Posted on 12 September 2009 with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



Oh my god. This episode was just… incredible. It’s because of episodes like this that I still remain a fan of anime, even after watching hundreds of series. It’s series as this one that just keep me coming back, and make it all worth it.

The way this episode played out… it just allowed for the best way to show Mirai coming to understand that her brother is actually dead. We knew this for a few episodes by now, so it wasn’t the revelation or shock of his death that made this episode so powerful, but instead it was just Mirai’s character who carried this entire episode. Yuki’s illusion started to waver when Mirai met Yuki’s best friend. I think that at first, she was unconsciously confusing the two boys with each other, and therefore didn’t see the two of them at the same time at first, but eventually she did start talking to Yuki once she got used to his friend being there.

The sad thing wasn’t just Mirai realizing the death of her brother, but rather the subtle differences between the dead Yuki and the remains of the real Yuki: the things he wrote and did when he was still alive. It was really heart-wrenching to see how Mirai unconsciously tried to fit in her image of Yuki with the things he did, still refusing to admit that he was dead.

Whether or not this is realistic, I don’t know. I’m not a psychiatrist, I can only relate to what sounds plausible to me. Still, at the same time that doesn’t mean that there’s no gray area. Anime for me has always been a combination between fiction and realism, with the more realistic, or I guess that “believable” is the better word, usually being the most enjoyable for me.

A slightly spoilerific example, but excellent to illustrate the decision of the creators to insert a not-so-realistic plot twist in this series is Porfy no Nagai Tabi. It’s in many areas similar to Tokyo Magnitude: both feature two siblings, caught up in an earthquake, both feature a lot of realism, both involve travelling to get back to a family member you’ve been torn apart from, and both have females who were left with mental illnesses after the quake (in Porfy’s case, Mina loses all of her personality and memory).

Anyway, Porfy no Nagai Tabi was also incredibly realistic. Perhaps even more than Tokyo Magnitude because its length is nearly five times larger. However, when the final arc starts, a plot twist happens that’s in no single way realistic. There’s no way for something that convenient to happen. Does it ruin the anime, however? No. Instead, it really allowed the characters to get the best out of their development. With Tokyo Magnitude it’s the same: sure, we may not often see perfectly realistic illusions of our dead ones around us. But does that make this series any less incredible? For me, it absolutely doesn’t!
Rating: **** (Fantastic)

72 Responses

  1. fireryone says:

    Amazing…
    They where able to make it heart wrenching even though you knew what was happening fro the last few episodes.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic? This episode was the one where the series jumped the shark. The creators just crossed the thin line that separates the moving from the pathetic (in the worst possible sense).
    Did they really need a whole episode to state the obvious? What a waste. This series was seriously good up until now. It had what a lot of show don’t even dare approach – subtlety. Now it’s just gone to shit. My intelligence really felt insulted from the episode. I’m sorry to say this, psgels, but if you can’t see the obvious, glaring flaws in this episode, I have to start questioning your tastes.

  3. psgels says:

    It’s good that you question my tastes, but I can’t really figure out your logic. I mean, what were you expecting? For Yuki to suddenly pop up and claim that he was alive again? I mean, I think everybody knew at this point that Yuki was dead. The thing that I really liked about this episode was that it slowly played out and let Mirai realize that she was living in a dream. “State the obvious”? For Mirai it certainly wasn’t.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “What you were expecting?”
    I was expecting subtlety, not to have Yuuki just plain out state for the dumb audiences that he’s dead.
    But I guess you’re right, I couldn’t expect anything else, and the creators dug themself into an hole with this choice of representing Yuuki’s death. It goes to show this “Sixth Sense” thing doesnt really work with a series, where after you see an episode you get a whole week to think about and discuss it with other people.

  5. Perrin4869 says:

    I was kind of expecting to watch Mirai speaking to the void, and then someone would snap her out of her hallucinations, but this worked just as well! I wonder how the finale is going to go, but it’s almost certain right now that this anime will not be forgotten anytime soon.

  6. AlexS says:

    I guess the point of this episode was not so much about Mirai realizing the death of her brother, but her understanding of who her brother really was, as an individual, instead of projecting on him the usual family roles (the annoying bratty brother).

    She just came to fully grasp the person she has just lost.

    This is by far my favorite series of this season, let’s just hope that the final provides a satisfactory closure.

  7. Reiter says:

    It was a bittersweet episode, and I do agree to a point with both sides that there is a bit of cheating going on as far as Mirai hallucinating her brother (the series was very realistic up until this part, even the robots seemed plausible but this, I don’t know), but at the same time you can feel the confusion and anguish from Mirai’s character when she finally realizes the truth. I hadn’t considered that she was projecting Yuki on to his friend; that seemed very possible. In the end, they did sacrifice some realism to explore Mirai’s character and I did like how she came to grips with all the little reminders of her brother’s life and the person she just lost. It’s far from perfect but it was emotional to watch just the same.

  8. Denizen says:

    Interesting point you made about Itsuki and Mayoi’s brothers – with another boy around, her illusion wavered because that space was already being filled by another similar personality.

    I really have to applaud this anime for still remaining thorough even when dealing with such a flexible concept.

  9. watashi says:

    I liked the episode. It was very sad. Episodes 2-3, 9-10 have been my favorites because of the emotional aspects. I would say Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 to be the next (or the first) 21st century anime classic!

  10. supertauren says:

    i still don’t really get how he died, he just kind of collapsed and died..?

  11. Odderkid says:

    I thought this episode was amazing. I mean, I wasn’t getting all emotional once Mirai finally realized what had happened to Yuuki because to the audience, it was sort of obvious after a time. But then Yuuki started talking and…gaaah. I was bawling. :( Yumiko Kobayashi is amazing in this role. Yuuki’s voice is so freaking awesome! >.

  12. psgels says:

    Supertauren: He died from “Crush Syndrome”, which can occur when people have been crushed by a heavy weight for a long time. Remember how Mirai found Yuki under that building in the second episode? That’s why he died.

  13. Perrin4869 says:

    I think that the part about confusing the two boys is wrong though. Yuuki disappeared not only when Mirai was around his friend, but also when she met her own friend from school. It was rather like the creators were dead set on having “Yuuki” tell Mirai that he’s dead by himself. Which worked great, although it took some more of the realism of this series, I guess.

