Monday, 17 August 2009

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 - Episode 6

Mari may have been the solid foundation against which both Mirai and Yuuki have been able to hold themselves upright in this series ever since the earthquake first struck Tokyo, but at the end of the day she's still human, and it's her own problems which come to the fore in this sixth instalment of the series.

Mari's previously unflappable demeanour is undone by radio reports coming through of spreading fires in Sangenjaya, which is where her daughter Hina is staying with her mother. This new-found panic and frustration, coupled with her own exhaustion leads her into some frenzied efforts to find out more information about the situation and eventually leads to her passing out.

After coming around, she is eventually faced with a pretty tough decision - Should she abandon Mirai and Yuuki or leave them with Aya, a work colleague of hers, to look after to speed her return to her own daughter, or should she continue to help these two kids along her way? This is a question that just won't go away, even in the face of some more large aftershocks which increase the level of danger in the area several-fold.

As per usual for this series, everything is very well done, with Mari's normally calm and collected facade slipping in a most believable way, and the aftershocks causing very believable panic, damage and destruction at completely random moments (although a head injury sustained by Mari at one point seems to disappear remarkably quickly if you ask me... perhaps she's related to Alicia from Valkyria Chronicles?). We do also wander off into the subconscious of Mari on a couple of occasions, and I'm a little torn as to whether this actually added anything to the narrative or not - For me, drifting into what were basically dream sequences almost detracted from the harsh reality faced by the characters. These qualms aside however, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 remains as gripping and fascinating as ever in the way it handles both its characters and the situation they face.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This series continues to just amaze me, it is perhaps one of the best this season. However, with the emotional high point in episode 5, the bar may have been set rather high. Episode 6 felt much lower in its emotional intensity, even though Mari's anxiety over her daughter's safety and the problem of Mirai and Yuki should have had that level only a few steps below that of episode 5. That aside, I really hope this show continues with the high standards that make it so good. I only wish other producers would make these same sorts of efforts.