For the Love of Robots Don’t Kill Yuuki!!! (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 07)

tokyo magnitude 8 07 frog rescue robot

Finally Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 delivers on it’s teasing. In this episode, we have robots. Awesome, real robots; robots that have real-world applications and are designed with practical sensibilities. They get to do awesome things too, and the show provides us not one, but two audience (ghostlightning) surrogates: Yuuki (of course), and Kenta the robot otaku.

Honestly, the show has gotten me so hooked that I wasn’t getting impatient regarding the eventual appearance of the rescue robots. The show has consistently focused on character insights brought about by their interactions with each other and a choice few strangers. In this episode, Yuuki gets the focus — as the events depicted mostly revolve around him and his interest (IN ROBOTS).

It would seem that Yuuki is a dead kid walking… given how the threat of his demise was already made very clear in the first episode. Well I don’t think anyone expected him to be killed then and there, but this time… it’s quite possible. I don’t think I can identify proper death flags, but I can’t rule it out.

But I think that this episode is still very much Mirai’s. Yuuki’s exuberance towards robots, and Nonomiya Kento the robot otaku, only serve to bring a dynamic into play that highlight’s Mirai’s character. First, take note how Kento is described; remember that the show uses Mirai to provide the description: a robot otaku.

tokyo magnitude 8 07 mirai yuuki kento put-down of rescue robot

She delivers this in a tone by which she communicates a certain passion for anything is lame. She wouldn’t be caught dead being lame, heavens forbid. She tries lamely to make fun of the robots, attempting to put them down. There’s something to be said how the show is handling Mirai’s ‘maturity.’ Consider the following ‘triggers:’

  • Episode 12: Yuuki is stuck in the convention center and Mirai attempts to rescue him. Her attitude is very much the ‘brat’ that characterized her (“The world should just break!”), but her actions indicate a fundamental love for her family (if not, at least a regret for some of her behavior).
  • Episode 3: Mari does so much to keep Yuuki and Mirai safe through the exodus out of Odaiba, that even Mirai finds it in herself to thank her.
  • Episode 4: Mirai sinks at her lowest (suffering the indignity of shit), blaming Yuuki for everything (for the world that just broke!). Yuuki breaks from the repudiation and comes into harms way when the Tokyo Tower fell, but in fact ends up saving Mirai from the debris. I believe this closest of calls is the most important trigger. She knew that if Yuuki had indeed gotten harmed, it would be on her, to say nothing about him saving her life despite her behavior.
  • Episode 5: Casualties close to home: her classmate’s mom, then an old man who lost his grandkids. These things occur while Mirai takes refuge at her school. It’s the first time she gets affected by the suffering of others. She resolves to do something to contribute.
  • Episode 6: Mari is unwell. Mirai, tries to do things – as part of her resolve from the previous episode. However, she doesn’t get to make much of an impact. The scooter she borrows, Mari decides to return.

In Episode 7,  Kento’s enthusiasm for robots not only allows Yuuki to stay consistent from an ‘interests’ standpoint, it also allows the narrative to bring early story elements back into play. But even more importantly, it allows Mirai to show more of her ‘before’ picture (given that the context is her growth and perhaps transformation).

tokyo magnitude 8 07 kento dream for the future

Kento loves robots because robots saved his family during an automotive accident. Robots were a big part of the rescue effort. He resolves to become a robot designer, specifically for those with rescue functions. It is also important that Yuuki draws out from him that he is also in his first year of middle school: exactly Mirai’s age.

Mirai takes away two things from this: 1) Here’s someone her age who is rather mature, in that he displays valuing his family much more than she ever did; this unsettles her a bit; 2) Here’s someone who already knows what he wants to do, compared to her who can’t even begin to imagine what to put in her assignment that describes her future self.

tokyo magnitude 8 07 robot rescue rebar lifting

This connection to the immediate past of Mirai, contextualizes her growth. The earthquake happened just a few days ago, but already she finds herself changing a lot (for comparison’s sake, behavioral change cum attitude epiphany of this kind occurs over 40+ episodes for Amuro Ray and Kamille Bidan from the first two Gundam series, 40+ episodes for Setsuna F. Seiei from Gundam 00; 25 episodes for Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier — a 25 episode series!).

And still, still, she doesn’t get immediate rewards for meaning to do well. Her trying to do things for others, and actually wanting to do so, doesn’t cure her of her 13-year old stupidity. When Kenta gets himself into trouble trying to rescue a rescue robot (a dumb kid moment for him as well), Mirai rescues him, and succeeds. But in the end Mari, and the rescue authorities puts things in perspective. Mirai and Kenta were being stupid (for entering a prohibited zone, to say nothing of Kenta’s trying to rescue a robot designed to prevent secondary casualties).

tokyo magnitude 8 07 mirai rescues kentotokyo magnitude 8 07 mirai kento rescuer dress-down

This is the point: Just because Mirai suddenly finds a heart, and resolves to do well, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 won’t suddenly turn her into Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

tokyo magnitude 8 07 mirai yuuki fallen

She and Yuuki make a new friend, who could serve as a male role-model for Yuuki. They start making their way home with Mari, then the cliffhanger strikes: Yuuki falls face first on the pavement, inert. The show fades to black. Credits roll.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

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.
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23 Responses to For the Love of Robots Don’t Kill Yuuki!!! (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 07)

  1. animewriter says:

    Nice review, I found this episode to be the least interesting of all the episodes so far. Many times during this series I’ve been quite annoyed at Mirai’s behavior, but in this episode I found myself for the first time annoyed at Yuuki’s behavior. I don’t know if the directors intended to use Yuuki’s behavior as a plot device to make his collapse more dramatic, but it worked on me.

