You know it, often you wish an anime was just longer so that you can enjoy it more. Or you want the anime to end quickly enough so that it doesn't get drawn out too long.
With "Erased" you have a work where I am very undecided which variant would have improved the work. On the one hand, the main topic was very interesting, but it clearly fell short. Of all the 12 episodes, almost only 4 revolved around the actual topic, which is why most of them came here in the first place. The remaining 8 revolved around the children and the solutions to the problems.
In that respect, this was clearly too time-consuming, despite the rather short content, which caused the middle part of the series to lose a lot of tension.
On the other hand, the whole search with the serial killer has "always" been the main aspect of the series, but it just seemed secondary until the finale. Which was also extremely short. In the manga the whole finale was made 3x longer and I liked it more. However, the series would have benefited significantly more if the "mystery" around this person had been expanded.
As a result, some of the potential was lost. Or at least explain the plot more, which I will get at later.
Nonetheless, Erased still had quality that made him stand out. This work definitely did not dominate in terms of plot or characters, it was mostly mediocre. What was actually good is the presentation and atmosphere. I've seen quite a few "horror / thrillers" before, but very few have been able to create an atmosphere like this. The studio did a very good job with this.
As I said, the actual main plot has a topic that would inspire many. Man is interested in secrets and mysteries as a matter of principle and is attracted by them. And what could be better than chasing a serial killer and traveling back in time? Not much, is it?
If only the implementation would have been correct. You got so much from time travel, monologues, overlaps of personalities and memories. And that without a single explanation. "Your Name" had a bad resolution for the film, but at least they had tried something. There was no attempt at all here. How does the time travel come about? Why such a targeted one? What connection did she have with the perpetrator? Space for speculation is well and good. However, not a single crumb was left here. In the hope that the manga would clear it up, I read it too. As I said, he had a better finale, but no explanation either, just character background.
There is hardly anything to say in the area of characters. I liked the antagonist in both of his roles and the resolution was also impressive and well implemented, even if there were some enormously suspicious characters by the end, which killed the surprise effect. I still liked the implementation of the resolution, it had that certain style from "The Mentalist" or "Seven".
The protagonist was simple, nothing worth mentioning, at least had monologues for a change, which made him more appealing to the viewer. There is no mention of sympathy here.
Supporting characters were standard, nothing special.
Musically I found the intro at least quite appealing. Outro also matched the work. The Osts in the anime were neglected, which is unfortunately also explained by the weak middle section. Nothing happened for which musical support could be used.
The animations are satisfactory and even above average. Especially as mentioned, the atmosphere was made excellent.
Erased is definitely not a work for everyone and as a somewhat experienced thriller / crime fanatic I was somewhat disappointed. But the work also had some strengths.
If you liked the anime, I recommend reading the manga shortly before the main events, because there you get more about the background of the perpetrator and a better finale.