5 Stars


Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is about two siblings named Mirai and Yuki, who are caught in a deadly earthquake after visiting a robot exhibit in the city by themselves, without their parents.  After a deadly earthquake destroys the whole Tokyo Bay area, the two siblings try to walk back home with a young woman named Mari Kusakabe and try to find their parents.  (I wrote the plot in my own words so that I wouldn’t spoil anything for those who have been wanting the watch the show.)

This anime has such a cliché storyline, yet the creators spice it up and make it unique and creative.  The story adds some themes to the story that may seem kiddy-ish and not memorable, but no, the producer Noriko Ozaki Yuichiro Matsuka and writer Natsuko Takahashi add some heart throbbing scenes that will convince the reader that the themes of the anime are related to real life, which reminded me of this adult novel that I read back in the ninth grade called The Road by Cormac McCarthy, which is one of the best books I’ve read.  The only difference between these two the amount of action.  The Road has tons of blood, gore, and violence, but Tokyo Magnitude has more of a family-friendly environment.  (I will write a review on The Road soon.)

Since this anime had an English Dub on YouTube, I was able to enjoy it so much more than I would have if I watched it in English sub.  The voice actors and actresses play their part really well, and are able to act out their feelings for their characters in a breathtaking way!  For example, Shelly Calene-Black, who voices Mari, does the most phenomenal job with her character!

The music in this series, composed by Kow Otani, Hiroshi Shibasaki, and Shion Tsuji, poise some beautiful pieces that fit the upsetting situations that the characters are in, such as suspenseful music during an earthquake, soft piano and violin for heart-pulling scenes, and peppy music for the few tender and happy moments.  But the music in the last two or three episodes of this short anime, though, will definitely break your heart, as it did to mine.

Most anime I have seen had quite wonderful art, but this art…it’s unique and simple.  The scenery, on the other hand, surprises me because the artists draw out the earthquakes and make them realistic to a real earthquake disaster.  Also, there are times where a certain object, such as a flower and a cellphone, will be drawn beautifully to bring up a certain theme or foreshadow a certain scene that will show up on the screen of the viewers watching the series.

When I finished Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, I was amazed but also really sad—literally sobbing in my bed—about how beautiful and painful the story was.  Speaking of this beautiful story, I do not really have any problems with the series, except for the length.  I wanted, and still want, to see an epilogue for the main characters and where they were after the earthquake (the little bit in the 11th, the last episode in the series, was not enough for me to watch for an epilogue).  Overall, though, I gave this wonderful yet underrated series a five out of five stars because of the story and all of the other elements that are added to the masterpiece.

If you are looking for a sad story, heart lifting character development, and memorable themes, then this series will definitely entertain you until the very end.  Just as a warning if you do have some thoughts on watching Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, you will probably end the series sobbing and seeing the world around you differently than when you first start the series.