Anime Review: Boku Dake ga Inai Machi

March 25, 2016

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Well, this is kind of sad.

As many of you guys know, I have been following a show that had been airing since January and it ended recently.

Due to this fact, I have no more anime to follow until something strikes my fancy again, like if the Liberal Arts City and Daihasei arcs of A Certain Scientific Railgun were adapted into a third Railgun anime, or if Pandora Hearts got an FMA Brotherhood treatment.

In the mean time, it will probably be best to give it a proper send off by reviewing the series as a whole.

Today, I will do just that and review that series, which is called Boku Dake ga Inai Machi.

Normally, I would have done up a new series synopsis for reviews like these, but because I do not think I can top the one featured in my review of the first episode, I will forgo the synopsis.

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When I started watching this show, I was confident that it was going to be good, maybe even better than the original manga.

However, after watching this series, I can say that I somewhat liked it, but nowhere in the realm of best anime of the year.

I liked how I was sucked right into the world and the story right within the first episode and my interest was held for a good majority of the show.

This is how I wish all television shows started off these days, as it would at least give me some reason to invest my time in visual medium that were not animated.

Unfortunately, the pilot episode to most shows tends to be the worst of the bunch, which is why shows need to be given a chance of more than one episode before not following it.

If I had to say why it caught my attention, a lot of the unnecessary parts were cut out and things felt less tedious than the manga did in the beginning.

As a result, I have to reaffirm that A-1 Pictures does deserve some applause for knowing what to keep and what to cut, though not as much as I would have given them before.

I also liked how on more than one occasion, I was able to feel things that I was not able to really feel in the manga.

The first time I noticed this, I really wanted to give A-1 Pictures some praise, and I still do want to give them kudos, but even that is kind of limited now, with everything I know about from the manga and having seen the final episode.

This is what I wish that all shows could deliver, but, at this point, the only show that could make me feel things that the original manga did not really make me feel was the SisterÔÇÖs arc from A Certain Scientific Railgun S.

Besides, that is the only way to really surpass the original material, or even make a show be relatively decent.

Another nice thing was how I was able to laugh a few times during the course of this show.

The funniest was when Satoru brought up things that he should not have experienced when he was reliving 1988.

Seeing as how this series is serious most of time, it is nice to be able to take a load off and laugh.

If A-1 Pictures had cut this stuff out, I am not too sure I would have been able to enjoy things as much, though I would not say it would be rather impossible.

The thing that I liked the most though was how many of the episodes gave a reason to continue on, with it reaching a level in which I really did not want to wait out the week.

This is how show supposed to be from beginning to end, but, sadly, quite a few, especially this series dies after a certain point.

If A-1 Pictures had been able to maintain this kind of excitement, this show would have been perfect, but I can only give them minor applause.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked.

The fact that the show started strong, by not feeling too tedious in the beginning and making me feel things I did not feel before in the manga, as well as the fact that there was some humor, made this show rather enjoyable.

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Although I liked the show there are some issues, especially during the final episodes.

First, things were never really explained at all, or even not well enough.

For example, in the tenth episode, Satoru almost drowns to death, but in the eleventh episode, he suddenly wakes up fifteen years later.

Now, this is not exactly unusual, because writers often skip to the point in which their protagonist is still alive, but it is never fully explained how Satoru survived the events that occurred in episode 10.

In the manga, some files shed some light on the matter, saying that moments after Satoru was sent to his supposed watery grave, a female vet had found him just in the nick of time, thanks to what was believed to be rapid hypothermia, he in a coma for fifteen years.

While this would not have changed the fact that some people would have preferred Satoru to die, which I would have too, if I had known that A-1 Pictures was going to do what they did, it at least answered the most important question.

Instead of answering this fully, A-1 Pictures only explained a bit about how he found himself in the hospital fifteen years later.

Really, A-1 Pictures? You have been creating anime for a few years and cannot see any of the important details present already explained in the source material?

I really think that A-1 Pictures needed better staff behind this anime.

