Friday, 24 July 2009

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 - Episode 3

With the heavy rain over and heat and sunshine appearing in its wake, it seems like life is about to get easier for the survivors of the massive earthquake in Tokyo. Of course, after such a major natural disaster appearances can be deceptive...

The first and most pressing issue for Mirai, Yuuki and Mari is how to get off the artificial island of Odaiba - Indeed, Mari questions whether the island will survive the predicted days of aftershocks at all, given that it is in fact an entirely artificial construct. With almost all of the main routes off the island either blocked or destroyed entirely by the earthquake, it looks as though anyone currently trapped on the island will have to stay there for a while, but this concern is soon relived by the appearance of the coastguard and organisation of boats to take anyone who needs to back to the mainland.


This in itself poses some additional problems. Firstly, with a mass of people wanting to leave Odaiba, it's easy for Mirai and Yuuki to become separated from Mari, and this problem only becomes worse as some vicious aftershocks cause yet more carnage to the surrounding area. This in turns causes even more of a rush for the rescue boats now on hand, with some individuals taking desperate measures to try and secure their trip off the island. Even once Mirai and her two charges manage to board one of these rescue boats, there are still dangers to be faced even before they reach the far shore...

As per the last episode, where this third instalment of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 really excels is in mixing the human concerns and tragedy of a large-scale disaster with the more typical and spectacular goings-on of the disaster itself - Thus on the one hand we have such seeming mundane happenings as a pushchair wheel stuck in an uneven bit of ground, and on the other we have buildings and bridges collapsing from powerful aftershocks. This mixture of worry that occasional turns to abject terror really adds to the feeling of reality that this series so clearly strives for (perhaps over and above even the personal stories of its main characters), as we find ourselves living through this nightmare scenario vicariously - I'm sure I wasn't the only one who broke out in a cold sweat at the imagery of the collapsing bridge and capsized boat towards the end of the episode. The animation quality may not be top-notch, but this series is absolute proof that brilliant artwork isn't necessarily a must-have to effectively convey the emotions and situations that you're trying to depict - One again, I'm left heavily impressed by this series, and I can only imagine what it must be like for an actual resident of Tokyo to sit and watch this; it's occasionally uncomfortable enough for someone living thousands of miles away in an earthquake-free country.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This episode felt pretty contrived in nature to me, what with everyone around them dying, Mirai actually getting lost, yet none of the three being hurt in any way. It's how do I say it... too convenient? This episode just felt forced, and unrealistic to me.

Seinime said...

I'm glad Mari was back to help.

Jura said...

That boy is so damn attractive.

ghostlightning said...

Yes, I agree with your observations. Good stuff.

>>"I'm sure I wasn't the only one who broke out in a cold sweat at the imagery of the collapsing bridge and capsized boat towards the end of the episode."

Yes, you are not alone.