Spoken Suspense

Spoken Suspense (Erased Ep. 1)

As we’ve seen in Hibike! Euphonium, dialogue can reveal aspects of character, and, as in Owarimonogatari, dialogue can also be a tool to develop theme. Like every other component of anime (and stories in general), dialogue has endless uses. Sometimes, what’s most interesting about dialogue isn’t how much it reveals, but rather how much it sends our minds spinning. A single sentence can leave us full of questions as we hang in suspense. Let’s figure out how Erased’s dialogue leaves us searching for answers.

In Episode 1, there’s two pieces of dialogue that set up serious suspense. The first comes from Yuuki in a flashback. Nervously, he asks, “Want me to guess about the most popular kid in your class?” He goes on to describe a stereotypical ‘popular kid’ before asking what would happen if someone tried to be like that popular kid in one or two ways. What would happen if someone unpopular tried acting as much like a popular kid as they had the courage to do?Read More »