Haha! Another show with a very satisfying ending. This episode was bittersweet, and I think that everyone who managed to keep his/her suspense of disbelief is going to find it an excellent conclusion. In this episode, Mirai comes to terms with what happened to Yuki, she meets her parents, and attempts to continue her life. While most conclusions in anime are a bit lackluster, this episode was in no way inferior to the rest of this amazing series.
But damn, I don’t think that I’ve ever had such a heated discussion going on as for the past few episodes. Personally though, I wasn’t bothered by Mirai’s hallucinations. Instead, I just see this series as fiction, with a very high degree of believability. For me, there were only three points that seemed forced: Mari who just happened to run into her co-worker as she collapsed, the point where Mirai was trying to save the trapped robot and nearly died herself, and the point at which Tokyo Tower nearly collapsed on Mirai but Yuki managed to save her. Nevertheless, in any other show this would just be anal nitpicking.
Thinking back though, the whole Yuki vs. Mirai relationship seems to be much deeper than I originally thought. I mean, we all thought that this would be a series in which the initially bratty Mirai would grow up and take care of her brother. However, this happened already in the second episode. After that, these whole themes reversed, and it was actually Yuki who took care of Mirai; it could be seen as his way to repay Mirai for saving him, he kept her out of danger, he saved her from the Tokyo Tower and the accident with the falling robot. He was the one who tried to cheer her up when she was feeling down.
And even when he died, his hallucination continued this trend: he safely guided her back home, and slowly tried to make her understand that he died. The question remains of course, what the real intention from the creators was. Was the Yuki meant to be taken as symbolism, something like a guardian angel, or did Mirai subconsciously create something that would guide her back home safely until she would be out of danger? Are those options realistic? Nah, not really. Are they believable? For me, they are.
It’s always a bit of a gamble for a series to go into a different direction. The first half of this series was clearly different from the second, as this series changed from a detailed look at how a major city reacts after being hit by a major earthquake, to a character-study of Mirai. In my opinion, these changes can work as long as the new direction has enough to offer, which was definitely the case with this series for me. It was a nice gamble in any case: if the creators would just have continued with the same direction as the first half, we definitely would have gotten a more realistic end, but at the same time, I don’t think that it would have been as memorable of an ending as right now.
Also, on a side-note: I love how the creators actually spent time in creating distinct character-designs for Mirai and her family throughout the years, rather than simply being lazy and just creating a bunch of mini-versions of their characters, like a lot of anime seem to do. Very nice.
Overall, Tokyo Magnitude, as amazing as it was, didn’t end up being my favourite series of 2009. Birdy the Mighty Decode in the end was better for me. It however has a good chance of showing up in my top 5 for this year, unless a lot of really good shows shows happen to air in the upcoming Autumn Season. But for now, let’s just assume that that won’t happen.
Rating: *** (Awesome)