Terror in Resonance (Zankyo no Terror) – Anime Review

 

Terror in Resonance

Terror in Resonance has been an interesting work. Being directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, famed for Kids on the Slope and Cowboy Bebop, the series was hyped from the very second it was revealed. The first episode kicked off with a bang and I fell in love with it right from the off, as you can see in my review of the first couple of episodes where I went as far as to call it Shinichiro’s next big hit. After finishing the series my opinion hasn’t changed and the only thing that has is the passion and love I hold for the show, and here’s why.

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Terror in Resonance tells the story of Nine and Twelve, two terrorists seemingly threatening Japan for some unexplained reason. They make no demands but they leave puzzles for the police to solve in order to find the bombs they’ve planted. The two play mind games facing off with the police and somewhere along the way they end up with a third member of their group in the form of young student Lisa, but what are the two really after? In the first couple of episodes everything is fast moving and Terror in Resonance draws you into the story it’s trying to tell. There is something there, some deeper meaning to the actions of Nine and Twelve and the series wants to show us that.

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To begin with it all feels a lot like Death Note. Nine and Twelve going up against the police brought back memories of Light and L facing off in the aforementioned show, but thankfully Terror in Resonance has the good sense to move away from this aspect fairly quickly. Rather than being up against the police a new character is introduced in the form of Five, a girl who grew up with them and is now working with the american government. From there it all gets a bit complex and to share the show’s secrets would most definitely ruin it, but as things unfold and we learn more about Nine and Twelve things click into place to make a rather intriguing series. On the surface it may look like Terror in Resonance is trying to tell a story about terrorism, but underneath it has something much more simple and much more meaningful to convey to the viewer.

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This isn’t just any anime. It has extremely high production values and pulls out all the stops to keep you interested. It’s more than a story, more than an 11 episode series, it’s a work of art and it’s doing everything it can to satisfy everything you could ever want from a show. The animation is never over the top if it doesn’t have to be but the quality is always there, it’s always drawing you in and making you feel like a part of the series. Nine and Twelve feel like two young adults that, okay, maybe you can’t relate to but you feel like you can see things from their eyes.  Not a lot of anime leaves you feeling quite as connected to it as Terror in Resonance does, and that’s undoubtedly because the animation has had a lot of money and effort put into it.

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The same can be said for the series’ soundtrack. It’s more than your standard anime is given, it feels more like a soundtrack you’d give a film. Filed with songs rather than simple melodies (although it has its share of those too), the series knows when best to dip into music to give the viewer the very best experience. It’s well thought out and I can’t begin to count the number of times I stopped in awe at how well the music was being timed to certain aspects of the show. The series doesn’t skimp on its selection of music either, and while we do hear a few key tracks a few times, the show has two soundtracks worth of music at its fingertips.

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The thing with Terror in Resonance is that it isn’t perfect by any means, but it puts so much effort into the small things and ties everything together so well that you can ignore the imperfections. Twelve and Nine may not be given enough character development early on, Lisa may not seem to have a point, Five might seem utterly insane, but as the series goes on everything falls into place surprisingly well leaving you with something quite interesting. Just watching the first few episodes isn’t enough as Terror in Resonance definitely needs to be watched all the way through. The final episode ties up a few loose ends and is the most powerful ending to a series I’ve seen in quite some time, it needs to be seen even if you aren’t the biggest fan of the work on a whole. Honestly speaking I’d be happy to see the series polished up a little more and turned into a movie somewhere along the line as it’s definitely suited to it and would work really well if handled correctly.

I fell in love with Terror in Resonance. It quickly became one of my favorite shows because of everything it did. The story may not be original and the characters may not have been handled as well as perhaps they should have been but Terror in Resonance is a work of art. It’s a little rough around the edges and some would struggle to call it a masterpiece, but to me it’s one of the best shows I have seen in a very long time and all it wants is to be remembered.

Scores:

  • Overall 9.5
  • Animation 10
  • Story 9
  • Soundtrack 10
  • Characters 8.5