Boku Dake ga Inai Machi episode 3: Pick one

Another episode of BokuMachi that shone more for the little details.

That’s not to say, however, that there weren’t any “big” moments or anything, it’s just that what we got merely confirmed suspicions from last week regarding Kayo’s domestic issues, and in a bombastic manner that I would’ve like to think is rather uncharacteristic of this anime. I say that because it seemed to me that one particular scene was trying to over exert emotions that could have been easily earned with better, more subdued presentation. Screenshots like the one where I got the top left image from make for scenes that could be easily into any piece of well-animated shock-porn. Well…. it wasn’t that bad I guess. You can tell a show is good when I’m reaching this much to try and criticize it and can only come up with this. If there was one other thing of note about how that scene was presented, it’s how Kayo’s mother has the same glowing red eyes as the man that killed Sachiko, and so does her degenerate partner. You probably already came to this conclusion, but this pretty much confirms that that eye hue was really just a simple visual-cliché to denote evil. A literal red herring, I guess you can say. Speaking of red herrings, it’s quite possible that originally Kayo’s death was one all along since we don’t have any way to confirm that it was connected directly to the string of child murders that took place around that time. Whilst her guardians are clearly Bad People, the chances of them being the ones responsible for killing all those children are pretty much zero. It seems a lot more likely now that either one or the both of them beat Kayo to death (either willfully or accidentally) and that they used the recent missing children’s cases as a convenient cover-up. That certainly makes for a pretty big wrinkle in the mystery. Whether or not she died as a result of child abuse, or at the hands of some unknown psychopath doesn’t really matter right now however. Satoru’s actions still can very well end up saving her from both.

One of the more interesting things going on right now lies in the blend between Satoru’s adult cynicism and his youthful nostalgia. One side that operates on reason and experience and one that is fueled by naivete and bias. We get to see both on display with his conversation with Yuki, as Satoru’s perception of Yuki has changed a good deal since his first time going through these years. Right now he can see through his adult facade and see his childhood hero for what he really is. However, his opinion of Yuki remains as clouded by rose-tinted lenses. He looks at Yuki in a similar way he does his mother (both as people that wrongfully lost their lives and ought to be saved) even though he has no real reason to conclude that the hands of his former idol are clean of wrongdoing. “He would never kill someone” is a rather tenuous line of defense after all. The surfacing of another murderer a couple of years after his execution isn’t necessarily a good defense either. We even saw a bit of that side of him when he defended Kayo from the girl attempting to frame her for stealing lunch money, even though it was perfectly reasonable for her classmates to believe she did it. It might be unthinkable for someone like Satoru to believe she would steal in a situation that would likely resolve in her being caught anyway. To someone like Kayo, who is used to feeling alone and faces much fiercer troubles at home then what any of her schoolmates could dish, it makes a lot more sense. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that Yuki is the murderer, or that Kayo stole the money so much as I am saying that Satoru’s habit of seeing those he’s close to in an ideal a way as possible could lead to some rather clouded judgements and heart-crushing disillusionment.

But who better to bring about that disillusionment than this guy? Whilst any good teacher ought to have the best interests of the students in mind, teach here seems a tad too helpful to not deserve some suspicion of his own, to the point where it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise if he was putting on some kind of ruse. I can’t really say much more than that since we don’t really have much to go off of here, but it makes sense why a lot of folks are getting an “off” feeling with this guy. It’s quite sad that the one Satoru has been having the easiest times confiding his issues with is possibly the one that will stab him in the back. That ending scene seemed rather fishy too as it implies there’s a lot more to the guy than he’s willing to say openly.

I don’t really have a lot to say about “heartwarming” stuff most of the time, but damn was this last scene nice.

 

PS: This might sound odd coming from someone like me who’s been praising this show for the past three weeks, but MAL’s ranking for this series has gotten rather out of hand hasn’t it? Something like this would make more sense for a show with as much pre-airing hype as One Punch Man, or for Gintama because it’s fucking Gintama, but I honestly didn’t see a whole lot of “oh man this is going to be the best thing ever” excitement until it started. Surprising stuff, but it’s a little misguided I think for now. This is a mystery series after all. As good as thus may be at building up, a mystery is always one disastrous twist from being a waste. We’re three episodes in, and no matter how much I liked these episodes, there’s still a lot of room to screw-up (hence why I generally don’t score things on my list until I’ve finished them). I’m not a fan of time travel mechanics in general, and whilst BokuMachi has been keeping that aspect of it in check, it could still pose some issues later on that I won’t be able to overlook. Check your hype and don’t set yourselves up for more disappointment than necessary. So basically, don’t be like Satoru.

 

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2 thoughts on “Boku Dake ga Inai Machi episode 3: Pick one

  1. I use MAL to track my own titles, but I don’t browse the forms there or even check the overall rankings, so I usually have no idea what people are saying about particular titles outside of anime blogs. Personally though, I fully anticipated Erased being the best show of the winter season based on the synopsis and the one image I saw (though that might be saying more about what I thought most of the other shows sounded like rather than it does about Erased specifically). It’s still easily my favourite show of the season now as well – although I don’t think it’s the best anime ever or anything like that. Like you, I try to reserve at least some judgement on a title until I’ve watched the whole thing, but if I was going to give Erased a score based solely on its first 3 episodes, it’d probably be an 8.

  2. So far, I’ve only been mildly interested in ERASED, so I don’t think it will be a really big deal if it screws up. I didn’t know about those MAL rankings (I don’t even use it in the first place) 😝
    I definitely didn’t catch the part about the killer having red eyes! 😱

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