Friday, 28 August 2009

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 - Episode 8

"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.


Anonymous said...

It seems that Mirai snapped completely, and now I wonder how long they are going to drag out the imaginary Yuuki before subjecting us to her frantic confrontation with the realization that she's been talking to herself.

Polaryzed said...

Hanners, after watching this episode twice and reading comments on a different blog, watch that episode again. Then ask yourself these simple questions:

1. Why are they out of an overcrowded hospital so quickly?
2. What were those 'legal' papers?
3. Why were there TWO death dreams?
4. Why doesn't Mari say a word to Yuuki after he's 'better'?
5. Why does Yuuki never actually touch his bag?
6. Why does Mari keep apologizing and break down in tears when Mirai talks about how better Yuuki is?

There is only one answer to all of these questions, that Yuuki really died in that second sequence. Awesome episode.

Anonymous said...

well... you guys were right...