Archive for ‘Tokyo Magnitude 8.0’

September 29, 2009

otou-san on Contrasting Views of NOLA and Fictional Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Original Post: Notes on Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and the Lack of Villainy in People and Characters in the Show

otou-san

September 29, 2009 at 12:40 am

I think it would be unwise to swing from one extreme to another when talking about this, especially with only anecdotal evidence. Yeah, there were a lot of people helping each other, as is often the case in disasters. But shit was messed up. Nothing against the city, I had (past tense, pre-Katrina) friends there and I love it, but it could be a downright scary place.

Mark nailed one of the big points: the situation got worse as the ineptitude of the government on the city, state, and federal level screwed them even harder than they were screwed initially. Can you even fathom that level of frustration?

I think disparity is a huge part of what contributed to the issues as well. Firstly, some of the worst-off areas of NOLA and around were hit hardest by the levee breaking. In a city with some pretty bad disparity already, emphasized by the fact that we’re supposed to be the best-off country in the world, really ratcheted up the problems.

An offshoot of that is that some of the worst things we heard about, like the situation in the Superdome, came from shoving these disparate elements (haves, have-nots, have-even-lesses) together in an anarchic environment when they previously never mixed. That was further exacerbated when people were dumped in other cities like Houston.

Mark’s second point is equally valid — I’m not enough of a weeaboo to imagine I know what Japan’s culture is like on any deep level, but I can say this with some confidence: Japan is more culturally homogenous than New Orleans, so the racial/cultural problems would be less of an issue.

So to sum up this mess of a comment: The problems stemmed more from (lack of) government response, economic and racial disparity, and the link between those (i.e., black = poor to a large degree) than from the disaster situation itself, but the problems were real. And I think those factors would be less significant in a TM8.0 situation than a Katrina situation.

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August 24, 2009

Redmaigo on the Absence of Pillage and Burn in Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

5redmaigo

Submitted on 2009/08/24 at 8:36am

I too was waiting on the rape, pillage and burn but then I realize that this is Japan. I don’t think the slide into barbarism would occur as quickly in Tokyo as it did in New Orleans.

It has more to do with the pre-disaster social class and societal behaviors that dictates how people react during a disaster. There is an old saying, “it is not the crisis that builds something within us— it simply reveals what we are made of already.”

If you are two-legged hyena before the disaster, then your true self will be revealed when the sh** hits the fan.

At first I was amused at the “extreme” reactions of a few Tokyoites after the quake. When someone would cut in line for rations or step on a persons foot and not excuse themselves I was like, “When the going gets tough, the tough get rude?”

But I realized that the people of Tokyo wouldn’t turn into a violent mob overnight. As you pointed out, during most disasters everyone helps each other.

Of course Japan is used to natural disasters. It has been ingrained in their national psyche since time immemorial. I guess that helps in the short run.

Shikata nai ne?

If things remained this way over a period of time then I can see where things could go Grave of the Fireflies, but not just yet. Since this show is only one cour long lets enjoy this slice-of-life disaster show for what it is.

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August 12, 2009

Reaction from someone who was in China during the 2008 Magnitude 8.0 Earthquake in Sichuan

sichuan-earthquake

From:

Is it Okay to Like Mirai Now? (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 05)

  1. 6 ScrambledEggs

    August 9, 2009 at 3:00 am

    I too was moved by this episode. I had flashbacks to the Sichuan Earthquake and the collapsing schools. Parents should never have to bury their own children, let alone dig them out of rubble.

    What’s worse is the fact that these were government-built schools, and adjacent government offices did NOT collapse. Grief turned to anger and rage at the apparent corruption that had caused shoddy construction… and of course the Party then cracked down on them.

    Also the Sichuan quake was in a remote area during the worst part of the rainy season. Help took weeks to arrive in many places. Not to mention that large amounts of aid were siphoned off by corrupt officials (or so the average citizen believes, anyway).

    At least Mari, Mirai, and Yuuki don’t have to deal with any of that crap. In fact, so far we haven’t seen much of the ugly side of human nature at all. Some rudeness, a few selfish survivors, but no downright maliciousness. And the government response has obviously been well-prepared and highly-efficient. Humans have an amazing capacity to make a terrible tragedy worse, but our heroes are lucky enough to live in a relatively decent society where that doesn’t happen as much. If nothing else, that’s something for them to be thankful for.

    • 7 ghostlightning

      August 9, 2009 at 3:17 am

      I’m not that familiar with the recent earthquakes (China, Turkey, Iran come to mind).

      Mike from Anime Diet shared this article in the comments section of the review I linked to above [->]

      The aricle talks about how people can behave well in the face of calamity. It seems that the people of Tokyo are consistent with some of the observations in that TIME Magazine article. I do think that Mirai, Yuuki, and Mari have much to be thankful for.

      Pardon my repeating what I said somewhere else,

      What this does, in my view is allow the narrative to concentrate on the minutiae of concerns that give such nuance to the show. The characters don’t need to, or at least haven’t needed to deal with external threats (human malice/desperation) save for the physical threat of the earthquakes.

      Thus we are treated to an examination of the nature of indignity in the fourth episode. I think shit is one of the indignities we are most ashamed of because it is a constant in our lives and we are so intimate with it. Mirai going through what she did in the first part of episode 04 was an effective set-up to a breakdown extreme even for her notable irritableness and emotional negativity.

      In a addition to this, the narrative allows Mirai the latitude to empathize with the suffering of others, because there are no external threats in the form of malicious humans.

