A resonating terror raises its head.
Remember my fangirling about this on our Summer preview? Well, if you didn’t, you should because I raved about it too much for my own good. When I have this much of expectation from a series, it either takes a nosedive like Guilty Crown or surprises me like Ping Pong the Animation, completely out of the left field. Let’s see how ZnT aka Terror in Resonance fairs with us terror-loving ladies. :3
The three of us tag team on a show about cannibalism and now terrorists. I don’t know if any other season after this will ever match this one. xD Anyways, I tend to like the anime that Watanabe directs, so I was pretty excited about this. Luckily, it didn’t let me down.
I can’t think of anyone else I’d want to write about teenage terrorists with. :3 Especially a show like this with such big names. You just know it’s gonna be good. But let’s just make sure to see if it lived up to our expectations or if it was a total flop.
Trigger on Tokyo
Kyokai // Let me set the mood with the opening theme Trigger by Yuki Ozaki (Galileo Galilei), to set things in motion. After a long time, we have an anime series, which has an actual presence of environment and location. You can dub it under scenery porn or movie-like camera angles but from the first to last frame of the premiere episode, I was fascinated by the happenings on my screen. The amount of detail is brilliant from the snowy field of Aomori to the busy streets of Tokyo, every frame is minutely checked and drawn to match reality. Backgrounds are not just static frames but alive with flickering light and details. Our main cast has very distinct character designs suiting their personalities and their eyes… I really love the eyes. In some scenes, they don’t even have to speak because their eyes do the talking, like when Nine looked down upon Lisa icily on their first silent encounter and Twelve looking up from the stairwell at Lisa almost threateningly persuasive to hang on to his plushie. Really, along with the characters, I have to say that the atmosphere and background details play a very important role in the overall setting.
As well, the CGI work is top-notch, I mean, you can’t just re-create a localized version 9/11 without detail. It would look like a house of falling cards but the Tokyo destruction in ZnT literally gave me the heebeejeebees. I was starkly reminded of the news footage of the 9/11 destruction and the long discussions on the terror connection later on. I am sure the makers of this series added that accident specifically to trigger the audience’s switch of interest and curiosity. After all, the theme is about pulling a trigger on the world and our Sphinx boys are on a mission alright.
Meet the Sphinx
Karakuri// Nine and Twelve seem to have quite the history to them. Both characters are pretty enigmatic now, but it’s definitely a fact that they have a shady past at some facility and they’ve seen other kids die before. As for the present, that they seem like friends (or at the very least, partners), despite having totally contrasting personalities. From what we’ve seen between the two of them, they work really well together, and are pretty in sync while carrying out their plans. Obviously they’ve known each other for a long time, but this seems to go a bit beyond that, since they really seem to trust one another. Maybe this is because whatever they’re trying to accomplish is really important to the two of them, but really, their teamwork is impressive. They managed to take out a building. Maybe there were other people helping them behind the scenes, but at the site itself, it looks like there were only two of them carrying out the plan.
Kyokai // I wonder, what kind of degrees and access you would require to get into a Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Facility? Is that even possible or one of our young terrorists indeed has all of the required credentials? Even if it was done with a system hack, our protagonists definitely have a strong plan from how they have just mingled in the crowd without any issue. Of course, Twelve is a bit spontaneous but he does balance out Nine’s cold behaviour. From whatever background we have gathered in terms of their story, they are no ordinary kids and few of the last survivors of whatever dodgy experimental facility they belonged to. I have a feeling that the VON Nine spray-painted on the nuclear facility’s floor is connected to their roots as if they are providing a hint. It might be a code name because in terms of definition it is either a name addition (like de in French) or a German preposition, which means of or from. Both seem meaningless for now but we shall see.
Coming from a mysterious background, and my little knowledge of Egypt mythology does make me curious on their decision to take Sphinx as their name. Sphinx is famous in history for being the guardian of the Great Pyramids in Giza and overall being a mysterious creature, who guards great secrets. This is even true in Greek mythology, according to which a Sphinx guarded the city of Thebes and asked the entrants riddles for passage. In recent era, the symbol has been adopted into freemason architecture again as a symbol to guard their mysteries. All of this definitely fits the MO of our young terrorists. It still needs to be seen that their video message was actually a riddle or more of a prediction to deepen their image under the shroud of enigma.
