Originally a manga series by Kei Sanbe, Erased (Japanese: 僕がいない街, or The Town Where I Don't Exist) was adapted into a live-action drama by Netflix in 2017. The manga was top ranked for 3 consecutive years with over 4.29 million copies sold. With its strong characters, the drama recounts the journey of believing in oneself and finding someone to lean on.
Satoru Fujinuma (Yuki Furukawa) struggles as a manga artist and constantly faces rejection by publishers. In the meantime, he works in pizza delivery. Satoru has a special ability called “Revival”, in which he can travel back in time and prevent terrible incidents from happening. But Satoru always wished to erase one unforgettable part of his past. Without telling anyone, Satoru lives in agony as he is unable to move on from a serial kidnap and murder case involving three of his childhood friends 18 years ago.
One day, Satoru finds his mother, Fujinuma Sachiko (Tomoka Kurotani) lying dead and murdered in his house. With bloods on his hands, he tried to chase the assailant. However, Satoru encounters a dead end with the police right on his track.
Desperate to clear his name, Satoru earnestly wishes for a chance to go back to the past and change the events. In a flash, Satoru finds himself transported back to the winter of 1988, the year where the kidnapping incidents first happened. He is in his younger self’s body, a fifth-grade student of the Mikoto Elementary School.
Director Ten Shimoyama masterfully plays the tension of past and present as the story’s narrative element. Erased’s cinematography deserves praise for its breath-taking shots, such as the dramatic view of snow-filled background. The casting is spectacular, especially the child actor Reo Uchikawa who plays the role of young Satoru.
What would Satoru find when he comes face to face with his past? How does the serial kidnap and murder case relate to his mother’s murder? To find out, check it out on Netflix!
Erased | Netflix Official Site
Director: Ten Shimoyama
Writer: Kei Sanbe (manga), Tomomi Okubo
Release Date: December 15, 2017
Duration: 120 minutes
Cast: Yuki Furukawa as Fujinuma Satoru (adult)
Reo Uchikawa as Fujinuma Satoru (child)
Mio Yuki as Katagiri Airi
Totsugi Shigeyuki as Yashiro Gaku
Kurotani Tomoka as Fujinuma Sachiko
Mashima Hideka as Sawada Makoto