    While I think that the introduction of Kento served as a nice contrast to Mirai character he ended up being just a silly little kid with his dangerous antics at the end of the episode, Mirai should have called Kento a robot baka instead of a robot otaku.

    I hope that Yuuki recovers by the next episode or I’ll start feeling that Mirai might get a Saikano ending with everybody being dead, including Mari’s kid and it’ll be Mari & Mirai together as family.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Baka indeed.

      I don’t know if the directors intended to use Yuuki’s behavior as a plot device to make his collapse more dramatic, but it worked on me.

      Yes. As a device (though I don’t think Yuuki’s character only works as such a device) Yuuki provided stark contrast to Mirai’s dourness. He was the child that Mirai wanted desperately to grow up and away from. I somewhat felt that he was too good a kid, too well-behaved. At least he should be doing stupid things… because man, kids are dumb! I get to see them a lot in our large family gatherings. Boy they are dumb shits.

      So Yuuki acting his age is actually quite a relief for me.

  2. bakaneko says:

    About the shota fainted at the end of the episode…

    Dude, you forgot that this is the feel-good show of the season. No, I’m not being sarcastic here. Notice how everyone is so genki despite the tragedy each one of them is in. In fact, you could stretch it to say that The Earthquake has brought people together, like Mirai to her family. This show isn’t about the bad aspect of calamities but the good aspect.

    In that sense, this show has been way too PG. Too family-friendly. I mean, come on, they mentioned 180,000 dead but have there been one single corpse shown on screen? What about the looting and rampant violent? Wasn’t there a reason why the office girl (forgot her name) was wearing a helmet and dragging a bat?

    The main characters so far have been too well-sheltered.

    There are other shows that feature innocent children in the midst of great tragedy. The Grave of the Fireflies, for example. However, that show is not apologetic in hurling great evil in the fragile faces of innocent. The siblings in that show tasted the tragedy through and through. I was hoping TM8 would be at that level.

    That shota will be genki in no time.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Looting? Violence? Not everywhere is like say New Orleans post-Katrina. I think this TIME Magazine article can give us some perspective on how this show chooses to portray the lack of awful behavior: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1810315-1,00.html

      That said, in the previous episode, when Mirai and Yuuki were in Mari’s office, the whole sequence involving golf clubs and baseball bats reminded us that there is still a human threat.

      There are corpses. Not counting those in body bags in episode 04, in episode 06 there was at least one dead guy on the street.

      Grave of the Fireflies is after something different, and is talking about different things. There is no coming of age story there, just doom and despair. I wouldn’t say that the characters are well-sheltered if their safety has been at risk several times (actual bodily harm over the course of several days: the crowd by the pier, the boat, the tokyo tower).

      Also, the lack of direct malice as a source of threat, allows the story to focus on other, more intimate privations and indignities caused by the earthquake: most notably Mirai’s shitty day in episode 05.

      So yes, the tragedy brought the people of Tokyo together, which may be a pleasant fantasy, but it’s not as far-fetched as some people think after witnessing post-Katrina N.O.

      During the 1990 earthquake that hit sevaral cities here in the Philippines (Baguio, Cabanatuan; I was exactly Mirai’s age; it was 5.0 where we were). The news wasn’t filled with accounts of looting and violence. Instead I remember the heroic things that people did to help each other, directly and indirectly. We’re a third world country, and our living conditions are worse than what can be found in N.O. (poverty was blamed by some in order to explain the violence and the lawlessness).

      Personally, I don’t find the behavior of the people of Tokyo in general particularly outlandish as portrayed by the show.

      • redmaigo says:

        I too was waiting on the rape, pillage and burn but then I realize that this is Japan. I don’t think the slide into barbarism would occur as quickly in Tokyo as it did in New Orleans.

        It has more to do with the pre-disaster social class and societal behaviors that dictates how people react during a disaster. There is an old saying, “it is not the crisis that builds something within us— it simply reveals what we are made of already.”

        If you are two-legged hyena before the disaster, then your true self will be revealed when the sh** hits the fan.

        At first I was amused at the “extreme” reactions of a few Tokyoites after the quake. When someone would cut in line for rations or step on a persons foot and not excuse themselves I was like, “When the going gets tough, the tough get rude?”

        But I realized that the people of Tokyo wouldn’t turn into a violent mob overnight. As you pointed out, during most disasters everyone helps each other.

        Of course Japan is used to natural disasters. It has been ingrained in their national psyche since time immemorial. I guess that helps in the short run.

