Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

September 2, 2011

IT REALLY HAPPENED! I can’t believe it either! When the traumatic 9.0 earthquake happened right off the coast of Sendai, Japan back on 11th March 2011, I read from comments of many viewers who had watched Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 to be, how do you put it, fateful premonition. Never in anybody’s right mind they would really have predicted such a tremor, which is ranked fourth most disastrous of earthquakes recorded in the history of mankind, to have happened as close as this. Plus, this anime was produced back in the middle of year 2009. That is only less than 2 years! Is this a sign about that Nostradamus thingy and that end-of-the-world-cum-apocalypse in 2012? I hope not.

At the start of each episode of this fictitious series, there is even a disclaimer saying how a lot (and I mean tremendous amount as claimed) of research and verification that has been put into the surrounding circumstance of the massive earthquake. In addition, for realism, many simulators were thought of to create this story though circumstances may differ in the real thing. Very ironic, isn’t it? All I can say is, their amount of research was somewhat quite accurate. Just that nobody predicted it would happen this soon. And when I think about ‘may differ in the real thing’, I thought they were bloody damn right. Except in the real thing, it was much worse. Very much worse. I really pity and sympathize with all those who were affected by the quake.

Thus it took me a massive earthquake and one that hit the homeland of anime and manga that got me the initiative to watch this story. Initially I didn’t want to watch some disaster anime mainly because it involves a lot of drama and human emotion. It wasn’t my kind of cup of tea. If I was hoping for some comic relief, I deserved to be slapped. So I was curious to see how this series would turn out eventually. What would man do in the face of such disaster? I’m sure we’ve read all the articles and conducted practice drills but when the real deal happens, it’s a totally different story. Everything is spontaneous and quick, leaving you no room to think or even breath.

Episode 1
The series begins with scenes of Tokyo being devastated by an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale covering 25km with the epicentre coming from the northern part of Tokyo Bay. Flashback to a slightly earlier period of time, middle school girl, Mirai Onozawa hates her life. She flops her test, has no dreams for her future and annoying things seems to happen to her. Like some guy falling asleep onto her while she’s taking a train. She drops by her little brother, Yuuki’s school and somehow gets involved in helping him and his teacher do gardening. Back home, mom is a busy working woman and reminds Mirai about the chores is left to do. Even so, Mirai isn’t happy that although it’s her mom’s birthday, she only got a triangular cake and not a round one as she hoped for. Life sucks. Complain, complain. Then dad comes home. Seems he isn’t that enthusiastic about mom’s birthday. Then mom comes back home. Late. The parents argue that the children are hungry so Mirai tells them off and goes back to her room. Next morning, Mirai is made to accompany Yuuki to a robot exhibition in Odaiba since summer vacation has started and she has nothing planned out. Mirai isn’t too happy upon arriving at the exhibition but gets absorbed when she realizes how fun the robots are. Her mood only to be disrupted when some impatient lady tells her she’s hogging the line. Then Yuuki suggests to go buy a flower hair accessory for mom’s birthday. A lady, Mari Kusakabe takes it first but upon realizing that the kids wanted it, gives them back. Mirai shows her attitude by not wanting it but Mari lets them have it when Yuuki mentions it’s for their mom’s birthday present. Mirai waits outside while Yuuki goes to the toilet. She gets more annoyed when a kid bumps ice cream into her pants. Then realizing how everyone else is so happy around her, she wonders if anything good will happen to her. Having had enough of it, she wishes that the world should just break. Oh dear. That wish must have been the catalyst that starts everything. Soon everything starts shaking, the ground, the buildings, the bridges. It’s an earthquake. Everything collapses in a blink of an eye. Mirai could only think of Yuuki at that point.

Episode 2
Mirai hangs on to dear life. When the quake is over, everything is at a messed. The city is turned into a warzone. People are in a dazed, scurrying to safety. Mirai heads back into the exhibition centre to search for Yuuki. She searches desperately but doesn’t find him in the toilets. Then an aftershock occurs. Mari drags Mirai away before a block crushes her. She learns Mirai is searching for Yuuki and boy does Mirai sound very guilty of letting him go alone. She decides to help her look for him. They ask other survivors as they try to help their best but nothing conclusive. Mirai becomes reckless by running across a breaking staircase and jumping across a broken stairway! She could’ve been crushed if Mari didn’t act swiftly. They come across a few survivors pulling out a kid. Mirai fears the worse when another aftermath shakes the building. After they recover, unfortunately it isn’t Yuuki. Calm Mari tries to reason with Mirai that they have to get out (the building is starting to catch fire). She must live in order to find Yuuki but this only makes Mirai more desperate. But as they rush towards the exit, Mirai remembers she asked Yuuki to buy her some juice before he went to the toilet. She takes a detour to the drinks area and hears a cry of a boy. To her relief it is Yuuki. They push aside the shelf that is pinning Yuuki down (with another lady covering him) and to her relief, the siblings embrace. They trudge outside and take shelter in a large stable structure since it is raining. They watch the news report about a massive earthquake in the Kanto region. They introduce each other and talk about each other’s families. Mari goes to get some food which is a round birthday cake for her daughter, Hina. Small aftershocks continue to rattle the land, but Mari remains positive for the kids as she tells them to get some rest.

