Erased - The Butterfly Effect and why Netflix finally should stop adapting anime into a live action film
If you talk to real anime geeks (perhaps yourself, after all you’re reading this article) about the best anime, normally they’ll only talk about fantasy and sci-fi ones.
Understandably, because the really interesting things about anime are the fantastic picture sets and the extensive storylines.
This is a different story with ERASED, an anime adaptation of the manga series (僕だけがいない街, lit. The Town Where Only I Am Missing) written and illustrated by Kei Sanbe. It was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Young Ace magazine from 2012 to 2016, and is licensed in English by Yen Press.
The story follows the 29 year old manga author Satoru Fujinuma (藤 沼 悟), who somehow (ATTENTION: now we have a hint of supernatural) has the ability to travel back in time. The "Revivals", which sends him back moments before a life-threatening incident, enabling him to prevent it from happening again. However, he cannot consciously use the ability. When his mother Sachiko Fujinuma (藤 沼 佐 知 子) recognizes a serial killer and wants to turn him in to the police, she gets murdered. Found by her son, who is now suspected of committing the crime Satoru suddenly is 18 years back - in the body of his 10-year-old self. He remembers that a series of murders happened at that time and realizes that he has to find the perpetrator to save his mother.
And now the "wait a minute" reaction should kick in: we know the story from somewhere !? Right, fellas: THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT. An American science fiction thriller from 2004 starring Ashton Kutcher, which travels back in time as Evan through so-called "blackouts" to prevent the suffering of his friends. Similar storyline. The title refers to the butterfly effect, a popular hypothetical situation that illustrates how small initial differences may lead to large unforeseen consequences over time.
Back to our anime. What is particularly striking is the modeled camera work and the rather unusual perspectives that make the series appear more real.
In terms of voltage, you also get your money's worth, especially since there is no skimping on cliffhangers. ERASED ends after just one season. The story is completely told and also satisfies any question marks that might still be in your mind.
Of course, the success hasn't gone unnoticed. Netflix bought the streaming rights and adapted the anime as a live action TV series. Alarm bells ring immediately: Netflix and live action haven't worked very well so far. We remember DEATH NOTE… Or maybe we shouldn’t!
For the most part, the story was kept fairly close to the original. Better not make the mistake and watch it in English. The synchronization leaves a lot of questions, as does the talent of the actors. It's a shame, you lose the contact with the characters, especially Satoru. The understanding and compassion for his actions is lost.
Netflix never learns and behaves like this one stupid friend of yours who always returns to her miserable ex. But hey: we knew it already!
Nevertheless ERASED is an absolute recommendation and enriches every anime heart.