Friday, 11 September 2009

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 - Episode 10

With the end of the last episode of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 pretty much sealing the deal for anyone who still had doubts over the future or otherwise Yuuki, this penultimate episode of the series handles Mirai's unravelling mental state.

As she continues her journey home on the back of a truck carrying the wounded, we see Mirai wrestling with (but again denying) Yuuki's death, and as the return to her hometown coincides with her meeting school friends and class mates of Yuuki, so we see her still unable to let go of the fact that he's there, even though she can only see him when nobody else is around.


On the more positive side of things, we hear from one of Mirai's friends that both of her parents and alive and well, with her father injured in hospital but generally okay and her mother sheltering at the nearby elementary school. With her Mum away from the shelter to get more clothes for a while, Mirai ends up wandering around with Yuuki's friend Itsuki, as Mirai's mental state even begins to become clear to him before an aftershock and its fallout seems to bring her, finally, to the realisation of what really happened with Yuuki collapsed, and so we too learn what was a dream and what was reality within the confines of that episode a couple of weeks ago.

While part of me can't help but feeling that Mirai's mental state has been allowed to go on a little too long in terms of the story as a whole, I can't help but be impressed by the way her realisation of Yuuki's death was depicted come the end of the episode - Despite the fact that we've been on the outside looking in with our own knowledge of the circumstances, seeing Yuuki's death once again as an absolute truth was honestly painful to watch, and thus gives at least a fraction of the understanding of what a young girl like Mirai would have to go through in such a situation. It's this ability to focus on the human damage of a major earthquake over merely the technical details that has really brought Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 to life, making it a cut above your average disaster movie or documentary. This show isn't about the faceless victims of a major disaster, it's truly "real" and in your face in terms of how it handles such tragedy.

6 comments:

DCJoeDog said...

So now we know the dark hallway scene was the reality and the other a fabrication of Mirai's mind, the opposite of what we all first thought. I have to admit though, I was beginning to get increasingly madder as the episode went on and the confirmation about Yuuki's death was not being addressed. Can't wait for the final episode.

Anonymous said...

I kinda feel sorry for poor Itsuki, here is Yuki's friend taking Mirai to his house to give her Yuki's journal only to have her emotional meltdown go into overdrive.
I hope that episode 11 starts off with Mari as she was nowhere to be seen during this episode. Not to mention the fact that she has Yuki's backpack, which seems to have something of a special significance during the past 2 episodes.

kadian1364 said...

I mirror JoeDog's thoughts; here comes the twist we were all but certain was innevitable, and TM8.0 still spins it all around and reverses what we thought was dream/reality.

I'm highly impressed how long TM8.0 held its cards as long as it did. That kind of patience in storytelling is exceedingly rare. If we weren't so internet savvy, discussing ideas, translating paper forms, interpreting future episode titles weeks in advance, I don't think 9 out of 10 of us watching the series would have much suspected it. We'd probably be going along with the "Yuuki is OK" idea except for maybe some strange going ons.

Ojisan said...

I was still in the "sure glad Yuuki's okay but something's not quite right" camp till this episode.
The story totally recreates Mirai's feelings in the viewer (me) as we're pulled from "everything's a bit TOO okay" to "wait a minute, what just happened?" to "no no no no no no no i don't want to know..."

ghostlightning said...

Add me among those who are more impressed than dismayed by the developments depicted here. I didn't want to see the whole episode play out within Mirai's head entirely, but that doesn't mean the episode itself did not have merit.

I saw a lot of deception, inauthenticity, compassion, and cruelty play out ambiguously and entertainingly throughout this contrivance. This is what I enjoyed about it.

Sebastian said...

Post traumatic stress perhaps? Or just plain old denial? Either way, its truly heartwrenching to withness her mental breakdown. The whole playing with the "is Yuuki there?" aspect of the story just kept it being questionable. As said though, there have been plenty of clues as to his true status, the rucksack just being one of many. I just did not see it unfurling in such a painful way. Manly tears are being shed, and i forsee more in the final episode. Epic.