Anime: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is a tear jerker anime. It touches especially close to home so soon after the tsunami that hit Japan in March. It depicts the Tokyo landscape after an earthquake hits. It also shows the journey of two kids who travel across Tokyo with the help of a motorcycle delivery woman.

This anime is not to be taken lightly. If the animation had just been a little better, this would have been a masterpiece. Everything about it was perfectly executed, the stories of these three people making their way back home makes for a dramatic story. The anime depicts humanity, all aspects of it. Naturally being an anime that starts with a crisis, we can expect tragedy. A lot of it. The two kids are so young and for them to see death for the first time is really impactful. Mirai and Yuuki are amazing amazing kids. Mirai as the older sister is at the age where she is beginning to rebel and yet to see her intense love for her brother and the change in her character through the episodes is really (for lack of a better word) brilliant. Yuuki as the younger brother retains his sense of wonderment, although he is at the age where he perceives what’s happening around him, he hasn’t lost the innocence of youth and the ability to trust people. The adult of the story, Mari, is their guide, and although she struggles with issues of her own, it’s nice to know that strangers would be so willing to help in times of need.

Humanity is both a cruel and a beautiful thing. We see scenes of mass panic and at the same time we see people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of others. Some would fight for their own survival and yet others would rather give others the chance to survive. This anime shows them all. Every episode there is something that tugs at your heartstrings and there are also lighthearted moments that make you smile.

One really grows attached to the three main characters, their survival is our happiness. Their pain is our pain. In the end of the anime, we realize that life goes on despite all that has happened. We remember those that we lost and we find happiness with those we still have around us. And I suppose that is the strength of humanity, and of Japan.

A lot of attention was placed on the details. I distinctly remember the scene when Yuuki was lost in the crowd, and all of a sudden there was no background music or noise. The sudden dead silence as panic set in and he searches for his sister and Mari was done to great effect. The small plant growing again after all the chaos. The growing realization in the last few episodes was done amazingly. The names Yuuki (courage) and Mirai (future) were chosen with care and planning. The simple remark that birthday cakes should be round. The picture of the Onozawa family at rainbow bridge. Details gave this show a life.

Watch it, but come prepared with a box of tissue. Learn that nothing can ever tear a family apart and that bonds born of adversity are bonds that will last for eternity.

2 Responses to “Anime: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0”
  1. TWWK says:

    Terrific show. I also really enjoyed watching Mirai’s character develop. At first, I really could not stand her, despite knowing that, hey, she’s just an adolescent and really, Mirai’s acting normal for that age. And this is why her development was so striking and significant – it felt real and it was moving.

    • everworld says:

      Totally! Mirai’s character came off really annoying in the beginning, but you start to understand a bit more that she’s at that age and that her reactions are actually quite accurate. The script was well written for each of the characters, very honest portrayals of the characters.

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