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Tokyo Magnitude 8.0: Complete Collection Blu-ray Review

tokyo-magnitude-8-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60 (29.970Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese & English  DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: Yellow/White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Discs: 2  (2  x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 325 Mins.
  • Studio: Maiden Japan
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April  2, 2013
  • List Price: $69.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

 

The Series

[Rating:4.5/5]

Tokyo-Magnitude-8-BD_01

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (東京マグニチュード8.0) is an OVA series that ran on Fuji TV’s noitaminA programming segment. In keeping with that timeslot’s mission to create anime that would appeal to a wider audience beyond the typical young male market, the series strikes one as different right from the beginning. A drama set in the year 2012 based around a strong, young female lead, middle school student Onozawa Mirai, her younger brother Yuuki, and a single mother Mari, the story follows the trio’s struggle to make their way back home from the city after a devastating earthquake hits Tokyo.

As far as anime dramas go, this one is very effective, both in building character development and setting an appropriate pace. Mirai, whose name rather appropriately means “future”, goes from being a typical, self-centered, somewhat obnoxious adolescent teenager wrapped up in her own world of cell phones and friends to caring deeply for the well being of her more outgoing brother. Much of it has to do with the unexpected help the two siblings receive from the stranger Mari, whom they initially meet in a museum gift shop. She will become a sort of surrogate mother to the pair, even as she worries for the safety of her own daughter.

What truly makes Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 so compelling, so riveting, it must be said, is that is arrives  (on home video)  so close to the anniversary of the massive, 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan on 3/11/11. Having watched some of the heartbreaking stories of survival and loss over the past few weeks in relation to that, it makes this series all the more stirring.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Tokyo-Magnitude-8-BD_02

The 1080i/60 AVC encodement for Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 doesn’t exactly yield reference quality results on Blu-ray. While the image will be acceptable to most with smaller screens and sitting at farther distances, there are obvious issues here with combing, motion artifacts, softness, and color banding in the darker color fills. Hey, Section23, can we please stop getting these 1080i transfers that look like broadcast masters and get some true, Full HD content here in North America? Thank you.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Tokyo-Magnitude-8-BD_03

The original Japanese and an English dub are provided in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) stereo mixes. Like other Section23 Films labels, this one suffers from issues with its English subtitles pertaining to typos, missing words, and misspellings. Apart from that, the soundtrack is quite fine. Personal preference leads me to prefer the Japanese soundtrack on the basis that the voice acting sounds stronger. The mixes are identical otherwise, other than the English version may be slightly louder. There is an issue with this release, however, and it may or may not be a defect with a small batch or the entire pressing. On episode 7 “Summer Sunset”, the Japanese soundtrack loses audio in the right channel, or most of it anyway, becoming heavily weighted to the left. At first I thought it was my own equipment, but switching over to the English dub did not have the same issue. The sound returns to normal from episode 8 through the end of the series.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

Tokyo-Magnitude-8-BD_04

An hour-long “digest” version of the series accompanies the usual clean opening and closing animations and English disc credits.

  • Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Digest Version (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:52:18)
  • Clean Opening and Closing Animation
  • English Disc Credits

 

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Tokyo-Magnitude-8-BD_05

A magnificent series that breaks far out of the usual anime fare for a more human story that many in earthquake hot spots around the world have to deal with or think about on a daily basis, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is a must for anime fans looking for something different.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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[amazon-product]B00B2TU59Y[/amazon-product]

Purchase Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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