Episode 3
Morning arrives and there is no handphone signal since the communication towers are out. The kids wake up to find Mari gone but she just went to get some food at the convenience store. Mirai gets annoyed when Yuuki asks her just about anything that pops up from his mind. They watch the news to get some updates. There are 843 casualties so far and the injured and missing are increasing. The entire area is devastated and all transportations are crippled. Mari decides to help them return him together. Mirai wonders why she is so nice since she has her own daughter to return to. She mentions that their home lies in the same direction. It might seem like a long distance, but every journey begins with a single step. So start walking! First they need to get off Odaiba, which is an artificial island. While trekking on the crowded bridge, Mari stops to help those in need. Mirai’s heel is badly bruised and sore due to her sneakers so Mari gives her some band aids. Mirai temporarily gets separated but was luckily found so Mari suggests holding hands not to get lost. Another aftershock causes the only bridge off the island to collapse. Now they’ll have to take a ferry. People are getting more annoyed, desperate and selfish as they shove their way through. Then a little stampede started as Yuuki is pulled away. Thankfully Mirai manages to grab him back. The ferry is full but the rescuer mistakes Mari and her children so he lets them go on board. Mirai learns that Mari is a single mom and her husband died so she is raising Hina alone. As the ferry starts moving away, another aftershock occurs. This time this one is huge, causing the already crumbled bridge to sink into the sea. This causes a wave effect and one of the ferries got overturned! Thank goodness they’re on the other ferry. Mirai could feel Mari’s shaking hands. Mari apologizes for putting them in danger but Mirai thanks her.

Episode 4
They reach the main land but Mirai is experiencing stomach pains from the cake though she won’t admit it and tries to hold it in. Mari comes back with a portable toilet but she’s too embarrassed to use it. At the relief centre in the park, Mirai starts lining up to use the tent toilet. A guy cuts in her way so the man behind Mirai gets pissed off for cutting in front of a kid. The duo fight so Mirai flees. She can’t take it anymore and decides to use the portable toilet. Yeah, it doesn’t matter anymore, eh? Feeling much better now? However it’s like today is Mirai’s bad day because a woman accidentally spilled hot ramen on her leg, she got her toes stepped on and she dropped her emergency pack into the mud. As they rest by the park bench, Mari plans their journey to Yuuki’s school in hopes that there will be communication signal. She goes off to throw some garbage. Yuuki tries to remain positive but every word seems to piss Mirai off. She starts taking out on Yuuki by saying that their parents don’t care about them and even throws away her handphone. She crosses the line when she blames Yuuki for wanting to go to the exhibition in the first place. This hurts Yuuki badly as he runs away in tears. Now she has to go find him. So hard to find him alive and reunited and now this. Another aftershock rocks the place. Mirai finally finds him but Yuuki doesn’t want to go with her. He plans to climb Tokyo Tower to see if their home is alright. Yuuki then starts crying uncontrollably as he is worried if daddy and mommy are still alive. This attracts a few good Samaritans as they try to help them out. Once Yuuki calms down, the siblings are on good terms again as Mirai wishes that they return quickly to give mommy her present. However Tokyo Tower’s base becomes unstable and it starts to collapse towards their direction. Run for your life! A flying debris threatens to smash onto Mirai but Yuuki pushes her out of harm’s way. Mirai starts getting paranoid upon seeing Yuuki’s lifeless body. But thankfully, he is still breathing and has just got a little bump on his head. Man, the tip of the tower top was just inches away from them. Lucky! They reunite with worried Mari as they begin their walking journey.

