Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 – Post Thoughts

I’ve had this series on my back burner for months now but this past week I finally managed to find the time to sit down and complete the series. I figured that I would just post about some of my general thoughts on the series and what aspects I enjoyed and didn’t. Be warned that this may contain SPOILERS so proceed with caution if you have not finished the series yet and don’t want to have it spoiled!

Synopsis from Myanimelist:

The premise of the project is the 70% possibility that a magnitude 7.0 earthquake will occur in Tokyo in the next 30 years. The anime depicts what would happen if an 8.0 earthquake took place.The story centers on Mirai, a middle school freshman girl who goes to Tokyo’s artificial Odaiba Island for a robot exhibition with her brother Yuuki at the start of summer vacation. A powerful tremor emanates from an ocean trench, the famed Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge crumble and fall, and the landscape of Tokyo changes in an instant. With the help of a motorcycle delivery woman named Mari who they meet on Odaiba, Mirai and Yuuki strive to head back to their Setagaya home in western Tokyo.”

Mari, Mirai, and Yuuki

At the beginning I found Mirai and Yuuki to be a bit annoying. Mirai with her constant pessimism and Yuuki with his optimism were really pushing my buttons. However, as the series went on I found that they actually grew on me since here we have two kids who got thrown into this mess and really have nothing but each other. Yuuki’s optimism helps Mirai and Mari carry through the tough times (and lighten the overall dark and depressing mood of their surroundings) and Mirai begins to see the world a little differently as she witnesses the kindness people can exert in times of need.

The isn’t anything too crazy since it is supposed to be somewhat realistic. It’s about the two siblings travelling to Odaiba alone and then them needing to return home after the disaster strikes. Some parts may seem a bit slow, especially in the beginning, but in the end the story is very touching. One thing it could have used less of was the main casts’ luck or ability to somehow dodge every single piece of falling structures and how frequently they seemed to occur.

Animation & Art Style:
I’m not a very artistic person so I don’t think I can say much here. The art style reminds me of a Studio Ghibli work where it has a more western or cartoony feel to it. I feel that this style is very effective since it allows you to relate more to these characters since their design is rather “normal”. Without all the wacky eyes, clothing, and hairstyles we’re used to seeing in anime it is a nice change of pace and allows you to get a more serious tone from this show. Another thing to add about this anime that is not art related is that the ending theme fits the show perfectly. It is a rather upbeat tune that plays at the end of a series about despair and disaster. I feel that it kind of gives you the feeling of hope and that things get better when hearing this song at the end of an episode.

Additional Thoughts:
It has been a while since I teared up while watching an anime. I never thought I could get so attached to characters that I couldn’t stand at first but watching them struggle to survive really makes me forget about all the negative thoughts I had. The anime was well directed. Despite the ending being pretty expected, they still try to throw you off a bit. However, even though the ending is expected the set up to the “big reveal” is extremely well down with the gradual change in tone as well as emphasis on key figures or images (Yuuki’s tree, etc.) leading up to it.

In the end, I found this anime to be very enjoyable and definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a fairly depressing or dark setting of a show.

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