Episode 3 Production Details
Episode Director: Takahiro Shikama ( Key Animator on STAR DRIVER: Kagayaki no Takuto episodes 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 12, 13, 23 and 25 / Action Animation Supervisor on Sword Art Online episodes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 13, 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 / Storyboard alongside Shigeki Kawai on Sword Art Online II episode 19 / Key Animator on Rolling Girls episode 4 / Action Animation Supervisor, Episode Director, Storyboard and Key Animator on Boku dake ga Inai Machi episode 3)
Storyboards: Takahiro Shikama
Script: Yutaka Yasunaga ( Script Writer on Gin no Saji series / Script Writer on Haikyuu!! Second Season episodes 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18)
This is one of the most beautiful looking episodes of the season! That sequence with Satoru and Kayo looking up at the night sky was breathtaking! The animation flowed smoothly and Yuki Kaijura’s soundtrack all came together wonderfully.
Picking right up from last time, Satoru is trying to figure out exactly how he’s going to save Kayo. The torn gloves is a big clue that Kayo is subjected to abuse and I like how believable Kayo’s mother in that it gives us a solid view of a family life that’s shattered. Yuki Kaijura delivered in strides throughout this entire episode! The drowning scene was amazing! That song as Satoru is discovering Kayo’s abuse out in the open was creepy.
The red eyes might not symbolize the killer rather it uses the color as a red herring. In order to avoid only predictability and focusing on one person being the culprit from the get-go. Jun Shiratori has them in a closeup shot in this episode as well as Kayo’s mother, the father-like figure and Sachiko’s killer from the first episode. Anyone could be the culprit. The color plays a huge role in this series as its also the focus of death. Kayo Hinazuki goes missing and is found dead in the previous timeline and it’s interesting how objects in this show like her coat is red signify this archetype of mystery.
Another piece that Boku Machi excels in is distracting its viewers with the importance of the smallest details and actions. Jun Shiratori’s magazine collection and his quick reaction when Satoru sees them builds a level of suspicion on him especially when we are seeing it for the first time just as Satoru is (or had forgotten in the previous timeline).
I like how quick the animation cuts from 1988 to 2006 act as a sort of catalyst for Satoru understanding some truth about the timeline that he’s stuck in. Seeing as how Jun looks from his time in jail plays on the mystery of this series wonderfully and removes the idea that he is Sachiko’s killer because he according to Satoru has been wrongly accused. Gaku Yashiro is also a suspect due to the etherial soundtrack and that awesome angle shot upward with Satoru being caught by surprise by him. Really love that entire scene because it’s so tense and gently bring back the idea that there is more to this story than the time travel and murders.
It’s been so nice to see this show not push aside everyday life. While everything that Satoru does is crucial to a new timeline where he might be able to save Kayo and Sachiko it’s great that we get scenes like finding out when Kayo’s birthday is and the tender hearted moment Kayo and he share in the climax of this episode from the foxes running around them and the christmas tree. There’s a lot going on each episode and I’m glad to see how much depth they’ve put into the main cast and even the adults of this series.
ERASED doesn’t forget the important topic at hand right now–removing custody of Kayo from her mother. I like how Gaku is very concerned for Kayo because this episode at one point puts suspicion on him by Satoru and then in that one conversation with him he’s seen in a completely different light.
Incredible framing during the christmas tree scene! Director Takahiro Shikama got to animate the hell out of this climax and it paid off! All these top animation shots and closeups throughout Satoru’s experiences give off a very real perspective from the eyes of a child. Amazing!
The one thing I don’t like however is the suspenseful cliffhanger between Gaku and Kenya. What’s going on here? They should have put that scene somewhere in the middle of this episode because it makes this show run dry when you put too many cliffhangers at the end of just about every episode.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10