Posted by psgels on 7 August 2009 with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



This series is seriously tearing me up as I watch it. I remember wondering at the end of Birdy the Mighty Decode 2 whether or not the rest of 2009 would premiere a series that would match its brilliance. I’ve finally managed to find a contender. It’s amazing considering how much this series has already done in only FIVE EPISODES so far. This episode lacked any action and didn’t have a rebellious Mirai, but it left me as an emotional wreck afterwards.

This episode first showed Mirai’s old elementary school (she seemed to have had to travel quite a distance to reach it), which leads to an anecdote in which Mirai tells about how her mother embarrassed her at her graduation ceremony. The rest of the episode shows the three lead characters as they spend the evening and the night in the shelter camp that has been set up at the school.

I loved how this episode didn’t just tell the story of Mirai, Yuki and Mari, but also that of the school, the people who lost their loved ones, the old couple who lost their grandsons, the girl who had a mental breakdown due to the aftershocks, the guy who seems to have suffered from a sunstroke, Megu, one of Mirai’s classmates and heck: even that couple sitting next to each other and staring at the wall that only appear in one frame. Seriously, you don’t see many series in which the creators just pull out a random classmate, give her less than a minute of airtime and yet manage to make you sympathize with her with a believable back-story.

But yeah, this was the episode in which the chaos settles down a bit and the emotions pop up even more. It’s in a way similar of getting an injury during sports or something else: in the beginning the adrenaline is still rushing through your body and you’re still too bewildered to really get what’s going on. Then a few minutes later, the seemingly endless pain really starts. In this episode, it really starts to sink in that people have died here.

Really, while watching this episode, I kept wondering whether this really was only the fifth episode of this series. It feels like much more episodes have passed for this series, and yet there seems to be no end to how amazing this series can be. It’s really going to rank among my favourites of 2009 if the creators can keep this pacing up throughout the final six episodes.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

16 Responses

  1. Frost says:

    “It feels like many more episodes have passed for this series, and yet there seems to be no end to how amazing this series can be”

    Exactly how I feel, after this episode Im speechless, there isnt a single thing I dont like about it

    And the final moment where Mirai tears up because of the old man was intense… Actually, every episode so far has had a sort of climax that really touches you, and its all because it feels so real

  2. Seinime says:

    Endlessly touching in a good way. Damn it, so much to catch up on these days.

  3. fireryone says:

    wow, that was moving.

  4. tealovertoma says:

    Very touching, yet at the same time the curry scene made me laugh. This anime’s really amazing. I honestly thought at the start it was just going to avoid showing dead people because 2 children were the main characters, but it’s done a subtle and excellent job of telling both the misery and bravery of people going through this.

    So yeah, I agree, anime of the year contender.

  5. reverse says:

    nice show so far. A good contender for this year
    they can make audition sympathize side character, which is good. but more you progress in the show the effect of this show start to get old. I hope this not the case.

    I hope this show will end in this season. second season will only do harm to this show

  6. Firechick says:

    I just finished this episode and I loved it to bits! I cried at the end when Mirai was mourning for the old couple’s dead kids.

  7. DLP says:

    Perhaps the strongest episode yet. Very emotionally powerful, but without being over the top. Excellent writing and directing.

  8. evolstar says:

    The body language in this show is amazing. In my opinion that is a sign of a great series if it doesn’t rely on dialogue alone. I just love the subtle emotional layers behind every expression.

  9. Rawr says:

    Sort of nice to see an episode of Mirai not being Ultra-bitch. Out of curiosity, I’m seriously wondering if she’s considered normal in Japan.

  10. hayashi says:

    watched. and we are only at ep5. it also felt as if many days had passed, but it is only the second day after the quake.

  11. It’s actually more normal to be the dour, whiny teenager that Mirai displays up until this episode. Most young people are really like that when they’re not busy trying to look otherwise. Nobody wants to come across as a whiny brat if it comes down to it. No one’s called Mirai in being so in her life yet, ever… and it’s interesting how she might be able to overcome this without someone pointing it to her face.

