Why You Should Read 'Erased'
Erased is an eight-volume manga series written and illustrated by Kei Sanbe. Many of his works have received film and anime adaptations such as Erased, Mirai, Bungo Stray Dogs and The Night is Young, Walk on Girl. His books and manga meshed together themes such as supernatural, psychology, a slice of life, romance, drama, mystery and horror.
Erased follows 29-year-old Satoru Fujinuma who has a gift he calls ‘revival.’ Whenever someone around him is about to die, ‘revival’ sends him back by five minutes to prevent the incident. Despite his gift, Satoru finds himself leading an unfulfilling life as a struggling manga artist and a part-time pizza delivery guy. After being framed for murder, ‘revival’ sends him back by 18 years. Reliving his childhood, he must figure out how to prevent a long string of murders or face a life behind bars.
I was fully invested in the gripping, psychological mystery Erased had to offer. The plot, characterisation and lessons work together to make an engaging and heartfelt story young adults and teenagers can easily connect to.
While the plot starts off slowly, it successfully makes the reader feel comfortable before plot twists shake everything up. His ‘getting of wisdom’ character arc forces him to revoke his selfishness and connect with the people he attempts to save. Following this struggle becomes cathartic, especially when the aftermath of his actions is revealed. This is made more satisfying with the villain versus hero dynamic. Both characters have the desire to fill their emotional unfulfillment in life. The killer fills his void by fulling his predatory desire to kill and outwits Satoru on numerous occasions, pressuring him to transform into the hero he once dreamt of becoming.
Meanwhile, Satoru’s void stems from his inability to care for those around him, however, this transformation results in Satoru learning how to fill his void with friendship. Thus, these well-rounded characters and the plot intertwine to create a story teenagers and young adult readers can be entertained by.
As an adult, Satoru is friendless, self-centred and feeling cheated by the world. As a kid, he could not understand the selflessness of other kids and began to communicate with a smile rather than smile about the moments he would experience. He only thought about himself with no room for him to consider others. The relatability of these struggles definitely appeals to teenagers and young adults who struggle with empathy and fitting in.
Furthermore, Sanbe’s visually appealing illustrations with the dynamic use of camera angles make Erased easy to interpret. However, while the art style does a look a little awkward for some characters’ faces, this does not affect the overall storytelling.
It is important to note there are dark subplots involving parental and sexual abuse. However, Erased handles these sub-plots with maturity while appropriately lightening the tone with humour, making this story a good read for young adults who are looking for a story that balances its tone. The story emphasizes the importance of kindness, friendship and truly motivates you to not let your life pass by without appreciation. These are timeless lessons no matter what stage you are in your life.
For these reasons, I give Erased a 4.5 out of 5 rating.
Identification of Reviewer
Beginner critical reviewer, Simran Singh is a student at Griffith University studying towards a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Creative Writing.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Simran Singh