Normally I'm usually not one anime fan who likes to watch a short anime series. Mostly because I always feel like they are rushed and don't have the time to develop enough in the end. I was actually kind of surprised with Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 though. Despite only being 11 episodes, it was actually pretty good.
THE STORY IS: Mirai is a typical angry teenage girl who teeters on that fine line of childhood and adulthood. Summer break arrives and her little brother, Yuuki, wants to go to a robot convention on the other side of Tokyo. Their parents can't take them because of work, so they suggest those 2 go by themselves. They are about ready to leave to go back home when a huge earthquake hits and destroys nearly the entire city and all of it's infrastructure. Mirai goes to look for Yuuki with the help of Mari whom she had briefly encountered moments before the earthquake. The rest is just the 3 trying to make their way back home amidst all the chaos and carnage.
What I really enjoyed about the story was it portrayed the event in a realistic manner. Instead of the typical cliche stories where people go crazy and do whatever they want kind of thing like you see in most movies, Tokyo Magnitude takes a more realistic approach. Emergency responders are working really hard to put out fires, treat the wounded, clean up the city, rescue survivors and so forth. I hate to use 9/11 as an example, but it's like that where everybody, civilians and emergency personnel alike, are working together to help out. The journey for the 3 to get back home is definitely a crazy one, especially from more of children's kind of perspective. It really showed you the fear of being in a situation like that.
ANIMATION: I thought the animation was pretty good. I'm not an expert or, better yet, nitpicky on stuff like this. It didn't bother me nor did I notice anything that an animation expert would pick out and be annoyed about. The animation was very well done coming from a casual watcher's point of view. To me, animation is either good or bad. I don't nitpick, it's either good or it's bad, and I thought it was good.
SOUND: The sound was superb. You would think a kind of low budget anime about a huge earthquake would have some laughable sound. I was shocked by how real it sounded and felt as I was listening to it. Definitely give a thumbs up.
CHARACTERS: The characters are a mixed bag. Mirai, as I mentioned earlier, is stuck in that phase where she is always angry because she wants to be treated like an adult instead of a child. Her little brother, Yuuki, is always positive and seems to always see a bright side of things. That's nice and all, but in the situation of a magnitude 8.0 earthquake, that kind of persona tends to be a little naive. Mari is a pretty tough adult who protects the children at all cost. The developement throughout for the characters left a little to be desired, but with only 11 episodes, you could definitely notice the change/developement in Mirai towards the end. Mari pretty much stayed the same, but it was ok. She was an exception. Yuuki didn't really develop too much other than being positive all the time and getting yelled at by his sister and reacting to that. Other characters don't really have enough face time to make an impression. Mirai and Yuuki's parents are, from what I gathered, the typical workoholics. Other than that, most characters outside of Mirai, Mari, and Yuuki don't have enough time to really merit being important.
OVERALL: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was, honestly, a pretty good anime, despite only being 11 episodes long. It didn't feel rushed nor did it drag out too long. This wasn't a Godsend of an anime by any means and it wasn't terrible or average. It lies more along the lines of being exceptionally well done. It was a journey that I won't be soon forgetting.