Erased (Boku dake ga Inai Machi), a manga which concluded in March 2016, has ranked highly in both the Kono Manga ga Sugoi! Men’s Edition survey and the Manga Taishō three years consecutively, as well as coming top in the Nationwide 3000 Store Booksellers Choice “2015 Kore Yonde Manga RANKING”. Furthermore, what with 2016 seeing the completion of an anime and live action movie version, as well as the release in February this year of an official side story and other works, it’s enjoying high popularity.
The main character is Satoru Fujinuma, a normal guy who despite not having any special abilities, other than that he is subject to time rewinding over and over due to a phenomenon called “revival”, is portrayed in a very appealing way. So just what is it that makes Satoru such an appealing character?
■ “Everyman” Satoru’s Hero Spirit
Satoru found that whenever people surrounding him were in imminent danger, time would rewind back to right before anything happened. This phenomenon, called “Revival”, occurred over and over until he could find a way to escape from peril.
Other than this “Revival”, which is not something he can activate of his own will, Satoru has no special abilities.
Nevertheless, Satoru seeks the help of friends, uses his intellect and takes a stand to avert disaster, without giving up and without concern for his personal safety.
Yearning to be like Wonder Guy, a hero that appears within the main story, Satoru himself is influenced to give his all and is a hero in his own right. This can be said to be one aspect of his appeal.
■Why Satoru’s Hero Spirit is so Appealing
Satoru’s hero characteristics, as expressed using the words of FRI’s hero analysis (※1), are things such as: “Never giving up until the end,” “Standing up against authority and injustice,” and “Having a strong bond with companions.” When, based on this, I tried searching for similar heroes on the Hero Database (※2), the names of continuing, long-loved A-list heroes such as Luffy from One Piece and Son Goku from Dragon Ball appeared.
Satoru’s spirit was on a par with the likes of these famed heroes.
On the other hand, these A-list heroes all have special abilities and give the impression that they are exceptionally powerful, but Satoru doesn’t have that.
While Satoru has the spirit of a famous hero, the fact that he doesn’t have any special abilities means he can be said to be a new, more familiar feeling type of A-list hero.
The appeal of Satoru, who at first glance gives off a quiet and somewhat forlorn air, may be because he has the same spirit as those gold standard heroes.
※1 The “Hero Analysis” is based on FRI’s quantitative research, and the hero characters were evaluated by means of “6 Attributes of a Hero” and “13 Personality Traits”.
※2 The “Hero Database” is a database of the evaluation of the hero analysis.
(Article: Tsugumi Komuro)
Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.