Hey everyone. So this week I’ll be reviewing “Tokyo Magnitude 8.0″
As you may have guessed, this anime is about a giant 8.0 earthquake that hits modern day Japan. We follow a young Junior High girl named Mirai and her younger brother Yuuki as they travel to Odaiba from their home in Setagaya to view a robot convention. Mirai is very annoyed she has to take her brother in the first place. While they are there, a huge earthquake hits Japan and they must somehow walk their way home along with putting aside their childish differences. Luckily, they find aid with a young woman named Mari who lives pretty close to them. The three of them travel together across disaster struck Tokyo to get home.
This anime is a very realistic portrayal of how an actual large-scale earthquake would effect Japan. At the beginning the creators even give a disclaimer saying they’ve done their research. Now obviously, this anime hit a little close to home for me in a few ways. 1) I live in Setagaya ward, the same ward that the children are from. And in this anime, a good portion of Setagaya ward is burned down. 2) I have been to Odaiba many times and know exactly how far it is from my house to there (about 8 miles). 3) There have been a lot of actual destructive earthquakes happening all over the world lately. 4) I’d say we average about 2-3 earthquakes a week here in Tokyo. You get a little immune to them. And 5) I nearly died in a major disaster in 2001. I’m sure you can figure out which one I’m talking about. That all said, it was very difficult for me to finish this anime at times.
OK, so the good points about “Tokyo Magnitude 8.0.” Odaiba and all the different areas they walk through are completely realistic. It’s actually really bizarre seeing a spot I’ve stood in exactly and eaten an ice cream being completely destroyed. The opening credits have these AMAZING pencil drawings of famous Tokyo spots in complete ruin. They show the 109 store in Shibuya, and then today I was there shopping. It’s strange. Secondly, the characters are believable. They aren’t “anime-y” at all. In fact, I almost wish they would make this into a live action movie or TV series because I think emotionally it would work a lot better.
The bad points: This series lags a bit in the middle. At times you wonder how much more stupid these two kids could get. Really? You’re going to climb into another busted up building? However, the last 4 episodes really pack a punch. I was actually crying for those final 4 episodes and I NEVER cry for animes. So definitely don’t give up on it. It is only 11 episodes after all.
The music…during the actual show there is little to no music which is great in my opinion. At first, the opening theme song is really awesome (called “Kimi no Uta” by Abingdon Boys School) but as the series progresses and it gets more and more darker, it just doesn’t fit anymore. In fact, I had to skip it because I felt like it took me out of the show completely. A good song, but a terrible choice for this anime.
And I guess my biggest issue with it was the way people behaved. I thought the behavior of the main characters was mostly fine. But this series only spans a couple days and I felt like the citizens of Tokyo were dealing with this whole destruction thing awfully well. As I said earlier, I was part of a horrible disaster in 2001. From a first hand experience, people did not behave this way. People were in shock. And I don’t think I smiled or had a coherent thought for about a month. But everyone in Tokyo in this anime bounces right back. I think it would have been better and more realistic if they had spent more time researching how people handle shock and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
To wrap it up, I think you should definitely check out “Tokyo Magnitude 8.0.” But be prepared for some fairly disturbing imagery. If you aren’t into that kind of thing, then I suggest you don’t watch it.
Alright everyone, time to let me know what you think.