Another suspected hit of the season directed by none other than Shinichiro Watanabe. Can the legendary director hit another home run? Read on to find out.
In the snow covered mountains of Aomori, Japan a research facility is attacked and has it’s plutonium stolen from two mysterious individuals in masks. 6 months after the incident a video is found on the internet made by two boys calling themselves Sphinx 1 and 2, claiming that Tokyo will be “enveloped in darkness” at 3 pm. Soon after this two boys named Arata Kokonoe and Toji Hisami stumble upon a girl named Lisa Mishima as she is being bullied by classmates. The boys enroll in Lisa’s school, setting off a chain of events that change the young girl’s life forever.
When you hear the name’s Shinichiro Watanabe and Yoko Kanno (let alone in the same sentence) you know your in for a ride, and Terror in Resonance delivers on all fronts.
There is a methodical pace set by this opening that will keep you on the edge of your seat as the events unfold. The show starts off with a bang with Arata and Toji’s plutonium robbery, and slows down when they reach Tokyo. This pacing serves to show why Watanabe is a master of his craft by experimenting with the shots and how they are edited. Kano’s score also helps sell the uncomfortable mood set by the direction.
A lot of questions pile up in the first episode: “Why are Arata and Toji doing this?” is the chief question, but there are plenty of others that need addressing. The characters introduced are a pretty diverse group, each with different goals in mind. There’s Arata AKA Nine, the cold and calculating brains of the operation; who also is tortured by the past. Toji AKA Twelve seems to be the more fun loving and playful of the two, but he has a malicious side that is shown during the tower bombing. Lisa is a girl who seems at best, fed up with the world around her. Being bullied at school and having a less than happy home life, it makes sense that she would want to escape; but joining in league with Nine and Twelve may be more than she bargained for.
Terror in Resonance is certainly pretty to look at from an animation standpoint, but not from a content sense. Nothing in the show screams “nice or pleasant”, in fact a lot of can make you down right uncomfortable. Whether it be Lisa violently throwing away her food, Arata’s nightmares of child experimentation, or the 9-11 imagery of the tower in Shinjuku collapsing, Terror in Resonance is surely aiming to make you feel a certain way about it.
“Falling” is surely an apt title for the first episode of what is shaping up to be a summer hit. Watanabe and Kanno are a great team and their combined contributions are vastly different here than their previous collab “Kids on the slope”. With it’s sharp yet haunting visuals and score, Terror in Resonance makes it’s presence felt with this first episode. There are plenty of questions left to be answered, making this series another one to follow for the summer.
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