    @Odderkid: The voice actress of Yuuki certainly is one of the highlights of the anime, it’s a job wonderfully done.

  14. Meep says:

    I also loved this episode. Very powerful indeed. I was watching it with someone, so I had to hold the tears back lol..but I for sure would have cried a little if by myself. And yeah Yuuki’s voice is so awesome.

  15. namaiki says:

    Crap.. I just read a huge spoiler and all of the comments about it..

  16. Ves says:

    Some of you observant watchers might not realise, not everyone reads comments online after watching every episode or is quick enough to catch on. I simply attributed Mari’s apprehensiveness to her worry over her family. I can safely say, the impact is really big if you’ve been watching the past few episodes hazily.

    Surprisingly, it was her “first experience” (being in a dark corridor with Yuuki’s body) that was real, and the surgery a fake. He probably died because he kept it to himself and didn’t get treated in time… poor thing.

  17. reverse says:

    mmmnnn the same “fantastic” ranting like last episode. yeah it true both episode are in a similar level. unless you exaggerate or those emotional stuff really hit you, and somehow it cloud your ranting/judgment, I don’t see this couple of episode being “fantastic”.
    well, at less you being consistent, that the only positive side I could see

    “Crush Syndrome” are you sure psgels
    based on the Yuuki Symptoms it look like a mere Dehydration to me

  18. Mike says:

    @reverse

    one of the episode “preview” at the end mentioned Crush Syndrome, so that’s what that’s from.

    Otherwise, the death certificate that Mirai was looking at states external injury – brain hemorrhage

  19. Zodiac Casino says:

    Great episode! I only wish people could enjoy the show for what it is, rather than nitpick the fine details :(

    Besides, isn’t the mark of a good series one that you can really connect with emotionally? -I- think so.

  20. Snowolf says:

    I agree with Zodiac- you shouldn’t nitpick the details and criticize them, but simply accept them for what they are. I loved the subtlety in this episode, as Mirai finally realizes slowly that her illusion is crashing down. And the face at teh end of the episode? Classic. Perfect, and it totally crushed me to tears. This show certainly, by far passes by the others in it’s outstanding, heartwrenching emotional scenes and in portraying what could really happen when disaster strikes unexpectedly. I wonder what Mirai will do now…

    I have to say though, that this show really has grown on me. When I watched the first episode I thought it’d be about a young girl complaining about earthquakes, but it’s totally surpassed all of my expectations and has grown into a fully fledged adult-themed anime that’s really precious and is amazing. Let’s just hope it stays that way till the end.

  21. reverse says:

    why not criticize it, you guy obviously got caught up in emotional web. to even make a fair judgment
    it not like I being mean to this show.

  22. SeriousPerson says:

    I think this whole episode just shows plainly how weak the whole Mirai delusion thing was, because they probably could have written it out and this would have been rather dramatic. The classroom scene was a really good opportunity to have Mirai in a moment where she could really reflect on Yuuki’s death, without distraction, and properly mourn. Instead we get this whole contrived, stretched-out back-and-forth with Yuuki appearing every time Mirai was alone that just came off as really awkward.

    You guys realize that delusions don’t work that way, right? I mean imaginary Yuuki knew information Mirai wasn’t aware of, that is just fucking ridiculous. TM 8.0 was supposed to be a realistic look at the aftermath of monstrously deadly earthquake and while mental problems with survivors is a real issue, the ”Yuuki” thing went over the top.

  23. Frost says:

    Ill have to agree with Anonymous (lol), although he was too harsh, but its how I felt watching this episode: dumb

    We knew he was dead since episode 8, which by the way was executed perfectly, because as he pointed out, it was SUBTLE… but this.. is just unecessary

    Its like that really great joke with a crappy punchline that ruins the whole thing

  24. Sywen says:

    exaggerated? I think not. How old is that girl? she lost her brother at a time where she is alone, she has no idea where her parents are, or even if they are alive. the only person she could rely on has her thoughts more at her own daughter then at Mirai. She effectively had no one to confide to or to rely on for days after her brother died.

    so i really don’t think its much exagerated. any kid would be seriously fucked up by that.

  25. Sywen says:

    note: and i am not even starting on post traumatic stress..

  26. Mayo says:

    Can we pinpoint an exact time or episode then when Mirai’s repressed memory of Yuuki’s death actually occured? I just wonder how far back it had been. I assumed it was sometime after episode 8, when Yuuki fell ill, and instead of him actually recovering, he had actually died. But if it is crush syndrome, then I guess it could have been even earlier in the series. And that’s just disturbing. It’s a wonder to me why Mari allowed Mirai to go home by herself in episode 9, but it’s understandble given that she didn’t want to be separated from her now located daugher. But I can’t help picturing that for two episodes at least, Mirai was actually talking to no one, experiencing some sort of psychotic break, and Mari, very guiltily, allowed it go on as long as it did, help carry the illusion along, perhaps knowing that Mirai wouldn’t have the will to go back home without the belief that Yuuki was still around.

    This episode definitely impressed. I’m usually a big fan of (pardon my french) mindfuck episodes. I agree with psgels that the episode wasn’t so much about discovering that Yuuki was dead (it was already implied), but learning about who he was prior to the earthquake, because Mirai never really dished out much of an effort, selfishly preoccupied with all her petty, “woe-is-me” teenage problems. As an older sibiling, I found that portrayed realistically. Geez, the part about the odaiba bridge and how she wanted to spend more time with Yuuki for the rest of the summer had me going. As usual, important realizations like that come too damn late and that’s as realistic as it gets. You don’t what you have have until it’s gone.

  27. dickens says:

    @ Sywen

    No, it’s exaggerated. Healthy people do not start seeing consistent, unyielding multisensory hallucinations of dead people, that is something that happens in movies. Sibling bereavement is a tough issue which affects people harshly. However, the furthest that normal people go is RARELY having BRIEF visions. Not seeing the walking talking reincarnation of your sibling. That is pure exaggeration.

