Review

Terror in Resonance had the potential to be a remarkable show with Shinichirō Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) directing and composer Yoko Kanno (too many good examples to list) heading the project. While the show starts off strong, it stumbles. Some of the characters were great and the animation and music were stellar but a disappointing arc to the story and a character that existed solely to get in the way drags it down.

The story follows two terrorists simply known as 9 and 12 as they plant bombs around modern-day Tokyo. During the first bombing, 12 runs into a girl named Lisa Mishima who is then told that she can die or be an accomplice to them as she witness the him planting the stuffed animals containing the bombs. The story goes on for 11 episodes resulting in a disappointing conclusion. I had high hopes from the first few episodes but the more Lisa was involved, the worse it became. There is another character familiar to 9 and 12 who is introduced and doesn’t add to the show in any satisfying way but is also a major focus for the latter portion of the series. Maybe the story would have been better if it had more episodes to flesh its world out but, as it stands, it is serviceable.

TiR1

NO! IGNORE HER PLEASE.

There are a handful of characters outside of 9, 12 and Lisa including Detective Shibazaki who seems to be the only competent member of the police department. The last important character is the aformentioned character from 9 and 12’s past which I won’t reveal here. What does work is the relationship between the two terrorists as they are complete opposites when it comes to personality. 9 is stoic and serious about everything the pair is doing while 12 has an infectious smile and happy disposition making you happy whenever he is on screen. What makes the two even more compelling is that they make it a point to never have any casualties with their bombings adding a human element to their characters.

Yes Lisa gets her own paragraph. Lisa is introduced as a girl who is always picked on at school and has a mother who is constantly wondering where she is because Lisa’s father had left her. All in all, Lisa has a pretty terrible life. Early on she meets 12 and is caught up in the escapade. But all she ever does is get in the way and is literally there to exist as a bargaining chip and liability for those against 9 and 12’s goals. Lisa had the potential to be a interesting and deep character who was instead thrown into the “I’m good for nothing and a damsel in distress” role.

So this may sound like a lot of bad, but there are some major redeeming qualities to this anime. The animation is fluid, sharp and gorgeous. Whether it is watching the rain bounce off of 12’s motorcycle helmet as he is speeding down the highway or the simple act of characters moving and interacting the show looks awesome. The character models aren’t anything incredibly unique from a design perspective but well-executed and look stellar.

9 and 12 call themselves Sphinx and present riddles to be solved. If figured out, the location of the bomb will be discovered.

9 and 12 call themselves Sphinx and present riddles to be solved. If figured out, the location of the bomb will be discovered.

This extends to the music. Let me say this: Yoko Kanno is a genius. I’m listening to the soundtrack as I am writing this and have not wanted to skip a single song. Kanno often has gorgeous piano melodies and that holds true here. There are these calm and sometimes ominous pieces that accompany major scenes that absorb you into what is happening. Terror in Resonance also has one of my favorite intros in recent memory.

All in all this show was incredibly frustrating. I wanted to like this show so much more than I ended up liking it. It had all of the ingredients for an amazing show and fell short. As I was writing this, I realized that I liked it just a little bit less than I had initially thought. In short, there are some awesome aspects to this show, but the story and some of the characters hold it back from the greatness it should have been.

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About the Author

Ross
A recent college grad who just loves playing games. Hopefully I can help you save some money (and possibly spend more than you would like).