I hope that everyone is having a good week, and are ready to deal with the last full month of the current season.
Things have been going pretty well here, as I can still do the things that I enjoy.
At the end of October, I finally received the last two titles that I was expecting that month, with some bit of confusion, and finished out the month by getting one of those books out of the way.
Today, I will be reviewing the last of those titles, which is called Erased Volume 6 by Kei Sanbe.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
After going through so many hardships, Satoru has come face to face with the person that he has been chasing all this time, Gaku Yashihiro, his own teacher that he fully trusted, but, unfortunately for Satoru, it seems like it is game over.
However, even though Satoru may have lost against Yashiro, he manages to survive, finding himself back in the current era, and now has a ton of questions, such as how he knows things that he should not and his exceptional drawing abilities, and he is determined to find the key that links the new present and the events of the past that no longer makes sense.
While the previous volume was quite impressive, even though I normally would have been irritated by how the obvious was the solution, that does not mean that things would continue to stay just as good.
And after reading this, I would have to say that I found it okay.
From the moment that I started reading this, I did not want to put it down for any reason, though this feeling was not exactly as strong as the other installments in the series.
Back in the previous volume, things ended right at the moment that Satoru was trying to rescue Misato from who he thought was the kidnapper, and when I tried getting candy for him and Yashiro, whom he did not think was the killer, Yashiro suddenly reveals himself to be the one that Satoru was looking for all this time and the last thing we see is their expression, which made me wonder whether or not Satoru was going to get out of this alive or not, even though I knew that he would.
This volume captured my interest quickly because it picked up right where the last volume left off, which was what is expected to happen in series like this, and had me wondering about Satoru's ultimate fate.
The antepenultimate volume of a series is supposed to help lead into the grand finale, and the fact that things started off right here is just the perfect way to do this.
If I had no question as to what Satoru's fate was or Satoru was able to miraculously make it out of the situation he was in, though I would not say that he made out by his own efforts, since he was a child, I would have been angry because it would have taken away from the great amount of satisfaction I had from reading the true ending the first time around, and the series would still look like the joke that A-1 Pictures made it seem to be.
However, because the people that Kodakawa Shoten had put the volume together, whether it was in house or outsourced, and Kei Sanbe, who I now believe does have some input into how the volumes is put together, since the afterword special talks about it, decided to start things off like this, I feel like giving them a good amount applause.
Hopefully, they can keep this up until the very end in volumes 7 and 8, because I really want this series to end on a better note than the anime did, and, as I said in my review of the previous volume, the way these volumes start and end is key to making that happen.
I also liked how Yashiro's backstory was explored, showing his descent and how people did not suspect him too often.
In both this version of the series and A-1 Pictures anime adaptation, Yashiro is presented as this really clever individual, at least before the big reveal that happened in both the previous volume and the 10th episode, and I was looking to some kind of showdown that would just feel line everything truly was coming to a close, but A-1 Pictures really ruined Yashiro's character by turning him into a third rate villain that only got lucky, while trying to find something that made him feel fulfilled, because he seemingly just let Satoru do whatever he wanted, except flinging himself off the roof, during their final confrontation in the final episode, leaving me to wonder just how he had gotten away with all the crimes that he committed.
Here, however, after I was led to believe that Satoru was either dead or would die soon, the focus shifts away from Satoru and his friends to Yashiro, as he recounts his past via flashbacks, revealing how he was initially a good kid until his brother forced him to help him commit evil deeds and then eventually started doing things on his own and reading things, like books on forensic pathology.
By doing this, Yashiro not only becomes more than just a figure among the masses that he has been for so long, aside front a few things here and there that did not give off as strong vibes in the manga as they did the anime of the possibility that he was Satoru's enemy, but it also made him feel like he matched the exact personality of the person Satoru and his friends were seeking, instead of the typical villain that would be found in a children's cartoon, which he ended up being in A-1 Pictures adaptation.