Episode 5
The next shelter they arrive happens to be Mirai’s school. Mirai remembers how her mom tripped and bruised her knee on her entrance ceremony. Mirai decides to take Yuuki to see the beautiful stained glass in the hall but what greets them are rows of corpses and loved ones wailing beside them. Then Mirai sees her classmate Megu crying besides her mom’s body. She also becomes depressed. A kind old man, Furuichi leads the trio to a fountain for a cooler place to rest. A series of aftershocks further demoralizes the already downtrodden people. Furuichi’s wife, Misako seems to be quite nice to Mirai and Yuuki. However she seems to have that concern look at them and even calling them Chi and Kou. Later they find out that the old couple’s grandchildren died yesterday during the earthquake. After having their dinner, Mirai sees Kou continue to volunteer and helping the rest. She breaks into tears that he is suffering and that it must have been very hard for him. Furuichi mentions how he invited his grandchildren who are slightly older than them, here when this sad event happened. He feels that he should’ve been the one to have died because he wanted the young ones to live. The trio huddle together for the night. Mirai feels sad she can’t do anything for Megu then but knows that there are things that she can do now.

Episode 6
Morning comes as Mirai changes into shoes and they continue their journey. Along the way, they hear news of Mari’s hometown, Sangenjaya in which fire has spread throughout the train station though her home is far from it. Mari gets worried and tries to call via handphone but it doesn’t connect. Then she tries a fixed line but it isn’t working either. The kids tell her to leave them as it will be faster for her to reach Hina. However Mari isn’t planning on abandoning them. She takes them to her office nearby where she works. After another slight aftershock, Mari tries to office phone but still to no avail. Mari becomes worried sick that she collapses. The kids hear somebody coming in so they went into hiding. Seems like a girl wearing safety helmet and holding a bat. When she sees the ‘corpse’ on the ground, she and Mirai scare each other that the former starts swinging her bat in all directions before losing her balance. Mari dreams of Hina and her mom being engulfed by flames back in their home. When she wakes up, she finds herself by the side of that girl, Aya, her colleague. Looks like the little ones have stepped outside for a while. As they chat, they hear further news about Sangenjaya. Mari gets worried so Aya says to leave the kids to her and get home to Hina. Then another aftershock nearly causes the cabinet to fall on to Mari but she gets injured on her scalp when the light tube breaks nearby. The next building block even collapses! Mari decides to go look for the kids. On the way, she remembers her biker life while riding with her husband-would-be then. Mari sees Mirai and Yuuki pushing a bike as they think this will help Mari reach Hina faster. However Mari doesn’t wish to ride it and wants them to return it since the 3 of them can’t ride on it together to go home. Mari returns to her office to retrieve her family photo before continuing their journey. Aya tells them to take care as she will be staying here for a while since it’s much safer than her rundown apartment (she lives alone). Mirai wonders if Hina will be okay so Mari assures her that she is because her mom is with her.

Episode 7
While walking through the devastated city, they witness a team of rescuers using robots to locate survivors. They meet a boy, Kento Nonomiya who is sketching the robots. Yuuki and Kento easily click because they both love robots. When Mirai learns that Kento is the same age as her and his obsession-cum-knowledge with robots, she calls him a robot otaku/nerd. The trio continue their walk when Yuuki starts feeling sick due to heatstroke. As the siblings rest, Mari goes off to get some medicine. Yuuki spots Kento chasing after the little robot so he too goes after him. Too bad Mirai too had to go after her little brother. When Yuuki catches up with him, they talk more about their fascination of robots. Mirai continues to call him robot otaku but Kento admits he is one because he loves them. He continues that without them, his parents would’ve died. Thus his dream is to become someone who will create robots. Mirai apologizes for calling him names but he is okay with that. Kento adds that though he found his family annoying, at that time he wanted them to live. Doesn’t this sound familiar, Mirai? He gives Yuuki his robot sketch, much to his happiness. The siblings return to Mari and continue their journey but it soon starts to rain. They take shelter inside the house of a kind owner. Mari falls asleep as the siblings have a nice little chat like they should have. Then Yuuki spots the little robot passing by and he decides to go out and take a look. Oh boy. Not again. Go after your little brother, girl. Yuuki touches the robot but was being told by the in-speaker not to interfere. As they’re about to leave, they see a nearby building moving and on the verge of crashing down. However Yuuki saw Kento went chasing after the robot there. They head over and to their horror see him trying to pull out the little robot that became stuck in the rubble. Though he is successful, he slips but manages to hang on by an arm. Mirai tells Yuuki to call Mari while she herself tries to pull him to safety. Kento seems to value the robot more because he wants her to pull it up rather than just drop it. I guess it was light enough so much so Mirai could toss it up with a single hand before pulling Kento up halfway. Then before the platform they’re on collapses, Kento manages to pull up Mirai. Mirai is about to reprimand him for putting them all in danger but looks like her shin is bleeding. Then the rescue team arrives and gives them a good ticking off for doing pointless stuff and getting hurt. Another round of reprimanding from Mari before Kento part ways with them. Kento promises Yuuki to tell him more about robots the next time they meet. As the trio resume their journey, Yuuki collapses for real. This time he doesn’t respond.

