Moments of 2009: Did He or Didn’t He? (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0)

If you haven’t seen this show, STOP READING NOW. Maybe read this instead for an introduction to the series [->]

St. Yuuki did indeed die, but the thing is we weren’t sure. The show suddenly became quite vague about it in episode 8, and will not confirm it until the finale 3 episodes later. The hint of death happened cliffhanger-style at the end of episode 7, so it was indeed a long drawn out affair, easily the focus of the final third of the show. For some people, I think it ruined the show for them! It’s not the case for me, but I do sympathize with them.

What was so awesome about it is how many people completely missed it. I completely missed it. Instead of landing on Odaiba, Tokyo I ended up somewhere in Ateneo de Manila¹, or Neverland, or someplace completely fictional. I did NOT see any insinuation that Yuuki might be dead at all (yay me). I wrote a post about the episode too, and promptly got schooled by the comments. I ended up writing a completely new post that explored the possibility, and the discussion went back and forth concerning two main things:

  1. Is Yuuki alive or dead?
  2. Is this a good thing (by a show that has been very solid and trustworthy up until this point)

While I’m interested in finding out how you feel about the show now some time has passed for a more sober reflection, do tell me when (what episode) did you decide for yourself that Yuuki was dead.

Do tell.

Further Reading

¹Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) is not in Manila, but in Quezon City. There is no Ateneo in Manila, no matter what their alumni tell you. Full disclosure: I’m an alumnus of De La Salle University (DLSU), the rival school. I don’t hate Ateneans. I love them wwwwwwww. Mechafetish is one, but more importantly I married one; hello sybilant! ANIMOU LA SALLE

This is how I failed (to notice anything) [->]

This is where I caught how awesome it is to get caught up by this sudden turn, with everyone else watching the show [->]

Here’s a note on how viewers have difficulty handling Yuuki’s death (usagijen 2009/09/04)

I considered this a mind screw perhaps [->]

And I’m not alone (usagijen 2009/09/02)

I thought it all worked out in the end, while fully acknowledging how distracting the whole St. Yuuki business [->]

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in moments of 2009, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Moments of 2009: Did He or Didn’t He? (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0)

  1. sadakups says:

    As much I really did not like that Yuuki died, I’d consider this as my anime moment too.

    • Did you rank your moments? I didn’t, but I’m interested in yours if you’ve listed them.

      • sadakups says:

        I haven’t watched many anime titles for 2009, as I was either rewatching old shows or watching shows from a few years ago (like Honey and Clover).

        As far as anime moments are concerned, I can only name this article and Gundam 00′s finale (Exia vs 0 Gundam) as the only two anime moments for the year.

        Hoping for a lot next year.

  2. aoineko says:

    Oh this is too funny! I remember everyone complaining about the Summer anime, and then they started watching this and Caanan and boy people could not stop talking about it!

    I rarely cry at stuff and the last couple of episodes got to me. It’s funny that Yuuki’s death really is foreshadowed right from the start when the first quake hits and he is still inside the mall. Yet we do not want him dead. We want him found alive and safe. Oh how the makers of this piece played that up. They played with our emotions right from the start.

    There were a couple of moments during the episodes when I though Yuuki didn’t make it. The main one was when he started passing out. Yet they played it as if he made it through that, yet hinted with the characters that he didn’t. If we were paying attention to that. But we weren’t because we were in the “Yuuki makes it” camp that was set from the beginning.

    So yeah, I didn’t get it till they returned to his school. And then I cried over a anime. But this just reminds me why I like anime, because they are willing to be creative and go places other media won’t.

    • I dropped Canaan after 4 eps but I was browbeat into picking it up again and I finished the damn thing much to my regret. I don’t know if I’ve seen enough media to like anime for ‘doing things other media won’t’ but I don’t know… I know a few live action television programs that are beyond anything animated.

      But to get back to the meat of things, Yuuki was the last person I wanted to die. In him I saw an idealized version of my child self — with his near-indefatigable upbeat-ness and interest in robots. But when he did, after several months since the show finished, I find myself very satisfied with it all.

