Episode 10 Production Details
Episode Director: Takahiro Shikama ( Key Animator on STAR DRIVER: Kagayaki no Takuto episodes 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 12, 23 and 25 / Layout Animation Supervisor on STAR DRIVER: Kagayaki no Takuto Opening Sequence’s 1 and 2 / Key Animator on Garo: Honoo no Kokuin episode 18 / Action Animation Supervisor and Storyboard on Sword Art Online episode 2 / Episode Director on Sword Art Online episode 20 / Key Animator on Zankyou no Terror episodes 1, 3, 7 and 11)
Storyboards: Takahiro Shikama
Script: Taku Kishimoto ( Series Script Writer on Gin no Saji / Series Script Writer on Haikyuu!!)
Contrary to a lot of what manga readers felt about this huge episode, I didn’t hate this. I really enjoyed it. Up until now I’ve gotten used to the visual appeal this show runs with–the color red means imminent danger (we see a lot of in the car segment), sound effects and Kajiura’s music score raise the bar in building dramatic tension. Now I can see why Tomohiko Ito didn’t want to direct the big reveal episode. I feel that his focus was somewhat different than Kei Sanbe’s. Boku Machi has been leading us on this trail in trying to discover whom the killer might be from his 2006 timeline and the three missing children’s abductor. It was a bold move for this show to cut out a lot but every episode I’ve enjoyed immensely. Tomohiko Ito’s intentions were to get across the relationship between Satoru and Kayo–mostly that their relationship as adorable as it has been would wind up being the framework for this series rather than a full-fledged mystery anime. It works in many ways as an solid drama piece focused on children. IF they wanted to faithfully adapt this manga this show seriously needed another cour or at least another 4 episodes. This is what happens when you try to adapt a 45-chapter manga into 12 episodes. Previously there have been scenes trimmed down for the sake of time and with it comes episodes that will by the end of this series result in rushed pacing. The problem was fixed quickly (with small changes along the way like replacing Kayo with Hiromi talking to Gaku) and the only major difference here is that Kayo doesn’t come back to school—she stays with her aunt. This makes a huge impact and bears importance of the previous episode’s main story– getting Protective Child Services to act on Kayo’s mother finally freeing her from all the torment she has caused in her life.
Satoru is aware that taking away the targets doesn’t solve the issue he has to pick up all the pieces he has done in previous timelines to understand that there’s a brand new target for the killer. One thing is certain though. He hasn’t lost his resolve. After saving Kayo, ensuring Hiromi Sugita is safe with Kenya and now gets Aya Nakanishi, whose story was a few chapters long in the manga is saved by joining their hideout in under a few minutes. Trimming of the manga was necessary for the 2nd half of this episode to come off smoothly.
Satoru notices Misato, the girl who caused all the ruckus in an earlier episode about Kayo stealing is the girl left alone and the perfect target. The setup is nicely woven in to this because there is lots of foreshadow with two particularly big scenes—Satoru saying goodbye to his mother as he leaves for school. The long wide-panning shot of him leaving and waving goodbye represents this. They could’ve left it out because it’s making Satoru’s situation more obvious he won’t make it out alive. “See you” has been a catchphrase of the series throughout—but now it’s too obvious and perhaps a little to late to show the relevance in it. That scene with Kenya and the others mentioning how they’d see him tomorrow pushes the fact that he definitely won’t make it to the next day with a revival or not.
In order to save Misato he enlists the help of Gaku Yashiro, his homeroom teacher. It’s obvious if you’ve paid attention that Gaku is in fact the killer. The big reveal. This big moment in the series where Gaku tells Satoru that he’s always had his plans set in motion may have been the ultimate villain trope. It’s overused in anime but I really like how simplistic it is. Most of what the manga had portrayed for this scene, even with the cliche villain lines it ransitions nicely into animated format. I just hope his backstory is shown.
Satoru realizing he’s been fooled and trusted Gaku too much just goes to show how much he has lost himself in his 10-year old body. In the first few episodes of Boku Machi when Satoru revivals back to 1988 you’ll notice how much narration he does as an adult but once the story progresses you’ll see little by little he loses that narration. Nice effect to illustrate his naivety and his childlike view of Gaku. A father-like figure that when he saw Gaku take action on Kayo’s mother embellishes the car scene in this episode perfectly.
As ominous as it felt through the entire car ride between Gaku’s nervous tapping on the steering wheel and his increasingly worrisome statements getting more extreme the reveal was only a matter of time. The use of red was amazing this time around. Between the shots of the red bag in the backseat and the red car ahead of them pointing to Gaku this reveal was monumentally built up nicely.
As much as this show likes to “reward” and “take away” precious moments this episode was no different. Satoru having gained the identity that Gaku is the killer and having saved his friends from being abducted he ends up drowning in a river not before he tells Gaku that he knows his future! As cliche as it might have been this episode’s sole purpose was to leave the audience from the eyes of 10-year old Satoru and venture into reality. And that reality is that the man Satoru looked up to all this time, asked for advice about Kayo and her situation completely breaks down!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10