The last episode of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 ended with the collapse of Tokyo Tower - A landmark arguably on a scale with New York's World Trade Centre in terms of the impact its destruction has on the populace of the country and, perhaps, the world. Naturally, this event is afforded at least a little time in this fifth episode of the series, although perhaps not as much as you might expect.
Instead, this latest episode chooses to focus intently on the human side of the natural disaster portrayed, as Mari, Mirai and Yuuki end up at a shelter that just so happens to be Mirai's school, in a district that was relatively unaffected by the damage caused by the huge earthquake.
The story from here is, quite frankly, harrowing stuff of the highest degree, as Mirai's attempts to show Yuuki some stained glass windows at the school leads them to a makeshift morgue full of both the dead and their grieving families, including one of Mirai's schoolfriends in one case.
With the large aftershocks from the earthquake still continuing, we also see the efforts of one volunteer brought into relief despite his own losses as a result of the earthquake, depicted as a very human struggle against grief coupled with a very human instinct to look after the needs of the living over and above taking the time to grieve for your own loss. The whole scenario is painfully difficult to watch, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that this particular episode reduced me to tears.
It's a reaction like this that really says it all about Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 - Just like real life in a genuine time of crisis it isn't relentlessly depressing and there are still moments of wonder and humour, but all of that is set against a tale of absolutely tragic human loss; a state of affairs which this series has managed to build up so believably (despite its occasionally suspect animation) that I can't help but be moved by it as though I were watching it on a nightly news broadcast. Thanks to the emotional nature of some of the scenes depicted, this episode almost felt like living within someone else's nightmare, and it's one that I can only hope never comes to fruition in my lifetime.