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Posts Tagged ‘tokyo magnitude 8.0’

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is the story of how three people survive in the wake of a devastating earthquake. It’s not an action series; it’s an emotional series, that fuses the horror of societal breakdown, heroism in desperate times, growing up, and the fragility of society into a crushing, although short, series. All of this is done with just a handful of profanities scattered across eleven episodes and no other objectionable material. The writers don’t often connect their themes to relevant spiritual themes, though, and that’s probably the only shortcoming of the series.

The usual short guide follows, with standout episodes starred.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

* Ep 1 — Excellent artwork, nearly photorealistic, but the characters don’t stick out from it, avoiding the problems that Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto Natsu no Sora had. The characterization is top-notch, and you can feel Miari’s alienation and pain. This is achieved without a single profanity, which demonstrates even more the ability of the writers. It draws you in on silken threads and before you know it, the episode is over. The ending song is pretty good, as is the opening song. I’ve heard Abington Boy’s School before, so the quality isn’t disappointing. However, it does end on a complete cliffhanger.

* Ep 2 — Oh my geez awesome. Tense, emotional, skillfully characterized, and faintly horrific as you see the scenes of destruction and think on what a slender thread modern civilization hangs. I’m beginning to think that this series is why anime` is good.

* Ep 3 — Still good, just not as good as 2. The horror of crowds, and some more tension as you realize that where they are is an artificial island. One by one, the methods of escape are shut off. The last scene with the wave feels kinda overly-dramatic, though. Miari is well characterized. She can’t hold out with the tough-I’m-an-adult mindset forever and she starts to break.

Ep 4 — Eh, this is kind of an off episode. Two profanities. Although it’s realistic what happens to the Tokyo tower, the last 3/4ths of the episode are drawn out too much. Still, the fragile and sometimes violent nature of people in the aftermath of a disaster is expertly displayed.

* Ep 5 — Oh man. Slower-paced, but heart-breaking. The sympathy of Miari towards others leads to her maturation. The feelings of being somewhere familiar that is made alien by disaster seep into your skin. You can breathe in the isolation, the desperation, the frustration, and finally, at the bottom of it all, the hope.

Ep 6 — Eh, another episode where there’s not enough dramatic tension. It’s lower key and there’s just not enough plot for the whole episode, so it feels threadbare and a little forced. Mari has anemia? Really? Meeting up with Aya at where Mari works was cool, though, so that was a high point. The flashbacks are what feel forced. It gets better on repeated viewings though.

Ep 7 — A lower-key episode like 6, ends on a total cliffhanger. It seems like the plot is wandering a bit lately, though there’s still some character development in Yuki and Miari. So it’s not bad, just not as good as say ep 1.

* Ep 8 — An emotional heart-wringer. Miari matures even more; the world is made alien by disaster yet again, and a bit of horror pricks you.

* Ep 9 — Awesome. Very emotional, but very realistic. They reach Mari-san’s home and look for her child and her mother. At the end, Miaria and Yukki set off to make the final leg of the journey themselves.

* Ep 10 — Starts off slow but the unease builds and builds until the dread conclusion. Is this another dream? A total mind-melt. I went back and watched bits of three previous episodes.

* Ep 11 — This will make you cry; it’s emotionally devastating. They missed a golden opportunity for Miari to thank God for Yukki’s birth; she thanks Yukki, which doesn’t make much sense. Still there’s an oblique reference to Heaven at the end. Mirai’s emotions, her resolve, and the determination by the residents of Tokyo to pick up and keep moving forward is shown even through the end.

What can be said about this series without sounding like overweening praise? Only this — that it is excellent and a reference point for all anime`s in the years to come.

The message that it leaves us with — appreciate those around you for they will soon be gone — is timeless and poignant. It is a lesson that our fast-paced world would do well to heed, for at some unknown moment that will feel all-too-soon, we will also be no more.

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We’re halfway through summer, so let’s see how the summer anime` season is turning out.

Blue Flowers (Aoi Hana) — Dropped. Yup, it’s shoujo-ai.
GA Art Design Con — Dropped. Boring and no characterization.
Kanamemo — Dropped. It’s loli. Sick stuff.
Sora no Manimani — Eeh. I’m barely holding on. It’s pretty shallow and spazzy, which is a shame. The characters could lead to some deep and interesting stories.
Taisho Baseball Girls — Fantastic. This is everything that K-On! could have been.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 — Spellbinding. If you watch only one series this summer, watch this one!

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Now this is a spectacular use of torrents. Someone put together all the previews of the summer 2009 anime shows in one torrent file. Go check it out here.

Here is the OO breakdown.

Yes


GA Art Design Con — Looks cute and funny
Kanamemo — Looks cute and funny, a la K-On!

Maybe


Blue Flowers (Aoi Hana) — Not sure if this is going to be shoujo-ai or not, but I hope not.
Sora no Manimani — HS astronomy anime`. Better than Toradora? One can only hope.
Taisho Baseball Girls — Same deal as Blue Flowers.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 — Hard to tell what’s going on here, but it could be really emotional.

No


Bakemonogatari
Canaan
Judden-Chan — The torrent thankfully put this in a separate ecchi (i.e. hentai) folder, so you know what you’re in for.
Needless — The title says it all, actually.
Princess Lover — Yup, it’s panty-shot time.
Sea Story — A shame really, because the atmosphere had a lot of promise. Instead we get mermaids on land wearing next to nothing, bending over. Whatever.
Spicey Wolf — More of the same Spice & Wolf moral relativism, I’m sure.
Umineko
Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou (Modern Magic)

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