Posted by psgels on 22 August 2009 with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



Aah, I hate this effect. Do not get me wrong with this entry: this episode still was a really good one, but at the same time I do believe that the creators have jumped the shark a bit and moved away from what made the first five episodes so incredibly good. This effect started at the last episode, but back then I was focusing too much on details that didn’t really matter.

But let me first start with the good parts: it really was a good lesson for Yuki and Mirai this time that they shouldn’t be wandering off at every occasion. Now that they’ve gotten a good night sleep and the initial shocks are gone, they’re starting to get a bit more of their energy back, and so they start to act more child-like. The rain was also nicely preluded with the dark clouds coming up.

As for the robots, they’re an interesting idea, but they could have been made more practical in my opinion. If they were made to scout around for survivors, they should have been made faster and smaller. Otherwise they could have just been replaced by a rescue worker on a bike. Still, it does seem logical to use robots like these if they’ve been sufficiently tested and fail-proof: this way the rescue workers can act more efficiently and don’t have to waste unnecessary energy to search around for survivors, and instead can concentrate on rescuing.

Anyway, my “problem” with this episode was that the creators are trying a bit too hard, which takes away a bit from this series’ realism. And really, Yuki’s sunstroke would have been a great ordeal for the characters to overcome, but it just feels cheap right after Mari succumbed to anemia. It’s nearly like the characters are taking turns in getting sick here. The creators instead should have just focused at the three of them trying to get home.

I realize I’m complaining a lot, but I’m just rather unhappy that the past two episodes didn’t manage to uphold the amazing standards that were set by the first five episodes. It’s in a way like Now and Then, Here and There: the second half there was still really good, but it wasn’t as gut-wrenchingly sad as the first half. This episode also took the focus away from everyone else, in the favour of focusing more on Mirai and Yuki, and while it would have been an excellent episode for most other shows, I just know that the creators could have done better here. The boy with his fascination of robots was also nice and all, but it felt too much like he was reading a script rather than telling about his life.
Rating: * (Good)

14 Responses

  1. HMMaster says:

    I guess that they are running out of ideas… more filler episode?

  2. psgels psgels says:

    I don’t think that this is a case of them running out of ideas. They would have been perfectly fine if these final episodes would have simply detailed Mirai, Yuki and Mari simply travelling to their homes. What I think happened here is that the creators thought that they were running out of ideas, and therefore tried to spice things up a bit with these random illnesses and stuff.

  3. AlexS says:

    I’m not so irked about the boy’s disease, actually it’s kind of plausible that everyone will feel ill, and the kids should be the first to go down. After all, they are exhausted, survived traumatic events, slept outside, ate and drank unusual and perhaps not totally clean stuff, etc. Just from the nerves and exhaustion, some fevers would be expected. I guess what matters is how they are going to build up his sickness in the next episode.

    I think what marred the episode was the clumsy way the robot nerd was played out. Too many repetitions of him chasing around robots, and the the worst was the incident implicating him. It was so predictable that it lost credibility. Also, I know people develop empathy for robots (cf soldiers in Irak), but for a guy who is passionate about rescue robots to risk his life to save one just shows a complete lack of understanding of the logic behind them. And this caused the plot to feel really forced and conventional. If they really wanted to go this way, they should have taken seriously the nerd psychology: he wouldn’t put himself in danger to save a robot, but perhaps to try to have a better look at him in operation, or by thinking that the robot identified a victim.

    I think the real problem is that the episode was too didactic (on this robot stuff), and the scriptwriters felt they had to put some drama. Their mistake was to center the drama on exactly the same theme they were being didactic about in the first half of the episode (they could have done it on the next episode instead), which made it predictable thus unrealistic. At the end of the day, it was an episode which lacked ideas storywise.

  4. reverse says:

    mmmm this episode is mediocre.
    it look the animator reuse a lot background character in this series.

