Whether or not one’s desire is the manga or anime, one factor may be agreed on by many followers of Erased — seeing Kayo Hinazuki married with a baby after Satoru Fujinuma wakes up from his 15 yr coma is gut-wrenching, and never in a great way. Satoru’s battle to avoid wasting Kayo’s life certain the 2 collectively in a manner that appeared they might change into the childhood sweethearts who really earn a fortunately ever after, linked by a pair of mittens and Satoru’s want not solely to avoid wasting Kayo from her assassin, however her abusive family as properly.
Nonetheless, laborious as that preliminary gut-wrench could also be, guilty Kayo for her selections not solely flies within the face of Satoru’s sacrifice, it is layered with previous sexist stereotypes.
Although the story of Erased is instructed by way of Satoru’s eyes, Kayo’s selections can solely be understood by way of her personal interpretation. All through the occasions, Satoru has the recollections of being 29, giving him an enormous benefit over her even when his frame of mind does not stay mature. Kayo, nonetheless, has solely ever been in elementary college.
To her, Satoru is the middle of the plan that will get her out of her mom’s grasp, and whereas she may need been frightened by somebody invading the sanctuary of the deserted college bus, she by no means noticed it because the risk that Satoru did. Actually, the principle objective of all of it was fulfilled when Kayo’s grandmother got here to take her away to a greater dwelling. She could not presumably perceive what he was actually defending her from. For each of them, as youngsters, any concepts of romance had been pure, however juvenile. Although the 2 may maintain palms, that’s hardly an obligation.
Kayo’s later resolution to marry Hiromi Sugita was, in reality, essentially the most she might do to honor Satoru’s sacrifice, whether or not she knew it or not. Hiromi would have been one other sufferer of the serial killer had Satoru not caught Gaku Yashiro’s consideration, making their marriage and their child completely as a result of Satoru, and — within the Erased anime adaptation — it is the sight of a contented and smiling Kayo along with her child that helps Satoru regain his recollections after waking from his coma.
Even when Kayo had spent 15 years pining after her elementary college crush, ready and ready for the slim likelihood he may wake, she could not have been in a position to assist Satoru regain his recollections as a depressing husk of a girl who had squandered the life he as soon as saved solely to cry over him. The very best factor she might do was dwell and be pleased as a way to honor Satoru and the way he saved her — in additional methods than one.
Anticipating Kayo to attend for Satoru additionally enforces extremely sexist expectations for girls. Girls are supposed to be rewards for the heroes on the finish of a journey. The concept of the man ‘getting the lady’ is sadly widespread in media, not solely turning the lady into a cloth possession the person can now personal, however making him a worse character for it. If a person is heroic, then his reward should be the folks who had been saved by these heroics as an alternative of a fairly lady. Satoru’s reward for outwitting Yashiro is the data that there are folks on the market, together with his personal mom, who would not be there with out his actions.
If he anticipated Kayo to fall into his arms simply because they held palms a few instances, that would appear like supreme entitlement. If she fell into his arms of her selection after having spent 15 years ready for him to get up, that may make her unhealthily dependent but additionally very totally different from the resilient younger lady she had as soon as been. So by making Kayo Satoru’s ‘reward,’ not solely would it not break their characters and relationship by default, it will fall into previous sexist beliefs of dashing heroes and fairly women that already ruins so many fictional bonds.
Whereas the preliminary realization that Kayo and Satoru had been by no means meant to be may be disappointing, in the long run, it is best for each of them. Kayo shouldn’t be anticipated to attend round for a childhood crush to perhaps by no means get up, and Satoru would not need her to waste her life like that. As a substitute, she and Hiromi had been in a position to marry and have a child who by no means would have existed with out Satoru, a sight within the Erased anime that brings all his recollections crashing down directly. He saved her life and she or he lived it to the fullest, each honoring one another one of the best ways they knew how. So whereas Kayo and Satoru could by no means be a romantic couple, they’ll all the time be linked by a pair of mittens.