    Which is my beef with this show. The first half was realistic and grounded in a sense of believability. This was like watching a real group of people go through the effects of an earthquake. It was realistic, not uber-dramatic with people screaming and jumping out of the way of debris.

    And then now in this half of the anime, the writers suddenly go down the cliched trope route with kids falling down and dying, their sisters seeing their ghosts, I can’t even count how many times they pulled the “they’re did – oh wait they’re alive!” cliche.

    And then in this episode 10, with Yuuki disappearing and reappearing every five minutes to wind down to the oh-so-subtle revelation, god it all is so manipulative. What happened to that down-to-earth series this started off as? And what’s with that stupid message at the beginning that says “Tokyo Magnitude strives for a sense of realism”. Right….it’s just another cliched B-movie style story…

  28. otakubaka says:

    Woah big spoiler!! i stopped at like episode 3 because it was really boring. But after reading this, I might just have to catch up!

  29. Todd says:

    bashing everything seems to be the hip thing to do nowadays…

  30. m says:

    I don’t think the model for this show was ever realistic given the amount of destruction visited upon such a densely populated city. There are relatively few refugees. We see none of the environmental damage of collapsed structures, industrial fires, or broken gas and sewage lines. Where is the spread of disease among the refugees living without proper sanitation? Why does the only break down in the social compact take the form of less shoving than you get on a busy train?
    Then of course our characters just happen to be next to every building that is going to collapse days after the earthquake. The survivors should be putting up signs telling them not come near, because they can’t deal with the Main Character Aftershocks.

    Compared to the normal anime, this is pretty believable. I think of it like I did its Noitamina sibling Eden of the East: an animated drama depicted in a near-future world built upon a lot of simplifying assumptions to maintain the dramatic formula. I don’t take the prologue of every episode any more seriously than would the claims of a made for television dramatization of “true events.”

    I look at the quality of the story in terms of how much sense it makes given the characters and the world they have constructed. Otherwise I would have stopped watching in the middle of the second episode, and never would have gotten to the exaggerated robots and the hallucinations.

  31. Mappy says:

    I kinda saw this as Mira’s subconscious finally having to drag her, kicking and screaming, to the reality of Yuuki’s death, because by this stage she had to have been consciously willing the illusion to continue. But it does occasionally bust the willing suspension of disbelief, which has been a weakness of this part of TM8′s plotting. Not that good when you’re dealing with something that purports to be as realistic a dramatic portrayal of such an earthquake and its aftermath.

    But then, most of those who criticise the show for these things seem to be part of the “dropped this show before episode 1″ brigade, anyway.

  32. Mayo says:

    I mean if we’re really going to criticize the anime for being realistic, then the anime’s crap right around the second episode. It’s hard to believe that Mirai and Yuuki managed to dodge nearly every falling obstacle/projectile that came their way, on the boat ride from Odaiba to the fall of the Tokyo tower. Hell, it might even be considered cheap that Yuuki hadn’t even demonstrated any physical signs of Crush Syndrome until episode 8, that the audience hadn’t received any increasing visual cues that he was at least starting to feel the effects of having a considerable amount of weight fall on him for a period of time.

    The anime “strives” for a sense of realism, but it doesn’t promise reality. Right from the get go it says it’s a “work of fiction,” and that “circumstances may be different from the real thing.” Artisitic liberties have to be taken, if only to serve to drive an important point home with the right, desired amount of emotional impact which is clearly what the show was trying to do for Yuuki’s death. It’s been done over and over with books and movies. However, I can understand how it can be seen as contrived, emotionally manipulative, trite, even pseudo-intelligent. I’m actually wondering how it would have gone if they just had Mirai accept Yuuki’s death right from the get go. Less dramatic maybe? But more poignant and emotionally shattering without all the unnecessary mental theatrics? Probably.

    But I agree with Reiter’s point that this route was taken to create a touching and affecting (touching and affecting in my opinion anyway) way for Mirai to really learn about and reflect on the little brother she’d taken for granted (the imagined-Yuuki had lead her to his classroom), and then after all that, to finally, truly say goodbye. But to each their own, respectfully.

  33. dickens says:

    @Mappy

    Take a look at the Animesuki boards. Nearly all of the people criticising the show were its biggest fans prior to episode 7 or so. And it’s the people who were bored after episode 1 who are suddenly saying “wow! I love this show now” after the cliches piled on.

    @Todd

    meaningless generalizations that add nothing to a discussion seem to be the hip thing to do nowadays…

  34. Howling-kun says:

    BONES ruins the plot’s progression once again. Good job destroying the subtlety of it all.
    Dropped from possible Top 5 to barely Top 10 of the year for me.
    What now? Reset ending? HAR HAR HAR

  35. AKI says:

    Although I agree that the majority of the scenes here are unnecessary, this episode is a fairly good watch, cried a bit at the end. We can’t blame Mirai for the hallucinations (or the writers who thought of the idea). Who among you lost a brother/sister at ten something? Did you really know what a kid’s going through especially after a traumatic experience. I don’t, that’s why I just shut up and watch and let my emotions decide.

  36. tracy says:

    Yuuki both seems like Mirai’s delusion but also his “actions” in her delusion make me think he is almost ghost-like, because he is often leading her/pushing her to do things (often the right thing.)

    For instance, Yuki says “let’s keep searching for Hina” and pushes her to do that, even after Mari is sitting crestfallen by those unknown bodies. Yuki runs ahead to the school in ep.10, and by chasing him, Mirai (and Itsuki) come upon Yuki’s things and she learns more about him. And then even in the end, he instructs her to go after Itsuki into the house, and even as the aftershock is happening, it’s where he’s crouching that guides her and Itsuki to a safe place when the house falls apart.

    Which made me wonder if Yuki is a ghost that only she can see, or her subconscious is trying to get her to do something, and the voice is through the vision of Yuki. (And then in the end, it’s Yuki- a ghost or her subconscious- that has finally reached a point to bring in the truth that Yuki is dead.)

  37. Sywen says:

    @ Dickens

    thats my point, she isn’t even close to “healthy”. I urge you to read up on (complex)post traumatic stress disorders, survivors guilt, emotional dysregulations and such. And don’t forget: It’s a child, and still doesn’t recieve any mental help at all.

