Japan Sinks: 2020 season 1 review – a beautiful, violent and tender anime

By Daniel Hart
Published: July 9, 2020 (Last updated: last month)
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Netflix anime series Japan Sinks: 2020 season 1


This is a beautiful, violent and tender anime series that deserves plenty of respect.

Netflix anime series Japan Sinks: 2020 season 1 was released on the platform on July 9, 2020.

Access all the episode recaps.

Japan Sinks: 2020 understands the reality of human conditioning in the face of a grave disaster. It understands that death and mass grievance can change a community and the shape of a country. We become desperate due to our emotional ties. Human emotions are our strength and our weakness at the same time.

Exemplified in the opening episodes, Japan suffers a terrible earthquake followed by a second coming, resulting in the collapse of the country. The Netflix anime series does not flounder over the reality; there’s blood, there’s anguish, there’s horror.

And with the horror, Japan Sinks: 2020 is propped up by an impactful and noticeable music score that bubbles beneath the story, rather artistically, to reflect the emotion of the time. The anime series puts in an earnest attempt to understand how people would react to an international disaster at this level. It doesn’t indulge in ultra sci-fi terms and spin-off to heightened ideologies. The story has a theme — the human cost and the emotional decisions that follow.

Japan Sinks: 2020 follows a group of characters who are mostly family as they venture through Japan trying to make sense of where to go in order to survive. As the title suggests, Japan is sinking and with a population of that size, it’s an international problem.

With each episode passing, the characters have to endure traumatic events to secure their future. It does not shy away from death scenes, and the anime series heavily focuses in on the impacts of bereavement and how it can traumatise those who have little time to grieve.

Going full circle, Netflix’s Japan Sinks: 2020 values human relationships and what they mean — season 1 puts an arm around the viewers and the characters. There’s plenty of love and frustration in the series, which amongst a disaster of this magnitude, fans will enjoy.

This is a beautiful, violent and tender anime series that deserves plenty of respect.

Netflix, TV Reviews
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