Friday, 8 May 2015

Anime Alcove: Terror in Resonance Review

"Anime Alcove" is an original feature where I talk about the other huge love of my life apart from books: cartoons *serious poker face*……..just kidding! I mean anime (yes, there's a difference, don't fight me on this). Here I'll be reviewing series, analyzing characters like an otaku and trying not to let my inner fujoshi take over. It'll be insane and fun so I hope any of you anime-loving passerby join in!  

Title: Terror in Resonance/Zankyou no Terror
Episodes: 11
Aired: Jul 11, 2014 to Sep 26, 2014
Genres: Psychological, Thriller
Rating: R-17+ (violence & profanity)
More on MyAnimeList | Watch on FUNimation |

In an alternate version of the present, Tokyo has been decimated by a shocking terrorist attack, and the only hint to the identity of the culprit is a bizarre video uploaded to the internet. The police, baffled by this cryptic clue, are powerless to stop the paranoia spreading across the population.

While the world searches for a criminal mastermind to blame for this tragedy, two mysterious children—children who shouldn't even exist—masterfully carry out their heinous plan. Cursed to walk through this world with the names Nine and Twelve, the two combine to form "Sphinx," a clandestine entity determined to wake the people from their slumber—and pull the trigger on this world.
I've been in a weird reading slump ever since my final exams ended. It's the kind where you're too aware of the page numbers and the clock ticking by and how damn hot the summer sun is. Basically, it sucks and until I get into the groove again, I'll be talking anime.

Today I'm reviewing Terror in Resonance, a short psychological thriller set in present-day Tokyo and centered around the terrorist organization Sphinx. They kickstart the series with the thievery of a plutonium device from a nuclear facility and you continue the series not knowing much of anything about the organization except that it consists of 2 highly intelligent young men with the names of Nine and Twelve. The mystery unfolds as Sphinx turns Tokyo into their own chessboard with the help of explosives, social media and a clumsy new recruit that was at the wrong place at the wrong time. The Japanese police get on Sphinx's case and an interesting game of cat-and-mouse ensues, showing us both sides of the masterminds as well as the point of view of our klutzy outsider, Lisa.

Story (★★★★✩)
The story sucks you in from the very first stunningly animated heist scene and it stays fast-paced from there. It slows down only for us to get a little glimpse of the characters but not for long because the mystery behind Sphinx is what's driving the show. While I have to admit that there's an arc (about 3-4 episodes long) that felt kind of pointless in the grand scheme of things, the clever puzzles that are solved in each episode contribute to a heart-wrenching overarching tale of vengeance (or not, depending on how you see it). The grand payoff in the end isn't as grand as I hoped it would be but it does make you question who exactly the real terrorists are over here. Plus, the finale was so different from the rest of the series with the way it just focused on emotion instead of scheming.

The awesomely animated heist scene featuring Twelve being a dork.

Characters (★★★✩✩)
Nine and Twelve were really interesting even though I knew next to nothing about them. Their interactions, the easygoing casualness of Twelve and the ice-cold rationalizing of Nine, balanced each other out. Even if they were hella different, they supported each other through everything (well, almost *cougH*). Lisa, the awkward highschooler with a troubled family background, paled in comparison because although she was adorably trying to be helpful and her confusion was relatable, she didn't matter to the plot aside from being the occasional damsel in distress. I felt like she just got in the way of Sphinx's plans most of the time but I guess that was the whole point of her character; to bring out the human side of Sphinx.

And the award for the person at the wrongest place at the wrongest time goes to....

On the other side of the table, the character of Five was like Lisa's more crafty and badass counterpart aka she also seems pretty useless but I guess her point was to show how inhuman Sphinx had been. Her reluctant rival/ally, Detective Shibazaki, was a brilliant character with an understandable backstory but he was by no means the most memorable anime detective.

Art (★★★★★)
Terror in Resonance's art isn't the usual kawaii desu kind. It's realistic, fluid and has beautiful camera angling. The colors change according to the mood, shifting from dark gloomy palettes to muted summery shades, but overall it sticks to the realism (except for Five who has silver hair and purple eyes for no flipping reason). It's one of those anime that I'd easily recommend to non-anime watchers because it's not that far off from what they're used to.

The realistic character drawings suit the dark tone of the anime.

Sound (★★★★★)
Yoko Kanno bless your soul, just bless you to heaven and beyond. Whenever she composes a soundtrack, I know I'm going to download the whole thing and for Terror in Resonance, I did too. Everything from the gorgeous opening sequence to that serene motorcycle scene ("Is feat. POP ETC") to the unique Icelandic song ("Von feat. ArnĂ³r Dan") was perfect at conveying all the feels.

This scene was so beautiful and serene though.

Overall, Terror in Resonance is a must-watch for anyone who's thirsting for strategic mindgames, likable morally ambiguous characters, and elegantly animated action sequences.

4 Clouds for thought-provoking sociopolitical commentary and amazing production.

Do you plan on watching Terror in Resonance now? Or have you already watched it? Let me know of your thoughts!


  1. I used to watch anime but I kind of "graduated" from the phase. Though there are some that make me want to watch again. I love the art in this one though since I'm very nitpicky on art and camera angles, even in movies, lol.

    This part in your post made me laugh so hard though: "And the award for the person at the wrongest place at the wrongest time goes to...." HAHAHAHA friggin damsels in distresses. Ugh.

    1. I know what you mean lol I just got back into anime recently, last summer I believe, but there are some mature anime that really make it worthwhile.

  2. Gah, I love anime. I actually haven't heard of Terror in Resonance before but now I'm going to add it to my list! Ah, the damsel in distress, there's always one. I'm really liking the sound of this one though, the animation looks pretty good!

    1. Dang damsel in distress trope haha! And yess, the animation here is so detailed, especially the explosions. They aren't just kabooms with clouds but actual rubble destroying things and creating havoc.