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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0's Eerie Comparison to Reality

Current Devastation in Japan Depicted in 2009 Anime

The Japanese are fully aware of the dangers they live with in a nation prone to earthquakes. So much so, that an anime TV series depicting what an magnitude 8.0 quake would do to a city like Tokyo was made in 2009 with startling similarities to the disaster that just hit Japan.
Anime Title Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was released in 2009
[Source: Wikipedia] Synopsis: After a massive earthquake in Tokyo 25 km under the sea at a magnitude of 8.0, siblings Mirai and Yūki, who were visiting a robot exhibition in Odaiba at the beginning of their summer vacation, struggle to reach their parents in their house in Setagaya, assisted by a female motorcycle courier named Mari, who is striving to reach her own daughter and mother in Sangenjaya.

Mirai, unable to get a connection to call her parents, throws her phone away in anger. Despite promising each other that they would not separate, Yūki goes off on his own, hoping to go to the top of Tokyo Tower to see their house in order to assure Mirai that their parents are still alive. Mirai finds him just before Tokyo Tower collapses, and Yūki is struck in the head while saving Mirai from a piece of falling debris. She is worried for him, but he assures her that he is fine.

As they continue on their way, Yūki collapses and is taken to the hospital. Mirai sees him on a stretcher with a white sheet over his face, and later awakens from the apparent dream, only to see Yūki in an operating room where the surgeons tell her that they were unsuccessful. Mirai finally awakens and meets up with Yūki who is playing with other children. Later, Mirai assures a worrying Mari that they will find her mother and daughter.

They reach Mari's house, which was destroyed in the fires. At a nearby school, Mari sees two unknown bodies that she believes are her mother and daughter, and, unable to bring herself to lift the sheet to confirm it, she mourns their deaths. Yūki, however, tells Mirai that he believes them to still be alive, and he helps Mirai find Mari's daughter Hina. Mari later finds her mother, who is in a hospital with minor injuries. Mirai leaves Mari a letter saying that she and Yūki will go home by themselves. Mari expresses surprise that the letter says "Yūki and I."

Yūki and Mirai return to their neighborhood, where Yūki is always just out of sight when Mirai meets with her friend from school and later meets Yūki's friend Itsuki. Mirai protects Itsuki when his house partly collapses while they are inside. It is here that Yūki reveals to Mirai that he really did die at the hospital.

Mirai returns to her house, where Yūki's spirit departs while Mirai and her mother tearfully embrace. They meet with Mirai's father, who is in the hospital with a broken leg, and together they grieve as Mirai tells them of Yūki's bravery.

One month later, Mari visits Mirai to return Yūki's backpack, in which she finds her discarded cell phone, which Yūki secretly kept for her. Among the many emails that Mirai receives is one from Yūki that he sent from Mari's phone before his death, expressing his hope to get a phone soon, to be able to talk even when they were apart. With this, Mirai realizes that she can cope with Yūki's absence by writing to him. While watering the tree Yūki planted, Mirai resolves to move on with her life, knowing that Yūki will always be in her heart.

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