Erased Volume 2 is the latest release from Madman of the time travelling adventure and it deftly picks up where Volume 1 left off and if you missed that one, then I suggest you click here to bring yourself up to speed. This release features episodes 7 through to the stunning climax in episode 12. I won’t go into much detail as I don’t want to reveal any spoilers and the gist of it was covered in our Volume 1 review.
If you recall, episode 6 finished on a MASSIVE cliffhanger which is where episode 7 picks up. As in the first half of this anime, the second half doesn’t let up and continues with the tension as we see Satoru try and escape from his current predicament. There’s time travel a plenty in this half with quite a few episodes taking place in the past as Satoru tries to prevent tragedies occurring from both the past and the future by creating time ripples by changing events in his past when he was still a young boy.
This one of the more exciting and engrossing anime’s I’ve watched in a while as you always want to think that everything will end up being ok but sometimes, when things are at their most darkest, you really don’t know how events will resolve themselves leaving Satoru and those he cares about in a good place.
The extras from Madman include audio commentaries, textless opening and closings and trailers.
Erased is a stunning story from writer and illustrator, Kei Sanbe, and involves drama, tension, murder and that ever popular theme, time travel. The Blu Ray used in this review is Volume 1 which contains the first 6 episode, the next volume is coming next month from Madman.
Erased tells the story of Satoru Fujinuma, a young male who has the ability to travel back in time through a process he calls, “Revival”. Revival seems to be triggered by a life changing event that’s about to occur around him. He see the events of the time shift and as he realised he’s watching future events, he’s thrown back to the past to prevent it from happening.
Satoru is a part time pizza deliver driver for Oasi Pizza where he is also friends with a female high schooler, Airi Katagiri, who becomes caught up in Satoru’s life after she becomes aware of his gift. Satoru makes ends meet by also being a manga artist. His life is altered forever after his mother is tragically murdered due to witnessing a kidnapping in progress. This event triggers Satoru’s Revival and transports him back in time to when he was a young boy of only 10 years of age. Some how during this time, he needs to set in place a series of events which will cause a ripple through time to hopefully alter the events of his future timeline.
Needless to say this sets the scene for a cracking pace in the anime, a pave which rarely lets down and see each episode finish on a cliffhanger every single time. People you come to like in the series will ultimately end up being completely different people and it becomes a case of Trust No One. The episode that this volume finishes on is a particular stressful and tense episode and will have you screaming, “Nooo!!” at your TV, hungry for the next instalment. It features stunning animation, an amazing soundtrack with great, likeable characters.
If you haven’t seen it, then you’re doing yourself a MASSIVE disservice and it’s a story that is so rich, so well told and crafted with all the necessary elements to support it and make it become an addition to your collection.
Gunslinger Stratos from A-1 Pictures is a time travelling, dimension hopping adventure with non stop frantic action thrown in for good measure. The story revolves around two main protagaonists, Tohru Kazasumi and Kyōka Katagiri who live in AD. 2115. The island we know as Japan is now called the 17th Far East Imperial City Management District. Everyone lives in peace when all of a sudden, a mysterious disease begins to take effect on the citizens by crumbling them into dust in a process that’s come to be known as degradation.
Thrown into the mix are the aforementioned friends Tohru Kazasumi and Kyōka Katagiri who find themselves falling into a dimensional warp and reappearing in 2015 where they encounter versions of themselves that are both on the side of good and bad in a battle between parallel worlds. This parallel world is known as Frontier S (Stratos). The introduction of beings called the Timekeepers who control the flow of these battles and when they occur provide another element from the story as their intentions are not clear and their motives clouded.
The purpose of these battle are to obtain energy cubes which will give the successful side an advantage during these skirmishes as it allows them to upgrade their and evolve their weapons which is very cool and gives each side a battle advantage. The battles all take place under a time limit and are very dynamic with characters taking flight and awesome gunfights taking place above the ground and crashing through buildings and just generally causing mayhem.
The animation is nice and clear with great detail in the characters and battle scenes. Sometimes battle scenes can become a bit of blur but they hold up very nice here. There doesn’t appear to be much 3DCG either which actually suits the style of the anime, 3DCG is nice and looks dynamic but the use of it has to fit the aesthetic of the anime. The characters are all distinct and have personalities that you’ll find yourself drawn to, everyone will find their favourite.
It’s also great seeing how different the two worlds really are with the 17th Far East Imperial City Management District very much under strict control and not freedom of choice while Frontier S is full of freedom but also full of outlaws as a result. It makes you wonder in which world everyone would be better off as they have glaring pros and cons. As the story progresses, mysteries begin to solve themselves and the whole reasoning behind the degradation process becomes known. The Timekeepers also reveal their motives and what they stand to gain from all the confusion going on.
Gunslinger Stratos is a cracking ride with a deep, immersive storyline which will appeal to fans of action anime that has a thinking plot behind it. The violence is never gratuitous and everything comes together seamlessly as the story draws towards a climactic end.