Mirai Onozawa and her younger brother Yuuki are trapped on the other side of the city of Tokyo when a massive earthquake strikes the area. With the help of Mari Kusakabe, a single mother who decides to look out for the siblings, the trio attempts to make their way across the devastated cityscape to reunite with their families. In one of the most emotional survival stories, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 deals with a realistic natural disaster, as seen through the eyes of a young middle school girl.
But just how realistic are the events of the series? We know that Tokyo is prone to deadly earthquakes, with one occurring a few years after this anime series aired that boasted a 9.0 rating! In honor of this underrated anime, we decided to take a look at some of the events of the series, to see how possible it is that something like this could play out in reality.
A Journey Which Should Never Have Been?
To start with, Mirai, Yuuki and Mari should have never gone on their epic trek across the city in the first place, at least not to the extent that they did. According to the Tokyo International Communication Committee’s website, in the event of an earthquake, residents and business employees are advised to stay in place as much as possible. As a result, places of business are expected to have supplies for up to three days’ worth, while safe public transportation areas and school administrators are advised to keep the public together in the area they are in or to guide them to a safer one. These suggestions were put forth after the large earthquake that occurred in 2011, where more than five million people were stranded due to issues with the railways following the natural disaster.
If you are caught out in a public area after the event, you are advised to proceed to the nearest temporary shelter and stay put until you are sure you are confirmed able to return to a safe residence. While Mirai, Yuuki, and Mari followed this initial aspect of the procedure, they continued to wander without confirming that they had anyplace to return to, causing them significant danger and heartache along the way. Of course, this makes for far better story-telling than the characters sitting and waiting for the all-clear to head home. However, please do not follow their example in this regard, especially after such a large-scale disaster! Waiting until the aftershocks have died down a bit is much safer than heading out immediately, when you may not even have a home to return to.
It makes perfect sense in Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 that our characters were unable to reach their family members after the earthquake, as regular communication lines are often damaged in such an event. Part of the reason Mirai, Yuuki, and Mari set off on their long journey across the city was that they were worried about their family and wanted to get to them. Thanks to technology and the preparedness of the city now, residents will hopefully not have to worry as much about contacting their loved ones. People are advised to listen to their radios for updates on the information, just as the characters in Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 did. In addition, there is now an Emergency Message Dial service to allow people to record messages, which can be retrieved by others across the city wanting to know where that person is. While this won’t solve the problem of communication completely, hopefully, it will help enough so that residents won’t feel as much pressure to rush around right away.
Evacuation Shelters and Feeling Prepared
Obviously Mirai, Yuuki, and Mari were quite scared after the earthquake stranded them across the city, and any situation like that would be quite terrifying, especially for younger children. Thanks to the public information on evacuation shelters and learning how to deal with a natural disaster in various situations, you can feel more prepared if that time should ever arise. Prepping survival kits can help with this type of situation so that residents are able to locate basic supplies quickly in a natural disaster. Mirai and Yuuki were lucky that Mari helped them along the way, and that they were able to find shelters or kind people along the way to help them out. Of course, they are children—but even teaching kids the basics of survival preparedness can help in the event that something like this happens.
In the end, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was a well-researched and accurate tale of people dealing with natural disaster, although some emergency preparedness measures have changed since then. More importantly, this is an anime telling a realistic tale of human emotion, with characters that will draw you in until the very last minute of the final episode. And you will definitely need those tissues!
Have you found a more realistic natural disaster anime than Tokyo Magnitude 8.0? Let us know your thoughts on this anime in the comments below!