Mirai’s turn, degree 180.0 (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 08)

tokyo magnitude 8 08 mirai mari the emotional strength balance has shifted

More than anything, this episode marked the 180-degree turn milestone of Mirai’s character. Perhaps it’s self-serving for me to say so since We Remember Love’s posts on Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 have been Mirai-centric, if not entirely a corpus of apologetics for her characterization. Nonetheless, this is what the episode felt like, from the refrain of the theme of Yuuki in danger as a trigger for maturity, to the shift in the balance of emotional support within their contingent ‘family’.

What I mean is that the nearer they are to Sangenjaya, the more Mari is in need of emotional support. Mirai is the one to give it.

This is not to say that Mari is no longer the responsible resource in the trio. Far from it. From the decisiveness when Yuuki fell, to leaving a message for the Onosawa parents in the hospital should they look for Mirai and Yuuki there, Mari delivers. It’s only that the uncertainty regarding the safety and welfare of her daughter Hina and her mother relative to the limited news regarding the fire that affected the area takes its emotional toll on Mari more than ever.

These things are revealed in a manner so slowly, and carefully, that I think it will punish those who have shorter attention spans.


Nightmare of NunaMirai

tokyo magnitude 8 08 mirai dream sequence greentokyo magnitude 8 08 hospital overflowtokyo magnitude 8 08 mirai dream sequence teal

This is not the only thing punishing for me. I don’t like dream sequences. I never have, and I’ve never seen a dream sequence that I truly enjoyed. Mirai had a series of dreams where in both cases, Yuuki died. The obvious dream-like quality was the giveaway that Yuuki wasn’t going to die. For me this wasted the suspense built by his sudden collapse in last episode’s cliffhanger. The dream sequence deaths, from a dramatic and suspense point of view, are wasteful and cheap.

Furthermore, I think the long wait in the second sequence (Yuuki was in the operating room), which was preceded by a montage of images of a hospital overburdened with the injured and the sick. The painful thing is that the sequences are actually very well done! However, here is the crux of the problem:

tokyo magnitude 8 08 mari mirai yuuki ambulance

For all the efforts made by the show to depict a hospital overwhelmed with patients as a result of the earthquake, Mirai and Mari had no problem getting medical attention forYuuki.

Zero. It was as if the sea of patients and their disgruntled loved ones parted like the Red Sea to accomodate the needs of Yuuki. It isn’t like the patients depicted were in less need at all. A whole lot of them looked in various states of injury and debilitation. Considering that all that Yuuki needed was an IV, the whole thing just stood out in a troubling way.

When the narrative needed some time for the two siblings to have a moment to themselves — to act like the siblings I’ve wanted to see them as (it was very nice too!), then it was convenient to have Mari go through long queues. Thins like this, small as they are, bother me. To me, they are details that matter, especially for a show that has succeeded mostly through nuance and attention to detail.

tokyo magnitude 8 08 mirai yuuki sibling quality time

So what I’m saying is that the show missed an opportunity to capitalize on the depiction of grit. There was plenty of distress, conflict, and life/death situations in the background. However, by placing the better part of it in the middle of Mirai’s dream sequences, and by all this registering zero effect on Mirai, Yuuki, and Mari; it becomes very little but noise in the background of the narrative. It fails to deliver on providing both immersiveness and believability in relation to the effort in putting them in the episode.

Not to say that immersiveness and believability isn’t abundant in Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. Episode three and five respectively, delivered these in spades. I can see the effort in putting the elements in this episode, but it doesn’t quite work and is therefore, a precious waste.

The second half of the episode feels like a slow montage into Mirai’s milestone in terms of growth. The montage effect is due to their passing through a public park, which allows for a view of undamaged greenery, a stream, and even fauna. The milestone itself occurs on a series of bridges, a rather obvious symbol of Mirai crossing over to a role closer to that of leadership in the party, or at the very least a clear contributor to their collective well-being.

tokyo magnitude 8 08 mirai mari is not okaytokyo magnitude 8 08 mari mirai the emotional strength balance has shifted

We see her reassuring both Yuuki, and then Mari. While categorically I don’t subscribe to her use of hope to raise morale, but she’s 13 and spoke to her ‘charges’ in the words that meant most to them, and made the most difference. It’s satisfying for me, to see the strong Mari break down just a little; not that I enjoy the breakdown itself, but rather how she allowed Mirai to contribute to her. It honors them both.

In the post on the previous episode I took pains to show how Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 takes pains not to depict Mirai’s growth as sudden. In the previous episode, she didn’t do much good and even took a side-trip to stupidkidville. This episode is the payoff. She becomes the kid with the kind of groundedness Mirai displayed regarding Yuuki’s condition: She understands that he seems to have recovered, but shows prudence in that she believes he should get medically examined later on.

tokyo magnitude 8 08 yuuki not yet recovered but already being a dumbass kid

In the mean time, Sangenjaya and its fires seem very close, yet home itself still feels rather far away.

Further Reading

The case against hope [->]

Grit and danger in Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 [->]

Emotional immersiveness in Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 [->]

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 analysis, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Mirai’s turn, degree 180.0 (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 08)

  1. kode-dekka says:

    I can’t believe every blogger missed it, the fact that Yuuki is most likely dead. If you didn’t see it the first time (I didn’t) then re-watch the episode after reading this.

    1. Why is that when Yuuki “recovered” Mari didn’t speak or ever look at him, nor did he talk to her, neither seemed to be aware of the other’s existence.

