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Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (aka ERASED on CrunchyRoll[1]) has made a stunning debut. Although ERASED is darker than my usual tastes I’m tempted to keep watching simply to see if it lives up to the opening.

Satoru Fujinuma is a struggling 29 year old mangaka who also works in pizza delivery. He will also occasionally, and uncontrollably, jump back in time 1 – 5 minutes when someone is in danger.

Sometimes he succeeds in saving the person, usually there’s a negative effect somewhere. Often it’s Satoru who bears the brunt of his “Revival” episodes.

As the episode goes on, and the darkness of Satoru’s childhood emerges, it’s clear that the darkness is catching up with Satoru’s family.

Inevitably the episode ends with a much longer “Revival” to set the series up.

The episode is well constructed, the time travel effects are nicely handled, and the necessary infodumps are deftly managed. All in all this is a strongly written debut with a surprisingly compelling lead character in Satoru. The perky high schooler Airi Katagiri also looks to be an interesting, if likely to be minor, character.

I really don’t want to talk too much about the details of ERASED, I mostly want to note that this has the potential to be one of the best anime of 2016, if it lives up to the first episode. Viewers should be aware that some content warnings may be applicable[2]. I think I’ll be keeping an eye on this one[3].

[1] And literally The Town Where Only I Am Missing (source: Wikipedia)

[2] ROT-13 if you need to know before watching: Gur onpx fgbel vaibyirf na hafbyirq puvyq xvqanccvat pnfr sbe juvpu fbzrbar jnf senzrq, naq n cerfrag qnl zheqre.

[3] I also took a look at Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru yesterday but it’s kind of… meh. I may write about Haruchika if later episodes inspire a reaction.