OP: 「Trigger」 by 尾崎雄貴 (Ozaki Yuuki)
The Plot So Far:
“They were weak. That’s why they died. We were weak too. That’s why we couldn’t save them. We’re different now.
“You chose to be an accomplice. That was your choice. You can’t go back now.
Stolen nuclear material. Homegrown terrorists. It’s a worse case scenario. Somewhere out there, someone’s sweating it out as we speak, racing against time to ensure these two things never come together. The problem is, you just never know. And how can you? They could be the friendly neighbor next door, the guy that you paid to mow your lawn, or Zankyou no Terror’s case, that new classmate in your high school. You’re dealing with a needle in a haystack in terms of the population and to top it off, they’re people whose sole purpose is to generate fear no matter what it takes and how long it takes to do it. There’s no guarantee of any pattern to find or any clues to point you in the right direction and it’s an unnerving thought that nightmares are made of. But, that’s the name of the game here.
Zankyou no Terror‘s first episode is all about setting up that sense of uneasiness, and it’s readily apparent that things aren’t quite as they seem. In particular, Nine (a.k.a. Kokonoe Arata) and Twelve (a.k.a. Toji Hisami)—the main focus of this story—are far from your run of the mill terrorists. Contrary to the stereotype, they’re far from unwilling to standout (in fact, they do extraneous things to attract attention), and they don’t hesitate to recruit others they feel might be willing to join their cause. These are guys that are supremely confident in their ability to succeed and the scariest part is they’re not bluffing.
Nine and Twelve introduce themselves as people with the uncanny, almost supernatural ability to plan everything out to the last detail, and it comes to a head with their successful demolition of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. At the same time, they’re also perfectly capable of fitting in as regular high school students, and the fact that they even broadcasted their intent beforehand (without masking their voices no less), rode motorcycles in broad daylight in the middle of it all and set up bombs without any masks or care for surveillance highlights just how much of a threat they are. That’s without mentioning the nuclear fuel they stole months prior.
Perhaps the biggest thing to note however, isn’t so much our mysterious “Sphinx” duo (as they call themselves), as it is the third main cast member in Mishima Lisa. As a character with no real attachment to the world she’s living in right now aside from wanting to live, she’s the extreme example of someone dealt the short end of the bullying straw, then tossed into a blender of horrible family relations. The fact that someone of her mindset is now involved as an accomplice potentially makes things more grim than they ever were before, and the fact that she seems awe struck with our protagonists makes her a prime candidate for extremism in the fanatical sense. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up being the most destructive member of our terrorist trio, but question is, to which side? Considering that Nine and Twelve clearly have an agenda and message they want to send, Lisa might just be the X-factor that makes a difference between them succeeding, them getting caught after doing something too over the top, or them being caught because of her similarity to someone in our cast’s respective pasts.
Needless to say, there’s a lot going here, and Zankyou no Terror’s starting things off with some great foundations. It’s not so much about the terrorism as it is the characters orchestrating them and the atmosphere behind everything, and Yoko Kanno does a great job here providing a complementary soundtrack to Watanabe’s psychological thriller. As of this first episode, the expectations are being met as one of the more hyped series (an original noitaminA one no less) of the series/year, and it should be a great ride—albeit a short one, as its only confirmed for 11 episodes at this time.
As the series progresses, here’s a few things to keep an eye on:
‘Till next week. Also, feel free to comment on the new post format for introductions. Following Stilts’ and Zanibas’ respective introduction of new post formats, I decided to shuffle around some ideas myself, so any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated. Depending on the reception, this might be a format I’ll use more often as the series goes on.
ED: 「誰か、海を。」 (Dare ka, Umi wo.) by Aimer