Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Review

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Animation ProductionBones

Director Masaki Tachibana

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is an 11 episode drama surrounding the events of a fictional earthquake devastating modern day Tokyo. It is a much welcomed disaster drama based in reality, a departure from the usual robotic or supernatural elements of Bones’ past work (Eureka 7, Rahxephon, Full Metal Alchemist). Masaki Tachibana debuts as a director following storyboard and episode directing for such shows as Noir and Ghost in the Shell: SAC.

The show is centred around Mirai and her brother Yuuki who are caught in the midst of a strong earthquake and have to make the dangerous journey home. They immediately encounter Mari, a young single mother, who promises to guide them after a slight detour to her home where she hopes her daughter and mother are alright.

The show is an amazing piece animation held together by believable drama involving strong characters and events. The quality of animation is very high with interesting depictions of a earthquake damaged Tokyo in the opening sequence and throughout the episodes. When each episode begins we are reminded of the great care they made to depict the situation as realistically as possible as shown with the emergency response, shelters and after effect issues of fires, dangerous buildings and aftershocks. It ends very strongly with an unexpected event that elevates the greatness of the show which was already very impressive.

Rating – A

Genre – Drama, Disaster, Adventure Length – 11 Episode series Year – 2009

Currently not licensed in the US


Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Episode 11 – Dear Yuuki

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The final episode of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 deals with the incredibly emotion reunion of Mirai and her parents. A fitting end to a very well done 11 episode series which in my opinion is the best from Studio Bones.

Following on from the amazing episode 10 we have a more conventional episode to end the series. While nothing unexpected happens the fact that it is the conclusion to all the events and emotions built up throughout the series is more than enough to satisfy the viewer. As expected Mari also makes a final return and farewell where she brings with her Yuuki’s bag and Mirai’s cellphone. Expect a full review later this week.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Episode 10 Mirai, you know

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(EPISODE 10 SPOILERS) I really mean it, do not read this without watching the previous episodes.

…..……. well first of all this was totally unexpected, after the seemingly trite ending of episode 7 and uneventful episode 8, episode 10 brings it all back into focus. All along the creators were in control and knew exactly what they aiming for. The last 2 episodes set up an uneasy feeling that something was not right and gave us hints to what had happened. I was in complete amazement as I watched episode 10 and realised what was really going on.

It is worth it to go back and watch the last 2 episodes again now that we can point out and explain was was going on. First of all in episode 8 there Mirai’s dream sequence of Yuuki, then Mari picking up a piece of paper we now know is a death certificate, and then the reason for Mari crying at the end of episode. In episode 9 the part that I thought was weird was Mari picking up Yuuki’s left behind bag, this set me off thinking at the beginning of episode 10 that something was wrong since you clearly see Yuuki with his bag on. The way the reveal was built up was mind blowing, it gives the series the unexpected ending that I thought wouldn’t be possible.

Next episode we can look forward to the conclusion of the series with how Mirai’s parent react and if Mari makes a return.

SMH 8 Episode Time Loop

The melancholy of suzumiya haruhi time loop

Breaking down the 8 episodes of tedious time loops

If you’re wondering why I took so long to write something about this it shouldn’t be a surprise that the reason was that I was completely bored with these repetitive episodes. At first I thought the series was being its usual subversive self, but it quickly became apparent this was not the case. Even if this ran for 3 episodes it would have been tedious but to have 8, it is definitely unimaginative filler and I can’t imagine what the creators thought to justify this. You would imagine a popular series like this would be handled better.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about here’s a recap –

The second season of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi involves an 8 episode arc that is an infinite time loop. The same scenario and dialogue involving their summer vacation are repeated for each of the 8 episodes with different animations of the same events. The only major change between these episodes are from the first to the second where Kyon, Nagato, Aaahina and Koizumi realise their situation of being trapped in a time loop created subconsciously by Haruhi. Episode 3 deals with the 15,498th loop, 4 (15,499), 5 (15, 513), 6 (15,521), 7 (15524), 8 (15,527), and finally 9 (15,532).

The problem was that there was something else they needed to do during summer vacation. Haruhi’s list of things to do during summer vacation were – swimming, festival, fireworks, bug cicada catching, part time job, star gazing, test of courage, fishing event batting practice, and bowling. By the 15,532 time they manage to break the loop when Kyon realises that the only thing that they haven’t done is their summer homework 😐

What’s Next – I guess now I will watch the rest of the series just out of curiosity as I hate to leave a show mid season. The rest of the series has been subbed so expect a review or some impressions of the final 4 episodes within the week.


Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Episode 9 – Goodbye, Tonight

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If I had to base my enjoyment of an episode on amount of screen caps I take this could very well be at the top. This was particularly the case for the first 5 minutes, which you can see in the links below. Definitely one of the best episodes so far.

Episode Summary

The phrase that sets of this episode comes from Mari who says “Why is it different from what they said on the news?” Sangenjaya is a a wreck from the dual effects of earthquakes and fires. Houses have been burnt down and body bags litter the street. Mari reaches her house and sees it half collapsed with no sign of her family. Presumably dead they go to the nearby shelter and search the makeshift morgue. The description of an elderly woman and a 4 year old girl is matched by the authorities, however they have still yet to be identified. Mari as you would expect is devastated and breaks down crying. Meanwhile the kids wanting to continue the search go by themselves to look around the shelter for Mari’s family. And now the mood turns from mournful to elation. Turns out Mari’s draughter is fine and we witness a touching reunion. And Mari’s mother is in the hospital head and arm bandaged up but otherwise fine. Mirai and Yuuki spurred on by the scenes they have just witnessed are determined to get back home as quickly as possible. They board a truck, without Mari but leaving a note, to a place close to their home.

Episode Impressions

This is what they call the payoff episode, the events that have been built up to this point are resolved. Mind you not everything is resolved just the situation with Mari’s family, there are still two episodes left that will cover Yuuki and Mirai’s journey back home.

The episode was structured to lead the audience to experience one set of emotions to another in a span of the episode. Would the creators take the same route for the next family reunion? Or do they have something else on their mind?

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Episode 8 – White Morning

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With 3 more episodes left we are getting close to the conclusion, it seems the next episode will finally involve reaching Sangenjaya and finding out if Mari’s family is a aright. This episode continues directly on from the last involving the collapse of Yuuki. He is taken to the hospital and is fine after an intravenous drip. Other than this it is quite an uneventful episode, going over the same themes that have been coming up in the past episodes. Not much else to say about the episode other than that I am looking forward to how this series ends. Will it be typically predictable or will it suprise?