  5. JohnM says:

    As for the survivors getting ill.. I’m not surprised.. I’m even more surprised that they’ve gotten ill a bit later than what should be expected in situations like these. I’m from the medical field, and it has been a common observation that during disasters such as these, within 12-24 hours, there is sudden spike in the incidence of diarrhea, heatstroke, cough and colds, asthma exacerbations. One of the reasons are the physical and emotional stresses involved which take a toll on the body, Evacuation sites getting too crowded thus increasing the chances of a spread of certain illnesses such as your flu, the absence of potable water. So I’m not at all surprised. Perhaps, it may have been the pacing or editing of it all. If all of them have to be sick, it shouldn’t have been in successive episodes. But still, a good episode. I guess the meatier more emotional episodes are reserved for the climax.

  6. Denizen says:

    I think your comment regarding the last episode fits this one as well – very “anime”-ish. But I don’t think it’s particularly bad, or even tarnishes the show.

    The first bunch of episodes really took the most potential from the “aftermath” scenario, and now all that’s to be done is to close the character’s story – so I think it’s excusable for some episodic content now. and a bit more on the side of single character development or the exploration of a setting or a concept as a whole – this episode was both a look into the future of earthquake scenes and a “what-if” as well, the Robotaku was simply a device to make this exploration of the concept a bit more cogent. And as you said, there were lessons to be learnt as well.

    Whilst I think an easy criticism to make of Yuuki’s illness is that “it follows Mari’s illness”, I actually prefer the approach which forsakes typical storywriting dos and donts for plausible situations – you say you want more realism, but then raise questions about the impact of its storytelling – just because Mari got sick, that does not mean immunity for everyone else, that is not realistic. Mari is an adult who slept rough and Yuuki is a child who’s just going through alot, so I can legitimately see why such a similar thing could happen. It’s just a shame the general convention of anime plots is that where certain alternative directions are taken, they have to be defended.

    Ever since I heard of this anime I expected these sorts of episodes – earlier than they appeared, even, so it’s hardly a surprise to see them. All I can ask for is some more exploration into different concepts and a satisfying lead-up to an ending. With 11 episodes, it should hopefully all wrap up nicely.

  7. Forwho says:

    I think Yuuki’s illness is not just a sunstroke. Have you forgotten that his head was hit pretty badly when the Tokyo Tower went down? I think he might be suffering from a concussion from the injury then. Notice at one point of the time where they were resting at the house, Yuuki forgot what he has told Mirai about going to Odaiba to see the bridge? Maybe I’m just overthinking things. But if I’m not wrong, throwing up is one of the symptons of a concussion…no?

    I hope it’s not what I think it is because that means Yuuki’s condition is really serious and dangerous and may impair him in some way in future or perhaps even lead to death. :/

  8. Aevium says:

    Following Forwho’s argument, there was also a point in episode 5 where the three of them were sitting by that pool. While they’re watching Mr. Furuichi guide more people in there, Yuuki noticeably looks tired, touches the back of his head where he’s been hurt, and pulls his hand away to look at it. What I wanted to know is if he saw blood at that moment and hid it from Mari and Mirai.

    Yuuki doesn’t just have heatstroke. I think the creators have been subtly hinting that it’s been more than that throughout the course of the previous episodes. He hit his head pretty hard, and with the combination of exhaustion and a poor diet, it could and has proven to be fatal. I don’t believe Yuuki’s sickness came out of nowhere. Mari’s did, but not his. Plus consider the fact that he is a child–probably merely 5 or 6. He is vulnerable to a lot of things right now.

    Although I do think if they hadn’t included Mari’s sickness the episode before this wouldn’t have been repetitious. But as I said, at least his illness had a build up, and considering that, everything that’s happening to him right now is totally realistic.

  9. Perrin4869 says:

    Even though the previous two comments were very insightful, I’m not very sure the creators have the balls to kill Yuuki off… We’ll just have to wait and see!
    This episode really was a drop in quality though, with that annoying Robot otaku… Last episode wasn’t a drop in my opinion, it was still very good, but this one was.

  10. tracy says:

    I agree with the few people who suggested Yuki might have a concussion. They were dropping a lot of hints across the episode. (I did feel a twinge of “Are you going to die?” when Yuki said so hopefully “Let’s all go look at the bridge together” near the end.) I bet next episode will focus on the medical side as they try to find a doctor.

