We’ve all had those moments, those moments where something goes horribly wrong and you happened to be there. In that moment you probably think about how you might of been able to change the outcome, if you would of just done something, anything, it would’ve adverted a disastrous outcome. Satoru Fujinuma is a man that has a very special ability; the ability to go back in time in moments that he could make a difference. He calls the phenomenon “Revival.” Unlike a superpower, he can’t control it. Whenever it happens, it’s more like a deja vu effect, except for the fact that he remembers what happened before the incident, instead of during or after, like most of us. He notes that Revival usually takes him back anywhere between five to ten minutes, at which point he knows something is about to happen and peers around his surroundings for anything out of place.
At this point you might be thinking, okay, well who is this guy? The basic run down is that Satoru is a manga artist and works part time as a delivery guy. There are hints that he isn’t very successful in his manga artist career as the first episode features his boss telling him he needs to be more “in it.” Other than that, he is just your normal guy that has done what he needed to to get through life at this point. He doesn’t keep in contact with friends, as he explains later that instead of opening up and making friends he put on a fake front in his childhood. The only person we really see him socialize with is his mother, who comes to stay with him. Well, I guess Airi counts, but he more or less brushes her off.
Let me give you a run down of what this show is all about. Naturally, since our main character features this sort of special ability, it’s going to be about that, right? Right, but in a very peculiar way. You see, Satoru comes home one day to find his mother murdered, this happens after an instance of Revival happens in which nothing apparent goes wrong. The crook, cleverly, sets it up so that Satoru is the primary suspect. Panicked, he runs. That’s when a very powerful Revival kicks in. You know how it is only supposed to go back five to ten minutes? This time it goes back eighteen years, to a time where Satoru is in elementary school.
I’ll save you the details, since you may want to watch the series on your own. However, the story focuses on two points in time, one more than the other: present time, where Satoru has been framed and is being hunted down, and the past where Satoru is an elementary school student, but right before a series of kidnap / murders is about to happen. The series focuses more on the latter, but hops back to the present a couple of times for a couple different reasons. The basis of the story, at least in the eyes of Satoru, is that this powerful Revival sent him back in time to this specific time to stop the kidnap / murders which is somehow linked to the murder of his mother. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember much of elementary school. Satoru soon realizes this and comments on it at various times as he struggles to remembers his friends at this point and everything that is going on.
This story was surprisingly, and pleasantly so, gripping. The way things unfold, and the way that Satoru reacts to situations and attempts to defuse them, is truly marvelous. It is everything you would expect out of a mystery anime. I was afraid of this anime being dark, as I don’t fret much with the mystery genre, but the dark scenes are equalled by, if not outweighed, by light scenes. For instance, there are plenty of scenes featuring happiness between Satoru and his friends to combat the brutally dark and nerve-racking scenes involving the kidnaps / murders.