Posted 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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  • Juno
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:37 AM)
    Because as of this moment, my childhood could NOT be happier…
  • Juno
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:37 AM)
    I can’t be the only one FREAKING OUT OVER THE NEW JOJO ENDING THEME, right?
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:32 AM)
    And although everyone said already, the launch scene is gorgeous.
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:30 AM)
    @Friend Man, you are something else. The chapter reeled me into the story. I didnt see any faults with it, except for one typo. The scenes are well composited, and like nyan said, the only “faults” are nitpicky things :)
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:21 AM)
    Yeah, I think this falls more into the category of typesetting than anything else and there’s plenty of different ways that can go depending on preference. If the readers don’t have an issue, then it’s fine.
  • Friend
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:11 AM)
    A problem ve faced with american comics is that they usually dont contrast the speech bubble with the surroundings too well. That might be a factor, as large bubbles mean more visibility of the text itself.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:05 AM)
    ah well, I don’t really mean the amount of content, but a negative space thing. it’s easier on the eyes when there’s a bit of space around the bubble for me.
  • Friend
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:03 AM)
    Sure, I was tempted to pack in my bubbles, moreso with my weekly form of several pages. But I figured I should take time to develop each moment.
  • Nyangoro
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:01 AM)
    It’s a matter of compressed vs decompressed storytelling. Just a result of how the two evolved, I suppose. It makes more sense when you consider the multiversal approach to mainstream American comics in relation to the isolated worlds found in Japanese manga.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 03:54 AM)
    With that said I did not find this an issue in her comic.

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