Has there ever been a place that you have always wanted to go to? a place which you thought would be impossible to get to, due to being ‘too expensive’ or ‘too dangerous’. For me, there has always been a place that i would love to go to.

Need a hint? It rhymes with Hapan…

Obviously, it is Japan, why wouldn’t i want to go there? As you can see from the past month, i have fallen back in love with anime, and the typical japanese lifestyle. Call me an otaku, or a weeb, but i really appreciate and cherish the culture, and subcultures, in Japan. I have never been able to go there , because i was too young, or i didn’t have enough money to go there. I wanted to go there this summer, but with the novel virus pandemic, that the whole world has been put on hold for, so will my trip. But, i will go there. It will most likely be next year, after my first year at university.

Adventures are great. They are a way of showing yourself what you are able to do. For example, when i was in secondary school, there was a trip to a theatre in London; to see warhorse. I wanted to ask the girl out that i really liked at the time there, but of course, i was too nervous to speak to her. Eventually, once we arrived, i nerved up the courage to talk to her and tell her how i feel. When she said yes, i was relieved and excited. I couldn’t stop being happy. This adventure was only minor, but it showed me how my imaginary boundaries have stopped me from me chasing what i want.

Do you want to climb a mountain? Find a way to do it; with the proper equipment of course.

Once the lockdown phase is lowered to a lesser degree, or the virus poses less of a threat to human life, i am going to arrange my trip to Japan. It can be scary to do something you haven’t done before. You will tell yourself you can’t do it, or imagine these crazy ‘what if?’ scenarios. The only thing stopping you is you.

Go do what you want, and make sure you have fun. But, i would wait until the pandemic ends.

Erased – Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi

This is an anime that i have just finished watching for the second time around. The first time i watched this series was in 2016, where one of my friends had suggested the anime to the group. I was so immature, and insecure about myself, i felt embarrassed to find something i had enjoyed so much. Even when i meet girls, i would never mention that i like to watch anime, because it always came across as something ” only nerds do”. But no, i wanted to be cool; to be accepted!

Anyway, onto this anime. Firstly, this is a phenomenal series. The story’s main protagonist named Satoru, a 29 year old who had suffered many losses due to a string of murders and abductions when he was 11 years old. Since these had happened, he feels an immense amount of regret, for not trying to save them. He has this ability, which allows him to predict when something terrible is about to happen, such as a kidnapping by a predator. He uses this to stop events from happening in the present. It is only when his mother is murdered, by the same man who murdered the children from way back then, that Satoru’s Revival ability sends him back into the body of his 11 year old self. Now he knows that he has a chance to save his classmates and friends: Kayo, Hiromi and Aya. This involves saving Kayo from her abusive mother, along with dealing with other intense situations.

What makes this story so powerful? The story follows Satoru; doing everything he can to change the course of the original timeline. He says in his 11 year old journal that he isn’t a hero, because he didn’t have the same close friends that his favourite hero. in the end, he realises he was a hero, and he made the close friends around him, by opening up to them; trusting them.

Some other notable characters in the anime is Kenya, another of Satoru’s closest friends. He is one of the only people to realise the change in the personality that Satoru has once he has done his first leap into the past. He trusts and believes Satoru, though the idea of a killer targeting children seems preposterous. He wants them both to become superheros; together. We also get backstory on his character, why he strives to find the truth about everything, after his father was looked down upon, for being unable to find the truth in his lawyer-profession.

Another one of my favourite characters was Kayo. She was heavily abused by her mother and her boyfriend, being constantly locked in the shed overnight, to freeze to death; with small rations of food and money to survive. Once Satoru steps in, his only goal is to get her to smile, to be happy. He successfully saves her from her terrible life, allowing her to have a bright future, having a family with Hiromi, who would have been another one of the victims.

Just putting it out there, Satoru’s mother is one of the greatest characters in anime, just saying.

The way this show ends is all too perfect. The killer is revealed to be Yashiro, the students homeroom teacher. He hates Satoru for stopping his killings, but can’t live without him. It is only once he lets go to Satoru, his true nature is shown to him. He is arrested, and Satoru gets to live, knowing he saved his friends. They all go on to live amazing lives, fulfilling their dreams. Satoru knows what he lost, his relationship with Airi, a girl who worked at the pizza place in the original timeline with him. She saved him from being arrested, after being framed for killing his mother. But, in the final scene, once Satoru has reflected on all that has happened, Revival appears one more time, in the presence of a blue butterfly; directing Satoru to Airi. He cries, knowing he now gets a chance to be with Airi, in the timeline where he won.

The best part, there is no season 2. The series ended perfectly, if they tried to extend it, the impact of the final episode would be for nothing. Satoru won, and became the hero he always wished he could be.

Be grateful for those you have around you, they make you stronger.