Boku dake ga Inai Machi 12 – Final Impressions

A true super hero needs a super villain, and great friends. Boku dake ga Inai Machi comes to an end, but the feelings linger on. Check out the final impressions for this series below the episode review!

Episode Review

I’m very happy with how this episode played out. As soon as we knew that Satoru had regained his memories from speaking with Kayo, it was clear there was a plan in motion. And knowing how much he had thought everything through during the rest of the series, I just couldn’t wait to see what trick he had up his sleeve on the roof. A lot of people say this show is rather predictable, or obvious at times, but I would counter with the fact that there are so many good misleading details that do their job effectively. Leaving out his memories returning last week, and stranding him with Yashiro was a great set-up for that. The phone in Satoru’s pocket was another misdirection – I felt a little disappointment in such a simple plan only to be revealed the truth later on. That’s just how this show has been all season.

The actual conflict on the roof between Satoru and Yashiro had its moments as well. The parallel between their characters, kind of like a super hero and their opposite, was captured in the fact that Yashiro had also been dormant for 15 years. But through all of that time, he never killed Satoru despite how easy it would have been. He needed to know what the deal was with Satoru’s power, and knowing the future. Although Satoru never actually knew the future once he was back in the past, he could extrapolate pretty easily – and Yashiro was an easy person to pick apart by this point.

Any actual explanation for why Yashiro couldn’t live without Satoru must be mostly psychological or supernatural. They had such a deep connection in their rivalry that they just couldn’t exist separately. More likely is that Yashiro just wouldn’t have any fun with his evil deeds if there wasn’t a true hero trying to stop him (like any good villain). Talk about a risky move, jumping off the building on to a inflatable cushion. There were so many ways that could have gone wrong, and even with what occurred it’s really not certain that there was attempted murder involved. It looks really, really bad for Yashiro though. Standing there about to jump himself, after visibly letting go of Satoru’s wheelchair – but he was trying to save him for a moment. The speech that came through the phone in Satoru’s pocket is somewhat implicating in his previous deeds, and paints a definite intent or at least reasoning to kill, that’s for sure.

It was nice to see Satoru teaming up with his friends for the final battle, like a real Wonder Guy story. He clearly had everyone in on this crazy stunt, as they were standing by the cushion at the bottom of the building. It does however seem like something his crazy mom would totally go along with. And we get to see a little bit in to the future, and how he keeps in touch with all of his friends. It is unfortunate that he lost 15 years of his life, but he had clearly lived that in a different world once before. It was worth the sacrifice to benefit everyone who didn’t get to live their lives in the original timeline. All of those that were killed or otherwise disadvantaged have made something great of their new lives. Satoru’s friends are doctors, lawyers, have children and families. Plus, now Satoru is the sensei! Not the school teacher, but a senior manga artist, with an anime adaptation on the way! Pretty happy ending if there was one for this show to be had.

But we can’t just finish this series without resolving Satoru’s happiness completely. He deserves a reward for all of his deeds, hard work, and sacrifices. This is left a little open-ended though. We do see his reunion with the superbly cute Misato, who ran a donation campaign to raise money for Satoru’s hospital bills and elicited a rather large blush. I think that seems like his most likely hook-up – but then there is Airi. The girl that by all accounts he should not know in this timeline appears in front of him. They might be well suited for each other in the way they think, and were well-connected in the original timeline, but here it just seems a little forced. He is definitely happy that she survived and seems to be living a good life, but I don’t think it would be easy to assume they hit it off that easily from there. Could you imagine him telling her the story of his life? You could make an anime out of that. … Oh.

Episode Score
9.2/10

Extra thoughts:
– Wonder Guy is an amazing super hero name. Next will be Awesome Dude and Power Girl.
– “The town where only I am missing” was the true outcome for Satoru.
– Shout out to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Go Team Canada!
– We don’t have much to go on, but who is the real ‘best girl’ option now?

Final Impressions

This was definitely the blockbuster show of the season. Although it has lost some praise over the last few weeks, due to claims of predictability and rushing, it shot up to the top 10 of a number of all-time anime lists over its run.

