Japan Sinks

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Japan Sinks
Japan sinks novel.jpg
AuthorSakyo Komatsu
Original title日本沈没
TranslatorMichael Gallagher
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese
GenreScience fiction thriller
PublisherKobunsha
Kodansha Int'l
Publication date
1973
Published in English
1976
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages224 pp
ISBN978-4-7700-2039-0
OCLC33045249
Japan Sinks: 2020
Original net animation
Directed byPyeon-Gang Ho
Masaaki Yuasa
Written byToshio Yoshitaka
Music byKensuke Ushio
StudioScience SARU
Licensed byNetflix
ReleasedJuly 9, 2020
Runtime25–32 minutes
Episodes10 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Japan Sinks (Japanese: 日本沈没, Hepburn: Nippon Chinbotsu) is a disaster novel by Japanese writer Sakyo Komatsu, published in 1973. Komatsu took nine years to complete the work. It was published in two volumes, both released at the same time. The novel received the 27th Mystery Writers of Japan Award and the Seiun Award for a Japanese novel-length work. The English translation was first published in 1975. In 1995, after the Osaka-Kobe earthquake, a second English edition (ISBN 4-7700-2039-2) was published. The English translation is heavily abridged. In 2006, a sequel to the novel, co-authored with Kōshū Tani, was published.

The novel has led to works in other media as well as a sequel: a film based on the novel made in the same year directed by Shiro Moritani, a television show by TBS and Toho broadcast in 1974–75, a film remake in 2006 by Shinji Higuchi, and an original net anime series on Netflix by Science SARU in July 2020.

Geophysical background[edit]

Japan is on a destructive plate boundary, where the Philippine Plate subducts the Eurasian Plate. It is a triple junction and three subduction zones are involved. After the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, towns like Ishinomaki subsided.

Political background[edit]

This novel is now seen as an important look into the cultural context of 1970s Japan, particularly due to its level of popularity.[1]

Anime adaptation[edit]

An original net animation (ONA) anime series adaptation of the novel was announced on October 9, 2019. The series, titled Japan Sinks: 2020, was animated by Science SARU, with Pyeon-Gang Ho served as the series' director and Masaaki Yuasa as director. Toshio Yoshitaka handled series composition, Naoya Wada designed the characters, and Kensuke Ushio composed the series' music. Yuko Sasaki, Reina Ueda and Tomo Muranaka are credited with starring roles. It was released worldwide by Netflix on July 9, 2020.[2] A film compilation version of the series was subsequently released in Japanese theaters in November 2020.[3]

Summary[edit]

Shortly after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a major earthquake hits Japan. Amidst the chaos, the Mutou siblings Ayumu (a middle school student and track and field athlete) and her younger brother Gou (an elementary schooler and video game enthusiast) attempt to escape the city with their family and friends. However, the sinking Japanese archipelago complicates their escape. Plunged into extreme conditions, the Mutou siblings believe in the future and acquire the strength to survive with utmost effort.

Voice cast[edit]

Character Japanese voice actor English dub actor
Mari Mutō (武藤 マリ) Yuko Sasaki Grace Lynn Kung
Ayumu Mutō (武藤 歩) Reina Ueda Faye Mata
Gō Mutō (武藤 剛) Tomo Muranaka Ryan Bartley
Kōichirō Mutō (武藤 航一郎) Masaki Terasoma Keith Silverstein
Osamu Asada (浅田 修) Daiki Hamano Jamieson Price
Haruo Koga (古賀 春生) Hiroyuki Yoshino Billy Kametz
Kaito / Kite Kensho Ono Aleks Le
Nanami Miura (三浦 七海) Nanako Mori Abby Trott
Kanae Murota (室田 叶恵) Tomoko Shiota Cathy Cavadini
Kunio Hikita (疋田 国夫) Umeji Sasaki Doug Stone
Saburō Ōtani (大谷 三郎) Taichi Takeda Kim Strauss
Daniel Gensho Tasaka George Cockle

Episode list[edit]

No. Title Original release date
1"The Beginning of the End"
Transcription: "Owari no hajimari" (Japanese: オワリノハジマリ (終わりの始まり))
July 9, 2020 (2020-07-09)
2"Farewell, Tokyo"
Transcription: "Saraba, Tōkyō" (Japanese: さらば、東京)
July 9, 2020 (2020-07-09)
3"A New Hope"
Transcription: "Aratana Kibō" (Japanese: 新たな希望)
July 9, 2020 (2020-07-09)
4"An Open Door"
Transcription: "Aita Doa" (Japanese: 開いたドア)
July 9, 2020 (2020-07-09)
5"Illusion"
Transcription: "Iryūjon" (Japanese: イリュージョン)
July 9, 2020 (2020-07-09)
6"An Oracle"
Transcription: "Orakuru" (Japanese: オラクル)
July 9, 2020 (2020-07-09)
7"The Dawn"
Transcription: "Yoake" (Japanese: 夜明け)
July 9, 2020 (2020-07-09)
8"Mom's Secret"
Transcription: "Mama no Himitsu" (Japanese: ママの秘密)
July 9, 2020 (2020-07-09)
9"Japan Sinks"
Transcription: "Japanshinku" (Japanese: ジャパンシンク)
July 9, 2020 (2020-07-09)
10"Resurrection"
Transcription: "Fukkatsu" (Japanese: 復活)
July 9, 2020 (2020-07-09)

Reception[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 72% approval rating based on 18 reviews, with an average rating of 6.54/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Japan Sinks: 2020's swell of tension and frenetic pace leave little room to breathe, but bursts of hope and interesting insights into humanity may help brave viewers weather its apocalyptic story."[4]

The anime received 2 nominations in the 2021 Crunchyroll Anime Awards.[5]

Parodies[edit]

A parody short story by Yasutaka Tsutsui, titled Nihon Igai Zenbu Chinbotsu (The Whole World Sinks Except Japan) was also released in 1973, and adapted into a film of the same name in 2006.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Napier, Susan. "Panic Sites: The Japanese Imagination of Disaster from Godzilla to Akira", Journal of Japanese Studies,Vol. 19, No. 2 (1993).
  2. ^ "Masaaki Yuasa's Japan Sinks: 2020 Anime Reveals Trailer, More Cast, July 9 Premiere", Anime News Network, retrieved 28 May 2020
  3. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (August 20, 2020). "Masaaki Yuasa's Japan Sinks: 2020 Anime Gets Compilation Film in Japan on November 13". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  4. ^ "Japan Sinks: 2020 (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  5. ^ Loveridge, Lynzee (January 15, 2021). "Crunchyroll Announces Nominees for 5th Annual Anime Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 15, 2021.

External links[edit]