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EP. REVIEW: Japan Sinks: 2020


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Alestal



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 568
Location: Dallas, Texas
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:00 pm Reply with quote
I was pleasantly surprised by how good this series is! It was captivating from the first 5 minutes of the first episode all the way to the end of the series. I highly recommend this series!
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DatRandomDude



Joined: 21 Jul 2016
Posts: 220
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:34 pm Reply with quote
I feel the complete opposite of Alestal. It was the most disappointing anime I've seen this year so far and the first big miss from Yuasa (i know there's another director in the staff but he's still involved in it sooo..). Still, I kinda recommend it because it has unintentional funny moments in it
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cchigu



Joined: 15 Feb 2020
Posts: 57
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:42 pm Reply with quote
Easily the worst series associated with Yuasa yet. I was not a fan of Devilman Crybaby because of its pretentiousness but man, this is a newest low. There is not a single redeemable thing about Japan Sinks.
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Lenks



Joined: 18 Apr 2004
Posts: 130
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:58 pm Reply with quote
I binged this yesterday and loved it. Some of the gore was unnecesary, and the middle portion dragged, but overall it was very compelling.
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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1091
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:04 pm Reply with quote
I loved the first two episodes, but my problems with the show started right at the beginning of episode 3. I'll wait for Lynzee to review it before commenting in detail.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 3501
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:53 pm Reply with quote
I think the first episode was masterfully directed yet not at all for the reasons mentioned in the review; The voice over juxtaposition made me roll my eyes at it but everything prior to that was done in a specific way because they know it's for a show called "Japan Sinks"; The audience has expectations and they play off them.

Episode 2:
"Oh look, they're showing one character has survival skills and is personally keeping the entire group together. It will be a real shame when something happens to..." Ah.

Two points: The munitions were unexploded American bombs dropped during WWII- it's based on a novel from the 70s? that would explain that one- and the only reason Koiichiro was digging up yams there was because his spoiled daughter Ayumu refused to eat the wild boar he so helpfully killed, prepared and cooked for the rest the day before.

More on that later. Oh boy...
I am taking my time through this, I started watching this last week and I'm only up to episode three. Ayumu is going to be a chore to deal with.

Ok, look. Ayumu seemed to be suffering from Survivor's Guilt in episode one but why would that lead to her "It's all about me" attitude in episode 2? Self preservation is understandable, wanting to be pampered while society crumbles is something I'd expect more from a ten year old.

More more on that later...
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Panoptican



Joined: 03 Oct 2005
Posts: 152
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:47 pm Reply with quote
I've actually only watched 2 episodes so far, this review is right up my alley. I was rather intrigued by most of the show. I think it's interesting to see fictionalized accounts of how people would get through realistic disasters. The daughter running away at first and becoming grief stricken seems like an especially realistic take. They seem like a good family unit to take this on too. The dad seems rather knowledgeable and the mom seems tough. The daughter is an athlete and the kid? Well, I guess he's the more tech savvy one, but I hope they don't take that too far.

I have a couple worries though. First, the minor one. What is the deal with the mom taking memento photographs? I suppose it's supposed to be her trying to keep the mood up for her kids, but damn it just seems weird. I hope it isn't an ongoing thing.

The major issue is how the dad died. Are there really so many unexploded ordnances that you could wander outside of Tokyo and get blown up doing some digging? It just seems super unlikely. The family is in the midst of an unprecedented natural disaster and they had to contrive some completely crazy way for him to die? There are so many ways he can die in this disaster that aren't so random. It's so unnecessary. Digging such a giant hole also seems like a poor idea for such a smart survivalist. They're spending a lot of time and energy on a yam. Plus they're losing prime scavenging time . If you want to kill him, maybe make something collapse or explode in a damaged building while he's scavenging somewhere risky. Or anything else really. The yam death was too much. It's why I haven't watched another episode yet. I'm still debating whether to give it another go.
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octopodpie
ANN Managing Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
Posts: 1988
Location: Washington State
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:58 pm Reply with quote
I'm honestly surprised they didn't have the boar kill him and instead had that turn into a silly hijiniks scene instead. Boars can really mess you up!
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9084
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:31 pm Reply with quote
Panoptican wrote:
The daughter running away at first and becoming grief stricken seems like an especially realistic take.

See this is where they very nearly lost me. I could maybe see her running away if they were strangers, but she ran away from her friends and teammates who were actively calling for her help. Yes, there are people who would do that, but they're awful. I can relate to Shinji not wanting to get in the robot, but I just cannot understand how you could leave people you know without even trying to help them.

