Category Archives: Boku Dake ga Inai Machi [ERASED]

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi [ERASED] Episode 3

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

 

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi [ERASED] Episode 2

Episode 2 Production Details

Episode Director: Toshimasa Ishii ( Episode Director on Nanatsu no Taizai episodes 6, 14 and 24 / Storyboard and Episode Director on Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso episode 18)

Storyboards: Toshimasa Ishii

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)


 

The cinematography in this series is ridiculously good.  It has a good balance between lighting and shading and long wide shots that emphasize the importance of a person’s facial expression whether the whole face is shown or not.  Loved that introduction of the teacher as he’s moving from the shadow and into the light to begin class!  There is a mix between close up shots of objects and character’s feet like this episode utilizes to build on the atmosphere throughout Boku Machi.  We also get a bunch of wide angle shots that establish the mystery surrounding Kayo’s inevitable disappearance.  The color red as we saw last time plays a significant role in depicting villainous actions–the killer’s eyes and now the amazing Kayo’s abuse scene from the perspective of Satoru was tough to watch.  Satoru’s inner thoughts remind us that he’s an adult stuck in a child’s body.  I’m glad that the creators got an actual actor to portray his 29 year old self because it’s his introspection and situational awareness that make this series so intriguing.

The sound effects play a large part in this and the scene in the very beginning where he’s reflecting on the situation at hand establishes this perfectly.  The closeup shot of his face as he’s sweating is very tense.  The cuts that play after these scenes develop a big picture that Satoru truly is in a different time.  It plays on how Kenya is suspicious of Satoru wonderfully.  I feel bad for Satoru because one of the last things he sees in 2006 is his dead mother and now he’s trying to figure out the world around him 18 years prior because of it.    It took me awhile to notice this but there are few key things from the premiere that you might miss from one viewing.  Remember the scene where Sachiko is on the phone on the park bench and there is that wide shot of her?  Right above her head is a shimmering thread which I’m sure will come into play later.  Also before Satoru experiences a Revival there is a blue butterfly moving across the screen.  This represents the idea of the butterfly effect–small causes can have large effects.

Yuki Kajiura weaves in quite the emotional slow-moving piece to pull in the idea that Satoru will finally see his mother again but in a different time.  This is the first time we are seeing him fall into his 11-year old self–the hamburgers and his power of revival are gradually making him lose sense of his present-day life.  Here is where we see shifts back and forth between him remembering small things like his friends and more importantly what he had said to Kayo the first time he was 11 years old.  This pulls you into the atmosphere of this show even more! From the very beginning scene where we see Satoru as a kid for the first time from episode 1 the creators did something smart in differentiating between past and present. The widescreen.

I believe the intentions of this episode are to shape how Satoru will change the future (his present day 2006) and hopefully save his mother.  His friends capitalize on this in a big way in that in order to save Kayo he has to make friends and others to realize kids are disappearing.  Love how Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy are mentioned it builds more depth to the pop culture of 1988.  Hiro and Kazu and Osamu are typical kids, they play videogames and I like how authentic their entire conversation is when it shifts to Kayo Hinazuki.  From his adult standpoint he has to save her.  From his friends’ point of view is the quick notion that Satoru has strong feelings for her.  Love how this entire idea acts as an obstacle for him in figuring out exactly how to save her and in how he thinks clearly as a 29-year old.  Fantastic script during that!  The bruises on Kayo reflect reality and the harsh life she has and Satoru’s desire to be a part of hers and make it the timeline in 2006 a better one.

It’s still great to see that Jun Shiratori is viewed as the murderer.  As little as we’ve seen of him I think Satoru is similar to him–they are both trying to fit into their society as normal people.  The first episode indicates Satoru doesn’t clearly fit in because he can’t seem to handle Airi’s affections and this episode finally shifts the focus of a love theme with Kayo in the picture.  Especially when Kayo says the same thing Airi said in the last episode about when you keep wanting to believe in something over and over how it can ultimately in the end shape your reality.  These words are quite true to Satoru’s revival ability and his desire to write a successful manga.