  38. Rinyal says:

    I think I was one of the few people obvious to all the signs that Yuuki was dead till this episode started. lol Got too absorbed in the saw kinda didn’t notice it at all. Basically cried or teared up for this show more than half of the episodes. XD; Or maybe I subconsciously didn’t want to accept it like Mirai. I know as soon as the episode started I was like “Why does Yuuki have his book bag? I though I saw Mari holding onto it the last ep.?…” That’s why I think Yuuki’s death hit me so hard as I was starting to piece it with Mirai until it was finally blurted out at the end. It was an extremely amazing episode though.

  39. dickens says:

    @ Sywen

    No, she’s healthy. When I say healthy I don’t mean “currently happy” or “not in shock”. It means she doesn’t have a prior history of being a nutcase, which is what would be necessary for her sudden descent into straitjacket lunacy to be believable.

    I don’t need to read up on anything, I study this stuff full-time. Normal people do NOT see ghosts of their dead siblings. Post-traumatic stress disorder can manifest in hallucinations or visions, but never constant multisensory delusions – aka walking talking ghosts.

    It’s the same problem as with CSI and Law and Order – people are conditioned to thinking that detective work is really that perfect. Similarly, Hollywood movies have conditioned people to think that being stressed or going through a traumatic effect can make everyone walk and talk with ghosts and go insane. It just doesn’t happen to normal people. If Mirai had a history of mental disorder, okay, it’s believable.

  40. psgels says:

    Reading this discussion, I think that the biggest mistake the creators made is putting that disclaimer on front. Not only is it going to make people more sceptical than usual due to these expectations, but doesn’t it also rather sound somewhat pretentious? I really enjoyed this series, but I really wonder why the creators didn’t let the viewers themselves decide whether or not it’s realistic.

  41. juu says:

    I thought showing Yuki all the time was mostly a mean to emphasize Mirai’s denial of Yuki’s death. I mean they could have shown Mirai talking to the air but by animating him they could show what Mirai imagined Yuki would do… like when he smiles or something… I, at least, don’t know how the creators should have shown Mirai imagining Yuki to smile in a moment without animating it.

    even if it was more realistic if she just talked to the air or something…

  42. AlexS says:

    This is a recap of the debate on realism and suspension of disbelief we had a few weeks ago, with the same inconclusive results.

    The disclaimer is ambitious, but not preposterous: It’s quite obvious that the research focused on aspects surrounding a massive earthquake (geophysical, logistic, humanitarian), and not an impartial filming of the actors, a kind of reality show during an earth quake.

    As mentioned in the disclaimer, this is not a documentary, it’s a work of fiction. This implies that there will be storytelling, and artifacts associated to the storytelling techniques, as a applied to anime. To be radically realistic, there should be no pictures of dreams of people (no mind’s view), and I’m sure some people would even take issue with flash backs. What people find acceptable will differ according to their tastes.

    For instance, nobody seems to have an issue that the events surrounding the characters are obviously designed to showcase in an extensive way the events surrounding an earthquake. Is this realistic? Of course not, it’s a common and accepted artifact.

    What people seem to have huge problems with is the use of images to portrait the subjective reality of a character. How do you render visually the reality of a character when it differs from the consensus reality? I think there are two options: either you show the impact of the altered reality on the behavior of the character, or you show the reality as perceived by the character, in a way that is meaningful for anime.

    If we take the scenes of Yuuki as face value, I also think they are not realistic. If Mirai was only suffering from hallucinations, her behavior would not make any sense. She would just be creeped out, pick out inconsistencies, and try to find whether the hallucinations are real or not.

    Now if we start with the idea that Mirai is in denial, it’s a very different matter. She’s not having hallucinations (or then rather brief). She’s actively denying reality, and trying to cover it up. How do you portrait that in anime?

    You can take the classical objective view, and let Mirai mutter by herself alone in the streets (which is not such a rare sight, in big towns). The other option, enabled by anime, is to portray this altered reality. Which does not mean that what we see corresponds to what the visual field of the character captures, but the rationalizations that the brain produces to maintain its course.

    We are seeing rationalizations, not hallucinations. Rationalizations are not pictures, but they can be turned into pictures, in a visual medium such as anime.

    Anyone with a shred of experience in psychology knows that the brain rationalizes a good deal of what we consider reality, and that this rationalization can sometimes go very wrong. Anime allows you to easily describe that rationalization, which is interesting.

    At the end of the day, denial exists, and that’s enough for me (but does not need to be enough for others). The fact that the anime tries to make us experience this denial from the subjective view of Mirai is an interesting experiment, and if they can also use it to further develop the characters, why not?

  43. Denizen says:

    The sort of people who complain about Yuuki’s death and delusions “being drawn out” are the sort of people with the inability to look deeper. Yes it was a central theme some of the time, but there were other points of focus the whole time – still there to develop the characters and the earthquake setting. Whether it was Mari’s personality, her family, Mirai’s memories of her brother, how she met her friends again, etc. It was still several things at once, not a drawn-out melodrama until the final breaking point.

  44. Tiago Sá says:

    As I said before, I’m starting to dislike the series. Not that it’s bad per se, it’s just that it isn’t clear on what it’s trying to be. Is it drama, is it tragedy, is it adventure?

    Before, in the first episodes, we knew that anything could happen at any moment. In fact, anything DID happen at any moment, and, as silly as that is, as implausible as it presents itself, it works well with well thought out characters and setting. This episode, however, just extrapolates that uncertainty the spectator feels, the uncertainty the series gives off. You don’t know what’s what, you don’t know what to expect, and that’s not fun to watch, for me. At all.

    It can still be pretty good, although the ending will make or break it, basically.

    Besides, there is absolutely no meaning in this exercise of illusion. There’s absolutely no advantage in trying to trick the spectator into having the same illusion Mirai had. It would be much more powerful to tell the spectator right away she was having an illusion and whatnot. Because in the cases of those who, like me, didn’t get it at first, they loose all the goodness and the subtlety of what Mari said, and how people reacted (not) to Yuuki. I ended up having to rewatch the episodes… And I did miss a lot on my first watches, as I saw then.

    As I said, no point at all.