If Kei Sanbe skipped over these details entirely, like A-1 Pictures did, since the flashback they present made him seem evil from the beginning, I would have been extremely disappointed, because he was able to do quite a bit for his work to outshine the adaptation that aired last year, much like people expect, as they are not aware of the exceptions to the belief that the original is the best version, and Yashiro would not have been as fleshed out as a character as he ended up being.
Thankfully, Kei did not do that, and it made me happy that I have stuck with this series for so long, even if I know that it may not be exactly perfect, and I am looking forward to seeing how the final two volumes, which will be released next year, will play out, though I already know what happens.
The thing that I liked the most though was how Satoru was struggling to get his memories back and how it showed how Satoru started to remember things.
Other than the fact that the final confrontation between Satoru and Yashiro not being great, one of the things that I hated the most was how A-1 Pictures never really explored how Satoru survived all this time and just decided to give him back his memories at the very moment that he reunites with Yashiro, even though he never really seemed like he was trying his hardest to piece things together.
While the time skip would make sense to most people, regardless of whether or not this would be the audience's first time going through this series, we, as the audience, are still kind of lost about what is going on and we need some sort of explanation, which A-1 Pictures failed to provide in an adequate manner, if at all.
In this volume, however, Satoru receives two files with messages written by Kenya explaining what happened after Yashiro tried to kill him and how he ultimately found himself where he was and that the search for Yashiro, whom they are not aware is true culprit and Satoru forgot attempted to kill him, is still ongoing, though Jun Shiratori is not on death row anymore, and we see Satoru struggle to remember the things that happened prior to what Kenya wrote down, ultimately showing a door to symbolize the obstacle in Satoru's path.
Later, when Satoru sees somebody he recognizes, that very same door is shown, and the volumes ends with that door being unlocked, as Satoru's shocked face.
Now, something like that will not happen in real life, as it would be more like how A-1 Pictures presented the return of Satoru's memories, but this is way more believable because either the person would be struggling to remember or those close to them would be doing things to slowly help the person regain their memories, before the actual trigger occurs.
If Kei Sanbe had taken the same approach as A-1 Pictures did to get Satoru back into the hunt for Yashiro, I would have been much more disappointed, even if it was the more realistic approach, because Satoru was being questioned by doctors and few others, and just moving things along until the trigger for Satoru to regain his memories shows up just is not as exciting as seeing him mentally struggle as he tries to remember.
However, because Kei Sanbe took the approach he did here, I feel like I am ready to see how things will finally end and how Satoru will meet Yashiro for their inevitable showdown.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that either could not be added into what I talked about already or not spoil things any more than I have.
Because this volume quickly caught my attention, by picking up where the last volume left off, Yashiro got a backstory that helped to not make him look like the typical villain from children's cartoons, and that how Satoru survived after finding out that Yashiro was enemy and that he is shown struggling to regain his memories before getting them back, this was a pretty decent read.
Although there were things that I liked about the volume, there are some issues.
However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as typos and things that would be pretty common in the antepenultimate volume of a series like this, nothing really seemed to bother me too much.
As a result, I will just have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.
Considering that there was quite a bit to like about this book, especially considering how it is still looking good, even if it is not on par with the last installment, this was definitely worth reading.
I mainly recommend this to fans of Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, as this is the antepenultimate volume of the series and they would be able to enjoy this the most.
As for everyone else, it would be worth giving a try, but with this book being so close to end, I would recommend reading the previous volumes first, so that you would not be lost and can tell if the series is right for you.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon or, if you either want a copy of this volume or have the chance to see how the series will end, either buy Yen Press's third compilation or preorder their fourth, and final, compilation, which contains volumes 7 and 8, from Book Depository, who offers free shipping to many countries across the world, so that I can accurately judge whether the manga's ending is truly superior to the anime's and even find more worthwhile reads for you guys, and do whatever you do when you find something that impresses you.
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