Friday, 18 September 2009

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 - Episode 11 (Completed)

Come the end of the last episode of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Mirai had finally come to realise the truth about Yuuki's death - I'm sure it goes without saying that such a revelation would be difficult for anybody to handle, and thus of course much of this episode is taken up with Mirai's struggle to come to terms properly with everything that has happened.

That said, Yuuki's part in this story isn't done, as we see him urging a reticent Mirai on all the way until she reaches her home and is reunited with her mother in an inevitably emotional reunion - Indeed, perhaps you could argue that Mirai's mental state immediately after Yuuki's death was as much her own way of getting home to her family as it was simple denial to cope with losing him.


With the family fully reunited, we get to see just how important those bonds are when it comes to dealing with the grieving process, with open words and tears that can never heal the wounds of losing a loved one, but at least allow for all those concerned to accept what has happened. This is naturally more difficult for Mirai than her parents, and after some difficult times it's a visit from Mari that puts her in the right direction (although surely even Mari's story of when she lost her husband is not even close to being analogous to Mirai's grief) in what was as happy an ending as you could expect from a series like this - As we see Tokyo very slowly being rebuilt, yet with scars and memorials that will never go away, so Mirai learns to cope and carry on with her life despite knowing that the pain and feelings of loss will never entirely go away.

I think it's fair to say that I'm probably not the only one to be caught by surprise from the emotional impact of the final few episodes of the series - From depicting largely the technical details of a massive earthquake (albeit with an eye always on the human drama and impact), we really left all of that behind to focus entirely on the human tragedy of such an event. Perhaps Yuuki's death and our view of this from Mirai's eyes deviated from those technical scenarios, and perhaps it could have been shortened to some degree rather than keeping the "is he or isn't he" question alive for so long, but I defy anyone to say that they didn't shed a tear or two during these episodes - My eyes were damp from the very opening scene of this final episode, and it didn't get any easier from there.

Overall then, above all else I have to take my hat off to BONES for daring to take this series in the directions they chose to - They could easily have made it a pseudo-documentary with a focus on facts above all else, but as well as worrying about the details of the earthquake itself they also managed to zoom in on the real human cost of a natural disaster in a brave and very different fashion. They gave us a bleak view of a terrifying disaster, yet they also gave us characters that we could cry for and over as their lives fractured and were repaired just like the city around them, and those tears most certainly don't lie when it comes to discussing the quality of this series.

9 comments:

DCJoeDog said...

When they showed Yuuki's life from birth to death I literally broke down and started bawling. I was good until that point. I give this series very high marks and would recommend anyone who hasn't seen it to stop wasting time and watch it already.

Polaryzed said...

I made the mistake of letting my instant gratification tendencies get the better of me in this case. I wanted to see the last ep so bad that I watched it a lunch at work. BIG mistake. Really hard to explain the sniffles and wet eyes to people. But I must say that I loved this series. From beginning to end. I wish there were more of these type of series. They seem to happen too infrequently.

Meep said...

I think this anime is a masterpiece, 10/10 on MAL. It's certainly the most believable anime I have ever seen. While it may lose some realism here and there, it is a work of fiction after all. Overall, very believable characters, reactions, amazing attention to detail, etc. Despite the series being quite depressing at times, it never failed to be totally fresh and original. It wasn't a predictable series either, and it attracted the most attention/debate I have seen yet compared to other anime airing this season. Comes to show T.M. really makes people think and discuss.

And excellent review!! The tears sure don't lie; you're right about that.

Ken said...

I get misty-eyed over emotional things sometimes, but never shed real tears for something... until this show. =\

Apparitions aside, it so realistically dealt with loss and grieving and hit so close to home for me that I really couldn't help but shed a few manly-tears out of sympathy, even if at the last it was me projecting my own history onto the characters. What an amazing series.

Sebastian said...

I don't believe i have cried this much since... well... ever. Even the end of Eureka 7, or Saikano didn't do this.

Well done Bones, well done.

Peter S said...

Yeah, I shed a tear or two as well, though I would have been just as happy if the series had concentrated more on disaster relief. It's the geeky side in me. That'll always be a problem when you name a series "Tokyo Magnitude 8.0." What direction will the show take?

That said, the Yuuki goodbye scenes were lovely and had me going, but I think my favorite moment was when Mirai, at her dad's bedside, tells her parents plainly and as a matter of fact how Yuuki guided her and made sure she got home. She was speaking honestly and from the heart, and maybe for the first time in years, was saying just the right things to bring the family together.

kadian1364 said...

Just when I think everything might be going down the crapper, TM8.0 turns in easily the single best episode of the anime season. This is my Best Show of the Season, and Bakemonogatari would have to do something really outstanding to knock it off.

ajshepherd said...

The vases of flowers on the school desks got to me as well. Each vase representing a young life snuffed out in the earthquake.

Anonymous said...

this had to be the #1 best all time anime not only was it well done in the facts of aftermath but the story line was so possible as to be real bones really took anime up a notch yes it is a very emotional anime but its great