Kenya’s relationship with Satoru is interesting it’s more mature than any of the other students in the class.  There’s a lot of observation on Kenya’s part and it definitely keeps Satoru on his toes because by the end of this episode he’s acting as if nothing will happen to Kayo in front of his friends.  In the words of Kayo and Airi, keep believing that it is a crush, and her death may actually be avoided.  This entire idea spells out the ending in a touching way–Satoru says exactly what he’s feeling about Kayo and it’s great to see his resolve finally take form!


OP: “Re:Re:” by ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION

Directed by: Tomohiko Ito

Storyboards: Tomohiko Ito

Animation Supervisor: Keigo Sasaki ( Character Designer on Ao No Exorcist / Character Designer on Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda / Key Animator on Magi First Opening Sequence)

This was my favorite song from the ‘Sol-Fa’ album!  I’m glad to see they are re-styling it! It’s a nice homage to this series central themes!  This song rocks and its lyrics captures Boku Machi‘s time travel motif perfectly!  The visuals give a good look at school life when Satoru was a kid and it’s smart Tomohiko Ito decided to not show this until the second episode until the point in the actual story that he’s stuck inside 1988!  The transition cuts are quick and there is a lot of foreshadowing going on.  Especially the water rushing sequence as the instrumentals on the guitar get quicker and going to the chorus!  Love that part where Satoru is colored in all black and the timeline is swirling around him as he’s shapeshifting between 29 and 11 years old!  You can also see a potential spoiler if you pause the video at just the right time!  Awesome opening!  I like the film reel at the beginning with the two Satoru’s viewing their life as an entertainment form! The entire sequence translates into the story amazingly well!

ED: “Sore wa Chiisa na Hikari no yō na” (それは小さな光のような; That was like a small light) by Sayuri

Directed by: Masashi Ishihama ( Director on Shinsekai Yori / Character Designer on Uchuu Show e Youkoso / Director, Storyboard and Animation Supervisor on BLEACH Fifth Opening Sequence / Animation Supervisor, Director, Storyboard and Key Animator on PSYCHO-PASS 2 Opening Sequence / Episode Director and Storyboard on Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso)

Storyboards: Masashi Ishihama

Animation Supervisor: Masashi Ishihama

Sayuri did incredible work on Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace’s ending ‘Mikazuki’.  This ending is tons better than that one.  Sayuri’s voice is very emotional for this song!  Everything just comes together in this!  Hands down one of the best openings of the season!  Thanks to the amazing art style by Masashi Ishihama, one of my favorite animators and the lead director on the anime adaptation of 2012’s Shinsekai Yori!  His style is influenced by a variety of talented animators from Masami Obari to SHAFT’s Akiyuki Shinbo which is why we see some pretty amazing closeups of Kayo and other female characters throughout this ending!  The color palette is to the extreme in this!  It’s otherworldly and has a strong mystical vibe to it!  I really love how his animation is erratic–Kayo hopping to the down beats of the music track in a small detail that is incredible!  Wild movement from female silhouettes flying, lying down, closeup shots of a mouth moving and my favorite part is the blinds covering the girl as she quickly turns around and points!  Remember how I mentioned the string from the first episode above Sachiko? You can find that image here.  It shows up throughout this entire ending sequence!  Between binding the girl that’s lying down in two scenes and the string actually getting cut with scissors!  Satoru’s revival ability was nicely touched up as we see him standing on top of what looks like a train car being protected by his ability!  Those aqua flames look very cool!  Awesome work on this ending!

I don’t usually post additional screenshots but that ending using the string idea was fantastic work on Ishihama’s part!