  11. meow says:

    I agree also. This seems to be an illustration of a possible serious injury that takes time to show symptoms. Let’s see, we’ve got possible bleeding in the head, fainting spells and vomiting…were there other clues? The vomiting was the scariest to me. I’m no doctor but I thought it might be some viral infection. How bad would it be if he had an open head wound that became infected….? He still seemed energetic though up to the last part. The announcer’s last update about rising casualties left a really ominous note.

    Regarding Kenta and the robots, I think it’s all part of the show’s purpose of highlighting various factors and issues involved in a real earthquake situation. I think robots like these might have already been implemented in Japan so this is just a message to all those robot-loving kids out there to not put themselves in danger over them and to leave them alone to do their job if the real thing were to ever happen.

  12. Ghostfriendly says:

    Backstories like Kentas are certainly pretty hackneyed; it wasn’t so bad since it made Mirai release she’s going through a similar value-changing incident herself.

    I think the focus of the last ep was Mari deciding whether or not to leave the children, so I don’t think it’s repeating itself.

  13. LK says:

    psgels, so quick to turn. This was the same with East of the Eden as well. It’s almost as if everyone gets hooks on a series and you have to unhook yourself from it in response. I think you got sick of Eden around the same part of the series as well. Which is a shame, because apart from your consistency on turning on a series, this is quite a good blog and still my favourite.

    Let’s break it down:

    1) The robots are actually pretty close to what we can actually achieve we robots. I enjoyed the fact that the robots aren’t what we think the robots should be. Def no Gundam super robots here. And robots will be tested come the next big quake, so it seems perfectly reasonable to field test them in a real situation. They’re obviously a little bit more advanced than what we currently have, but not by much.

    2) The kid was just hit by Tokyo Tower ffs. Cut him some slack. But seriously, like the other guy said, disease spread remarkably fast in an environment where many people are forced to be together. Basic disease 101 there, so I’m not surprised more people arn’t sick. We live in a sterile world these days with false assumptions. Pre-WW2 (pencillin and tetanus shots), you could guarantee alot more people would be seriously ill by now.

    So this show is still pretty spot on the money for the scenarios present when a magnitude 8.0 hits.

  14. Pearlholy says:

    =(, Well, to be honest with you, I took the heatstroke too lightly until I saw the 8th episode. I feel lame for not catching onto the subtle hints. Don’t feel to disappointed though. >_>;; I’d rather feel upset and tearing up over my desktop.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:32 AM)
    @Ninja: no I met most of them at Burning Man.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:23 AM)
    @Bam I see I just figured that if you had a lot of friends in KY you must have lived in the region.
    @Friend Yeah or involved desserts like Palmiers or Croissants. I actually am pretty decent at making croissants from scratch but it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    And that’s … The More You Know ;)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:19 AM)
    “Iran” originally means “the land of the Aryans”. The European settlers of Aryan decent are correctly labeled Indo-European as they traveled from north of India across Iran and the Caucasus mountain range (hence the term Caucasian) and settled in pastural lands in Europe. Hence we are the original white people. Go figure.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:14 AM)
    @K-off: some good-looking corn there m8.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @Ninja: No I’m Persian since I was originally born and raised in Tehran/Iran. I am mostly of Parthian decent with a quarter of Kurd in me. I have moved around the globe since I was 16 and now live in Sacramento California.
  • Friend
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @ninja Some party foods like the brochette dijon flambe are too hard for me to prepare/mass produce at home, so it’s definitely worth eating out for things like that O.o
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:10 AM)
    I’m not sure what’s with me and demonyms tonight, but don’t be offended since, they’re more of a term of endearment for me. But if you really are offended then chances are that you deserved it in the 1st place.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:08 AM)
    @Bam lol, it never came up. Are you a Southerner/Midwesterner as well?
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:07 AM)
    @Friend Yeah cooking is definitely a better deal most of the time. Although for certain kinds of food, you can get a surprisingly good deal eating out. But it also just feels empowering to cook for yourself.

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