Problems With Erased, Episode 9

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I’ll first start this off with a simple *SPOILER ALERT*. I don’t know why you’re even here if you didn’t want to be spoiled before watching, but I figured I should give the common courtesy of a warning. Now, as to why I’m reviewing this episode, I just found the latest episode worthy of a review. That’s all. It’s not like I’m running out of ideas for weekly posts or anything. Heheh…

In all seriousness, I found episode 9 of Erased to be quite lackluster, and possibly the lowest point in the entire series. It came as quite a disappointment too, as I was having such an enjoyable time with the show prior to this point. But that’s not to say that this episode ruined it. The episode just didn’t shine as brightly in almost any aspect.

Starting with the beginning, we pick up where we left off from last episode, in front of Hinazuki’s house. Kayo, Satoru and his mother confront the abusive parent at her doorstep. The thing is, she’s fucking crazy. Kayo’s mom shoves Kayo to the ground and swings a shovel at Satoru’s mom. She dodges it, then the action stops as the teacher and the child protection agency (or whatever they’re called). But then they don’t do anything and Kayo’s mom threatens to go to the police. Finally Kayo’s grandmother inexplicably shows up and defuses the situation.

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This. Was. Awful. There’s a number of reasons why this scene is terrible, like how their plan to confront the mother could’ve completely back fired. She could’ve put a shovel through Kayo’s head and that would’ve been the end of it. I don’t understand why these characters thought this approach would be safe? Kayo got shoved and Sachiko was nearly decapitated, not to mention the only back up they had was a protection agency that ultimately did nothing.

Then they brought in this grandma in some sort of an empty to make Kayo’s mom seem more human, more understandable. Flashbacks show of her getting beaten by her old husband or boyfriend or whoever, and that’s what caused her to beat her child. Makes sense. Wait, no it doesn’t. I still don’t empathize with this horrible character at all. What’s worse is that Kayo’s being separated from her anyway, so what was the point of the flashbacks? The show had already established her as this villain without a reason, and she served her purpose well. But then they gave her a reason after the fact, and it just wasn’t good enough to be worth anything.

The worst thing that comes from this is that Kayo is being taken away. From her mother, from Satoru and friends, from the town, from the story and from us. Kayo’s gone now, and that’s a bit of a letdown considering the amount of time the show focused on her, making us get to know and eventually care for her. Of course I wanted a happy end for Kayo, but was this really it? Would she really be happy away from Satoru? I’m just disappointed because the show spent so much time developing this character, and the bonds between the characters. I like Kayo, and her being taken from the plot is basically the same her being dead. This might’ve been fine had this been the actual end, but there’s still a mystery to be solved. Wouldn’t Kayo be better kept still in the story? She’s the most well established character by far, and also the most beloved. But perhaps this isn’t the last we see of Kayo, as there are still 3 episodes left.

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In fact, it feels almost impossible for this to be the last of Kayo. She was the first of three murder victims, and it took three quarters of the show just to save her. With that much time dedicated to one character, it seems almost counter intuitive not to use her. Or maybe I just don’t want Kayo to leave. ;-;

After that beginning, the show doesn’t really go anywhere. There’s a nice moment shared with Satoru and his teacher in the car, but not much else really happens. And then the episode ends with a pathetically weak cliffhanger. Like, it’s just that one girl from class looking like she’s about to pull something. Is she the killer? Unlikely, but who really knows? You’ll have to tune back in next week to find out!

Oh, and I will say that up until this point, I was really having a blast. Erased did so many things right, and looked so very good through and through, but this episode has left me a little skeptical. There were even noticeable dips in the animation this time, mainly a conversation in the bus with no cuts for what felt like a whole minute (I’m exaggerating, but it was long, and two characters had their back turned so they only had to animate one mouth). I was really loving the show up until this point, but now I’m feeling uneasy. I’ve watched through at least one poorly ending mystery show for each of the last two seasons, please don’t make it three.

If you want to know what those shitty mystery shows I watched were, please leave me a comment. Also, tell me what you think about Erased so far. Feel free to follow me here or on Twitter @crispyn64, and thanks for reading!

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