Kayo is finally free and that alone makes this episode great.
Picking up exactly where the previous episode left off, with Satoru, his mother and Kayo confronting the latter’s mother, we’re given what feels like a transition episode; contrary to the title “Closure.”
As Kayo is released from the clutches of her mother, and delivered to her grandmother, Satoru shifts focus from her to the other two victims of the killer in this time period. It doesn’t do anything to radically change how we view the series, and even Satoru’s methods haven’t changed, but it does make a strong case for the final three episodes being suitably intense.
This is probably due to how much of a red herring their teacher, Yashiro, is being portrayed as. With so many indications that he is responsible for the murders, it is becoming a game of “is he, or isn’t he,” as the show continues to push him to the forefront. The fact that he is also subject to suspicious sequences such as the glovebox full of candy don’t help either.
It deepens the mystery, while also feeling like we may be in the midst of being misled about who the murderer is and where this story is eventually going to end up.
At the same time, this episode also managed to pull Kenya deeper into the fold as he, alongside Hiromi, become more involved in the situation. With them believing that it’s all part of a “detective game” that Satoru is playing.
Everything in this episode just clicked together really nicely, keeping the high level of quality that the series has had from the start, and the animation and audio still hold up well.
My only issue with this episode is the awkward method of how they dealt with Kayo’s mother. It felt like they were trying a little bit too hard to make her case even slightly sympathetic, when there was no way that she should ever be truly forgiven for the way she treated her daughter. It was the most awkward part of this episode and actually did manage to drag down the pacing and emotions of Kayo’s release from her mother.
Overall, this was another decent addition to ERASED, and it manages to move things forward without losing any traction. It makes me excited to see where the final episodes will head and how things will turn out overall.
Episode 9 Rating: 8.5/10