• Title: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
  • Genres: Drama (MAL)
  • Studios: Bones, Kinema Citrus
  • Episodes: 11 – 22min (Completed)
  • Date: 10 July 2009 — 18 September 2009

My Review

I’ve always thought that it was unfortunate, how any place could be subject to the repeated tormenting of Mother Nature. I myself am fortunate enough to be sheltered from ever having to deal with any disastrous forms of climate. For a country like Japan however, the threat of an earthquake is ever present. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 shows us the perspective of two siblings in an earthquake of catastrophic levels. How in an abrupt moment, everything they knew about the world falls apart.

With a catastrophic event like an earthquake as its medium, the anime explores the many layers of human interaction. Through its well-written narrative and dialogues, we see how the verbal and physical exchanges between a person changes in dire times. As the ground splits open and skyscrapers topple over, the inherent human trait of selflessness triumphs. Yet at the same time, we see humanity’s inherent human trait of selfishness as well. Essentially, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is a world where society’s human relationship is tested.

The anime also presents a reality of the destruction that follows from an earthquake on the environment and space of a place. A seemingly safe and secure environment could shatter in an instant if nature called for it. Where concrete pavements that once supported the weight of the surface world day in and day out without signs of cracking, would suddenly collapse. The very fabric of stability is presented as a fine line, turning into chaos at a moment’s notice. The show successfully presents how we live in a world where safety, at least in modern societies, is being taken for granted.

More than anything else, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is a story about the human mind. Looking past the broken buildings, what we see and feel more of is the broken human psyche. Fear, terror, hope, belief. These emotions and mental states of a person is brought to our attention through a child’s eye. We see presented with how a drastic change of circumstances would mentally affect people.


Should I watch Tokyo Magnitude 8.0?

From a distance, Tokyo Magnitude is an anime about survival, and explores the dramatic tragedies that the common survival has to offer. But when we magnify the elements of the anime and what it sets out to portray, we see a discussion of societal values, the human relationship and the human mind. Overall, it isn’t anything action packed or overly intense, but somewhat slow and casual. Expect moody tones with an interesting journey through a fallen city.

If you’re unable to sit through old animations that in all honesty won’t mar the show’s quality, then Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 might not be a show that’s aesthetically pleasing enough for you. It will definitely be an anime that you’ll find is worth watching though.

P.s, my heart goes out to the victims of the many tragedies that mother nature has brought upon us.

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