This week’s Throwback Thursday takes a look at one of the best Japanese dramas available on the legal sites. Come find out if this hidden drama gem is your next binge watch. Originally published in January 2018.
Are you in the mood for atmospheric winter shots that make you want to grab an extra blanket? Child Serial Killers with HORRID beards? A cast full of talented and adorable kids who may have done a better job than the adults? If you want any of those things, Erased is the right drama for you. Note: I try not to give away major plot points, but there will be some spoilers throughout as I discuss the plot and characters. Be warned!
This drama showed up on Netflix at the beginning of December, and I immediately wanted to watch it. I put it on My List and went about my way. Then I finished Solomon’s Perjury, and was really in the mood for another thriller with a similar feel.
At 12 episodes that are only 30 minutes a piece, it was the perfect binge watch while I was curled up in bed for the holidays. Yes, I sappy holiday movies too, but this fit my mood this year.
Here’s a quick and fast synopsis. Satoru (played by the baby-faced Yuki Furukawa) has the ability to do what he calls revival. If something bad is going to happen, he gets suck back in time a few minutes so that he can stop whatever horrible incident from occurring. After his mother is murdered and he is the prime suspect, he gets transported 18 years into the past right before a series of murders happened in his small town.
The story shines in the past. Yes, the future pulls it all together and I love Yuki’s portrayal of the down on his luck manga writer, but the kids are where it crackles and pulls at your heart.
Satoru knows the order in which his fellow classmates and kids in town were found dead, so he focuses on the first child that went missing. Kayo is a loner and an abused child and Satoru makes it his mission to save her. He does it the only way a time traveler in a ten-year old’s body can, by befriending her and making sure she’s not alone when the murder originally happened.
The sad and beautiful bond that forms between these two children is what kept me pressing play again. Well, and I wanted to know who the murderer was. Honestly even without the mystery involved, I would have wanted to see these two become friends, and watch as Satoru’s amazing mother helped try to save Kayo from her toxic living environment.
Eventually one of Satoru’s friends catches on to what he’s doing and they form the cutest little detective team around. Except, instead of investigating (since the crimes haven’t actually happened in this time line), they set out the collect all the lonely kids who were originally murdered, and eventually even start befriending others just to make sure they aren’t targeted as well.
We get hints throughout the episodes of who the killer is, and by the time they were revealed I was screaming at the kids to stay the heck away from them. The reveal wasn’t surprising but it didn’t make it any less scary. It helped that the director was amazing at making almost all the scenes in the past feel bleak, except for ones that involved the kids strengthen their bond of friendship. Smoke-stacked filled skies with bitter cold snow piled everyone. A tree that at night was enchanting enough to be called a Christmas tree, but in the day time, just an stark reminder of how much longer it would be until spring.
Though the scenery often felt depressing and weighty, the smile from many of the children was enough to see the hope that they might be able to trick time into keeping them all alive and well.
This is a thriller, but at the heart of it, the relationships that formed between the children, and also Satoru’s mother were the driving force to reach what you desperately wanted to be a happy ending.
Thank you for reading my mostly spoiler free review of what I hope you will all add to your Netflix watch list.
Drama With a Side of Kimchi