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Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection(TV) (2009)
No synopsis for Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection.
For more about Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection and the Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection Blu-ray release, see Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on March 22, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Luci Christian, Tiffany Grant, Shelley Calene-Black
» See full cast & crew
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection Blu-ray Review
It's not in Sensurround, but you can't have everything.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, March 22, 2013
There's probably no more helpless feeling than the experience of a major earthquake. Often it's next to impossible to even move, even while various items and even structures are cascading down around you. Even after the major event has subsided, usually for hours if not days or weeks afterward, aftershocks continue to traumatize and psychologically terrorize those who survived the first assault. The sheer ferocity of Mother Nature's destructive power in these events is truly awesome, as news footage from such famous sites as San Francisco or Haiti patently reveal. As recently as 2011, Japan experienced one of the most devastating quakes ever recorded, an incredible magnitude 9.03 tremblor that actually moved both the island of Honshu as well as the axis of the Earth. Here in the Pacific Northwest where I live, we still see regular news reports of debris from this quake washing up on the shores of Oregon and Washington literally years after the quake and its resultant tsunami. The old adage goes that Art imitates Life, but in this case Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 actually presaged the real life major earthquake in Japan by a couple of years, and obviously didn't quite imagine just how bad the devastation of an unimaginably strong quake could actually be. Earthquakes have long been a staple of live action films, including such celebrated fare as 1936's San Francisco and the schlocktastic Sensurround disaster film Earthquake, which is rather improbably headed to Blu-ray this June. But to my recollection earthquakes haven't been especially exploited in animated fare, let alone made the central plot element of a short form series. That in and of itself gives Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 a rather distinctive flair, even if some of the post-quake plot developments at least occasionally verge toward melodrama as two young siblings pair with an unrelated single mother to try to find their way through the rubble back to their respective homes and families.
When was the last time you saw an anime with a disclaimer discussing how much research went into the series and how much "official" input it had? And yet that's what greets viewers of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 right off the bat, supposedly giving the series the imprimatur of "realism" which in fact in some ways the show does feature. What's kind of odd about the series is how quietly it starts off, introducing young schoolgirl Mirai and her younger brother Yuuki, with not all that much happening in the first episode other than those introductions, leading one to wonder whether this is going to be a fairly interminable "slice of life" outing or in fact the disaster-fest that is promised in the opening disclaimer. What actually ends up occurring is a little of both facets.
The main earthquake actually hits during the second episode, when Mirai and Yuuki have gone to visit a science museum. Mirai allows young Yuuki to go to the little boys' room by himself, a rare show of trust, but something which immediately backfires on the girl when the devastating quake hits. The anime invests in a bit of proto "shaky cam" while it details a variety of structures crashing to the ground, with the requisite amount of exploding gas, falling masonry and the like. Mirai is of course completely panicked, even more so when she suddenly realizes she's separated from Yuuki and in fact isn't even sure where in the mammoth building he might be.
Mirai runs into the building, against the huge tide of panicked people attempting to exit the building, and is about to run afoul of a security officer when an aftershock almost ends her life right there. She's saved by an adult woman named Mari, a bike messenger who just happened to be on the premises. Mirai hysterically tells Mari she needs to find her little brother and Mari agrees to help, perhaps against her better instincts. The two move through a variety of twisted metals and blocks of concrete, including an incipient fire which is very dangerous before the ultimately do find Yuuki trapped beneath a shelving unit which has fallen over on the young boy.
At this point the series does a few unexpected things. The newfound trio decide the only sensible course of action is to try to get back to their respective families, but despite the occasional aftershock and a couple of near misses, the series actually veers away from traditional disaster story tropes and concentrates much more on the interpersonal relationships than it does the actual earthquake, which is perhaps just a little odd. Something that also plays into this slight disconnect is the fact that the Japanese are shown to be relatively well mannered throughout this series. Yes, they're obviously shocked and occasionally don't behave entirely rationally, but overall there's kind of an ordered, restrained atmosphere in many of the episodes that again is distinctly at odds with how disasters are routinely portrayed in Western entertainments.
Things proceed through the next few episodes in a kind of surprisingly low key slice of life sort of way, albeit life tinged with the detritus of a literally earth shattering event. The writing here is often quite smart, however, letting Mirai develop and mature in very believable ways. That all comes to a crashing (no pun intended) halt in the final handful of episodes, though, when suddenly seemingly out of nowhere melodrama raises its ugly head and drives the series into needless pathos and tragedy. That tragedy would have perhaps been better placed up front (once you watch the series, you'll understand), where it would have helped create more tension and perhaps even realism, something this series obviously has striven to create.
Still, despite its occasional missteps, kudos need to be given to Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 for trying something fairly radically different from the glut of anime that routinely trundle down the pike, many outright carbon copies of each other. While some may come to this series frankly expecting a "disaster fest", and soon realizing that is far from what Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is offering (despite its title and setup), those who are willing to invest a little time with these three characters may find that their journey homeward is well worth taking.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection Blu-ray, Video Quality
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Sentai Filmworks and Maiden Japan with an AVC encoded 1080i transfer in 1.78:1. The best part of this high definition presentation is unquestionably the incredibly detailed backgrounds which are often based on real life Tokyo locales. Colors are often intentionally muted throughout this series, with even flesh tones taking on a sort of anemic and pale quality, but the backgrounds usually pop with a good deal of vibrancy. Line detail remains strong, though there are occasional stability issues (perhaps due to the interlaced presentation), including in the opening sequences with some of the really intricate line drawings of Tokyo in ruins.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 features lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mixes in both the original Japanese as well as English. Frankly, this series probably could have used a nice surround mix, at least for the earthquake sequences, where some more powerful LFE could have upped the "rumble factor" significantly. But the fact is, as mentioned above, the series actually kind of shunts the earthquake off to the side once it's happened, and the rest of the series becomes a much quieter enterprise with smaller dialogue moments that are more than adequately presented via the 2.0 mix. There are some odd balance issues on the Japanese track with a tendency for one channel to significantly over power the other at times. Fidelity is strong and despite the narrow nature of these tracks, dynamic range is fairly wide.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Hats off to Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 for trying something different. The series doesn't always succeed, and some may find it far too lethargically paced to maintain interest, but I was fascinated to watch Mirai's development from a self- obsessed teenager to someone suddenly realizing there's a whole world around her, and one which in this case is in total disarray. The series is really smart for its first two-thirds or so, but in my personal opinion makes a really fatal misstep in the final third that is overly melodramatic and ultimately adds nothing to the series. But even with that flaw, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is unusual, provocative and quite compelling. This Blu-ray looks and sounds fine and even without a bunch of supplemental material, it comes Recommended.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Section23 Films: Four Anime Titles in April - January 20, 2013
Section23 Films, Houston-based distributor of Maiden Japan and Sentai Filmworks anime, has announced the Blu-ray releases of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection, Inu X Boku Secret Service: Complete Collection, Hiiro No Kakera: Season 1 and Patlabor The Mobile ...
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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