    2. Could it be that those legal papers were his death certificate?

    3. Mari says she left a message for their parents and then proceeded to say something like “about Yuuki, I’ll…” but Mirai interrupted her before she could say anything. What was it that Mari wanted to say about Yuuki and why is it that she looks so down when it comes to that subject?

    4. Another odd thing is that not once after Yuuki gets better does Mari call his name, let when she was first looking for them she only called Mirai and when she saw her again, later on she said only Miari’s name again and oddly forgot to mention Yuuki.

    5. Finally at the very end it shows Yuuki waiting for them at that gate, but when the camera moves on the final shot, he’s nowhere to be found, you would think that he would at least be somewhere waiting for him yet you can’t see him at all. Of course that could just be poor animation on BONES’s part.

    Well that sums that up, hope you come to the same conclusion, see ya.

      • wakka9ca says:

        It is very unfortunate that after analyzing carefully this episode, I came into the painful conclusion that the dream sequences were no dreams at all… A lot of things hint towards Yuuki’s death and now has become Mirai’s imaginary brother because she couldn’t accept it….

        And the title of the last episode of the series is apparently titled “To Yuuki…” (like the beginning of a letter), according to an uncertain source that probably got it from the September 2009 Newtype magazine monthly anime schedule…

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to agree with you. Yuuki is possibly dead and Mirai has gone crazy with her hallucination. Well, we can see what really happen on next week’s episode =]

  2. Chris says:

    This episode absolutely destroyed me, I watched this episode during break at work and I was confused until I watched it a second time at home. So, I have come to the conclusion that Yuuki really died in the second sequence it only seemed like a dream sequence because the real world collapsed for Mirai, if you noticed there were only two sleeping spots outside, and Mari was collecting a death certificate. On the bridge when Mari was talking with Mirai about getting her home she said “for Yuuki, I’ll”, she had to be talking about his body or something to that effect. I feel that Mari is so sad because she’s seeing Mirai having a minor mental break, and if you noticed Mari never directly spoke to Yuuki after the first minute of the episode.

  3. X10A_Freedom says:

    Tokyo Mindf**k 8.0. What is real, and what is not? I’ll accept Yuuki is most likely dead (although I didn’t realise it while watching it…).

    To find out, same bat time, same bat channel…

  4. kadian1364 says:

    I don’t believe it. Not yet. Everyone’s leaping to conclusions about highly circumstantial “clues”, which I don’t even think were very well presented in the episode if they were. I’d like there to be more concrete clues if such a major plot twist did happen, like Mari showing more reaction or if Yuuki’s footsteps were silent or shadow was missing (they weren’t). TM8.0 could turn it all around and make it out to be some crazy hallucination, but for what was present in the episode, I’m still firmly in the camp that Yuuki’s alive and well.

    I seem to remember another debate that raged around this time last year about another character that was alive/dead: Lelouch Lamperouge at the end of R2. All of the evidence the conspiracists could muster for his survival were also flimsy and circumstantial.

  5. bluemist says:

    For all the realism that happened throughout this anime, it’s rather surprising for them to make a very confusing episode with multiple dream sequences. This is the double-edged sword moment for this series, and it’s quite safe to say that I am on the positive edge. Despite the sudden introduction of the fantastic element, I still enjoy the series because of its characters.

    Hell the more I care about them now that everything’s going to change from now on. Yes, I agree that with the multiple clues in the latter half of the episode Yuuki’s fate is extremely debatable, but I also want to step away from the discussion a bit and see how the anime would play next episode.

  6. Everyone, I’ve considered all your opinions and rewatched the episode. Instead of responding to each of you, I’ve organized my thoughts into a post.

    Let me say that I can’t thank you enough for bringing this to my attention. I think this is brilliant stuff. I feel that I am completely at the mercy of the narrative, and either way, I think I like it.

    I elaborate in the following post.

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  8. Typhonsentra says:

    I’m assuming the author of this article never saw the movie “The Sixth Sense”, seeing as how this episode borrowed pretty heavily from that movie, the techniques and dialogue tricks to avoid having Yuuki directly interact with anyone other than Mirai.

    The kid’s dead, I can’t believe anyone would be able to miss that.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The dead of Yuuki was confirmed when Mari picked up the certificate.

  10. Ryan A says:

    For all the efforts made by the show to depict a hospital overwhelmed with patients as a result of the earthquake, Mirai and Mari had no problem getting medical attention for Yuuki.

    Bing Bong, Bing Bong! And, then there’s the likely possibility he’s passed away. I really think this episode tried to do too much, and ended up including some unnecessary content; like the dream-sequences (or 1 dream sequence and reality, not sure).

    Lost some points, based not on occurrences (whether Yuuki is okay or not), but in method.

    • As an episode it doesn’t have coherence, and it doesn’t stand well on its own. However, I find it rather clever and interesting for its vagueness. As said I’ve never been a fan of dream sequences of any kind, and I this won’t make be a fan either. But, either way alive or dead, I rather enjoyed being dicked around this time.

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  12. spoilierific says:

    Damn, i saw your post and had to comment. You made me go back to re-watch the episode.

    I don’t think Yuki’s dead though. Too much ‘circumstantial evidence’ surrounding your Yuki’s dead theory.

    Anyway, i went to read up on the official episode summary for the next ep, and guess what?

    SPOILESR

    He’s not dead. In fact, the three of them make it to Mari’s house, where much of the street has been destroyed by the fire (much more than Mari originally thought) . Much of the episode focuses on how Mari is devastated etc etc, but the two kinds help Mari to find her family again at the end of the epidsode.

    heh.

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