Secret Santa Project-Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Tokyo Magnitude 8 Title Screen Tokyo Tower

In my second Secret Santa project this year, I joined the crowd at Anime Planet for another blind anime recommendation. It’s safe to say that the recommendations I received were by someone that has completely different tastes than I do. But, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They chose three anime shows, and manga, that I wouldn’t have normally looked into. The recommendations were The Tibetan Dog, Hakaba Kitaro, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, and the manga ‘It’s Not My Fault I’m Not Popular!’ Since I had already read the manga a few months ago and passed on it, I went through my anime recommendations. The one that stood out the most was Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. And away I went.

In the near future, a massive earthquake in Tokyo, 25 km under the sea, at a magnitude of 8.0 strikes. Siblings Mirai and Yuuki were visiting a robot exhibit across town on reclaimed island when it hits. They find themselves alone and with no one to turn to, until a delivery woman named Mari, who is striving to reach her own daughter and mother in Sangenjaya, promises to help them get back to their family.  The three travel through the disaster area, overcoming immense danger, as they try to make their way home.

Tokyo Magnitude 8 Mirai Onozawa Yūki Onozawa Mari Kusakabe

Quite frankly, I didn’t know what to expect with this anime. Other than the basic synopsis, and other positive generalities, I didn’t know what I was getting into. And, it being a Noitamina show, the odds of it being genuinely good were 50/50. So with reckless abandonment, I marathoned through the 11 episode series.

Early in this series,  I was worried that this would end up being an angsty preteen story, where in the end, everything would turn out ok. But as the story kept going, I realized it wasn’t it. The writing and directing tried to capture the angst and worry not only of our characters, but the world around them as well. The effects of the earthquake were drawn with some semblance of realism. The story does nothing to hide the fact that there is death and despair around them. But in converse, there is always a steady feeling of hope. Hope that they will make it back home, and be reunited with their families.

Which is why the ending catches you off guard. Despite this being a 3-year-old show, I’m not going to post spoilers to ending here. Sufficed  to say, the ending was very moving. And in the spirit of what the original charter of Noitamina stood for, this show fits. It goes against the anime notion that every story has a happy ending. That, in an event of this magnitude, there will be loss.

Tokyo Magnitude 8 Mirai Onozawa Yūki Onozawa Mari Kusakabe Walking Through Town

From beginning to end, this anime was great. From watching Mirai grow up in tough circumstances, to the beautifully animated scenes of destruction, this show was well-balanced and wonderful. My recommendation. to anyone  who decides to watch, is to pick up a box of Kleenex when you get to episode 9, because the ending will bring a tear to your eye.

2 thoughts on “Secret Santa Project-Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

  1. ghostlightning

    Along with Bakemonogatari, this was part of the first shows I blogger episodically. Let me tell you man, the week on week suspense was incredibly intense. I have remember getting a fact of the show so very wrong that I published a second post within hours of the previous episodic after commenters schooled me. Amazing stuff.

    At first I was part of a small group of older and perhaps more mature viewers who appreciated Mirai the character and how her story went along. I think people came around about her though griping about her was overshadowed by speculation and denial about a character plot twist I won’t spoil.

    I also remember taking a bunch of American assholes to task when they insisted that the only realistic behavior in the face of disaster was that found in New Orleans during and after Katrina when I know otherwise due to a hurricane sinking Manila and my house just after the show wrapped up in 2009. It was funny how these jerk were proven wrong not only by Manila in 2009, but most definitively by the real Tokyo Magnitude 9.0 in 2011 and then in New York 2012 after Hurricane Sandy.

    This show ended up resonating with me far stronger and for a longer time than I expected it to. I’m glad you watched it.

    1. JoeAnimated Post author

      It was a great show. I enjoyed watching the changes that Mirai underwent during the series, and how much different her character was by show’s end. When people talk about a show being driven by character growth, this is what I would expect. And the ending was not what I expected at all. It caught me off guard a little bit, and in a very good way. The suspense of watching this week to week must have been brutal. But with such a great payoff, it would have bee worth it. Thanks for stopping by!


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