There are so many reasons to like this series. The cinematography, or how shots and scenes were laid out, really stands out against a lot of other recent offerings. Although the present-day time looked like a pretty generic fair anime, the jump to the past was a stark contrast with its cinematic aspect ratio and nostalgia angles. It played these jumps well in the story as well, spending enough time in each of them, back and forth, to be relevant and engaging. You would always be clamoring for the return to the other time no matter which one you were currently in, to see the effects of Satoru’s actions played out. Although it may have suffered a little more in the present day time, it managed to connect us to those versions of characters, as well as Airi, the only real lead that didn’t appear in the past. That has a certain effect in its own right, showing how people grow and lose contact with certain people, but new faces always arise.

The characters in this show were wonderfully presented in both times, but the childhood years were near perfect. It can be really tough to guide a serious and intriguing story through the eyes and lives of children. The fact that this story had the MC in a child’s body with a 29-year-old’s mind was handled even better. It had the opportunity to go so wrong with that twist, but went so right. It was self-aware at the right times, and it fit in to the childhood mentality when it needed to. I detailed in the episode review above how most of the characters lead a happy and fulfilling life after Satoru’s intervention. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have liked another time skip to instead have him end up with Kayo, but this ending was pretty good! He has some great promise for his life moving forward. Could his meeting with Airi at the end be the direction he goes? Or perhaps the butterfly he sees signals that there’s more time travelling to be done.

As for the time travel aspects, the sci-fi element of the series, I think it handled it pretty well. It was a very contained power in its scope, not becoming too gimmicky or overpowered. It happened at a few convenient times, but wasn’t something that could be fully relied upon. If anything, it made Satoru an interestingly flawed, true super hero.

The Town Where I Am Not There
The Town Where Only I am Missing

Series Score
9.5/10

(rounded up to 10 for MAL)

 

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5 thoughts on “Boku dake ga Inai Machi 12 – Final Impressions

  1. BlackAnimeQueen March 24, 2016 / 8:11 pm

    I like your view but i still feel the scores are too high especially for the anime finale. The last 2 episodes were my least favorites because i found some of the things top rushed. The villains backstory was not explored at all as it is in the manga and airi got even less screentime making her appearance seem so forced at the end. Really not happy at all with the way the anime handled this story. It could have been even more better if the anime followed the source material better what a let down for me. Who was such a big fan of the series. Oh well i will give 7.5/10 rounding up to 8/10. However i enjoyed your review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cloudy March 24, 2016 / 8:31 pm

      I would have really loved for it to be a 26-episode show. It definitely could have benefited from more time to develop, but I won’t fault this version for what it had to fit in to. I think people will be pretty split about this series, even with its critical acclaim. But that means more discussion! And that’s good with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BlackAnimeQueen March 24, 2016 / 8:34 pm

        I totally agree they had a lot of material to work with to try and spread it the series out. That’s what they did with shigatsu but why did they do something different for this series is what annoyed me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Walker June 18, 2016 / 12:16 am

    Oh, hello there! ERASED turned out to be one of my favorite anime out of all I’ve watched so far (and that’s quite a lot) so I randomly got here by searching stuff about it. Great review! You have very good points.
    But, the meticulous me felt he had to tell you that that scene you appointed as Satoru blushing at Misato isn’t actually this; they were all in a bar and drinking, Kazu and Ken’ya have flushed faces too. We see Satoru also has a glass of beer on his hand, so naturally his face is like that because of the alcohol. ^^ Not trying to sink your words or such, I just watched the scene twice because I, too, thought he was blushing at her! Haha, oh my.
    I was so happy to see Yuuki again, even if briefly. He was safe, happy, and had a family. I also was moved to tears when I saw Kayo with her son in her arms (basically I cried together with Satoru, hahaha).I was so happy to see them having a future.
    The author somehow gets us to care about all of the characters and get attached to them, and I honestly think that’s rare nowadays in anime and manga.
    Again, great review!

    Like

    • Cloudy June 18, 2016 / 12:18 am

      Great to hear from you! They do seem to all be flushed in a sense, I just felt that his reaction to her entrance was a little more nuanced than the rest of them – just an assumption of what could be, I suppose!

      Like

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