Episode 8
After Mari reads his pulse and feels his head for temperature, she decides to go get help and take Yuuki to hospital. Upon arrival, Mirai falls into a bad dream. In the dark hallway she sees Yuuki’s lifeless body on the stretcher. She wakes up sitting next to Mari as they await the results of Yuuki’s surgery. They observe the chaos and panic around. People are desperate and impatient. Too many injured, too little medical personnel to attend. Then the doctor comes up to them. What he said seems audible but that look on Mari’s face indicates shock and Mirai falling down to her knees, covering her face. OH NO! COULD IT BE?! YUUKI’S DEAD?! SAY IT ISN’T SO!!! Thank God. It’s like a bad dream in a bad dream because Mirai wakes up finding herself asleep in a makeshift tent after hearing calls from Yuuki. She follows the voice of a group of lively children and to her relief sees Yuuki playing football with the other kids. She scolds him for moving too much instead of resting thought Yuuki insists he is okay and the doctor said he only had intravenous. Mirai tells him about her weird dream so Yuuki teases her since she heard her sleep talking. Inside a packed room, Mari sees the update news on Sangenjaya. The fire has stopped burning. The commercial area is badly damaged and has spread to the residential areas. Though the latter wasn’t serious as many people had sought shelter in schools and parks. Mari seems to have her legal documents finished and done by a staff. Then she goes to get Mirai and Yuuki and continue their trip. Mirai can tell by Mari’s face that she has learned something on Sangenjaya. She tells them what she knows and that she has left a message for their parents too. Passing by a park, Mirai assures Yuuki that their parents are fine and probably waiting for them to come home. She’ll take them home no matter what. Now it’s Mirai’s turn to comfort Mari. She is confident that Hina and her mom are waiting for Mari. It’s touching enough to bring tears to the grown lady.

Episode 9
Mari’s pace hastens upon entering Sangenjaya. Seems the area is worse off than thought and not as what it seems as reported in the news. The buildings are not only crumbled but burnt as well. The few local survivors are getting touchy and emotional. Mari rushes to her home but couldn’t find Hina and her mom. They’re being told that there was some gasoline stand blast and sent everything flying or buried. As Mari sits outside her home in shock, Mirai blames themselves for slowing her down. If not she could’ve be with Hina by now. Mirai and Yuuki go ask around and learn that survivors are taking refuge at a nearby elementary school, which also functions as a temporary morgue. They take Mari there and the receptionist mentions that there is a pair of ladies that fit Mari’s family. Taken to the row of bodies, Mari’s fear comes true when she spots Hina and her mom among the row. Without taking off the clothes over their faces, she starts to break down. Yuuki believes that Hina is still alive and pleads to Mirai that they should go look for her. As they shout out Hina’s name, an elementary school teacher caring for a bunch of little children hears them. Mirai brings back a little surprise to Mari: Hina. Both mother and daughter happily reunite. As for grandma’s case, the teacher mentioned she left but never came back. Searching through the hospital, thankfully they find her being treated. The family is reunited once again. Grandma mentions she left to get some clothes and Mari’s late husband’s altar. Mirai and Yuuki decide to go home. However due to the lack of staff, Mari has to help treat her own mom and tells them to wait a little longer. The kids decide to go anyway. They hitch a ride on an army truck heading towards their home (Mirai’s leg was injured so it was ‘convenient’ of her to be allowed on it). Mirai leaves a goodbye note for Hina to give Mari. She thanks her for everything and that without her, they will not get this far. She hopes to visit her when everything is settled down. Surprised Mari rushes out but the truck is already gone.

