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Beautiful Disaster

sixteenbynine and I were recently discussing how uninterested we are in films like 2012 and how the sort of pseudo-religious nonsense used as a plot hook --- Maya was the oldest civilization? Really? Never mind the calendar silliness --- does not make for a compelling disaster flick.  I mentioned how I'd really like to see a disaster story that wasn't so silly and baseless; something I could actually care about.  As it turns out, BONES — the studio behind Angelic Layer, RahXephon, Wolf's Rain, Scrapped Princess, Fullmetal Alchemist, Eureka Seven, and Darker than Black — has another great-looking show that just started airing in Japan that fits this criteria.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is not just a sensational action series but a well-researched show about a major earthquake destroying Tokyo, which is predicted to have a 70% probability of occurring within the next thirty years.  The show's creators have made a point of outlining events based on predictions of what would happen should this occur to make the series as realistic as possible within an animated narrative.

The pilot episode introduces middle school girl Onosawa Mirai, whose name means "the future," and her boring, average, agitating life.  She's doing poorly in school because she finds the classes uninteresting.  Her parents have a strained and seemingly loveless relationship.  She gets stuck with a lot of chores — including guardianship of her younger brother, Yuuki — because both of her parents spend most of their time working.  Nothing in life really satisfies her.  Even the cakes her mom bought for her own birthday were individual slices of different types, rather than the big, round cake she'd have preferred.  Her life being nothing but work seemingly without reward, she just wishes the world would be destroyed so she wouldn't have to deal with it any more.  Little did she realize that her world, at least, would soon be crumbling beneath her.

It's probably too much to hope that someone will announce the import of this series as soon as Otakon, which begins tomorrow, but I really hope someone picks it up soon.  It's the latest series to air in Fuji TV's noitaminA time slot, following Kamiyama Kenji's1 Eden of the East.  The slot is known for airing some of the more highly rated series out there, such as Honey and Clover, Paradise Kiss, and Nodame Cantabile.  Given the more rapid pace at which company's are trying to import material, some things seeing simultaneous or near simultaneous Western releases, there's a sound chance someone will make an announcement soon.

In the meantime, I've got to pack my things and get ready to head into Baltimore for the convention.  Press orientation starts at 7:00 p.m.


1Kamiyama Kenji is the director of Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade and writer-director of both Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, though Moribito was based on a novel.

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