It Gets Worse
Overcooled// Not the show, but Lisa’s situation! Lisa is the target of some rather severe bullying. Not the kind where you get viciously beat up after class, but the kind where you get nasty things whispered into your ear every waking moment and get pressured into doing terrible things to amuse the bullies. Since there are no bruises or cuts, it’s easier to get away with this sort of thing. However, it really messes with people. Lisa is so used to being bullied that she doesn’t even stand up for herself when Twelve is basically asking her if she’s in trouble. She has given up retaliating and simply waits for her torture to be over every day. The most she does to fight for her survival is dashing to the woman’s washroom to lock herself in a stall.
Even her family life appears a bit ragged. Her mom seems nice enough, but Lisa clearly dislikes her for some reason. Maybe it’s because she’s super clingy and sends her strings of texts that Lisa never responds to. That’s not the worst thing in the world, but Lisa seems to despise it. Maybe later on they’ll tell us what’s up there. But based on what we know, Lisa gets no peace at home or at school. It’s no wonder she has dead fish eyes that remind the terrorist duo of people back at a rather ominous looking “facility.”
The only time Lisa fights for her own survival – really and truly – is when she’s asked to become part of the terrorist plot. Only then does she make a conscious decision to join them. She doesn’t know the consequences or what’s going on entirely, but it’s a step towards her becoming a stronger person who can defend herself. It’s a chance for her to grow…which is weird because they’re a bunch of terrorists and this is pretty much a horrible situation no matter how you look at it. Now she can go to jail! Oh Lisa…you really just can’t catch a break, can you?
A picture of thousand words
Click for more Show ▼
Isn’t the ending theme by Aimer Dare ka, Umi o, beautiful? I’ve been her fan since I first heard her in the ending of No.6. Even her recent work in Gundam OVAs is quite good so do check her out. Besides the amazing theme songs, the music by Yoko Kanno is spot-on as usual. It’s not out of this world musically, if you compare it to Sakamichi no Apollon, Cowboy Bebop or even Escaflowne, but a brilliant soundtrack fitting the story. Just hear lolol and you’ll understand what I’m getting at. It really gets you into the mood of the story and throughout the first episode, every sound and every frame connected to give the audience a fantastic visual experience. Watanabe has definitely done it again and I hope the quality remains consistent throughout the run of this series.
Being a seiyuu fanatic, I have to talk about the main cast, who have two relatively new names performing quite well. We have already seen Kaito Ishikawa make waves with his main roles in Gargantia, Tokyo Ravens, Nagi no Asukara and Haikyuu! but Saito Souma is the one who has surprised me the most with his variation from a perky teenager to a dangerous sadistic character as Twelve. This is his first main role besides playing the MC in Akame ga Kill this season. Same for Atsumi Tanezaki, who voices Lisa, her first MC role besides few of the supporting ones (only Asako in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun stands out), she has done previously. We still have to see how she will manage the character variations but overall, the cast is pretty strong and I’m already embroiled in the story and their destinies.
Hot damn is this show good. This fantastic first episode has it cemented as my favourite of the season so far. It nails all the action scenes like a Hollywood blockbuster and the interpersonal drama is well thought-out and clever. You can tell everyone’s personality just from the way they move and make facial expressions (or…don’t…in the case of Nine). There’s a lot of love being poured into animating these characters and it seems like we’ll get a lot of interesting development. What’s giving Nine nightmares? Is Twelve actually a super-memorizing genius with a sadistic streak? Will Lisa learn to stand up to bullies? There’s a lot of micro stuff amongst the macro issues of blowing up buildings and running from the cops. Furthermore, the whole concept of making terrorists the main characters instead of the cops is really cool. I don’t know how they’ll convince us that what these guys are doing is “right” or if they’ll even try to do that but I’m super interested to see how these guys carry the show as the antagonists. It’s hard to be a hero when you’re setting up bombs in public places and causing havoc, you know? All in all, this is an amazing show that you would be crazy not to at least try out.
Yes. This was a good start as far as I’m concerned. Here I was expecting a well planned bombing or something (which did kind of happen), but the addition of Lisa’s character was what really pulled me in to the episode, surprisingly. She seems like a normal enough girl, but the fact that she’s bullied and uncomfortable with her mother for some reason makes it seem like she might be more okay with joining the terrorist’s side of things than if she didn’t seem so unsatisfied with life. It will be interesting to see where her character goes from here, since she was obviously cooperated here to avoid dying. Will she end up becoming just as good of a teammate as Touji and Arata are to each other, or will she just screw them over? Having her character mixed in with Touji and Arata’s schemes should be interesting. Whatever their schemes are. Ah, so much to look forward to. The animation was pretty solid, and I’m really fond of both the OP and the ED songs too. The ED especially. I’m definitely sticking around to see where this goes.
It’s normal to take credit after a terrorist attack and it seems our protagonists will do so soon.