Episode 10
Yuuki asks Mirai what she would do if he’s dead. She chides him off for talking about something silly but says she’ll cry to death. Then they talk about the nice things they did and the fun stuff they’ll do together from now on. Upon arrival, Yuuki rushes off himself. Mirai sees Megu who is so happy to see her that she hugged Mirai so tight. From her words, we can tell that Mirai’s mom is safe though she has been worried sick about her kids. Her dad is hospitalized for injury though it isn’t that obvious. Mirai passes by Yuuki’s school and meets his friend, Itsuki. He takes her to the shelter where her mom is but she isn’t there. Itsuki’s mom said that she just left to her home. Mirai passes the plant she helped to plant in the beginning. Then she spots Yuuki in the classroom and rushes up. She finds him staring at the board and chides him for running off. Then when Itsuki comes by, Yuuki vanishes. Oh no… Please don’t say it is… Itsuki shows her Yuuki’s drawing on the board of his family visiting Odaiba bridge. This causes tears to stream down Mirai’s cheeks. Itsuki thinks he went to the toilet and goes to search for him. Then Yuuki pops up again and they have another round of talk. Then Itsuki returns but Yuuki isn’t here again. Oh sh*t. Please, no… Mirai thinks of going to look for her mom but Itsuki takes her back to his home first. Itsuki rushes in to get some journal as Mirai spots Yuuki rushing in too. Itsuki hands Mirai a journal of the plant they planted. Then when Yuuki appears, Mirai seems annoyed that he just kept going missing. However Itsuki doesn’t see anybody else but Mirai… Oh f*ck! Then an aftershock occurs. Mirai grabs and covers for Itsuki and Yuuki. The house is split into half as Mirai sees Yuuki appearing from the outside. Then she starts to remember. Remember the truth. Back then when Yuuki was wheeled into the hospital for heatstroke, the doctors couldn’t save him. In short, he died. F*CK!!! NOOOOOO!!! Mari was devastated and that bad dream was really true! Yuuki apologizes and says that he is dead. “I see dead people…”. Sorry, my bad.

Episode 11
Mirai is in shock as she trudges her way home. Then at the park, she sees Yuuki once more. They walk home together as Mirai thinks he’s kind enough to accompany her all the way home. He replies that he wants to be with her and wants to go home together. Reaching home, Mirai calls for her mom but there is no answer. In her room, Yuuki thanks her and slowly starts vanishing. Mirai doesn’t want him to go and wants to be with him. Yuuki’s soft words seem to say that he’ll always be in her heart and loves her. Then Mirai’s mom comes in. They see each other and instantly embrace in tears. In hospital, they blame themselves for that has happened but eventually emotions get the better of them when they talked about Yuuki. A month has passed and reconstruction is slowly progressing. Mirai is still gloomy. During breakfast, Mari pays the family a visit. In Mirai’s room, she relates how it was first hard when her husband passed away but managed to get by when she watched Hina grow every day. She thinks Yuuki and Mirai are quite similar. Then she hands Mirai Yuuki’s bag and her handphone. Seems Yuuki kept it all the while when she threw it away. Connecting her handphone, she receives lots of unread mails. However one of them was from Mari. Actually it was a message from Yuuki using Mari’s handphone to leave Mirai a positive message. Mirai realized that Yuuki was in pain all the while but kept it within himself and kept going without complaining. She misses him and wants to see him and is at a lost now on what to do seeing he isn’t here. Mari hugs her as both ladies shed heart-breaking tears. After bidding Mari farewell, Mirai gives her mom her belated present that Yuuki chose. She also gives her Yuuki’s drawing of her. Another round of touching tears. Mirai narrates that everything she does reminds her of him. Though it’ll always hurt her and make her sad, she’ll tell him everything when she can’t hold those painful feelings anymore. She thanks him for being born as her little brother. Remembering all the happy times they spent together as a family, Mirai resumes her normal life. She takes care of the plant on Yuuki’s behalf now.

Hell On Earth!
It’s such a bittersweet ending. It was hard for me to hold back my tears at the end. Probably because of the real disaster itself, it magnified the pain and sorrow while I was watching this show. It never occurred to me that Yuuki would really die. There were a few signs here and there to indicate that Yuuki is probably a spirit but I was hoping that it wouldn’t really turn out so in the end. Come to think of it, after when Yuuki passed away in the hospital, there were no other people who came into contact with him. For instance, no wonder at that time Mari was looking shocked when Mirai left her a note saying that she was leaving together with Yuuki. And the soldier who let injured Mirai on the truck seems feasible now because he did mention that it was only for those who are truly hurt whereas Yuuki clearly wasn’t.