      • 8 ScrambledEggs

        August 9, 2009 at 4:15 am

        Thank you for the link! That was a fascinating and inspiring article.

        I mentioned China because I was in the country at the time and knew people involved. It’s interesting to compare the circumstances there with the ones portrayed here. They’re very similar in some ways, but also dramatically different in others.

        You’re right though. The absence of malice from survivors or government makes it possible for them to empathize with others. In a more hostile environment, such feelings would likely be replaced with wariness and suspicion. Touching scenes like the ones we had in this episode are possible because they aren’t threatened like that. And that is a good thing, I think.

        Oh, and I really hope that their parents aren’t dead… I would probably cry. I wonder if we’ll find out next episode?

        • 9 ghostlightning

          August 9, 2009 at 10:13 am

          That must have been quite the experience, to have been in China in such a time. Were you anywhere near the affected area?

          My only similar experience was way back when I was Mirai’s age in 1990, during Baguio Magnitude 7.8 [->].

          Baguio City is about 8 hours by land North of Metro Manila where I live (the epicenter is actually closer, about 3-4 North by land). We were lucky to not have experienced structural damage in Metro Manila, despite feeling the earth shake violently in our classrooms, and in our homes during the many aftershocks. But Baguio was pretty much messed up.

          We didn’t experience a societal collapse either in the localities most affected, instead our newspapers seemed very eager to report stories of heroism, valor, and survival just as the death tool numbers and the value of property destroyed.

          My experience of the event is far distant to Mirai’s though, and I wouldn’t presume to have a special understanding of what she’s going through, beyond being a conflicted early adolescent.

ScrambledEggs August 9, 2009 at 3:00 am

I too was moved by this episode. I had flashbacks to the Sichuan Earthquake and the collapsing schools. Parents should never have to bury their own children, let alone dig them out of rubble.

What’s worse is the fact that these were government-built schools, and adjacent government offices did NOT collapse. Grief turned to anger and rage at the apparent corruption that had caused shoddy construction… and of course the Party then cracked down on them.

Also the Sichuan quake was in a remote area during the worst part of the rainy season. Help took weeks to arrive in many places. Not to mention that large amounts of aid were siphoned off by corrupt officials (or so the average citizen believes, anyway).

At least Mari, Mirai, and Yuuki don’t have to deal with any of that crap. In fact, so far we haven’t seen much of the ugly side of human nature at all. Some rudeness, a few selfish survivors, but no downright maliciousness. And the government response has obviously been well-prepared and highly-efficient. Humans have an amazing capacity to make a terrible tragedy worse, but our heroes are lucky enough to live in a relatively decent society where that doesn’t happen as much. If nothing else, that’s something for them to be thankful for.

  • 7 ghostlightning

    August 9, 2009 at 3:17 am

    I’m not that familiar with the recent earthquakes (China, Turkey, Iran come to mind).

    Mike from Anime Diet shared this article in the comments section of the review I linked to above [->]

    The aricle talks about how people can behave well in the face of calamity. It seems that the people of Tokyo are consistent with some of the observations in that TIME Magazine article. I do think that Mirai, Yuuki, and Mari have much to be thankful for.

    Pardon my repeating what I said somewhere else,

    What this does, in my view is allow the narrative to concentrate on the minutiae of concerns that give such nuance to the show. The characters don’t need to, or at least haven’t needed to deal with external threats (human malice/desperation) save for the physical threat of the earthquakes.

    Thus we are treated to an examination of the nature of indignity in the fourth episode. I think shit is one of the indignities we are most ashamed of because it is a constant in our lives and we are so intimate with it. Mirai going through what she did in the first part of episode 04 was an effective set-up to a breakdown extreme even for her notable irritableness and emotional negativity.

    In a addition to this, the narrative allows Mirai the latitude to empathize with the suffering of others, because there are no external threats in the form of malicious humans.

    • 8 ScrambledEggs

      August 9, 2009 at 4:15 am

      Thank you for the link! That was a fascinating and inspiring article.

      I mentioned China because I was in the country at the time and knew people involved. It’s interesting to compare the circumstances there with the ones portrayed here. They’re very similar in some ways, but also dramatically different in others.

      You’re right though. The absence of malice from survivors or government makes it possible for them to empathize with others. In a more hostile environment, such feelings would likely be replaced with wariness and suspicion. Touching scenes like the ones we had in this episode are possible because they aren’t threatened like that. And that is a good thing, I think.

      Oh, and I really hope that their parents aren’t dead… I would probably cry. I wonder if we’ll find out next episode?

      • 9 ghostlightning

        August 9, 2009 at 10:13 am

        That must have been quite the experience, to have been in China in such a time. Were you anywhere near the affected area?

        My only similar experience was way back when I was Mirai’s age in 1990, during Baguio Magnitude 7.8 [->].

        Baguio City is about 8 hours by land North of Metro Manila where I live (the epicenter is actually closer, about 3-4 North by land). We were lucky to not have experienced structural damage in Metro Manila, despite feeling the earth shake violently in our classrooms, and in our homes during the many aftershocks. But Baguio was pretty much messed up.

        We didn’t experience a societal collapse either in the localities most affected, instead our newspapers seemed very eager to report stories of heroism, valor, and survival just as the death tool numbers and the value of property destroyed.

        My experience of the event is far distant to Mirai’s though, and I wouldn’t presume to have a special understanding of what she’s going through, beyond being a conflicted early adolescent.