  45. Mayo says:

    Lol, psgels is right about that bloody disclaimer. They kind of dug themselves into a little bit of a hole.

    Completely agree with what a few of the posters above me said. If we stop seeing the-not-really-there Yuuki as an actual hallucination, but more of a plot device or a vehicle to illustrate Mirai’s active denial of his death, then it works. How else could you portray something like that in a visual medium? And effectively? The beauty of what the show did was that for me it felt like I was right there with Mirai in her persistent, unhealthy but natural refusal to accept his death. We all knew he was dead, but the fact that Mirai kept entertaining this reality where he was still alive and smiling and happy made us hope and cling to that image of him like she did even though there were clear signs that told us he was no longer there. Denial and illusions work when you want so desperately to believe them, and despite the glaringly obvious, as a viewer I couldn’t help but trick myself like Mirai did even for just a scene or two. Which made that last scene absolutely stunning in its finality. Yuuki’s dead and gone. There’s no denying it, it was time to stop denying it.

    Honestly can’t wait to see how they’re going to end this awesome show!

  46. m says:

    The delusions of Yuuki aren’t pointless. They are there to exaggerate the emotional impact on the viewer, both in providing ambiguity over the ultimate outcome (letting the audience experience its own sense of denial), and increasing the audience’s investment in the character and Mirai’s sense of loss when the illusion ends. It also motivates a few of the scenes and rationalizes Mirai’s personality changes. I also don’t think an audience that didn’t experience the nature of Mirai’s delusion in full would think much of a scene in which Mirai follows a little boy into a ruined building that nearly kills him. I suspect they would hate that “crazy bitch” with the intensity of a thousand stars, because her delusions would be too far removed from the audience’s own experience to empathize with her. It is a cruel bit of knife-twisting they engage in doing it this way, but that’s just what happens when a character’s oneechans/minute goes critical.

    It may not work for you, but it’s still a useful bit of dramatic flourish. They could have gone in a different direction for sure, and from the very beginning they could have left out all of the dramatic embellishments that they used to provide conflict, but the show may have been boring as a result.

    However I am certainly not trying to argue you into liking the progression of the story. I don’t like a lot of anime writing myself, to the extent that I often wonder why anyone would waste the enormous number of man-hours it takes to compose even 20 minutes of animation without first filling in giant plot holes and making sure there’s a beginning middle and end to the story.

  47. PL says:

    From the DSM IV, the diagnostic standard used by all psychiatrists in the US:
    Brief Psychotic Disorder
    Category
    Psychotic Disorders
    Etiology
    The cause of this disorder is typically an extremely stressful event or trauma.
    Symptoms
    Presence of psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and/or disorganized behavior) which lasts at least one day but no more than one month.
    Treatment
    Supportive therapy or interpersonal relationships and at times medication.
    Prognosis
    Very good. By definition, the disorder will resolve itself within one month. If the symptoms last more than one month, the diagnosis needs to be reconsidered as does prognosis.

    …While this disease is uncommon, it certainly isn’t beyond belief for a young girl whose lived through extreme trauma for an extended period of time to experience it. And, no prior history of mental illness is required, this can happen to anyone.

  48. Mappy says:

    I’m reminded of the 80′s UK tv series, Edge of Darkness, where Bob Peck’s character, Craven, constantly has visions of his dead daughter, including conversing and interacting with her, after seeing her murdered in front of him in the first episode. He knows she’s dead, but her phantom almost becomes a vehicle, a guide, for him as he looks into the conspiracy that lead to her killing. And she never really goes away, just fades into the background.

    In many ways, the use of Yuuki’s phantom delusion is similar in the immediate wake of his death in that he seemed to become a representation of newfound strengths in Mirai’s character, making her do things on the basis of, what amounts to, no possible prior knowledge or belief. What is different is the way in which it is portrayed. If Yuuki had been an obvious phantom, even to herself, that she would converse with as a kind of protective denial because events have spiraled far too far and far too quickly for her young mind to deal with, then we probably wouldn’t be having this argument. It seems to be the very attempt at subtlety that has caught BONES out, here, because it was ham-fisted. Which sounds a bit contrary, I know, but we’ve been discussing this for weeks, and the final revelation was a bit like opening a birthday present with transparent wrapping. We already knew what we were going to get. Just making Yuuki an element of her grief would probably have been fine, and a whole lot simpler than what they tried to do. And would probably have given masonry an extra opportunity to drop on her. My aforementioned fears that we might get an “it’s all a dream” finale still holds true, right now, considering anime studios love of trolling.

  49. Tiago Sá says:

    We all knew he was dead

    No we didn’t… -_- “We” (not including myself, mind you) guess he was dead, but there’s a clear intention of the series of not confirming it straight away.

    Yuuki’s dead and gone. There’s no denying it, it was time to stop denying it.

    From the plot’s standpoint, seeing as it’s all made of fantasy and ghosts, he’s not actually gone. She talks with the ghost, at least, and he’s still an active character, even if he’s not alive. Remember: anime, most of the time, don’t depict reality as it is.

    They are there to exaggerate the emotional impact on the viewer, both in providing ambiguity over the ultimate outcome (letting the audience experience its own sense of denial)

    That’s my point. There’s no denial at all! You either guess he’s dead and it’s all an hallucination, and then the series shows you all those hints and you KNOW he’s dead (in which case there’s no denial for the audience), or you take what the series shows you as the truth and believe it was all a dream (because it actually was, the first death scene, in a sense) and he’s alive because he’s right there! In which case there’s no denial because you have no clue whatsoever and the series doesn’t go out of its way, as it should, to tell the unsuspecting viewer that not all that’s shown on screen is true, and that, NOW, we’re seeing things from Mirai’s point of view, which was certainly not the case in the previous episodes. It’s a literally technique that has to be used with coherence and care, because, for all means and purposes, the narrator of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 totally changed stances from ep 8 onward. By narrator I mean the cinematografic proverbial narrator, not the de facto narrator, which, I think, is non-existent, or mute, at best.

    and increasing the audience’s investment in the character and Mirai’s sense of loss when the illusion ends.

