Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 06

The calm and collected facade that Mari held was dropped for a while this episode, prompting some frantic phone calls and a seriously different Mari to the thoughtful one we’ve seen so far. She’s obviously quite a strong-willed person, having believed that both her mother and daughter would be fine without her. Though I don’t quite understand the logic that shaking landmass and falling buildings are no worries, while fires are the end of the world. It’s certainly something Mari’s worried about anyway. Hint at some past events? Perhaps some more shoehorning of essential earthquake knowledge. Or just a tool used to badly shift gears on Mari’s character to give her some more depth.

The number of close calls in this series is quite astonishing. On this weeks near miss, Mari is nearly hit full force by a fluorescent tube light, and the building next to out protagonists falls on its side. Is there any way all of these things could happen without anyone getting seriously hurt in the process?

This guy wasn't so lucky.

Read more

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 05

In this episode of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 – the production committee decide they haven’t deflated us enough with all of the destruction of our national landmarks, and decide that we need to turn the sadness up to eleven.

It just so happens that the next stop on the way home is Mirai’s school. When she mentions how it’s not even like it’s her school anymore, it again really puts you in the shoes of the characters. Everyone subconsciously thinks about a disaster relief centre at their own school. It drives home the point.

The paced character development shows here – Mirai has started acting more like an older sister recently, and her wanting to show Yuuki something cool at her school really makes you smile – ‘they’re getting on well, aren’t they?’ You may think. Then…

Mirai shows Yuuki her cool place...

...only to find it's being used as a temporary morgue.

Read more

Currently Watching: Bakemonogatari

We’re well into the Summer season now, so much so that Autumn is just over the horizon. But Autumn 2009 isn’t really looking all that appetising to me right now, so let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. Or not cross it at all, as the case may be.

The next few posts will really just be a sum-up of what I’ve been watching recently, but not regularly blogging about.

I’ll admit that I have a bit of a soft spot for SHAFT. They make some of my favourite anime (Hidamari Sketch and Pani Poni Dash! to name but two), and I think that their particular style of presentation is more striking than that of other studios. It doesn’t necessarily mean their animation is better, but I like the mood that their fast-paced meta-slideshows create. Now, the studio’s applied their style to Nisioisin’s Bakemonogatari. And God almighty have they cranked up the quality.

Bakemonogatari

Bakemonogatari (roughly translating to Ghostory, keeping the portmanteau basically intact) is a supernatural story, which centres around Koyomi Araragi and his encounters with girls who seem to be afflicted with strange problems. Being the upstanding man that he is, Araragi gets involved somehow or another.

Read more

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 04

Sorry, I know I’m falling behind on this series, despite it being the only one I’m seriously blogging this season. Episode 5 is out already, but I haven’t seen it yet.

Also, someone needs to own up. Who was the one to tell the world to just break this time? But really, I guess we should have seen this coming. It wasn’t as large as the one depicted in TM 8.0, but I guess it will increase viewership. It’s like free advertising by mother nature.

There are a couple of things I noticed this episode. Chief among them being that Mirai has exceptional unluckiness. If something bad can happen at any one moment, it will happen to her. And it’ll be caused by some really annoying person too. What doesn’t help is her snotty twelve-year old attitude about everything. It’s exasperating watching Mirai go through her routine.

We’re again reminded of the horror of the situation when Mirai’s unluckiness strikes again and someone stomps on her foot while running past. About to argue, Mirai then realises they’re running to a van with some body bags inside.

You may be pissed off, but at least you’re not dead.

Read more

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 03

You know you’re in trouble if when you wake up your alarm clock has been replaced by a military helicopter flying overhead, and the world is still going to hell. While Mirai’s line “This isn’t a dream, right?” is terribly clichéd, I guess it is pretty jarring to wake up to the aftermath of a magnitude 8.0 earthquake.

The show somewhat fulfils its premise here too. Did you know that convenience stores may give out food at times of crisis? Did you know that aftershocks can be as large as magnitude 5.0 and continue for three days? Well, now you do. Given that this could happen for real soon, I suspect people will be lapping up this info, especially when it’s presented in the form of an anime.

Emotive images like this are what makes TM8.0 so enthralling.

Read more