Terror in Resonance: An original series that challenges viewers to question society’s twisted ways by showing things from the criminals’ point of view.
In A Nutshell
The city of Tokyo has been hit by a terrorist attack that has devastated the city. The only evidence of the culprits is a cryptic video uploaded to the Internet. The terrorist masterminds (who call themselves “Sphinx”) are two teenage boys who go by the names Nine and Twelve. A high school girl who is sick of the world finds herself involved in one of the attacks and becoming an accomplice.
Meet the Characters
Nine is one of the members of the terrorist group ‘Sphynx’. Nine is stern, aloof, sadistic, and stoic. He’s usually the brains of the operation, as he’s the one to come up with ingenious criminal schemes while making sure to cover their tracks. Aside from being extremely intelligent, he’s also got exceptional computing and hacking skills. He’s doesn’t want to get involved with anyone personally because he’s always focused on the mission.
Twelve is the second member of the terrorist group ‘Sphynx’. His personality is completely opposite to Nine’s. Twelve is a lot more lively, energetic, and takes pleasure in creating havoc. He drives a motorcycle and he’s usually in charge of the most action-heavy, fun side of their plans. However, he’s just as ruthless and twisted as Nine if the situation calls for it. He’s also very intelligent and has a compassionate side, as shown by his interactions with Lisa.
Lisa Mishima is a high school girl who sees herself involved in one of Sphynx’s attacks. Lisa has led a very miserable life: she’s abused by her mother, and she’s bullied at school. Because of this, Lisa is depressed to the point that she considers joining Sphynx due to identifying with their disconnection to the world. Lisa is also very quiet and clumsy, and never quiet knows what to do to help the duo.
A Brief History of Terror in Resonance: the When, Where and How
Terror in Resonance is a 11-episode Japanese anime television series produced by studio MAPPA. The series aired on July 2014 on Fuji TV, during the Summer Season. The anime was directed by Shinichirō Watanabe (Death Parade, Cowboy Bebop…), with character designs by Kazuto Nakazawa and music by Yoko Kanno.
Terror in Resonance is one of those series that’s hard to sell without at least hinting at some spoilers. If I had to convince someone who’s indecisive about watching this, I would tell them that it tackles some controversial topics using an uncommon perspective, and that it does so in the span of 11 episodes, so it’s a relatively quick watch. Terror in Resonance is also an original anime, and not an adaptation as most anime nowadays. This is always a guarantee that the series will have a minimum of quality, as the writers know how they want the story to develop and end from the beginning.
The main hook of Terror in Resonance is the mystery behind Nine and Twelve’s personalities and why they do what they do. Are they psychopaths? Sociopaths? Are they doing this for a specific cause? Do they care about casualties? These are some of the questions that viewers can have as they unravel the terrorists’ identities through the eyes of Lisa. You never quite know who’s in the right or who you’re supposed to be rooting for. That’s quite refreshing in a genre that often draws a hard line between who’s good and who’s bad. In that regard, the anime has been compared to the popular Death Note. While Terror in Resonance cannot be compared with the level of cleverness of the latter, it sure shares some of its moral debates, a likable trio, and a lot of drama.
Shinichirō Watanabe showcases his talent in this work, perfectly knowing when to give scenes time to breathe to leave the audience to think, and when to grab our full attention for the most tense, urgent moments. The soundtrack has many memorable tracks, some of them sung in Icelandic, relating to one of the plot points of the series.