Title: Erased Vol. 3
Author: Kei Sanbe
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Mystery
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
The third volume of Erased picks after Kayo Hinazuki was taken away by child welfare services. We learn that her mother will probably lose all rights of custody and that Hinazuki will be living with her grandmother. With Hinazuki safe, Satoru decides to investigate further because he knows that the killer will be targeting someone new. This causes him to turn his attention to his friend Hiromu as well as Aya Nakanishi, a girl from Izumi Elementary. Satoru, once again, interjects himself and fills their “alone time” which sends up red flags for the killer, causing him to drop them as his targets.
Once Satoru is satisfied with his results, he begins to realize that Misato could be the next target after she became alienated from the time when she accused Hinazuki of stealing everyone’s lunch money. Speaking of Hinazuki, she made a return to the school after it was decided that she could ride the bus for her final year at the school. This didn’t happen in the anime and was a very pleasant surprise for me! It gave me hope that a certain scene later on in the series would be different as well. Sadly, I’ll get to that, but I was wrong in hoping.
As Satoru was working on a plan to protect Misato, the class was invited to watch an ice hockey game. During the game, Misato had to use the restroom and Satoru trailed her. When she didn’t come out, she noticed a truck from Jun Shiratori’s family business driving away. Satoru finds Yashiro-sensei and the two of them follow the truck. During the car ride, Satoru confides in Yashiro that he believes that there is a kidnapper in the town and he’s investigating it. This brings us to the big reveal that Gaku Yashiro is the killer/kidnapper.
Yashiro tries to dispose of Satoru by rigging his seatbelt and attempting to drown him by plunging the car into an icy river. After that, we are treated to a backstory for Yashiro, which I’ll touch upon in the characters section. Fast forwarding to fifteen years in the future, we see that Satoru has survived and was in a coma this entire time. His memories are scrambled and there is a certain period of time that he cannot remember, but he feels that it’s something important. Kenya, Hiromu and Hinazuki all come to visit Satoru and Kenya, who is now a lawyer, leaves some files for Satoru to read. Meanwhile, there are tabloid reporters looking for a scoop outside and the volume ends with someone beating the crap out of them… that someone is Airi!
With this being the second to last volume, all of our characters have been fleshed out. This volume didn’t go into too much detail on Kenya, Hiromu and Kayo, but we know that Kenya became the lawyer he set out to be, Hiromu became a doctor after being inspired by Satoru’s battle to stay alive and Kayo became….
The mother of Hiromu’s child and his wife…
I had hoped that the manga would be different and I wouldn’t have to type that sentence, but alas, here we are and the results were the same as they were in the anime and I’m still ever-so-angry about it. I just don’t understand how Kei Sanbe can justify having Satoru put forth that much effort into their friendship… all of the things he did to protect her… to see her happy… to protect her and to make sure she stayed alive and then just throw it all away by pairing her up with Hiromu. Up until this point, it was almost a guaranteed ship between the two of them and yet, this is the reward we are given after waiting so patiently for it to all play out!? I just don’t understand it.
As for Yashiro, we learn that his older brother was an abusive pervert. He wanted to rape girls and would use Gaku to lure them to a shed. Gaku would then have to bribe the girls so that they wouldn’t tell. One day, Gaku began to make friends and left his guard duty while his brother had his way with another victim. His brother accidentally killed the girl and was later caught, but he committed suicide out of guilt. Gaku repressed these memories and became a school teacher, but suddenly, the urge to return to luring girls resurfaced in him which lead him down the path to where he is now. I don’t really fell sorry for Gaku, but it’s an example of things that happen to you as a child stay with you for the rest of your life. Sometimes the things that you experience stick with you and become something akin to second nature. In Gaku’s case, a dark childhood gave birth to a passion to continue doing what he used to so many years ago.
Can we at least give Sachiko the mother of the century award? Not only has she lovingly encouraged Satoru on his journey to saving everyone, she dedicated fifteen years of her life to personally rehabbing Satoru so that his muscles wouldn’t deteriorate, that he wouldn’t starve to death in his coma and to make sure that he would open his eyes again one day. She has to be one of the best characters in this entire series. Sachiko is, without a doubt, the very definition of what a mother should be.
Okay.. to clear up my confusion at the end of the story section.. what is Airi doing there? In this timeline, Satoru grew up in the hospital. He never got a job at the pizza parlor and he has never even met Airi once. How or why does she show up at the hospital? Unless the fourth and final volume of Erased is going to explain the reasoning behind this, this is a major loophole in the story. If Satoru leapt back to 2006 and then was put into the hospital, this would make sense, but not here… not in this instance. Guess I’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.
Outside of that little confusing bit, this volume of Erased was another very solid addition to the series. The only letdown was the reveal of Yashiro as the killer. It was HEAVILY foreshadowed in this volume and it was almost if Kei Sanbe realized it and tried to divert attention to Shiratori at the last possible moment, but it was painfully obvious that it was nothing more than a failed misdirection. Even with the reveal of the obvious, it was still an exciting moment to read. Sadly, when they announced that the anime will have the manga’s ending, I already know how this will all end; however, Airi coming to the hospital was NOT in the anime so I’m interested to see what role she plays here.
And yes, I’m still mad at Kayo x Hiromu.
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press