For those people who were in Japan on March 11, 2011, there are a lot of sounds that they'll never be able to hear again without being reminded of that time: the slow creaking of high-rises as they swayed back and forth, the early warning chimes that rang out over NHK and the cheerful vocals of cartoons singing, "Popopopo-n."

Pop culture generally deals with major world events in two ways: There's an immediate reaction and then, with some time, more measured reflection. The Great East Japan Earthquake, which involved a subsequent tsunami and meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, brought the entertainment industry to a standstill as the country grappled with its need to mourn, and the anxiety caused by the fallout.

And the event continues to loom large in artistic expression — NHK alone has prepped four dramas centered on the disasters to coincide with the 10th anniversary. With some creators wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic will alter the entertainment landscape, it's as good a time as any to look back on the cultural impact 3/11 had on Japan.