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July 18, 2012

Anime Review: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

What would happen if a earthquake of magnitude 8.0 hit Tokyo? Well, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 portrays the destruction of the city and the after effects of such a natural disaster.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0Synopsis:

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.

Review:

So what is enjoyable about this anime? For one, it is more of a non-fiction fiction representation of an earthquake hitting Tokyo. To clearly explain the impact of such a natural disaster happening, we are introduced to the story of Mirai and her younger brother Yuuki as their lives are turned upside down by this large scale destruction. Simply put, they are attending a robot exhibition when suddenly the earthquake strikes. As you would expect, many buildings are damaged and there are many casualties. To make matters even worse, the duo are stuck right in the middle of the disaster and they miraculously survive the impact. With no way of contacting their parents, they meet a women named Mari which helps them on their journey back home. I found the story quite "light" on the matter of widespread destruction. The anime does not go into detail about the impact of the destruction or how this event impacts people physically and psychologically. I felt that the anime lacked a bit of depth regarding the earthquake and its impact of my viewing experience was not traumatic as expected.

The art was above average with some fine detail of buildings and sceneries. The character did lack a bit of detail but the dialogue made up for the generic layout. The animation was really fluid even for the earthquake scenes with buildings cracking open, debris flying everywhere, and objects falling down. It was all well done.

Voice acting was decent and the theme songs were pretty average to listen to. There were plenty of sound effects such as rubble falling down to the ground, people screaming, rumble of the ground, and loud crashes of objects flying everywhere. It was well organised and appropriate for the anime to enhance viewing experience.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 really only focuses on the 3 main characters; Mirai, Yuuki, and Mari. Mirai is said to be the main character of the anime, and we see her emotions, thoughts, and personality change throughout the anime. Yuuki, her younger brother, somewhat is unaffected by all that is happening around him and tries to stay happy all of the time. Mari, can be considered the support character, she looks after and keeps watch of the kids as they make their journey back home. There is some tension between the characters in the beginning of the anime, but they develop a strong bond of friendship as the story progresses.

In the end, it was more of an interesting documentary-style fiction anime that gives us an outlook of what will happen if Tokyo was hit by a 8.0 magnitude earthquake. Although full in-depth details are left out, the main message gets across quite nicely. We see widespread destruction of the city, panic of the people, and the efforts to help one another in times of great need. This anime may not be in the interest of most people, but it definitely gave me a second thought about the life we are living now.

STORY: 7
A story about a huge earthquake hitting Tokyo may not be the most engaging story, but the emotions portrayed through the anime is quite effective indeed.

ART: 8
There was high detail in the destruction of buildings and landscape. Characters were pretty average but the animations were fluid.

SOUND: 7
Very good use of sound effects appropriate to different scenes throughout he anime. Voice acting was decent.

CHARACTER: 7
I really didn't care about the characters that much, they didn't display enough emotions or back story to keep me entertained.

ENJOYMENT: 7
It was enjoyable in a different way. It was more of a "what if" situation and a resolution combined into an anime series.

OVERALL: 7
It was pretty interesting to see the after effects of a earthquake, but I'm glad the anime was relatively short and simple.