  3. bluemist says:

    I was holding on to hope that Yuuki was not dead but in a coma… until Yuuki said so himself that he’s dead.

    This show went totally mystical from there, ignoring its own disclaimer of “accurate depiction” or whatever realism thing they tried to do in the first half. I guess viewers would have been emotionally invested in the show by then so to hell with the earthquakes. I liked it overall because I cared about the characters, although this wasn’t the outcome I wanted at all.

    • I disagree with your take on the show ‘going mystical’ on several levels:

      1. The phenomena of Mirai seeing Yuuki is well within the parameters of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD); a condition suffered even by grown men after highly stressful incidents. It is more than plausible that a 13 year-old be susceptible to it.

      2. The claims made by the show towards realism are for the earthquake physics, more than anything. Is it unrealistic for a viewer to ‘see’ what a character is seeing in her mind? Maybe, but it is more a matter of storytelling method perhaps, than it is a matter of science/literary representation of hypothetical real-world events.

  4. Ryan A says:

    Most of me believed that Yuuki was gone when they showed that he died twice in Mirai’s perspective. I kinda was in disbelief that he was alive, but it was more clear with Mari’s reactions, by the end of 9 or in 10 I felt it was delusions via trauma on Mirai’s part.

    Also, when I looked up that multiple concussion thing it kinda made logical sense that he died :( … he was first hit on the head in the Tokyo Tower collapse, but suffered another blow later.

    Yes, this was definitely a moment of the year, without a doubt.

    • Yes. What I found interesting is how most of us got transfixed with Mirai’s POV (which is fine), but to the degree that it came at the expense of missing cues provided by Mari’s behavior.

  5. Ruby says:

    I completely missed the fact that he died too! even tho they foreshadowed his death I just thought oh what a nightmare glad it didn’t really happen but it did :( I thought this was one of those really happy show where no one died. I didn’t get it till the part where they went back to the school on the last ep and Yuuki kept disappearing and it finally hit me the fact that he died. I never teared up for any anime shows I ever watched but I was literally crying at the end of this show (amazingly), its one of the saddest moments in my life, too bad… I was really hoping Yuuki and his sis would be able to reunite with their parents.

    • Yes, it is indeed sad. I’m interested whether your liking this show overall (I assume) makes you interested in other sad shows. If you are, then they don’t get much sadder than Studio Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies film. Very similar in that it’s a film about two young siblings and a devastated Tokyo.

  6. Ningyo says:

    Stopped reading, but on my way down I saw the words ‘Yuki’ and ‘died’ about half a bajillion times.
    Whoops.

  7. DonKangolJones says:

    This was definitely one of my defining anime moments for 2009 and I would’ve been disappointed if this series of events wasn’t mentioned in your end of year list. It was one of your blogs most popular topics. Anything that elicits that much conversation has to have some merit.

    I had to dig through some old posts to jog my memory, but I believed that Yuuki was dead once I saw the interactions, or the lack of them, between Yuuki and the real world. Anytime you travel with someone for days and no one even acknowledges their presence, then it’s a bad sign. The dream sequence did a good job of giving hints, but also served to muddy the waters and keep everyone from fully accepting an outcome.

    I haven’t revisited the series since I completed it, which is becoming a much more common occurrence now that I devour so much media. But I imagine that my opinion will only soften despite the tedious episodes between Yuuki’s collapse and the family’s reunion. It was a bold move that paid off and made the series memorable.

    Oh & to continue an old, played out, downtrodden meme… I still think Suzaku did it!

  8. gloval says:

    The thing is, I was spoiler’d. Generally speaking though, I keep an open mind to twists like these.

    There was an Ateneo in the City of Manila. It started out there and lasted from the Spanish colonial period until the end of WW2 where it transferred to a bigger campus up on a hill in Quezon City.

    • LOL I know about ADMU’s history. mechafetish and sybilant are both Blue Eagles so I tend to troll them (and perhaps other Atenean readers).

      Too bad you got spoiler’d. Part of what made this so powerful and experience for me is how it felt being in the midst of things amongst so many other viewers. That was a blast.

  9. chii says:

    I saw it coming but it was VERY VERY well done which is why it gets praise from me. Excellent anime!