        Shikata nai ne?

        If things remained this way over a period of time then I can see where things could go Grave of the Fireflies, but not just yet. Since this show is only one cour long lets enjoy this slice-of-life disaster show for what it is.

        • Can’t say it better (I tried) ^_^

          But come to think of it, would what happened in N.O. play out the same if a disaster happened in another major cit? (LAX, NYC, CHI, HOU, SEA, or San Francisco) Or, how about Europe? (London, Paris, Rome, Madrid)

          • redmaigo says:

            In most of the major cities listed, yes. Except for NY during 911, the behavior in N.O. would also occur.

            In the smaller cities and communities not so much.

            We are called the United “States” for a reason. We are a conglomerate of many races, classes, cultures and religions. That fact is more apparent in the big cities.

            Contrary to popular belief, an American is not a race of people but a walking-talking social construct. That is also why the descent into tribalism and anarchy would accelerate more quickly during a natural disaster.

            When you leave the urban sprawl and get to communities that are bound together by a specific type of group (family, class, race or religion) the urge to help each other is more pronounced.

            911 New York was a glaring exception only because the calamity was of human origin. An outside threat that made everyone regardless of cultural affiliation stand together. Natural calamities however cannot be fought, only endured.

            I really can’t speak for the Europeans.

          • animewriter says:

            I think that a certain areas reaction to a disaster (at least in the U.S.) has more to do with the socioeconomic class and educational level of the area in question.

            In 1992 I was staying on Marco Island, Fl when hurricane Andrew struck SE Florida and crossed right by us. While there was major damage, power loss, and so forth, there was no, or very little looting and crime in my area. But, the area I was at was very upper class, and very prepared for such events.

            Also, in 2003 I was living in a middle class suburb of metro Detroit when the Northeast Blackout occurred. Everyone in the neighborhood help each other out, people with generators sharing power with others, it was like one big 3 day neighborhood party.

            But, like I said, this might be due to socioeconomic class, I and most of my friends are middle class/upper middle class and we have money in the bank, and for the most part all our stuff is insured so it’s no big deal if it gets destroyed because it’ll just get replaced later.

    • redmaigo says:

      Yuuki is probably suffering from a concussion that was caused by saving Mirai during the collapse of Tokyo Tower.

      If the producers do kill him off I will be very displeased. I would see it not only as a manipulative plot device but an unnecessary one as well.

      Killing kids for the sake of advancing the story is not cool. Leave that for Grave of the Fireflies, Barefoot Gen, Now and Then, Here and Now, Saikano and other shows of that type.

      An example : A friend of mine once made a comment regarding the movie 12 Monkeys that I have never forgotten, “Although the movie is wonderful and I advise everyone to watch it once, it’s so damn depressing that you never want to watch it again.”

      Not that I didn’t like the above series but Tokyo Magnitude is a show I can watch again and again. The above shows that I mentioned although powerful, thought provoking and poignant are not something that I would like to rewatch.

      • Wow. I joyfully disagree!

        I watched 12 Monkeys a billion times. I’ll be a wreck if Yuuki dies, but it won’t make me hate this show. (No I don’t have any plans of rewatching Grave of the Fireflies, re-reading Bokurano and the like; though I’m making a tradition to watch Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket every Christmas (it’s an /m/ thing too, retarded I know).

        Then again, I think it takes absurdly happy and cheerful like me (or Yotsuba) to cheerfully enjoy such cruel and painful works: http://ghostlightning.tumblr.com/post/162197789

        I feel I can take it, and feel wonderful after the pain wears off.

  3. Yuuki better not be faking again, goddamnit.

  4. Pingback: Redmaigo on the Absence of Pillage and Burn in Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 « The Ghosts of Discussions

  5. sadakups says:

    Oh shi-. Please don’t let Yuuki die. He still has to pilot his giant-robo at the end of the series.

    Seriously though, I don’t want anyone to die. Let others die, but leave the main cast out of it, as well as their families.

  6. Rawr says:

    I’m surprised everything hasn’t fallen into chaos with pillaging, stealing, and all that shit, but then again, it isn’t Hurricane Katrina, nor is it North America.

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  11. TokyoMag8.0 says:

    Yuuki also doesn’t like telling people that he is ill or tired, so maybe if he told if he was suffering from a concussion, maybe he would have lived? (He probably got a concussion from the Tokyo Tower collapsing, he got hit with something in the head. He vomited, one symptom of a concussion. For the people saying he got sick, he didn’t. He probably had internal bleeding in his head and fell unconscious when he was walking behind Mari and Mirai. After that I guess he just died. It happened in part 8. At part 10 or 11, he tells Mirai that he died earlier at the hospital)

  12. TokyoMag8.0 says:

    And also notice how when Mari goes to the hospital camp to find Miari (I think since I just watched this anime like a day ago and completed it) , she doesn’t say Yuuki, she only says Mirai, another sign that he died.

  13. ikuto-kun says:

    Is there an alternative ending for the anime Tokyo Magnitude 8.0? I am regret to watch it

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