Episode 4 Production Details
Episode Director: Shinya Watada ( Episode Director on Bounen no Xamdou episode 9 / Episode Director on Sword Art Online episode 4 / Episode Director and Storyboard on Gundam Build Fighters episodes 8, 17 and 23 / Episode Director on Hitsugi no Chaika episodes 1 and 6 / Director and Storyboard on Gundam Build Fighters Try Second Ending Sequence)
Storyboards: Shinya Watada
Script: Taku Kishimoto ( 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)
Neat idea to have a film reel moving backwards to recap what Satoru has already experienced. Makes these mundane recaps of the previous episodes a lot more intriguing. Sachiko should win mother of the year award. She really loves Satoru a whole lot and I like how much focus there is with their relationship both visually and in depicting the family dynamic between Satoru’s mother and Kayo’s mother. Satoru’s conversation with the girl at the beginning of the episode re-introduces to us in plain view that we’re seeing a 29-year old think and interact through the eyes of a child. Sometimes I wonder how this conversation would have gone down originally or if it did at all. I also like how calculated he is–thinking about the day Kayo will go missing and establish a back-up plan in case something should happen. On the other hand there is also a weakness to Satoru not being in his original body–he slips up and says what he thinks out loud providing some solid comedic moments between him and Kayo. That was pretty cute when he says he couldn’t get them to go on Saturday because of a date with her. I mentioned last time how detailed this series is with just about eery scene–Yashiro and Kenya meeting up builds on that weird cliffhanger from last time. I wonder if Kenya and Yashiro are somehow involved with Sachiko’s death from 2006 given how close they appear to be. Speaking of evil and this show’s use of top notch sound direction especially where Satoru gets the guts to confront Kayo’s mother and get permission to take Kayo to the Science Center. His slip ups are going to be a problem for hm later on if he is stuck in a situation like this with the killer.
Sachiko saving the day and smoothing her anger over really saved Satoru and provides more depth to him. At the beginning of this series he wasn’t too fond of his own mom staying at his apartment let alone meddling in his affairs especially his relationship with Airi. Now that he knows she could end up dying again in another 2006 timeline he appreciates her more and wants to protect her. She’s perceptive in that she knows there might be some good in Kayo’s mother given that she dresses her up nicely rather than wearing ragged clothes. Even at 29, Sachiko is teaching her son things about life I really like how mature their family relationship is. I enjoyed that scene a lot because it builds the foundation for Kayo’s mother to stop her abuse and strengthens Satoru’s relationship with Kayo.
Deja Vu plays a vital role in Satoru understanding the world he’s in and how to change it. The manga sees his ability in a different light and Reciting lines in his head of what Kayo is going to say next is not a good sign. The future is heading towards her inevitable disappearance again and how he’s going to change that will be entirely up to even his smallest of actions. Right down to believing in himself. The frame cuts in this are still amazing as ever–the teacher’s entrance in the classroom always uses this top shadow covering his eyes so that we just see his mouth and nose. Interesting that the animation portrays this style because if you pay attention it can distract you into thinking could the killer be him? Especially when he’s grading the essay about the Polar Bear eating the teacher. These two scenes with Yashiro might play a role sometime later on but for now it’s just extra detail. This was a pretty cheery episode we got to see how Satoru was going to save Kayo from X Day and that scene where he’s looking at the clock right outside her house was very tense! This gave him the courage to keep protecting her and the reward by the end is a birthday party where its revealed that Kayo’s birthday is the same as his.
I like how this show continues to deceive us. I originally thought Yashiro’s request to Kenya to help out at the clubroom was so much more but in actuality it was a realistic view of school life and how close students can be family to their teachers. That birthday party and Yuki Kaijura’s score was a bit too overpowering this episode. Satoru running home after believing he’s changed things for the better with Kayo’s situation while had some solid acting was too orchestral and needed to be more subdued.
Satoru has had dreadful events one after another and it’s about time we’re seeing happy situations unfolding throughout this episode. A calm before the storm style of storytelling that also gives this sense of uneasiness. Just when we believe everything is alright (just as Satoru has felt for the majority of this episode) this show drops a huge bomb–Satoru hasn’t changed much of anything and Kayo has disappeared again. That’s how to make a cliffhanger! Perhaps Satoru did in fact change things but the murderer changed his mind about Kayo becoming the first victim.
All in all this was a nice shift in tone, a feel good episode.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10
Just a side note, I’m hosting an ERASED event covering the full series. The first half, episodes 1 through 6 will be April 6th. The second half is scheduled for May 11th.
Prizes will be included in a raffle for both nights.
Episodes 1-6 First Half Marathon:
Official Japanese retail CD w/ DVD Anime Edition Opening and Ending SINGLES
The first 10 Attendees will receive ERASED coffee mugs
Other prizes and items are TBA.
The huge raffle for the grand prize will be only available to those that show up both nights.
If anyone is interested in going or if you want to help fund the event please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org