The Plot So Far:


  • After successfully stealing Plutonium, Nine and Twelve pose as students and successfully demolish the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building six months later.


  • Sphinx successfully launch a second casualty-less attack on the Roppongi Police Station.


  • Shibazaki re-enters the fray, solving the newest riddle and preventing another bombing.


  • Shibazaki solves the next puzzle, but the Police Department reels as their investigation documents are leaked to the net.


  • Five enters the picture, turning the tables on Sphinx and the Police Department.

“But we’re the terrorists. Isn’t it weird that we’re trying to stop a bombing?



Following along the lines of the past few episodes, Zankyou no Terror continues to revel as a story filled with contradictions. This week we have terrorists going out of their way to prevent a bombing (at a target they wanted to go for no less), authorities actually being involved in said incident rather than trying to protect its citizens from it, the police having to risk their jobs and lives to stop their own higher ups from committing a crime, and there’s no end to the ironic nature of it all. Next thing you know, the moon’ll take the place of the sun or something, and it all comes to a head with perhaps the most important contradiction of them all: Five and her child-like demeanor.

By posing as Sphinx and luring them into the airport to play what amounts to a chess game played on a grand scale, Five confirms herself as someone who’s merely treating all of this as a game, and it’s an interesting contrast to the serious attitude Nine and Twelve are taking toward this same issue. The thing is, what exactly are they playing at?

At this point, it’s clear Five knows exactly what Sphinx is planning in terms of the message they want to send—with the former saying so and the latter confirming that Haneda Airport was indeed one of their targets—but it’s still a mystery as to what exactly that message is. Furthermore, one has to wonder as to the reasons behind the U.S.’ involvement, and the reason why they’re letting Five play games like this when they could easily capture both Nine and Twelve at this point. Is it because they know Sphinx won’t talk? Is it because they’ll only submit if they are totally crushed by Five?

One thing is clear: the chessboard is merely an analogy for a bigger game being played, and I sure hope the payoff ends up being worth it when it’s said and done. Either way, there’s still questions galore, and I suppose it’s only fitting that this episode comes with its share of the unexpected. No, I’m not talking about the fact that only FBI Agent Clarence has a genuine English speaker behind him. Okay, I admit the FBI agents speaking Engrish did catch me off guard—it makes sense that Five speaks Engrish—but in the end, it pales to the fact that Lisa is allowed to involve herself in Sphinx’s activities (in ways other than failed noodle preparations).

In hindsight, Lisa’s involvement was probably inevitable following Five’s entrance, and it’s tactically sound considering the amateur nature of Lisa and the fact that their “movement” ends here with their failure anyway, but I can’t help but feel off about it. There’s a kind of sadness here at how Sphinx’s efforts to leave her out of things have failed, and I can’t help but hope that Shibazaki’s involvement ends up playing some key role in ensuring she doesn’t actually have to do anything here, even if it seems like a shot in the dark. Maybe he’ll just bum rush the FBI van? Or will he actually end up meeting Nine or Twelve and finding out more about the truth of it all? Am I the only one hoping he ends up joining Sphinx? Or is it just my naivety hoping for the impossible? Guess we’ll see.


  1. This story is playing out too similarly to Death Note. The main difference is that I simply don’t care about these characters at all.

    Because their motivations are kept a mystery, I really can’t understand why they are doing what they are doing. Death Note did far better by clearly spelling out the characters’ agendas at the very beginning.

    1. Nope .. I don’t see the similarity to Deathnote at all, unless you consider having smart characters playing against each other makes it similar. If that’s the case then something like PsychoPass is like Deathnote, which it isn’t.

      1. It was the “Oh, the FBI is helping us now” that really reminded me of it.

        And then we have geniuses playing mind games against each other, and the spying on the police, and the meetings in the big lecture-hall style room.

        It might just be in my head, but as soon as the association appeared I realized why I haven’t been so pleased with the series.

    2. Mate , the point to the whole story is that their aim is unknown , if it was obvious it would just be a mind game where the smarter party would win , just like death note
      the thing is , they don’t want anything to do with FIVE , they just want to manipulate the police into doing something ( which is unknown to the moment )
      so the chase is highly one sided , not a death note case for sure

  2. It seems as if Lisa is the wild card that will throw Five’s calculations off. The fact that authorities (even before Five showed up) are willing to see people die if they can blame it on Sphinx shows who the real villains are, and it looks like the Americans are going to appear to be even worse if Five is working for them. Also looks like Nine and Twelve don’t plan on coming out of this alive.

    1. I’m not a fan of the USA but this ‘evil USA’ trope that Japan likes to play with get’s pretty tedious. I’m disappointed they went that path. Japan can have their own evil guys without relying on the USA!

      1. I wouldn’t be trusting even any government there at this point…
        one hired five, the other let them jam communications on a national level, thats a terrorist attack in itself..

