Episode 7 Production Details
Episode Director: Toshimasa Ishii ( Episode Director on Nanatsu no Taizai episodes 6, 14 and 24 / Episode Director and Storyboard on Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso episode 18)
Storyboards: Shinpei Ezaki ( Episode Director on Kimi ni Todoke episodes 8, 18 and 24 / Episode Director on Ao No Exorcist episodes 17 and 22 / Director, Production and Storyboard on Guilty Crown OVA: Lost Christmas / Director on Sengoku Basara Ni Opening Sequence)
Script: Yutaka Yasunaga ( Script Writer on Prince of Stride: Alternative episodes 4 and 9)
The abandoned bus from the second key visual of Boku Machi finally shows up in this episode. I really enjoyed this episode.
Satoru arrives back in 1988, his third time at the science center and four days before Hinazuki is supposed to disappear. Taking Hinazuki away from her mother is a smart move but choosing an abandoned location makes Kayo a bigger target in the eyes of the killers. Satoru wouldn’t be in the best position if she ends up getting killed right in the spot that the kids decide on hiding her. This took me two viewings to notice how expressive Satoru is. The surprise birthday party that we’ve seen about three times now—his reaction to it is more forced than the first time around.
For the longest time now I’ve been thinking that Kenya might be working together with the killer in luring his victims considering his rather unusual level of maturity. Trusting Kenya this episode, was clearly a mistake on Satoru’s part because as we’ve seen before he’s got some strange relationship to their homeroom teacher Gaku Yashiro.
If there was anyone Satoru needs to put faith in and ask for help it’s his mom—Sachiko. She’s trusted him before when they’ve faced off against Kayo’s mother so I think that she would be right behind him in his decision to abduct Kayo for safety reasons. It’s interesting to see how the dynamic of their relationship has changed since episode 1.
Sachiko wants to be involved in her son’s life and before he was embarrassed by her even mention Airi as potential marriage material. Now that we’ve seen more heart through Satoru having seen the loss of his mother in the 2006 timeline he’s grown to understand that she’s always been there for him. This episode points this out when she sees him leaving in the middle of the night. It makes me wonder if that person at the end of this episode showing up at the abandoned bus is her instead of the killer. I hope it’s the former as it would be heartbreaking to see the death of Kayo again. It would be rough to go through that again under different circumstances and also see Satoru realizing he hadn’t changed much of anything.
From story to visuals this episode shined. Especially with all of the aesthetic tricks up its sleeve! The past few episodes embellished Yuki Kajiura’s soundtrack to establish the drama and more often than not melodrama. But this episode was different. Every scene was for purpose, the dialogue was graceful and the visuals were stunning. Since Satoru was in a timeline that didn’t have his mother in it, seeing her once again from the eyes of his child-self reveals his joy to see her rather than display the tears he had the first time he had his revival back to 1988. The music didn’t hammer out suspense after suspense (except for the cliffhanger) rather we get a collection of very tight close angle shots between Kenya and Satoru’s conversation on the stairs, the atmospheric paranoia Jun Shiratori has, the walk home to the bus with Kayo and Yashiro’s phone call was certainly an interesting creative choice visually. Most importantly is right after the phone call sequence that pans from his eyes straight to a pair of street lights reflects that he’s keeping a watchful eye on his students. This worked effectively. It wouldn’t mean much but considering how this series has been covering his face as he’s entering the classroom and now this, Yashiro might indeed be the killer or one of them.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10