruises and beatings, and even the likely accidental murder. Yet it is those moments when Kayo doesn’t lose hope but sees twinkles of light in the darkness, which get to you and make you care about her survival. For whether it was Satoru taking her on dates to earn her trust, or the way Yokai treated her this episode, it is hard to not get a little teary eyed at times when you see a little person get their first real taste of stability and happiness.
Still, No Idea Who The Killer Is: While I find myself wondering how only Kayo’s death can weigh on Satoru’s conscience, I also wonder who this would-be killer is? We know they exist, and see they already have all the materials they are going to use, and with it becoming clear that all Satoru maybe doing is delaying fate, it is hard to not wonder when are they going to either provide hints or a grand reveal? Especially since every episode is ending on a rather intriguing cliffhanger.