  3. Started thinking it last episode, but this one lends support to the idea that Five represents Creon of Oedipus fame. Firstly Five refused to run away from the facility and (being the best as seen several times already) came to dominate it; Creon on three occasions ruled Thebes and in all instances came to do so through the departure of others (Laius’ peregrination to the Oracle, Oedipus’ abdication, and the deaths of the joint rulers Eteocles and Polynices). The important bit though concerns Creon’s actions during Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. At one point Creon comes to Athens to coerce Oedipus to return to Thebes (in order for Oedipus’ burial site to bless the city). Five here is doing the same thing in a sense, seeking Nine and Twelve out to keep knowledge of the facility quiet. Also of note is how Oedipus thought Creon was conspiring against him during the investigation of Laius’ death; quite similar to the shock Nine and Twelve (especially Nine) experienced upon learning of Five’s involvement. Some sources also mention that Creon can be read as a highly intelligent and devious (the “perfect politician”) and we all know how smart Five is.

    As for why the Americans aren’t seizing Nine and Twelve right away there’s a few things that can be considered. Firstly is that they may be taking into account the potential for Nine and Twelve to have laid their own traps (after all, the airport was a planned target). Moving rashly could induce casualties that are unwanted (or likely not able to be pinned on Sphinx). This then extends to Five herself, she is in command by the looks of things and thus the order to move depends on her order. Furthermore Five may not be sharing everything she knows about Sphinx either, she may have her own agenda separate from her FBI “retainers” (i.e. the chess game). Less likely idea concerns sovereignty. Even with their military alliance Japan is highly unlikely to allow unilateral American intervention (police action) in what is ultimately a domestic case; collateral damage could be threatening to government position and vested bilateral interests (just need to look how well the Israeli kidnapping of key Nazi members in Argentina went over), not to mention lead to unpleasant questions about the capabilities of Japan’s intelligence community.

    1. Sphinx has the “joker” also. As mentioned in the episode, you never know what will happen when somebody feels cornered. That probably makes the police a little hesitant to act too aggressively against sphinx. Granted, I doubt they would use it in that fashion. Five likely thinks that as well.

  4. the whole ordeal atm should reek of political corruption to the police that I’m surprised not more people aren’t questioning it more directly (besides simply wondering why they’re not being sent out). especially after the bomb was never removed.

    also surprised there was very little questioning on their part on Sphinx not posting a video this time. most of them easily took the message as from Sphinx

  5. Not really much to say for this episode, though the English bit at the end was nice, even though it had accents that I can’t say I’ve ever heard before, which put to a degree damper to some of the immersion factor. Hope it doesn’t continue for the next episode, that’s my only major gripe.

    Overall it just seemed to a be setting up the next episode for the game to come, each side sharpening their knives to stick into the other guy, with two unknown factors in the mix these being Lisa and the group of detectives. So it’ll be interesting to play it all out.

  6. I feel like there was a bit of a dip this episode, both in production and story. The animation seemed more static, and I was really hoping they would keep up with the decent english. As for the story, there were a few jumps I didn’t care for. Lisa’s role as mentioned came on a little rushed for me and of course the FBI involvement. I imagine it all ties into that group mentioned last episode, but it feels kind of all mashed in there right now.

  7. now that I look at the chessboard again, besides the really dumb placement of the Knight (at least Nine said the correct place), the White King and Queen are in the wrong places =P at least board orientation and Black pieces are correct but sheesh

  8. On one hand, I’m glad Lisa is finally actually involved and actually doing something after episodes of her just feeling like artificial, unnecessary angst material.

    On the other hand, it’s pretty clear she was only allowed in because they have no other choice and she was the most convenient person as the only one from the outside to know about them, so it doesn’t really feel meaningful…I dunno…I’m just not getting the feeling it will amount to much besides just being a good enough “glitch” in Five’s plans, along with Shibazaki’s interference, to allow Nine and Twelve to do most of the actual work.

  9. I really don’t like the fact that people underestimate TWELVE this much , he is as smart but he is just letting NINE lead ( obvious from his character )
    I think he has a plan involving Lisa in this
    As for FIVE , she is loosing this one ” keyword : SHIBAZAKI ” , that guy is on their level no doubts about that
    But here is what feels off about this episode , NINE and TWELVE could have easily manipulated the police through additional messages leading them right where they want them to be
    and probably force the police to evacuate the airport by going public with a video or a message or anything . guys of this level should accomplish this easily
    it would sound and look like just another puzzle , declare it at the airport but keep it’s whereabouts hidden , hitting 2 birds with a stone

      1. They’re already listening to the terrorists, though. Or they think they are.

        If Sphinx delivered another video and Shibasaki or anyone saw it, it would create an interesting situation.