I was also surprised that the lockers weren't bolted to the floor. Japan's supposed to be earthquake proof, but even here in CA, we bolt bookshelves and filing cabinets to the wall and lockers to the floor.

Anyway, those were my biggest problems with the first two episodes, and they were far outweighed by how intense the earthquake scenes were. And the bodies dropping out of the trees... Btw, I still don't quite get why Mari's plane went down.

As for unexploded ordinance, we dropped a lot of bombs on Japan (over 200K tons in 1945 alone). They found one at Sendai Airport in 2012, and in Okinawa in 2019, among others. Germany unearths about 2000 tons of unexploded munitions every year. Even England is still finding uxb's (the most recent I found with a quick search was 2018).

Also, until she cleared the sign, I was fully expecting a minor quake to bury him in the grave he was digging for himself. >.>
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WizardOfOss



Joined: 19 Jun 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Oss, Netherlands
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:49 pm Reply with quote
After the first episode, while I questioned a few things that happened (why did the plane land on a river full of bridges when it was flying above open sea when it got into trouble? Did the mother actually outswim a tsunami? Where did the father get the lights and power to illuminate the shrine?), it still felt like this could become a pretty good disaster drama.

Episode 2 made some more questionable choices, but still, not bad.

spoiler[However, from episode 3 on everything just gets more and more ridiculous, and now 8 episodes in I'm almost getting Mayoiga-vibes: is this actually meant as a drama, or is it a comedy in disguise? I still quite enjoy watching it, but for all the wrong reasons.]

It makes me wonder how much Yuasa was actually involved in the production. Apart from the story, even the art style feels off. His distinct style might not look that great when looking at stills, but really comes to live through the animation. Unless it doesn't, as in much of Japan Sinks. It almost looks like someone without his talent tried to replicate the style. And failed.

spoiler[You know a show is going downhill when a racist old fart becomes your favorite character in the show. And I still hope that kid dies a gruesome death. His random use of English annoys the shit out of me Twisted Evil]
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octopodpie
ANN Managing Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
Posts: 1988
Location: Washington State
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:11 pm Reply with quote
I know the whole series is available but for the sake of the Daily Streaming thread, try to keep episode spoilers for later episodes either in tags OR in the Japan Sinks thread over in the Anime forum. Thanks!
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WizardOfOss



Joined: 19 Jun 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Oss, Netherlands
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:21 pm Reply with quote
Sorry, I'll be more careful!
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Maleko Ai



Joined: 06 May 2018
Posts: 40
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:04 pm Reply with quote
Is one of the worst animes this year. The first episode makes me interested and have an interest premise but the disappointment came with the next episodes.

cchigu wrote:
Easily the worst series associated with Yuasa yet. I was not a fan of Devilman Crybaby because of its pretentiousness but man, this is a newest low. There is not a single redeemable thing about Japan Sinks.


You're my soulmate I think the same Laughing Wink
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ThrowMeOut



Joined: 10 Oct 2018
Posts: 108
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:29 pm Reply with quote
I'm only up to episode four, but it's starting to lose me. The first two episodes were pretty good, even if the way the dad died was pretty stupid. The amount of time it took him to dig a hole that deep he probably could've scavenged some yams out of a house or garden somewhere. But they also seem to refuse to raid abandoned houses and I'm not entirely sure why. I also wasn't terribly bothered the daughter ran from her friends. Panic can make us do some irrational stuff for the sake of self-preservation.
But without getting into too many spoilers for the next two episodes, things are starting to get weird. Dumb things are happening, they start making even more bizarre choices, and nobody really acts like... people.
Also their world is weirdly empty. Japan's a pretty densely populated island and they're hitting up towns all the time, yet they rarely encounter other people. It's kinda weird.
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Silver Kirin



Joined: 09 Aug 2018
Posts: 316
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:28 pm Reply with quote
I watched Japan Sinks last week and I enjoyed it, but not as much as Yuasa's previous work on Netflix. I am not very interested in disaster stories like Earthquake or the Day After Tomorrow but I kept watching the show because I genuinely wanted to know if the characters would survive, although sometimes I felt that the characters were not acting in a very logical way spoiler[like Ayumu ignoring her leg wound for so long.
Still, I was quite hooked by the story, though I imagined that the animation was going to be very impressive with Yuasa at the helm but it didn't feel that way for me. I also enjoyed the neutral spanish dub, the actors had to record their lines from their homes due to the pandemic but they did a good job, and curiously in the dub Ayumu's voice actress was working alongside her father (who voiced the old man, Kunio) and her mother (who voiced Kanae).]
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