    Indeed, but that totally backfires, as the sense of loss of those who figured yuuki died is attenuated by the fact that he keeps appearing on screen and actively interacting with Mirai, and the sense of loss of those who DIDN’T figure it out is attenuated too because they figure it all out during ep 10, in which case the previous two episodes work retroactively to attenuate the meta-pain of loss…

    It also motivates a few of the scenes and rationalizes Mirai’s personality changes.

    Oh, totally, and in that point it works flawlessly, and it completely saves the plot maneuver, really. I believe it is very enjoyable for those who figure it out from the beginning, but for those who don’t, those scenes can only be enjoyed in hindsight (which works only to a degree) or by rewatching the previous eps. = not good practice, because you’re effectively leaving a portion of your watchers off the party.

    I suspect they would hate that “crazy bitch” with the intensity of a thousand stars, because her delusions would be too far removed from the audience’s own experience to empathize with her.

    If that were the case, they wouldn’t have provided the hints to begin with. I believe you’re opposing what they have done with a very bad way of clearing showing it’s an illusion…

    the show may have been boring as a result

    Plot twists and suspense doesn’t make a show more or less boring, just as explosions don’t make a show more or less exciting. They may work for some people, though.

    I mean, TM8.0 is pretty boring all in all… Hopefully it won’t turn into yet another no-climax-no-point-no-meaning BS that only entertains because… Well, TM8.0 certainly entertains, and it’s very well done, as an anime, no doubt about that. But the final ep will, in my view, make or break the series, in terms of overall plotline.

    However I am certainly not trying to argue you into liking the progression of the story. I don’t like a lot of anime writing myself, to the extent that I often wonder why anyone would waste the enormous number of man-hours it takes to compose even 20 minutes of animation without first filling in giant plot holes and making sure there’s a beginning middle and end to the story.

    Hihi, it’s not like TM8.0 has many plotholes. In fact, I can’t see any at all :P I have not made my mind yet about the plot. It’s not that I don’t like it already, otherwise I wouldn’t watch the final ep. It’s just that I can’t see many ways of making the final ep wrap it all up into an epic piece of awesomeness. They may pull if off, of course. In terms of how much I like the story progression, that is.

  50. Keith says:

    I can understand the arguments and debates going on about the realism of this show. However, realism isn’t really what I expected from this after about the second episode. I mean, is it realistic for our protagonists to narrowly avoid being crushed by EVERY piece of loose/falling debris and crumbling buildings, even days after the initial destruction has occurred? It’s not, so I accepted that and moved on, because the show had more to offer.

    What I don’t like about this show is how dragged out the Yuuki hallucinations/rationalizations got. What could have been a powerful episode became 20 minutes of Mirai looking for Yuuki after he disappears every other minute. It didn’t build up to Mirai’s eventual realization that he was dead at ALL.

    Honestly, the parts that I liked most about Yuuki’s death were other people’s reactions to Mirai. Like how Mari kept a distance from her. THAT was powerful. It was pure body language that told the story for us and made us think a bit.

    All this episode was was hide and go seek with a hallucination.

  51. dickens says:

    @PL

    I don’t know how many times this has to be repeated, but walk into a psychology class and ask for the common definition of delusion or hallucination. If you tell them you think it means walking and talking with the ghost of your dead sibling for hours and hours, they will laugh at you.

    You can say you like this trope, but it’s just movie cliche, not believable, get over it.

  52. Solaris says:

    Wow, how many comments to state the obvious: this anime is realistic. Or maybe not? I’d like to make the same question nobody answered (except one guy) some time ago:
    what do you really think realism mean?

    Hint: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realism_(arts)

    When you read a novel or watch a movie you’re taking a trip in someone’s immagination. The world depicted is fantastic and has its own rules. A realistic world tend to mimic a real world’s rules, but it’s a fantasy creation itself. Many events are put there with art to let the plot advance, but aren’t really realistic turns of events. Some of these plot devices may look less realistic, but then it’s our turn to trust enough the writer avoiding judgement and taking that particular event as it is. That’s called suspension of disbelief. It’s a matter on how much we want to belive the plot is realistic, more than how much the plot is actually realistic.

    Natural laws are always presented as real in a realistic world, but are bent whenever the plot needed them to be bent.
    You said Mirai delusions aren’t that realistic. Well maybe that’s true, but try to bend a little your suspended disbelief. That reaction is functinal to the plot and enough realistic to be considered genuine. Three full episodes past on this delusion may be too many, but were so useful to flesh out the changes in Mirai’s attitude and other’s char attitude toward her. It was not a waste, after all. There was no need for exagerated realism, but to a convenient plot device to concentrate on Mirai’s intimate world and feeling. Think about it.

  53. PL says:

    I’ve done graduate work in psychology. A delusion is a hallucination you believe to be real, and is often multi-sensory. I think your the one who needs to quit thinking the General Psychology course you took for an elective makes you a know-it-all.

  54. reverse says:

    @ dickens just like you says it just a movie cliche
    how could someone have a consistent hallucination, just beyond me.

    I don’t really care that much whatever it real or not. just how it being execute, I would say it wasn’t particularly good. yuuki dead being so cheap , they could handle it better

  55. Anon says:

    @Solaris

    If I suspend my disbelief far enough, everything that has happened so far to Mirai is just a dream. The earthquake never happened.

    You see, you’re right in that for suspension of disbelief to work, the work of fiction must stay consistent with its own self-imposed rules.

    And as far as I’m concerned, TM8 has totally wrecked its own premise of “realism”. Which totally destroys my ability to suspend disbelief.

    As someone else said above, I probably wouldn’t have minded Yuuki being a projection of Mirai’s denial — IF, and ONLY IF, the creators hadn’t been so damned ham-fisted and clumsy in its execution. And no, this is not because of my inability to “look deeper”, but an honest reaction. I feel cheated, and insulted, by the producers.

  56. PL says:

    I’m sorry it was rude how I said that, but I think you are a little too sold on your own ideas about what are and are not hallucinations. I’ve worked with many people who experienced extremely vivid hallucinations and delusions, and studied this subject matter pretty thoroughly. The type of hallucination/delusion Mirai was having are rare for a non-schizoid person, but not out of the real of possibility given the stressors she’s been exposed to.

