Anime Review: Erased

Genre: Fantasy, mystery, thriller

Rating: 10/10 with lovely animation to boot

After the slew of disappointing anime after disappointing anime, my interest in this particular brand of animation started to dwindle for awhile there. So much that I went for months without watching one, with even a year in between viewings.

A bit sad, considering how large a part anime has had in my life. I was so obsessed I used to draw my favourite characters, even bought those little official figurines to put on display in my room.

Thankfully, Erased has restored my faith in this genre.

Which, in turn, led me to kicking myself for letting the DVD gather dust on my shelf. It’s so rare to find a series, and I mean this in the broadest way possible, from books to live action tv to anime, that is good from start to finish.

Because that is precisely what Erased is. With only 12 episodes under its belt, those who can’t stand long ongoing anime can let out a sigh of relief. It is a nicely sized anime that makes good use of its time. No fillers. No prolonged monologuing. You can easily finish this over the weekend, or within a day if you’re determined to complete it in one sitting.

But before we get on to the rest of the review, here is a quick summary of what it is all about:

Erased follows the story of Satoru Fujinuma, who possesses a unique ability called “Revival”. With Revival, he is able to travel back in time before a life-threatening incident, allowing him to prevent it from happening. When his mother is murdered by an unknown assailant, Satoru panics and transports himself back in time by 18 years whilst he’s cornered by the police- which means he has to relive his life as an 11 year old. Here, he quickly figures out that if he hopes to prevent his mother’s death, he must first prevent the deaths of two of his classmates, and of one girl from a nearby school.

Now, bear in mind that this review is based on the point of view of someone who has only watched the anime. There may be certain manga-exclusive details I’m unaware of.

Anyways.

The show starts off simply enough, with the introduction of Satoru who is a struggling manga artist working as a part-time pizza delivery man. At first glance, he gives off the classic cold, stoic vibe that is immensely popular in anime. Think Uchiha Sasuke (Naruto) and Ishida Uryuu (Bleach). However, Erased proceeds to show that Satoru is much more flexible as a character, as in he is able to warm up more easily to others. The lad can certainly be quite emotive, which is a useful tool for nudging the story along.

And not to mention essential too, to grant a well-balanced tone to Erased. One that maintains an appropriate level of sobriety whilst remembering to bring in dashes of good cheer and heartwarming moments, so as not to overwhelm the audience. Definitely a plus in my book, because it makes it easier to consume in one go.

As a murder mystery, the identity of the villain is obvious almost immediately. However, the thrill of Erased lies not in figuring out the antagonist’s identity, but in his and Satoru’s metaphorical game of chess. Even with the advantage of knowing future events, Satoru struggles to outsmart the faceless killer, mind reeling as he desperately tries all he can to save his friends.

But take heed. If what you’re looking for is a villain with a deep, tragic background, you’re definitely not going to find it here. There is no sympathy meant for him, because sometimes, as I believe this is how Erased wants us to take it, people are born infected with psychopathy. It’s simply a matter of whether or not they decide to take the right path.

Definitely a refreshing take, as this breaks away from yet another popular trope found in anime. Erased has a knack of doing that; introducing ideas that seem predictable, before proving you wrong. If it is not that, it seems to know exactly what you’re wondering about before providing you with the answer right then and there. It’s something that it does, right from the beginning till the end. It’s almost uncanny, but it’s also one of the things I love about it.

I won’t delve into the meatier parts of Erased -gotta leave you something to watch, right?- so I’ll touch on one last point.

If there is anything about this series that nags at me a little, it would have to be the existence of Satoru’s ability. In the anime at least, it seems that this is exclusive to Satoru only, which I normally wouldn’t take issue with if not for the fact that everything else seems immensely… normal. No one else exhibits supernatural abilities, nor is there an indication of there being such a thing aside from Satoru and his Revival. I’m more than accustomed to seeing supernatural powers in anime, but those are always in settings that establish it as the norm or at least acknowledge its existence.

This makes Erased stick out a little, but not enough for me to complain about it. After all, the creators have done an amazing job with the time they were given, and explaining that ability further would require more episodes they do not have. We’ll just have to take it for what it is: that Satoru is unique.

All in all though, a wonderful series, especially for older anime fans who want something that goes beyond the common tropes found in anime. This is definitely going on my Must Watch Anime List.

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Beauty Review: Biore’s UV Perfect Milk SPF50+

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Sliding in here for a quick beauty review; it’s not something I usually do but this is a product that I think is worth giving a shout about.
At the risk of sounding biased, I have never been happier with a sunblock than I have with this one. Which is fantastic for me because having oily skin means extra pain when it comes to applying such products.

But I won’t waste time complaining, so let’s roll on to the review.

What is it like?

With a price tag of RM32.65 and such a small, slim 40ml package, I wasn’t especially keen on purchasing this. I never really had any good experiences with sunblocks, and the thought of spending money on yet another that might leave my skin feeling sticky and grimy throughout the day wasn’t exactly appealing.

Yet I thought, “Why not?” The features listed called out to me and I really needed to have a good sunblock to incorporate into my beauty routine. At last, vanity won out and I made the purchase.

Here are the key features of this sunblock:

  • Waterproof
  • Resistant against sweat
  • Non-sticky formula with light powdery feel
  • Does not leave white residue on skin
  • Can be used as a make-up base

All of which I was pleasantly surprised to find out hold true.

