RogerBW's Blog

Terror in Resonance 23 December 2014

2014, 11 episodes: AniDB; also known as Zankyou no Terror and Terror in Tokyo.

In an alternate present, terrorist bombs start going off in Tokyo. What is the mysterious Sphinx, and why are they doing it?

And how does an unhappy schoolgirl called Lisa fit in with it all? Well, mostly she doesn't; she's our "normal" viewpoint character, as opposed to the terrorists, the police, or people from other factions, but she does feel rather wedged into the story to give the terrorists someone on whom they can bestow partial and cryptic explanations in order to spin things out over the full length of the story.

The police, in turn, are apparently incapable of doing anything useful, except for That One Guy who's been sent off to the records section in return for having refused to help with a cover-up back in the day.

Once we find out the terrorists' background, which happens about half-way through, it's all downhill into an emotional and pseudo-romantic mess. This isn't a study of the psychology of terrorism, it's about these particular guys who have a unique background and specific reasons for what they do; lots of other people come in and out of the story, but most of them have no ultimate effect on things at all. The final episode could very nearly have happened right after the initial episode; everything in between was really marking time, with dribs and drabs of background explanation.

Animation is gorgeous, with great character designs and evocative backgrounds. The soundtrack is by Kanno Yōko, and as usual she does an excellent job of creating music which sets the mood without being obvious about it. It's just a shame that the plot and characters don't live up to the initial promise. If you watch this and find yourself getting bored, skip ahead to the last episode and it'll probably still make sense.

It's quite disappointing to realise that this is the latest work from the same Watanabe Shin'ichirō who brought us Cowboy Bebop (1998-1999) and Samurai Champloo (2004-2005).

Tags: anime reviews

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