what counts down?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #15
What counts down?
As there were requests for more recent movies as the subject of the quiz, here you are: What does the countdown in the screencap indicate? What is expected to happen when it is at zero?
    Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the 'Leave a comment' at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it's the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I've approved a comment, your next ones won't be held, but published immediately by the system.]

UPDATE 1 (15 February 2012):
This week it again is fun, I have to say. First ryoku came out into the open and confessed that more information was needed—but he also had identified the Korean Peninsula in the screencap above. My follow-up hint was that you should concentrate on what is not on the map. Kueperpunk immediately realized that there is a drastic ‘lack of Sushi Bars,’ and yes, indeed: Japan is missing on the map! But why? And what does the countdown signify? It’s not ‘The Sinking of Japan’ and it’s not ‘The Final Countdown.’ Alexander Rabitsch dismissed his own guess, because ‘they had no such screens in 1980.’ Nevertheless he feels like within David Gilmour’s ‘Film Club’ and keeps on searching. To his question I had to answer that the movie is a Japanese anime. Here 風露 jumped in and guessed ‘Earth Maiden Arjuna,’ which it is not, sorry. We are not dealing with a TV series, but with a full-length feature film not based on a pre-existing manga. But it isn’t ‘Summer Wars’ either. Since his opening comment ryoku fell somewhat silent, but I think his search engines are running red hot meanwhile. For your comfort, here are two more screencaps:
 
Hidden Japan 01
Hidden Japan 02

UPDATE 2 and solution (16 February 2012):
Very nice, the riddle was solved in cooperation. First came ryoku: ‘The movie is Vexille, Japan isn’t visible because of some kind of energy field that covers all of Japan. Don’t have the actual answer though. Gotta go watch it and see about that timer for myself—and I don’t want to get spoiled :D’ And then 風露 did the rest: ‘Alright. In order to disable the electromagnetic barrier surrounding Japan, a satellite connection coming from inside Japan has to be established for at least 3 minutes. That’s what the countdown is for^^. As the barrier even blocks the visible range of electromagnetic waves, this is the only possible way to take a glimpse on what is really going on there. No further spoilers from now on ;)’ Congratulations, you two!

HAMANA, KAZUYA. 2007. Vexille [anime]. Tokyo: Shochiku.
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Comments
  • ryoku Monday, 13th February 2012 at 17:58

    well, i guess it`s time for me to step forward an ask for additional information =)
    after a close look i could make out the korean peninsula with the blue square at the center of north korea. is that relevant?

    • zephyrin_xirdal Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 09:15

      You’ve got a fine geographical eye! Correct, there is the Korean Peninsula. But no, the light blue square at the center of North Korea has no significance. Instead think about what is missing on the map …

  • Kueperpunk Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 10:46

    There is a lack of Sushi Bars, i think…

    “The Sinking of Japan”?

    • zephyrin_xirdal Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 10:52

      A drastic lack of Sushi Bars, yes! :-) There is no Japan on the map, correct. But the countdown has nothing to do with the ‘Sinking of Japan.’ Why is Japan not on the map? What kind of map are we looking at? … and what does the countdown signify? :-)

  • Alexander Rabitsch Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 17:36

    >>The Final Countdown<<? Cannot be … they had no such screens in 1980 …

    • zephyrin_xirdal Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 18:16

      You are right … it cannot be ;-) No, it is not ‘The Final Countdown.’

  • Alexander Rabitsch Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 21:01

    Is it a japanese movie?

    • zephyrin_xirdal Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 21:04

      Yes, it is.

  • Alexander Rabitsch Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 21:13

    The movie is a cyberpunk issue, isn´t it?

  • Alexander Rabitsch Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 21:14

    Based on anime/manga?

    • zephyrin_xirdal Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 21:17

      It is cyberpunkish, yes, I definitely would say so, and it is an anime, not based on a pre-existing manga, though.

  • Alexander Rabitsch Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 22:04

    appreciate your answers thankful ;) keepin´on searchin´ … it´s indeed like david gilmours >>film club<< i find this very refreshing and inspiring. nice kind of pedagogigs you´re doing :)

  • Alexander Rabitsch Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 22:05

    … found a couple of pages full of interesting content by researching here …

  • 風露 Wednesday, 15th February 2012 at 11:04

    Well, there are not so many anime which are not based on manga. Damnit, I should know the answer … is it Earth Maiden Arjuna?

    • zephyrin_xirdal Wednesday, 15th February 2012 at 11:14

      Sorry, but no, it is not ‘Earth Maiden Arjuna.’ For clarification: we are talking about an anime full length feature film, not a TV series. I’ll post a second screencap in a minute.

  • 風露 Wednesday, 15th February 2012 at 11:37

    There is a countdown in ‘Summer Wars’, but I don’t think it is ‘Summer Wars’.

    • zephyrin_xirdal Wednesday, 15th February 2012 at 12:36

      No, it’s not ‘Summer Wars,’ but we do get closer and closer. And I’ve put two more screencaps into the post.

  • ryoku Wednesday, 15th February 2012 at 13:28

    how very sneaky mr. xirdal! from the looks of the screencap i didn`t even think of anime.
    the movie is vexille, japan isn´t visible because of some kind of energy field that covers all of japan. don´t have the actual answer though. gotta go watch it and see about that timer for myself – and i don´t want to get spoiled :D

  • 風露 Wednesday, 15th February 2012 at 13:37

    That was close, but I would also say Vexille. Looks nice but I don’t know the answer as well^^

  • zephyrin_xirdal Wednesday, 15th February 2012 at 13:44

    Congratulations, ryoku—’Vexille’ it is! And, well, yes, by the screencap selection I tried to cover-up the fact that it is a CGI-animation movie, because I feared else you buffs would immediately home in on the solution ;-)
        Anyway, as you said, it still leaves us with the question of what is signified by the countdown.

  • 風露 Thursday, 16th February 2012 at 21:29

    Alright. In order to disable the electromagnetic barrier surrounding Japan, a satellite connection coming from inside Japan has to be established for at least 3 minutes. That’s what the countdown is for^^. As the barrier even blocks the visible range of electromagnetic waves, this is the only possible way to take a glimpse on what is really going on there. No further spoilers from now on ;)

    • zephyrin_xirdal Thursday, 16th February 2012 at 21:37

      Perfect solution! This weeks honour goes to ryoku and 風露! :-)