Boku Dake ga Inai Machi – The Memories of a Ten Year Old
January 8, 2016 Leave a comment
Now this was an interesting first episode, with some interesting little details, and all the elements of a thriller. But, I couldn’t necessarily approach it as a thriller, or even a murder mystery, rather it starts off as a story that deals with memories and the effect they can have on our current lives. As the series central character, Satoru is clearly controlled by his past in one way or another, and is largely incapable of delving deeper into his memories, thus resulting in failed manga projects. I wouldn’t call him apathetic, or emotionally stunted, but he is certainly a very closed individual who keeps to himself.
The irony is that despite Satoru wanting to stay out of other people’s way, his ability to jump back in time always results in him getting intimately involved in numerous incidents in order to save other peoples lives. In this respect he is far more involved in other peoples lives than his own, and, given the importance of memory in this first episode, he appears to have far more vivid memories of saving other peoples lives than those of his childhood. I found the scenes of him playing especially fascinating, partly because of the stark contrast between the colourful, carefree nature of these ten year olds, and the more muted colours used in the present day. His relationship with a current death-row inmate and convicted killer and his mothers unwillingness (at the time) to believe his pleas serves to highlight how often we can ignore children, and assume that because of their age, they don’t know what they are doing/saying, whereas adults do.
In many respects, Satoru’s time-skipping ability may well be the result of his inability to save Hinazuki Kayo, and ‘Yukki’, the student convicted of kidnapping and killing Kayoin the past. Only by reliving his memories and putting the little problems right can Satoru move on with his life, as such, Boku Dake seems to be focusing on past memories, recollections and desires that we may regret, or wish to change in some way. Satoru’s supernatural abilities offer him the opportunity to do just that, but because he retains the memories of his entire life, his approach to the past, and ways in which he interacts with others will change, thus presenting an entirely new set of past memories and experiences. It is a curious conundrum, and an interesting first episode to a series with a number of fascinating characters all really trying to live their lives in as normal a manner as possible. Saying that, the dialogue during this first episode often felt a little clunky, even unnecessary, but the characters were engaging, and interesting.