  57. Solaris says:

    I admit that plot device bends a lot the self imposed realism, but, come on, there are other animes that really did much worse than this. The idea of Mirai going insane and Yuuki KO is quite daring, if you let me say that. Real few anime play with its main char this way and aren’t afraid of killing them. I repeat that this delusion was maybe forced and way too long, but was useful in the very end to the plot advance, so let’s take a look on how the story finishes and try to enjoy the show to the end.

  58. Anon says:

    @Solaris

    Comparing TM8, the way I currently see it, with “worse” anime out there doesn’t make it any less awful to me, you know. In fact, it’s a bit sad to even have to do that.

    It’s not as though anime dealing with hallucinations and paranoia don’t exist. There’s Perfect Blue, for example, as well as Paprika. Both of these movies make full use of animation as a medium for portraying insanity and extreme fantasy, and they happen to do it way more effectively than it was done here in TM8.

    So, please, don’t use the lame argument of how other anime has done it worse. It’s far more constructive to see how anime has made such plot devices _work_. And, TM8, in my opinion, is a a _bad_ example.

    Given that all suspension of disbelief has already been ruined for me, it’s difficult for me to even enjoy TM8 in its current form. I don’t really care either way how it ends now. I’m merely continuing for the sake of closure.

  59. AlexS says:

    Waw, it’s amazing how some people can be aggravated by TM8… In a sense, it’s a tribute to the show: they must have done something right, to elicit such an emotional investment.

    Initially, I was taken aback by this episode. Not because of Yuuki’s presence, but because there was no plot advancement. But thinking back on how I could structure this episode, I thought in the end I would not change it so much: I would have given more screen time to blanked out period between Yuuki’s admission and the time when Mirai fell asleep on the sleeping bag. In this way one would see the drama of the event, and illustrate a bit more medical operations overstretched by a disaster emergency. But they do show that time, so it’s not a fundamental change.

    It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the next episode. We (think) we know what will happen: the meeting of Mirai and parents, the agonizing about Yuuki’s fate, and the return of Yuuki’s bag, given or sent by Mari. What will be interesting is the execution, rather than the content of the episode

  60. m says:

    I don’t really know anything about the prevalence visual hallucinations, nor how frequently they occur in people as a result of trauma rather than persistent mental disease. The extent of my experience with delusional behavior doesn’t include visual hallucinations.

    Shortly after my older sister’s husband died she appeared at my home one day. I didn’t pay any attention to this, even though it was unusual. I continued at the task I was engaged in when she arrived and she proceeded to another room. After about ten minutes she came running back to me and said something that seemed incoherent about being mentioned on the radio. For a moment I thought she had actually committed some crime severe enough that it would be mentioned on the radio. Alerted by the prospect that she had done something terrible, I went along with her to listen to the radio, which it turned out had not been tuned to any station’s frequency. She then began to elaborate and said that they had been talking about her and her dead husband on the radio. Relieved that she had not run someone down or something on her way to my home, it crossed my mind that she was playing some kind of cruel prank on me. I already had a well-known antipathy for her, and it was only the nature of her loss that had kept me from expelling her when she arrived, so I just left her to the radio and returned to my previous endeavors hoping that she would leave of her own accord. Then after a period of maybe a dozen minutes she came to me again and started telling me about more things they had been saying about her dead husband on the radio, and at this point my sympathy toward her predicament was running thin. Still it is surprisingly difficult to dispense with empathy, so I simply told her that I was busy and that she must be mistaken. She then return to the other room to listen to the radio further. After thinking about the issue further I considered the possibility that she wasn’t acting this way for attention, but had simply lost her mind. I decided to observe her behavior without her knowledge, and stood outside the door to the room she was in and listened to her as she talked to the radio that was simply emitting static. This naturally led me to contact some other family members, one of whom arranged for her to be screened, and ultimately resulted in her spending a week in a mental hospital. At one point she was entirely convinced that she could hear the blades of the fan at the mental hospital talking about her dead husband.

    After she was released she went on with her life, and as far as I know has never had any similar experiences.

  61. dickens says:

    @ PL

    I don’t want to get into the “hay my credentials are better than yours thus my opinion is right” e-peen war, but I have nothing to add more than my previous post. Hallucinations caused by traumatic events are nowhere near interacting with the walking talking ghost of your dead brother for hours. The former happens, the latter doesn’t except in people with history of mental illness. People who watch too many movies are conditioned to think it’s believable.

    To all others, I’m not saying that I hate TM8 just because it’s not 100% realistic to the tee.

    I don’t like it personally because I feel like the sudden descent into tropeism and cliche (for example, how many times has the show pulled the “they’re dead! Oh wait, they’re alive!” schtick now? three times?) clashes too greatly with the relatively down-to-earth portrayal of disaster aftermath in the first half. Jarring changes in a show end up feeling artificial and reduce my emotional attachment a story, because it feels too much like the work of writers.

    That’s all there is to my opinion.

    @AlexS – The 9/11 bombers aggravated a lot of people too, so I guess they did something right.

    Okay, I’m not actually comparing TM8 to terrorism, but the reason that TM8 aggravates a lot of people, espeially on Animesuki forum, is that a lot of us were HUGE fans of the show in the first half. It was my favourite show of the summer season until a few episodes ago. When you love a show and then it does something you hate, of course it aggravates you. A lot more than just an average show that starts to suck.

  62. AlexS says:

    @dickens
    “@AlexS – The 9/11 bombers aggravated a lot of people too, so I guess they did something right.”
    Now that’s a serious push towards Goodwin’s point. Allow me to ignore it, since I won’t discuss 9/11 with you.

    “the reason that TM8 aggravates a lot of people [...] is that a lot of us were HUGE fans of the show in the first half.”
    Isn’t that what I meant? They must have done something right, for you to be a huge fan of the first half.

    What did they did right, in your opinion, that made you like the first half so much?

  63. dickens says:

    Yes, because I was seriously invoking 9/11, as the sentence which directly follows that one so obviously proves.

    And I’ve already stated what I liked about TM8. It was around when Yuuki cinematically pushed Mirai out of the way of falling Tokyo Tower debris that I had the inkling it would be going downhill.

