Dark and intriguing, this tale of an ordinary young man with out-of-the-ordinary powers is meaty, suspenseful, and fascinating, if too grim for young viewers. Satoru, all staring eyes and blank expressions, is a difficult hero to get close to, particularly at first. He barely speaks to his fellow humans; even ebullient coworker Airi Katagiri (Mio Yuuki) has trouble getting more than a few words out of him. But we already know his secret: As he tells us in the first moments of the series, Satoru is "scared to find out I have nothing to offer the world." In his dreams, he's a great manga artist who touches emotions with his work; in reality, he's a pizza delivery guy who lives alone in a dank apartment on a dead-end Tokyo street.
But unlike most guys in dead-end apartments, Satoru has a little something extra. But though what he calls a "revival" always returned him just a few minutes into the past before, now he's gone hurtling back 18 years. It's 1988 all over again, before Satoru's classmates were killed, and before his childhood friend was sent to death row. There's something Satoru has to figure out, something he has to fix before terrible things happen. Satoru does have something to offer the world, it turns out -- and to offer viewers who are willing to give this twisty drama the time to let things play out. Erased doesn't move quickly, but it does cast a spell, and it's deliciously different from a bright, brash Western superhero tale. Anime fans take note: This is one live-action adaptation worth a look.