 

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10

 

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi [ERASED] Episode 1 [Initial Impressions]

 Satoru Fujinuma is a struggling manga artist and pizza delivery man who has the ability to turn back time and prevent deaths.  ~ANN

Animation Production: A-1 Pictures

Director: Tomohiko Ito ( Director on Sword Art Online / Episode Director on DEATH NOTE episodes 2, 7, 14 and 17 / Storyboards and Episode Director on Michiko e Hatchin episodes 4, 12 and 19)

Series Composition: Taku Kishimoto ( Series Script Writer on Gin no Saji / Series Script Writer on Haikyuu!! / Script Writer on Prince of Stride: Alternative episode 2)

Character Designer:  Keigo Sasaki ( Key Animator on Le Chevalier D’Eon episodes 3, 8, 11 and 22 / Key Animator on Shingeki no Kyojin episode 1 / Character Designer on Ao no Exorcist and Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda)

Music: Shiroh Hamaguchi ( Music Composer on Ah! My Goddess TV and film / Music Composer on Galilei Donna / Music Composer and Orchestra Conductor on Final Fantasy VII Advent Children / Music Composer on Shirobako / Music Composer on Tari Tari)

Episode 1 Production Details

Episode Director: Tomohiko Ito

Storyboards: Tomohiko Ito

Script: Taku Kishimoto


 

The new season is finally here and with it another Noitamina series.  I’ve been very un-interested in a lot of what this season has to offer but from the announcement of what was going to be airing there were three that had my attention.  Josei series Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, science fiction action series Dimension W and this. Adapting a Kei Sanbe manga was the right choice for 2016.  It’s about time we get one of his works.  He’s known for writing enthralling characters and putting them into situations that evolve their characters to great heights.  I was actually quite surprised this would be the series to receive an anime adaptation before some of his earlier works in the 2000’s. After seeing this premiere however, my mind has changed on this.  Boku Machi takes a college-aged student, gives him an extraordinary ability to time travel and throws dreadful situations at him one after the other.  This is by far one of the top premieres this season–stunning visuals, tense atmosphere not to mention fast-pacing.  Tomohiko Ito compiled an entire volume in just 25 minutes!

Even better is the fact that we’ve got two extremely famous Japanese actors voicing 29-year old and 10-year old Satoru Fujinuma.  Only other time this has happened, If I remember right, is Michiko e Hatchin.  I give props to them for handling this entire episode wonderfully.  The narrative warrants Boku Machi as the “stand-out” show of this season.  I really like how real Satoru’s personality is influenced by his power. He’s well aware of Katagiri liking him but doesn’t want to get closer to her probably because of what he’s seen with his time traveling.  His relationship with his 52-year old mother is very much real–the conversation they have about Katagiri being marriage potential was one of the more subtle scenes that explores his family relationship very strongly.  I’m sure when we see his childhood scenes its very different–lot less respectful.  His mother, Sachiko clued in on the incident that happened when Satoru was a child and what a great way to foreshadow the ending by using serial murderer Jun Shiratori as the red herring.

An aspect that keeps me coming back to watching a variety of anime is how an episode is storyboarded.  This episode used a ton of distance shots to capture this theme of time really well.  The composition is ridiculously good for a television series.  Great framing on the characters to build up the tense atmosphere surround Satoru’s ability and I really love the shot where it pans around Sachiko’s keen sense of another abduction attempt.  There both just standing there–Satoru is trying to figure out with his time traveling ability what’s out of place and his mom definitely knows something isn’t right and figures it right out!  Given how we’re left with a cliffhanger I wonder how this will pan out since the director announced he was going to be following the manga’s ending and it hasn’t even ended yet! There’s sure to be a lot of material cut.

At first the narration had me a bit worried.  There’s a lot.  However, it works in that Tomohiko Ito was able to keep the momentum going while trimming down from the source material.  If there’s more manga parts left from the anime I really hope the execution of this series stays true because if that’s the case this might be the best anime to air this season!

The sound effects were very strong.  Coming from Another’s and PSYCHO-PASS‘s sound director Yoshikazu Iwanami this was pretty impressive for its first episode.

My club just recently had our after holiday anime party. This was one of the episodes shown including holiday-themed episodes from Nisekoi and Ranma.  Feature film was Tokyo Godfathers.  Boku Machi received a huge applause after it was shown.  Really good to see Noitamina’s picked up a gem.  Next one they should do is Omoide Emanon.  Gorgeous artwork in that manga and a fascinating story!

 

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10