"It never rains but it pours" it probably true of the situation in the midst and immediate aftermath of any large-scale disaster, but it certainly feels as though we've been run through the mill by Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 - Such concerns showed no sign of abating by the end of the last episode either, with Yuuki collapsing after a period of what seemed to be little more than some mild fatigue and illness.
Of course, this collapse requires immediate attention, and thus introduces us to a nightmarishly overcrowded hospital that is desperately trying to triage and handle its myriad patients. This quickly turns into one of the most heart-rending and upsetting segments of pretty much any anime I can remember watching, as we take on Mirai's viewpoint to see her worries regarding her brother graphically illustrated in ways that were absolutely and genuinely difficult to watch. I've criticised the use of "dream" ("nightmare" would be a more appropriate word on this occasion) sequences in this series on a previous occasion, but this time around it had a massive impact on me personally and emotionally, which really blunts any criticism I might have of the opportunity to over-dramatise things which it offers.
Aside from concerns about Yuuki, Mari is of course continuing to worry about her own family, and come the end of the episode she seems both distracted and upset, although we learn nothing beyond a television report that brings mixed news on this situation near her home. Is she hiding something from her young charges, and if so what? Looks like I'm going to have to sit and worry about it for the next week before I find out.
While Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 has managed to impress and overwhelm with its handling of a natural disaster from the off, this has to be the most powerful episode thus far - On the one hand, it reduced me to tears in just seconds, while on the other, it had me thoroughly enjoying the character development exhibited by Mirai in such testing circumstances; this is the time where she really blossoms and matures in terms of her relationships with others, not least her brother, and it made for a heart-warming counterpoint to those hard to watch moments I spoke of before. All things considered then, this is a raw yet fantastic piece of work that actually stands out on its own in the midst of an already impressively accomplished series.