I’m back with more Sakurada Reset! This week’s episode is Part Two of Three in the Witch, Picture, and Red Eye Girl saga. Missed my last review? Catch it here!
This week’s episode provided some backstory into the relationship Kei Asai has with Eri Oka. Through leverage and blackmail, Kei provides Eri with the information she and her mother need to leave Eri’s abusive father. Kei also convinces Eri to go by her mother’s surname – Oka – as it sounds strong. At least we now know why Eri refers to Kei as her senpai.
We also see how the friendship between Kei and Sumire Soma came to be. In one of Sasano’s photographs, Kei saw Soma. The photograph triggered the memory of the time they first met at the ocean. After some conversation mostly led by Soma, she asks Kei to promise her that they’ll always find each other. He agrees.
Viewers may recall the Sasano has the ability to transport himself into his photographs. We learn in this episode that he imbues the ability into the photographs, so they can transport anyone to that moment in time. This is good for Sasano as he can still travel into his beloved photographs. Unfortunately, this is bad news for Kei, who ends up trapped in a photo that Eri thrusts at him.
In this episode, we also finally learn how Eri Oka’s ability works. Eri’s ability works by manipulating memories, either through addition or subtraction of key information. We see her use her addition ability on Yoka Murase, when she implants the image of a half-dead monkey into Murase’s brain. We also see her subtraction ability when she erases Misora Haruki’s memory of resetting. Both abilities are performed by maintaining eye contact with the victim for at least five seconds. The fortunate thing is that the abilities cannot stack, meaning if one has happened to you, the other cannot. Also, if you happen to remember you forgotten ability through outside clues, the ability’s effect will fade away.
While this episode provided a lot of solid background information, it still left me feeling a little unsatisfied. It’s unclear what Eri’s motive is, or why she has so much hatred for Kei, especially considering she refers to him as senpai. She both admires and blames Kei for her new persona – which makes sense in the context that she is a middle school student – but otherwise, is just lazy writing. It’s also still unclear whether the MacGuffin is a real or fake object, and I can’t tell if that’s intentional. We have Tsushima on record saying it’s fake, but nearly every other character believes in its existence. I’m hoping the finale to this saga provides some good closure.