  12. KamikazeSim says:

    Hopefully “bitchy” Mirai is gone after the growth and compassion she showed in this episode.

    I agree with Reverse: have the series end with the next 6 episodes. I do not want any sequels because this show could be an all-time classic if the momentum continues on.

  13. taka says:

    I loved the setup scene with the grandmother where she offers them candy and then when you see the truth there is a small pile of candy with them. That got me pretty bad.

  14. riddle says:

    i don’t find Mirai bitchy at all, not one single bit. in fact…i think her personaility is one of the best out of all the anime characters. i think i can understand her, becuase sometimes i feel that way. i feel so angry with every single thing in life i feel like killing everything in sight because the world is just so plain stupid. all societies are like that…plain stupid. Humans just make everything complicated when there is no point at all. people do stuff without thinking and hurt another without blinking an eye. in kinda understand why Mirai is so angry. i do not think she’s bitchy at all.

  15. Kamen says:

    That’s not her old elementary school but the middle school she was attending before the earthquake .. she even got her sneakers from her locker and her mom was embarrassed at her opening ceremony not graduation. I wonder how u got all that wrong?? (-_-‘ )

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 11:04 AM)
    @Badesh: which one? Cuz I played thru both the Dreamcast and the PS2 version. The Dreamcast one was a stand-alone story, but it was both a good one written by Miura, and it was set between Vol22 and Vol23, so it didn’t interfere with the manga’s story. The PS2 one was almost a chapter-by-chapter adaptation of the Holy Demon War section, and it featured the de-facto Berserk theme ‘Sign’ by Hirasawa himself:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdpqV7RPnTE
  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:50 AM)
    They did the same thing to promote the video game! Srsly?
    Besides, i really enjoy the new series as a long time fan.. can’t exactly point out why. I like the action and for every shitty shot, we get an awesome one.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:49 AM)
    Also Caska’s back to being brown. So I guess some things are getting fixed as we go on.
    /RantOver
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:40 AM)
    That’s why is disheartening to see that the post-credit scene of ep03 was ignored by so many, specially considering the quality of the animation and the importance it had to the plot and course of the show.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:39 AM)
    Now I’m not going to deny the toxicity of some of the so-called “hardcore” fanbase- the Skullknight community is a testament to that. I’ve seen too many people claim that they’re done with the series, only yo come back every week and nag about the same redundant points over and over again. The show has had much more traditional animation than I’ve originally anticipated.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:27 AM)
    The music is a great example of that. The 97 series created a surreal somber atmosphere, with a lot of that piggybacking on Susumu Hirasawa’s weird soundtrack. Look at the new series intro- that is as tone-deaf as it can get. I much rather preferred a black screen with a red Berserk logo over this shonenesque song. Caska’s rape as an eyecatch? yeah, they are seriously mislead as to the significance of that scene.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:24 AM)
    Now I’m a big Berserk fan, anyone here can attest to that, and I’m glad to have some Berserk, in whatever form we can get. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to overlook the deficiencies. I still stand by my point, which is that the new series doesn’t primarily suffer from the animation, as I think a lot can be achieved in the format as evidence by the last two episodes, but the main point of contention is the overall tone which doesn’t fit Berserk.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:20 AM)
    And Berserk is panned for the CG, not only because of the unconventionality, but also since it isn’t particularly strong CGI neither. Sidonia was well-received, and that uses CG a lot more than Berserk. Since the manga has extraordinary line work, people want to see the same level of detail. The 97 series also works against the New one, since although it had minimal budget, it still had much superior cohesion.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:17 AM)
    But that aside, FoE actually garnered some decent publicity. It’s also not really CGI, but a weird type of rotoscoping, which has been used for a long time. The show was alright. It started strong, had a lot of slack in the middle, and ended on a stronger note.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:15 AM)
    @afgm: Flower of Evil, it’s better to call it that since aside from me personally preferring English names when speaking English, the title itself is a reference to Charles Baudelaire poem, and we don’t say the French name Les Fleurs du mal, so why use the Japanese?

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