Middle school student Mirai Onozawa is dissatisfied with her family circumstances and, in a moment of frustration, wishes to tear everything apart. Unfortunately, these destructive thoughts seem to come true in the form of a magnitude 8.0 earthquake just a few moments later. When summer vacation begins, Mirai reluctantly takes her younger brother Yuuki to Odaiba, where a robot exhibition that he wanted to go to is being held. However, while they are in the exhibition center, the fury of a major earthquake shakes the Kanto region; helpless, both kids witness the devastating power of this natural disaster as it brings the city to its knees. In its aftermath, they stumble upon Mari Kusakabe, a motorcyclist and single mother who decides to help the young siblings. Aiming to return to their homes and reunite with their families, the group sets off on a long and hard journey through the decimated city. – My Anime List
Based on 17 review scores:
I honestly tried to think of some good reasons why this should not be five stars but they just will not come. It looks good, its pacing is slow but measured and effective, and its drama is top notch. Take one star away if you want more than just strong, moving drama.
You’d be hard pressed to find an anime series with as much heart and soul as Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, there is magic in this series that few can ever grasp. It isn’t for everyone, but if you’re willing to take the journey across Tokyo, I can guarantee one thing – Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 will leave an impact that you won’t soon forget. After all, some things in life truly are unbreakable.
The Anime Review
From earlier viewers, I heard that I should expect Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 to be excellent. It was. What I didn’t expect was what a harrowing emotional experience it turned out to be. While younger viewers might find it more fascinating than scary, I’m not sure I’ve seen any anime I would consider to be more truly horrific. My stomach has been in knots remembering it as I wrote this review. Does that mean you should skip it? Absolutely not. It’s a worthy exploration of the human condition in circumstances beyond our control. It made me hold my loved ones a little bit closer. It made me think about life’s bigger issues beyond the day-to-day. Very few anime can do that. If you’re up for it, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 might shake up your world for the better.
Nevertheless, at this point Tokyo Magnitude has the potential to remain a classic in anime. It’s believable, depressing, but also uplifting, fresh and inspired. There’s been a lot of discussion going on whether or not this series took the right turns along the way, but personally for me, it has been an amazing series. Most people who know this blog will know that I’m already a big fan of the Noitamina timeslot. Aside from Honey and Clover, I’ve seen every single show that came out of it, and Tokyo Magnitude has become my favourite series out of all of them.
This show was tough! Having been in Japan and having actually wandered around Tokyo, it was really strange seeing things I recognized totally destroyed. The writers did an excellent job and you feel for all the characters, relief for some and sorrow for others. There is organized chaos everywhere you go, and the Japanese in the anime behave much the way they actually did in the aftermath of the Fukushima quake. The music is used sparingly, but definitely emphasizes the stress or relief the characters are experiencing. I spent the entire last episode crying. All 22 minutes of it. With relief, with sorrow, with joy, and with acceptance of what had happened to a city I visited. It was terrible, and it was beautiful.
Anime News Network
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 went into production roughly two years before the massive 2011 Tohoku earthquake, and watching it after the fact can be a little disconcerting given the very real destruction that happened in that magnitude 9 quake. One certainly has to wonder if certain elements that either weren’t present at all (the nuclear plant disaster) or weren’t emphasized (the tsunami threat) might have been balanced differently had this project been made in the wake of that event rather than before. Of course, sensitivity concerns might have prevented it from being made at all in that scenario (doubtless there were more than a few real-life versions of Mirai and Mari out there), so perhaps it is for the best that it came out when it did. Even in light of real events, the series still works both as a disaster flick and as a human interest story centered on Mirai learning some very harsh lessons about valuing the life and family that she has.
If I can advise you on anything it is to make sure that you have a box of tissues nearby when you start this series. I haven’t seen an anime that has made me cry so damn much since I sat down to watch Grave of the Fireflies for the first time and was weeping within five minutes. By mixing the powerful narrative with a realistic and understated depiction of its protagonist’s characterisation, clever sound design, and beautiful visuals, this anime wrenches the heart and makes for compelling viewing. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is one of the best series of 2009 and proof that the medium of animation offers up so much more than just simple children’s cartoons.
My Anime List
It’s the realism that shook me. Every episode began with a disclaimer stating that the series was based on seas of research and simulations. Sure, the science is well and good; but it was really about the ‘human’ realism, overcoming the hopelessness. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is a great anime, worth a watch by anyone who appreciates a good story.
This anime is mainly about humanity. A love between a sister and brother. The ending is really sad and beautiful. This is one of the best anime series I have ever watched.
I highly recommend everyone to watch it. There are not many anime which make us feel so deeply for the characters.
When compared to most other anime, TM8 wasn’t a bad series by any means. It just left me with the feeling that had it been a little more cohesive in its scope and direction, I would have had an extremely positive reaction to it, but now I’m left with a feeling of something that had a lot more potential it ended up exhibiting. I can say with certainty, though, that this is a clear case where “your mileage may vary”.
The Nihon Review
For an anime series which held so much promise of being one of the year’s defining titles, I can only lament how TM8 fell so badly short of its vast promise in the end, becoming another “good doesn’t do justice to what could have been great” series. What a damn shame, Bones.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 does show promise in its story of three souls just wanting to find a way home, and while it masters that beautifully for the larger half of the story, the finale loses its oomph when it changes gears to focus on a character’s fate in a pseudo-mind bending way. It feels out of place and to me takes away the power of these characters’ arcs and tries to keep the viewer frustratingly grasping at straws in the story they had become so invested in.