Overall enjoyment – 9/10
So the day before yesterday I finished watching Zankyou no Terror, and what a finale that was! I mean it when I say that this anime could have been an easy 10/10 for me if the writers hadn’t cocked up the story so much, or rather not explained it properly.
But we’ll get to that later.
Story and characters
Terror in Resonance starts out as your standard detective mystery as our two protagonists, Nine and Tweleve, with a dark and mysterious past begin a series of terror attacks on Japan whilst carefully making sure that no one is killed in the process, whilst a detective leads the charge in the Tokyo police force in finding out just who these young terrorists really are and why they do what they do.
However after four or so episodes things get really complicated as the Americans join the fray to investigate something of military interest that Nine and Twelve, and things quickly spiral out of control. So do the plot holes, by the way.
This anime was rife with small plot holes which, when you look back on them, are pretty hard to ignore. I’l try to explain this in a relatively spoiler-free way. So basically, the main antagonists in the story are a team of american covert ops troops that are trying to track down the main characters because of something of military importance that they have. Now, they claimed that they were ‘helping’, but it felt to me that they were actually after this thing for themselves. Fair enough, as long as they don’t go in too loud right? Otherwise they’ll get discovered for their secret mission. No, because that’s exactly NOT WHAT HAPPENED.
They go so far as to become terrorists themselves, threatening the lives of hundreds of people every time they do something, and even get discovered at one point by the lead detective character. So, what happens next. Well, the government would obviously send the Americans away of course, no? Actually, yeah, no they don’t do a thing about it. In fact they let them continue on their merry way to even do atrocious things later on in the series which they physically couldn’t have got away with in the situations that they got into.
The plot holes in the series go along this kind tof route where someone does something and there are apparently no consquences. But despite all of that the overall story was actually really enjoyable to watch, and the individual characters were for the most part pretty interesting. Particularly well-written was Shibazaki, who I grew to like more and more as the show went on. Some argue that the main three characters fit into the tropes of the jovial and casual guy, the quiet, serious dude with glasses and a high intelligence and the klutzy girl who screws up alot. However, I felt like the way that they were directed made them interesting characters anyway simply because of the more subtle elements of their behaviour that made them feel more organic, especially nine. I really grew attached to them by the end of the anime, and could not have been more satisfied with the conclusion.
Sound and animation
Despite everything wrong with the plot, I would say that the anime’s greatest strength was its atmosphere. The soundtrack was composed masterfully by the great Yoko Kanno, who rarely disappoints. In fact, I think I must have listened to the entire OST about four times over by now, along with five or ten times for my facourite tracks. I think I can safely say that this is the best soundtrack that I have heard all year along with Samurai Champloo. The atmosphere was fantastic and I found myself completely absorbed in the series for the entire length of the show. The animation was great too, and as already mentioned, the characters were directed really well.
It’s just a pity that all of this talent was used for a story that was imperfect at the very least.
Terror in Resonance was probably one of my favourite anime that I watched this year, with one of the most dramatic and staisfying concluding couple of episodes that I have ever watched. However I can’t help but think that the fantastic atmosphere that it created simply distracted me from the glaring plot holes that were so hard to ignore. Terror in Resonance could have been perfect IF the writers had taken a little more care over the actions and consequences of the characters in the story. And that’s what, deep down, infuriates me just a little bit.
So should you watch it? Yes. I think you should. It’s one of those things that I think I’d like everyone to watch because I still really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t buy it thought because the risks of deisappointment are pretty high on this one, so I’d just stream it instead. I give Terror in Resonance a:
8/10 for characters
7/10 for plot because the overall plot is still pretty good.
9/10 for art and animation
10/10 for the soundtrack
and a 9/10 for my overall enjoyment.
Please support the official release. In case your not sure where, you can watch it on Netflix. As usual, I don’t own any of the above images.