Episode 8 Production Details
Episode Director: Kosaya ( Episode Director and Storyboard on Sword Art Online II episode 18 / Episode Director alongside Tomotaka Shibayama and Tsuyoshi Tobita on Hai to Gensou no Grimgar episode 11 / Episode Director and Key Animator on Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso episode 19)
Script: Yutaka Yasunaga ( Script Writer on Prince of Stride: Alternative episodes 4 and 9)
Whoa! That pre-opening segment was intense! While Boku Machi might layer on the melodrama a little too much it at times creates incredible well-edited scenes like the mysterious person entering the bus while Kayo is inside. I got chills!
This was probably one of the strongest episodes of Boku Machi yet! I mentioned previously how this series focus should be on Kayo Hinazuki’s homelife and this episode nails it! Giving a more sensitive side to this series that is both touching and heartbreaking. This episode really knows how to balance the mystery aspect of this show and it’s tender moments. The pre-opening sequence is terrifying because it isn’t Sachiko’s mother inside the bus but the killer and it’s chilling even later in this episode when the kids find out that the killer has been hiding his tools there including ropes, masks and tape! So Satoru the only one that knows his mystery game is real decides to lean on the one person I thought he should have trusted in the previous episode. His mother.
Keeping in line with this anime’s central theme of trust. After Satoru reveals to her mother that they’ve been hiding Kayo in hopes of getting the Child Services to act against Kayo’s mother, Sachiko does everything she can to make Kayo feel comfortable and most importantly safe. When she is brought to Satoru’s home and upon seeing her mother’s initial reaction she flinches from her extended hand—a small yet effective scene that outright says Kayo doesn’t trust anyone except that she’s slowly warming up to the idea of being friends with Satoru.
I enjoyed the pacing of this episode because it’s gradually closing Kayo’s relationship with her mother it introduces the next possible arc and the killer’s next target: Aya Nakanishi in one single close shot of her face and her backpack. This episode points strongly that the killer might be the teacher Gaku Yashiro. Kenya mentions how the bus was being used by the school and insinuates that the killer knew it was abandoned and uses it simply because it is related to the school. Yashiro jumps on the decision to call social services on Kayo’s mother possibly proving that he’s keeping his true appearance hidden from everyone. His knowledge that Satoru had hidden Kayo is extremely suspicious. He sounds certain when he tells social services he knows where Kayo is hidden.
While the story’s plot moved at a snails pace this was an episode that was much needed because without telling us in a film reel narrative (the film reel in this episode really worked because it helps explain how Satoru is trying to solve remove Jun Shiratori’s involvement in the case) it helped solidify the emotional realities children go through giving us a rich and graceful perspective of this series most important segment: childhood and making friends.
Want to point out that closeup shot of the bento box featuring Wonderguy on it. The hero Satoru idolizes. Sachiko gave the meal to Kayo representing that she has friends that care about her. Seeing Kayo cry broke my heart because you catch a glimpse of what the mother that she’s always wanted to have in her life never gave her. When she’s finally treated with kindness she doesn’t know what to do but cry. This blew me away! Incredible scene!
The dinner along with the bath scene is adorable because you see a mother trying to undo the violence that had put a huge impact on Kayo’s emotional and physical state. Especially during her big scene this episode—a bittersweet scene that show’s the rewards of her efforts from living a harsh life!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 11/10
(Nope. Not a typo)