Unlike most, this sunblock has a slippery, watery texture that can easily drip down your skin. Different, definitely, but the greatest difference I found was when I applied it on my face; it slid on easily and left a comfortable, powdery feel that I am never going to complain about.

It was almost as if I had not applied anything.

It’s light, easy to apply and best of all, allows my skin to breathe. A common complaint I have with sunblocks, as most of the ones I’ve tried tend to be sticky and caused breakouts on my skin. What a relief it was to finally find something that works for me.

Scent

Unscented. Thank goodness for that.

How long does it last?

For the amount of product itself? It takes me about 2-3 months to finish a bottle, though it should be noted that I strictly only use it for my face and neck. I expect it’ll run out much faster if I apply it on my arms and legs as well.

Packaging?

Slim and wonderful for travelling. You can pretty much slip it in anywhere without a problem.

My only issue with it is that it might be a bit hard to control the amount you pour out but thanks to the tapered tip, you won’t have to worry about it spilling on the bottle itself.

End result

Comfortable all-day feeling. It helps some in oil-control too.

Adding on, I’ve also noticed that parts of my skin that I apply it to are a bit lighter than the rest, so it’s definitely working.

As for whether it works in fighting ageing, I guess I’ll have to tell you that in ten years’ time.

Where can I find it?

Watsons.

Verdict?

  • Product rating: 5/5
  • Packaging rating: 4/5

Definitely something I’ll keep buying for years to come. Bioré has earned a loyal fan in me.

Ingredients

Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Alcohol, Water, Dimethicone, Lauryl Methacrylate/ Sodium Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Talc, Styrene/ Stearyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Methicone, Polysilicone-9, Peg-12 Dimethicone, Peg-32, Titanium Dioxide, Peg-3 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Dimethicone/ Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica.

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Beauty Review: Philosophy’s Purity Cleansing Oil

For those who are familiar with the ever famous 10-step Korean beauty regime, the thought of cleaning your skin with oil definitely isn’t news for you. For those who aren’t, it’s about time to be enlightened.

What are cleansing oils?

Cleansing oils have been around for decades now, though the idea of using them hasn’t penetrated the market as thoroughly as the usual foam cleansers have. A shame, though it is understandable why people shy from it. Why put more oil on your face when you want to get rid of the grease on your skin?

The answer is simple: it’s because this oil is here to gently pull away the dirt and oil from your skin without drying it. It is commonly used as the first step of the Korean double-cleansing routine, to allow your foam cleanser to work more effectively in cleaning your skin afterwards.

The end result? Super clean skin without dryness.

Philosophy’s Purity Cleansing Oil 174ml

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What is it like?
Like most, I was initially a bit apprehensive about using a cleansing oil but after hearing the glowing praises people have for it, I decided to give it a shot. So into Sephora I went, where I decided on Philosophy’s Purity Cleansing Oil.

Priced at RM105, this cleansing oil is admittedly on the more expensive side of the market. Fret not if you do have the money to spare, however, because it does do its job.

Thanks to its lack of viscosity, this blend of natural oils glides on my skin like a dream. It managed to remove my powder, foundation, eyeliner and mascara without much effort- just make sure you really get that oil in there! What’s more, washing it off is really easy too. It immediately emulsifies upon contact with water and my skin is left feeling comfortable with zero dryness.

Pretty much a fuss-free experience.

My only comment on this product is that it does leave a slightly grimy film even after rinsing it off, but this is easily fixed by following up with a foam cleanser.

Additional note: Make-up used in removal are Christian Dior’s DiorSkin Forever Compact, Benefit’s Hello Flawless! Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation, The Body Shop’s Liquid Eyeliner and Benefit’s Roller Lash.

Scent

This oil carries a sandalwood scent, one that is thankfully not overwhelming. While I’m not exactly a fan of scented products, this isn’t meant to stay on my skin for long anyway, so I let it slide.

I’ve also noted that the smell fades after a couple of months. Something people like myself would rejoice in.

How long does it last?

Surprisingly, I’ve had this bottle for well over half a year now and I still have about a third left. Pretty amazing, right?

Talk about a bang for your buck.

Packaging

I’m personally not a fan of the bottle this comes in. Aesthetically speaking, it is sleek and easy to pack for travel (no fussy pump to deal with!), but when it comes to practicality? No, not really. Spills occur more easily; so much that I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had half of the poured out oil on my palm, and the other half on the bottle itself.

Then there is the matter of having to be more careful with how much you pour out. Too much, and you’re wasting precious product. A contrast to the controlled portions pumps give you.

Definitely not a good mark in my book. This bottle could do with a pump.

End result

Noticeable results were seen in about a week of using this. After incorporating this into my beauty routine, my skin is clearer, brighter and has less visible pores than before. Less blackheads too! Which makes me wonder, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

Where can I find it?

Sephora.

Verdict?

  • Product rating: 4/5
  • Packaging rating: 2/5

Something I might go back to if I have the cash. Till then, I’ll be scoping out the market a bit more for something better.

Ingredients

Isopropyl palmitate, isopropyl myristate, sorbeth-30 tetraoleate, hydrogenated polyisobutene, caprylic/capric triglyceride, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, polyglyceryl-10 myristate, aqua/water/eau, limnanthesalba (meadowfoam) seed oil, glycerin, tocopheryl acetate, tocopherol, parfum/fragrance, ppg-2 hydroxyethyl cocamide, caprylyl glycol, phenoxyethanol.

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