I know I’m going to sound really weird here, seeing as we finally got the reveal of who the killer is, but the greatest thing about these two episodes is how they switched Satoru’s inner voice between episodes 10 and 11.
With Yashiro being revealed as the killer, a shock to next to no one, but definitely a brilliant play of the red herrings that have littered the series, episode 10 managed to be a pretty tense build up to his final play against Satoru.
In an amazingly performed sequence that took up the majority of the second half of the episode, Yashiro and Satoru were pit against one another in a one-sided battle that was most definitely in the older man’s favour.
The scripting and animation in this sequence are great, and it builds up to an absolute sense of horror as Yashiro sends Satoru to his apparent death by drowning, stuck in one of his teacher’s multiple dummy cars.
It’s a fitting sequence for the series, finally bringing the culprit out into the light, but it’s the transition in episode 11 that really reminds me of why this series has been so great.
For starters, I need to mention the change in inner voice again. As Satoru wakes up from a coma fifteen years later, we’re introduced to a Satoru who cannot remember any of his time before his revival, or even his time in the weeks between his revival and his incident with Yashiro.
Instead of having the older Satoru as his inner voice, this puts the younger Satoru into this position; an absolutely excellent and compelling way of presenting the dichotomy between who he was before the near death experience and after.
This episode also provides all the reasons as to why Satoru is such a great character and one of the best protagonists we’ve had in anime in quite a while. When confronted with an adult Kayo and her newborn child, she attempts to apologize for moving on while he was left behind in his coma. However, to his benefit as a person, Satoru waves off her misgivings and assures her that everything is alright.
It’s a wonderful little scene that feels like a fitting conclusion to their dynamic. It was sweet and heartwarming and well done.
However, this episode also managed to bring Yashiro back in smoothly, and set up what is most likely going to be a brutal conclusion. With Satoru and him on the roof of the hospital, the two are definitely racing towards a fearsome conclusion.
One more thing I’d like to mention is the opening to this episode. In a neat stylistic trick, Satoru’s completely missing from it. Both the adult and child version of him are not present, a neat little trick that ties into his comatose state that has removed him from the world for the past fifteen years.
In total, this has been an utterly thrilling ride, and the conclusion cannot come soon enough. ERASED has been a great series to start 2016 with and these two episodes have done a huge amount to help in that regard. Next episode is going to be a huge deal now that we’ve gotten through the “who” part of the mystery and I cannot wait to see how all of this buildup is paid off.
Episode 10 Rating: 8.5/10
Episode 11 Rating: 9.5/10