In addition to not explaining how Satoru survived, I also did not like how AiriÔÇÖs importance to Satoru was also not explained.

Even though scenes from early on were cut out, there was still enough to make her important, yet they decided to replace her with Yashiro, and, as a result, I could not really feel anything when Satoru and Airi reunited in the end, seeing as Satoru was brought to tears.

However, in the manga, it is shown that Airi had been with him from the very beginning, even before he got wrapped up in a murder case.

This was supposed to be a happy moment and you blew it, A-1 Pictures!

I also hated the final confrontation.

Now, a lot of this has to do with what I already mentioned in my review of the final episode, but one thing that I did not bring up was that I did not like how the it felt like a cop out at the very end, by revealing that Satoru landed on something soft.

True, there was not really any other way for him to survive jumping from the roof, or more like going over, since Satoru was in a wheelchair, but it did not really feel like a satisfying conclusion to the confrontation.

In the manga, Satoru tackles Yashiro and dives off the bridge, where their final confrontation takes place, plunging into the water, where I am wondering if they died or not.

Even though whether Satoru and Yashiro survive the fall is answered after that, all of the events that happened at that time led up to it feeling very believable, especially since Satoru can at least move his hands and arms well enough to handle crutches.

How the confrontation ends in here, unfortunately, does not give off this feeling and is a major reason why this series will never outshine the manga overall.

Seriously! You should be able to do better than this A-1 Pictures!

This is horrible enough to make me question whether or not I would buy this series on iTunes or DVD when Aniplex finally releases it where I live.

The things that I hated the most though was the mystery and the fact that the reasons behind what Yashiro did was never explored.

While the manga itself is tagged as a mystery series on Baka Updates Manga, there was literally no mystery at all after a few episodes, nor really any of the chapters in the manga after a certain point.

Now, I cannot blame everything about this issue on A-1 Pictures, since Kei Sanbe wrote some of the things this way, but if A-1 Pictures really wanted this to be a mystery, then they should have not made Yashiro even more obvious than he was in the manga, since I, and many others, were not that impressed with the big reveal.

If one does not make big reveals interesting, fans of the mystery genre are not really going to want to see any more work from the writer or the studio.

This is the reason why I do not want to call this a mystery series, and nobody should either.

As for the reasons not being explored, this was far worse.

In many works found in the detective fiction, and crime fiction genres, there is usually an explanation that goes through why the criminal did what they did, such as Jefferson Hope from A Study in Scarlet, who wanted revenge against members of the LDS church for killing the girl he loved and her adoptive father, and Wargrave from And Then There Were None, which has a letter that explained why and how he did what he did.

In the manga, while I am not happy with where it was shown, it revealed that something was not right about Yashiro for the longest time, with the hamster incident that did get featured in the anime being only a brief part that, and that Yashiro was influenced by a no good family member.

Unfortunately, this was never covered in the course of the anime, not even at any of the most appropiate times, like Yashiro getting arrested.

Yashiro is supposed to be different from other criminals and he just comes across as yet another idiot.

Really, A-1 Pictures? If you are trying to pull something like the 2003 anime adaptation of FMA, you have sorely failed to live up to even that, though I prefer how FMA Brotherhood ended.

At this rate, it would have been better to follow the manga more closely, but to do that, A-1 Pictures would have needed to have more than twelve episodes to really flesh things out.

Other than those things, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly hated.

Because A-1 Pictures made a lot of mistakes, like a horrible final confrontation that ended pretty badly and not explaining or exploring things, this series has no chance of being a contender for the best anime ever.

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Despite the fact that there were a few things to like, the way A-1 Pictures handled this series towards the end makes this only good enough to kill some time.

I recommend this mostly to those who want to try out something different, but only up to episode 10, then start reading the manga from chapter 32 onwards.

As for everyone else, I suggest reading the manga instead, even if it has a tedious beginning, because it was much more satisfying.

What are your thoughts on Boku Dake ga Inai Machi? Did you like it or hate it? If you liked it, do you think that I am wrong and this is the best anime you have seen in a while? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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