    • I and other commenters throughout our coverage of the show mentioned a lot of things we like about the execution of the show, but since you think it’s so well done I’m very interested in what you deem exemplary yourself. Do tell.

  10. kadian1364 says:

    Reading blogs spoiler’d this like crazy for me, or at least I became aware of the possibility, if I was a bit incredulous. Also, the wait between episodes was brutal. Definitely a greater effect because of the time involved.

  11. glothelegend says:

    I realized he was dead when they (he and his sister) left the hospital, and Yuuki had his backpack on, even though CLEARLY he did not have his backpack (Mari was shown running with it moments before….or after….I can’t really remember).

    At this point in the anime, I just shook my head and said F*@k. Later, this was concerned, and I became saddened.

  12. Kiri says:

    The blogosphere ruined it for me. >:(

    I probably not have figured out that Yuki was dead until an episode or two after the fact, but since everyone was posting about it, I couldn’t help but be wary of the possibility on the episode it happened in and definitely at the episode after where it seemed so obvious in the light of everything that people pointed out. So I really can’t say.

    It did blow my mind they actually went through with it in a show that seemed relatively simple and easy-to-read.

    (Shit, I still need to review this series; why do I suuuuuck at being a blogger!)

    • I apologize for the faggerhooligatrollan I was party to (and responsible for) on twitter. I dearly hope I didn’t wreck this for you.

      You don’t suck at blogging, you’re just spread out too thinly. You’re a fakken workhorse doing illustrations, sequential illustrations, novel-writing, and reviews. Wat a freek

      • Kiri says:

        I did a pretty good job of ignoring everyone’s shenanigans before I saw the ep, but after the ep, it was too easy to gather that something was up and I ended up reading a few posts on the matter, etc. ;( But yeah, I wouldn’t have noticed for a few eps if it wasn’t for that. Wouldn’t say it ruined it, but what can ya dooo.

  13. FaS says:

    Unfortunately I haven’t seen this yet :( I was held back by my parents and abysmal grades :( now I’m @ home cuz my fam doesn’t trust me lol. Whatever. I’m still gonna watch it. Hopefully it’ll be a good memory of 2009 for me too :)

  14. Etrangere says:

    The very episode when he died, I felt something was wrong about it all throughout when we were seeing his alive so I was suspicious. When the finale scene rolled in, I thought for sure “he’s dead.”

    • That’s what bothered some people — that it took so long to confirm. I can’t say that it didn’t stretch me out as well, but I’m rather satisfied now that I’ve spent some time removed from it.

      • Etrangere says:

        Yeah, I agree with them. Even though I “knew” he was dead during those episodes, I thought they waited too long for the revelation and it annoyed me. Felt like they stretched it for pathos. I like dark stories, so sad events don’t disturb me, but I don’t like the feeling of a show aggressively trying to make me tear up. On the other hand, I still think the show is excellent overall, and the ending decent enough (and I certainly teared up at the last episode)… just, I had very high expectation from the beginning which I didn’t feel the second part of the series entirely lived up to.

        • It’s funny, the event got to me for different reasons, yet I arrive at the same place as you did.

          In any case, instead of being overall superlative outing (not that being excellent overall) it’s ‘merely’ a very interesting ‘event’ and definitely one of my moments this year.

  15. Martin says:

    I worked it out after the ninth or tenth episode – some near-spoilers made me more vigilant and suspicious of what I was watching, so spotted more of the clues than I would’ve done otherwise.

    what irked me was the vagueness of what he died from – my scientific/analytical background was demanding a more detailed medical reason so felt it to be a bit of a cheap shot in forcing the tears at the end (I can’t deny it succeeded though).

    • Considering that the most damning clue (the medical release papers — whatever they’re called) is barely comprehensible, it may mean that the cause of death is less significant than the actual outcome. If you were to diagnose it, what would you say it is?

  16. usagijen says:

    If anything, the whole Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Yuuki fiasco only confirmed that Newtype spoilers don’t really spoil, or rather it can even get you fooled/troll you lol. There I was just playing along the “Yuuki is dead” joke, then the next thing I know, I got played. Not once, but twice…!

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