  64. Fluca says:

    I am speechless. Seriously guys, did none of you catch the fact that Yuuki was actively leading Mirai throughout the last two episodes? I mean, he was the one that urged Mirai to keep looking for Mari’s daughter. He was the one that went on ahead searching for their family. He was the one that told Mirai to go inside his friend house in order to bring him back outside and also, Mari only moved from where she was before part of the house collapsed because she went to grab Yuuki.
    Now, that being said, it is really obvious, to me at least, that his presence was not a contrived way to show her coming to terms with his death, but, in fact, a way to show his “spirit”/”presence” looking after the ones he cared even after death.
    Does this moves the show away from realism? Perhaps, depending on what you believe in. But I’m pretty sure that the last episode will be about Mirai’s thoughts about how her brother was such a nice spirit that he managed to be there for her and his friends even when it was “impossible” for him to do so.
    In my view, this does not detract but rather add to de poignancy of the show.

  65. Fluca says:

    Oh, and also, I’m betting she will be a robot designer. ;)

  66. riddle says:

    this is an anime and a very good one. there is no need to critisice it, if you don’t like it don’t watch it simple.
    i think it was good.i have watched many animes and this is probably one of the best i have watch.
    it is possible for halluncinations like Mirai’s to happened, it happen to one of my family members. so this show followed “reality” quite well.

  67. Julian says:

    @Riddle:Yeah or dream about your loved ones who died…it’s perfectly normal to hallucinate or dream of them.

  68. Julian says:

    @Riddle:Yeah or dream about your loved ones who died…it’s perfectly normal to hallucinate or dream of them.

  69. Solaris says:

    Will you just stop arguing how Mirai’s mental illness would be normal irl or similar to some of your past experiences? That makes no sense.

    Just stick on the fact that they pictured a girl with a mental illness in this anime. It could be depicted in a more or less “realistic” way, so judge how this fact is beliveable and is related to other events in the anime universe itself.
    It is pointless to compare it to real life events.

  70. Simon says:

    Wow, this episode totally threw me. I thought something was weird in the episode when Yuki really died, but I thought it was her just worrying about it all and having bad dreams as any little kid who went through such a traumatic experience would.

    I just re-watched the last two shows and realised that Mari only ever talked to her and that she sometimes made references to Yuki but in the subtext of taking care of him, which could have been construed as taking care of his well-being or the paperwork after his death and notifying the parents of what happened.

    This episode seems to have brought a lot of discussion for the people who said they knew it all along and others who have suddenly realised what happened. This has got to be one of the best series ever.

    It is also good for knowing what to do for those of us who actually live in Sangenjaya when the overdue big one hits us!!!!

  71. Liq says:

    I only stumbled upon this blog after i finished this series…i have to admit i did not have even the slightest thought that Yuuki was dead despite the amount of clues given LOL so this episode was kinda like a surprise to me haha
    I did think it was weird at certain scenes where Mari would totally ignore Yuuki (not addressing him) or the scene where Mirai says she’s just thinking about how cool robots are but i dint really think much of it lol I guess its because i wasnt really expecting anyone of the main characters to die xD

  72. tazman0208 says:

    @ psgels: Yuuki died from a complication caused by his conccusion, probably bleeding:
    Yuuki died from cerebral bleeding after the conccusion he got when the Tokyo tower collapsed and he was hit in the head while saving his sister.
    http://www.emedicinehealth.com/concussion/page3_em.htm
    if you look at the symptoms you will see that Yuuki had most of them, delayed loss of conciousness, vomiting, loss of memory ect… Just wanted to make that clear.

    as opposed to crush syndrome that has the following symptoms:
    Compression in excess of 60 minutes
    Involvement of a large muscle mass
    Absent pulse and capillary refill return to distal limb
    Pale, clammy, cool skin
     Weak, rapid pulse
     Usually absence of pain in affected region
     Onset of shock

    Well after rewatching the 2nd episode again, it didnt look to me that Yuuki was crushed at all since that girl was protecting him when the shelf fell over them.

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  • Aires
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 08:29 PM)
    I thought the madoka movie RUINED my hom-hom
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 06:52 PM)
    No Game No Life 3: Awesome, hilarious, and the most unsubtle (and even funnier than last ep’s) JoJo reference I’ve seen.
  • Juno
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 06:09 PM)
    I’ll answer questions after work, but let’s still try to avoid direct spoilers. I’m not sure even psgel has seen the film yet.
  • Joe
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:53 PM)
    It’s also made more ambiguous by the state of Homura’s soul gem during the movie. She wasn’t exactly in the best condition for making decisions, and she might have acted differently than she otherwise would have.
  • Joe
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:51 PM)
    Definitely disagree that Homura didn’t have any character. Most of her characterization in the original series was ambiguous, though, so a lot of it was up to interpretation.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 03:42 PM)
    Not trying to piss off Juno, but this probably will anyway, but I noticed how polarized the debate over Homura’s choice at the end of rebelion. “It’s out of character!” “No it isn’t!” I find it funny considering the girl has well…barely any character at all.
    And when someone says that this choice ruined Homura’s complex character from the series..boy…how I laugh.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 03:36 PM)
    @Emma, Just a guess, but the koren webcomic fomat isn’t really print friendly. Those long tower rows of panels would be hard to fit on a book format.
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 03:10 PM)
    @Emma I guess its the same here as k web comics. They either dont care about it, or they just cant.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 01:22 PM)
    @Juno, So I might as well ask before you hinge your entire opinion on whatever the maker say. What do you believe happened and how it effected the law?
  • Juno
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 12:19 PM)
    It’s been a whole half year since the film came out and the BD has been released, so we’re finally getting a lot of substance-focused interviews and guides to the film now. The one thing I’m hoping they can do is finally clarify what happened at the end of the film, metaphysically, like they did for the TV series’ ending. I don’t really care about whether [spoiler] is evil. I just want to know how this affects the laws of cycles…

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Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]

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Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Come wa Machigatteiru Review – 82,5/100

I like surprises, like when a series comes that just turns out to be good against my expectations. Yahari Blahblah from the outside had all the signs to turn into yet another one of those high school comedies: snarky male lead, pointlessly long title that fails at being witty, various other cliched side-characters. And they […]