      2. Think of it this way : SPHINX releases a video as usual but this time they reveal that the bomb is inside the airport and the game is to find it , this way the police are forced to evacuate the airport since the video went public , while searching for the bomb thus slapping FIVE in the face right from their house

  10. My thoughts as to why or how the FBI could persuade anyone in the Japanese government to allow them to deceive and use the police force would be something to do with the institute – it seems like several political and influential men are involved (were involved?) with it, and if they hire out the children who completed training, it would be in the benefits of any government with institute children to keep all information on it quiet. My suspicion concerning Spinx’s motives with the police is that they want to expose what was done (still being done?) to children there, and to possibly bring everyone involved before the public eye.

    As Pancakes said (with some very interesting literary references), Five seems to know exactly what Twelve and Nine planned to do, but when Nine talks about her, she chose to remain in the institute (arguably finishing their indoctrination of *ahem* insanity) even though she had the chance to escape.

    It’s very possible that her insane perspective means that she’ll protect the institute as long as her handlers allow her to ‘play,’ and everyone else who is in the know will allow her to do as she likes so long as she keeps their misdeeds covered up. I disliked Five from nearly the first moment she appeared, and she fits the need for a visible antagonist quite well, if we’re supposed to be rooting for the boys (and the police force).

    I also appreciated how the other police officers closest (most obsessed) with the Spinx case are no longer going along with the flow, but being influenced by Shibazaki to investigate out of their own burning curiosity (and passion for justice).

    For me, the best part of watching this show is the lack of spoilers, the very deliberately paced story-telling, and the invitation to speculate about where it’s all headed. =P

    1. I feel Ya for disliking FIVE
      I think the show would have been better without FIVE , SHIBAZAKI is smart enough to be a challenge
      anyway , SPHINX is playing with a handicap which is that they care about the lives of the innocent , if they hadn’t they would be a few steps ahead of her

  11. any one knows the music played when Five was monitoring Nine and Twelve in the airport ?
    the scene with the chess-board-like game 😀
    it was brilliant music and i can’t find it in the Original OSTs 🙁

  12. All I think about now is that Nine and Twelve could be completely recognized after this. Even with their hats. A somewhat “good” thing though is that if Nine was recognized, he could also be recognized in the train station warning he did. If they ever review some cameras for it, and Shibazaki will get himself involved, albeit furtively, to discover what they’re on about.

    As to Lisa being “a wild card.” She could be, but I feel like, with the chess analogy, she’ll be their Queen—saving them from Checkmate. What I wonder is that what she’ll do. Will she just appear to fetch the two after waiting for them? Or, is her role supposed to make Five feel jealous because she was the one who didn’t come out with them, and now they have a somewhat replacement for her: Lisa, who I must add, is a great contrast—where Five has light hair and is highly intelligent, Lisa has a dark hair and seems less intelligent; they both have short hair though, which may make Five more irked because they’re, as to her perception, playing games with somebody else.

    I don’t mind the use of Americans in a situation that seems realistic. Superpowers even from time immemorial have always been intrusive when they think it matters, and at this moment, the stealing of nuclear power matters not just for Japan but also for other parts in the world which could be targeted. What I wonder about is the inclusion of Five as a “researcher.” What kind of researcher is she? Is she a social scientist? A neuroscientist? Or has she a lot of fields up in her sleeve enough for her to be recruited against the others who could be selected? That is, besides her connection with Nine and Twelve, which, though beneficial, could be a liability in terms of the extent to which she’ll cross the line.

    So many questions in this build-up ep. I now await another tormenting week before ep 7 comes…

  13. Blame it all on Americans. FBI setting up bombs. The series has gone off the deep end now.
    Regarding Five: no state security apparatus would use someone as insane as her. Because she would be too dangerously close to being out of control. Police has use for dogs, but not rabid ones.

  14. I feel both sorrowful and delighted that Lisa is now involved in what Sphinx do. It will certainly make things interesting-not only because nobody knows of their connection in the first place, but it also shows that Sphinx has changed. This is something I do not think Five, for all her depraved giftedness, would ever anticipate. I feel like all the ways she has been taunting them is based both on her upbringing(brainwashing?) and an assumption that Nine and Twelve are the same as before. That is, they would never let anyone in,would never warm to an outsider, let alone a girl who seemingly has nothing in common with them-a girl who is an amateur in comparison to them but has a big heart and still, somehow, cares for them.

  15. Was anyone else bothered by the fact that Nf6 was animated incorrectly? If you carefully count the squares it is clear that the knight in the ending is on f5, which is not only an illegal move but a bad one (because the pawn could immediately capture it).

  16. Kind of crazy that the terrorists are the ones trying to disarm bombs and stopping the authorities pulling the strings from sacrificing countless lives. Now, I wonder how Lisa will figure into this chess game.

  17. Ack. I liked how Megumi Han handles the mature voice but god dammit. Couldn’t they have made her rehearse the lines? It’s like she was reading it in a very monotonous way.

    Interesting series. I hope those things I heard where this show is getting scheduling problems doesn’t affect the quality of the show much. Starting to like the progress here.


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