Welcome to today’s installment of The Bad Rap! For those of you new to the game, The Bad Rap is a series we at 101 Militia Gaming like to run once or twice a month where we discuss certain characters in the anime universe that either got terrible reputations or were just downright bad dudes and dudettes. Today’s hot seat warmer happens to be a real creep, and I’m sure we can all agree with this assessment. That’s right, let’s talk about Gaku from Erased.
Gaku Yashiro was an attractive thirty-something fifth grade homeroom teacher in the late 1980s. Of course, later on he becomes the director of a hospital, but we are just going to focus on younger Gaku for now as this is the height of where his crimes took place. Sorry for the spoilers if you haven’t watched the series yet, but ol’ Gaku is revealed to be the child murderer that haunted the region for decades. Over the years he continued to kill folks of all ages, including Satoru’s mother, Sachiko, in the future. This is what ultimately triggered Satoru to travel back in time to figure out who the murderer was and put an end to it before he could commit the crimes.
For those who have had the pleasure of enjoying this series, I’m sure you were just as brokenhearted as I was when we learned the truth about Gaku. Now, usually I’m pretty spot on when it comes to figuring out the bad guy in these types of stories. Gaku threw me off for a good minute, I have to admit. I mean, come on! He was a homeroom teacher, he went above and beyond for his students, and he just seemed like that nice guy that you would love to just hang out with and eat suckers together (if you know you know.)
That’s the thing about this anime, it hits you with a lot of real-world feels. Oftentimes in the real world, true evil will come from those who seem perfectly normal and pleasant. The last person you may suspect for whatever reason. That is what I appreciated about this portrayal. Gaku was charismatic and fun to be around. The kids in his class loved him and respected him. That is why it was so easy for him to prey on them without a soul suspecting him – allowing him to get away with it. If it were not for Satoru’s ability to travel back into time, Gaku very well could have taken his horrible secret and the murders to his grave.
Does Gaku deserve his bad rap? Without a single doubt, YES. I admired the way he was written and appreciated the fact that he was seen as a likeable person, because that is exactly how these predators work. And it was important to see this done so well in this story. He deserved his end and he deserves that bad rap.
What do you think? We want to hear your take on Gaku! Comment below and let’s get your side!