I was trying to come up with an idea of what to blog about, but the latest Letter Bee was a filler episode and I couldn’t be assed to watch another Miracle Train. In the end, I decided to take a look back at 2009. This post doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of Moe Sucks as a whole nor is it meant to be comprehensive. If I didn’t mention a particular anime, it’s only because it wasn’t the best, surprising nor disappointing. I didn’t want to talk about the bad either because, well, I think most anime are just plain bad (I’ll never understand why people think this is an odd position for an anime fan; most movie fans would agree that most movies suck) and the rest of the blog already covers a part of that.
“I do not want to be a harbinger of bad news, nor a premonition of doom, but this has me grimly worried for the folks in Tokyo. May we actually see a real TM8.0 even before the show is over? Is the show itself a sign? It seems very much coincidental that we are seeing a series about a quake (based on actual statistics, facts and representations at that) and then we have all these quakes occurring together in one shot.”
Another week, another half hour of trying desperately to stay awake through Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. All the previous criticisms I’ve made before about the lack of scope and the uninteresting characters still stand, but at least in the first four episodes the plot seemed to be progressing. This week nothing happened. The characters spend the entire episode holed up in a school, where they meet an old guy and his wife who will never appear again and enjoy the fruits of socialism. They couldn’t even be bothered to narrowly dodge some falling debris. Even if I liked the series I would characterize episode five as a ‘rare miss’. I don’t know why I put myself through the effort of watching this show except that the critical response, such as it is, from the blogosphere is incredibly positive for reasons I don’t at all understand. Feel free to enlighten me.
I feel like I don’t “get” Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. In the aftermath of a huge earthquake, a bunch of flat, uninteresting characters wander around and evade danger by a small margin once per episode. Even if I could be persuaded to care about how Mirai is predictably maturing from a boring, whiny girl to a boring, slightly less whiny young woman, what exactly does the earthquake have to do with anything? I thought the show was about the disaster, but as E Minor has complained before, all we’re getting is one small story about 3 incredibly ordinary people living in a country that is probably the best prepared for a large earthquake in the entire world. People shove each other while waiting in line for free, plentiful food and supplies, oh the humanity. And the only insight that painstaking research we’re informed about at the beginning of each episode seems to have given the writers is that after a massive earthquake, large man made structures may collapse.
The show doesn’t really delve into the specifics of an earthquake’s physical effects, and if they wanted to paint a picture of the human drama associated with a natural disaster they couldn’t have picked a worse setting (imagine if this were set in L.A.; people would be shooting each other dead in the street over bottled water if it went anything like New Orleans). On top of that, the three characters we’re supposed to give a shit about are basically static and unappealing; the perfect mommy figure and two crybabies who are slowly growing up. What am I missing?