Another month, another binging of a time-traveling series on Netflix. Last time we checked out the German made adventure Dark. This round we look at Netflix’s Erased, an original time-traveling series which finds its roots in Japanese Manga.
Netflix’s Erased Is Based On Manga
The show is based on the manga series Boku dake ga Inai Machi , which was published from 2012 to 2016. At that point, it was made into an Anime series, and now for 2017, we have the live-action version on Netflix. The big question, though, is it binge-worthy? Let’s take a look, and we promise to be as careful as possible to not reveal any important spoilers.
Time Travel Plot
The series is basically about a young man that has episodes, he calls them “revivals”, where he goes back in time a few minutes. It happens randomly and rarely, but when it does our main character, Satoru, usually finds something that needs to be corrected or fixed. Once he does this time resumes again, and all is good. We are not privy to his previous revival experiences, but we are told that they happen.
We soon find that a revival leads Satoru down a path that leads into big trouble for him and others. A new revival then happens, leading him back into his past farther than he has ever travelled in the past. During his time in the past, which he lives through a younger version of himself with all of his memory intact, Satoru discovers that the real problem with the future stems from this time. Our hero goes about trying to save those around him that are impacted by an unknown nemesis. Things don’t always work out as planned, but our hero is determined. And so our story unfolds.
Limited Special Effects
The show doesn’t spend a lot of time on CGI or special effects, and it doesn’t need to – the only time effects are used is to show a revival taking place. Instead, the story is very character driven, with the interactions between Satoru and others taking precedence over time travel itself. The end result is a story that is very much a look at a less than perfect hero that (hopefully) triumphs over a faceless enemy.
The story seems like it is wrapped up midway through the series, but it is actually just getting started. There are a few twists and turns that you don’t want to miss if you have invested the time to make it this far. I found the character of Satoru to be a very likable one, and watching Erased invoked a sense of understanding with the character, limited as he is as a student in school.
No English Dubbed Version
The show is presented in the original language with only subtitles for English viewers. While we have spoken about the convenience of dubbed foreign media before, Erased will require your full reading attention in order to experience it if you don’t speak the language. But a lot of the story relies on facial expressions and other such visual mechanisms, so giving it your full attention is worth it if you enjoy the story.
Is Netflix’s Erased binge-worthy? I do think it is, but not everyone will like the slower pace. If you are not enjoying it by the second episode, you probably should stop there before spending any more of your time. But I think that most people will find the show a treat, and if you like time travel stories that are soft on the time travel aspects I certainly recommend giving Erased a try.