As any disaster that has plagued the land, we see the best and mainly the worse out of us humans. Often many will become selfish, inconsiderate, thinking about their own survival and do not stop to think that there are others who are also in the same boat, if not far worse. You could say that such events will bring and show the true colours of human nature. Of course there are those who are helpful by nature and these are truly a blessing. It’s understandable that the shock and destruction will cause many to be in daze and be at a lost on what to do. The real Tokyo earthquake proved that the Japanese people are not only a resilient lot, but patient, strong and calm when facing such disasters. Not even a single looting was reported (at least from what I read). So it wasn’t just all made up or because of how animes and stories portrayed Japanese people as such. You truly have to respect them for having such a strong mind-set. That’s why they can advance. I guess in many other parts of the world, if ever such disasters struck, chaos and panic only reigns. Each tossing and struggling with each other for just little the little aid they could get. But that’s just me thinking like that. Especially from the place where I come from, I wonder if people could match the same coolness that the Japanese showed. Heck, could I even be like that? Even the slightest disaster shows how reliant we are on modern technology and conveniences so much so that without them, we are thrown off our pace. How many of us can live without iPad, Facebook or even the internet and go back to basics?

As such, the earthquake has brought many lessons that one can learn. For Mirai, she has learned to move forward and get on with her life without complaints. It isn’t about getting what kind of cake for a birthday or even sulking over the kind of places you want your family to take you for vacation and compare those with your friends. It is sad that it took a tragedy and ultimately a life of her younger brother to realize the importance of her family. She is still considered lucky in a way seeing that many others and some of her friends lost even more. The journey through the aftermath sees how Mirai bonds closer with Yuuki though the time spent is regrettably short. It turns her into a better person Yuuki is always the positive and optimistic child he is. One would easily attribute that he is a young child and doesn’t seem to understand the problems from a larger perspective but I think Yuuki fully comprehends the position that everyone and the country is in. After all, his sister is already shaken by the events so you don’t need another one to worsen the situation. In this sense, Yuuki has grown up and showed much maturity for a kid his age. Mari is another strong willed lady. She may be the pillar of strength that binds the trio together at first but she too is just human, breaking down at times when she can’t help worry about her daughter and mother’s fate. If she didn’t draw that kind of strength from her husband’s death, I’m not sure if she will be able to stand strong and guide the kids back too. It’s also nice to see the other characters that they come into contact on their journey. But they just last for a single episode and don’t make any significant impact besides bringing Mirai and Yuuki closer. Though we get a short glimpse of what they are doing in the end credits in the final episode, could we say that all’s well, ends well? It’s kind of a mix feeling, doesn’t it?

As for the drawing and art, the characters may look simple and lack a lot of details but the ‘scary’ one are the details that they put into the annihilated and levelled city of Tokyo. Though they may just be drawings and sketches, but they are horrifying enough to make your heart sink and even move your tears. Especially the one in the opening credits animation. The rubbles, the wreckage, the mess and the unconceivable damage. All too surreal. They’re just black lines and shadings and yet they look so real and eerie. The opening theme by Abingdon Boys School is entitled Kimi No Uta. It is a rock piece but I don’t feel it’s really fitting the drama-filled series even if the lyrics is something like searching for a lost one (you know those kind of love songs). Surprisingly the ending theme, M/elody by Shion Tsuji is a catchy slow rock. The lyrics is something about uncertainty and moving forward. After watching each heart-breaking drama, the song somehow calms my heart and got me tapping my feet. It’s like it is portraying some hope and light at the end of turbulent times. That is what it should be about, right? On a trivial note, I noticed that the newscaster that reports on the earthquake updates happen to be just that same lady. Isn’t there any others? I don’t know. I just find that her expressions are a little bit robotic. Plus, that same lady reads the next episode preview in the form of short news updates that hardly lasts 5 seconds.

So after all, I just got to be very thankful that earthquakes or other natural disasters like volcano eruptions, tsunami and hurricanes don’t occur in my country. It also makes me feel grateful that I still have my loving family members around. I don’t really know what to do if I were to imagine myself going through all that. My heart goes out to all those in Japan. I have to admit that when this earthquake happened, my first concern was how it will affect the scheduling of animes! I know, I deserved to be kicked in the head real hard. Definitely there are more important things besides 2D animation that were just temporarily delayed. Also, the magnitude of the disaster shouldn’t make us feel weak and our existence small. Instead, it is a much needed push for us to persevere and become stronger. Perhaps the occurrence of natural disasters from time to time are to serve as wake-up calls for us humans since we have a short memory for just about remembering important things and learning from them. That’s why history keeps repeating itself often. So sometimes we shouldn’t wait for another big disaster to do something or change. It all depends on ourselves, our hearts whether we want to or not.