「MY FAIR LADY」

It might’ve only been a one week skip, but it sure felt like an eternity. Zankyou no Terror’s back though and the pieces are starting to come together for what could be a climactic finale to remember for the ages.

For now however, let’s look back at the key events of this week, the most major of which could be nothing other than Five’s capture of Lisa. It didn’t quite happen the way I expected it to, but ultimately it was just like Five to utilize the personalities of our cast against them in order to bait her (and thus also Sphinx), and it looks like she’ll end up getting the exact response she wanted. Ultimately, t’s but a brief respite for our main cast—highlighted by a great insert vocal—and it just emphasizes the nature of what they’re doing here. Time is the greatest enemy here, and it’s a notion that applies not only to the past and present links between Five, Nine, and Twelve and what they want to achieve, but also in regards to Shibazaki’s attempt to dig up more information about the Athena Plan.

With that said, it’s a bit surprising that Shibzaki merely gets off with a suspension considering what he did last week, but considering Five’s obvious distress at this point, it’s highly possible she just didn’t think him worth bothering to dispose of (or it wasn’t possible even for them to take such drastic measures). The thing is though, now that Shibazaki’s got nothing to lose, he’s arguably more dangerous than ever before (have some extortion!), and judging by his reaction at the end of the episode, it’s clear he’s found an important piece of the puzzle.

The thing—of course—that remains however, is what exactly that puzzle piece is, as well as what “the object” is that Sphinx seems to own. One would assume they’re talking about the stolen plutonium (potentially for use in a nuclear device or dirty bomb?), but at the same time it looks like there might be more to the story than just that, and they’re doing a good job masking most of the cast’s overall intent. Either way, it sets up for a pretty good cliffhanger with Twelve running off to save Lisa on his bike, and I’m pretty darn excited to see what happens next. No matter what one’s thoughts were about the previous episodes, there’s definitely a lot of potential to be had with the remaining episodes, and if there’s one person to execute it, it’d be Watanabe.

Last but not least, I think the big thing I’d like to touch upon is how one of the people interviewed by Shibazaki actually had a Sphinx mask in their house. I had mentioned all the way back in the first few episodes that Sphinx could very well end up influencing the youth to a significant degree due to their actions, and whether or not it’s their intent, it’s quite clear that this is starting to happen, and it may not be insignificant in terms of how it influences the future. Next week certainly can’t come soon enough, and the quote from this episode certainly rings true:

“The situation may be worse than we thought.”

Author’s Notes:

  • In order to save some time (I recently started a full time job), the new post format will not be used for the remaining episodes.
  • Due to various circumstances, Zankyou posts may come out closer to Friday night EDT from this point forward.
  • 51 Comments

      1. It looks like it’ll be that way, though Nine’ll definitely involve himself in someway, as will Shibazaki. Depending on circumstance it might just be that this leads into a conclusion where only Lisa (and potentially Shibazaki) will make it out alive.

        That said, I can see Lisa ending up as a foster child under Shibazaki given the right scenario. It’d be a fitting tie into the lack of fatherly figure we mentioned a few episodes back.

        1. I’d say it’s more of the kind of person she is. Like them, she hasn’t been able to grow up in what one would classify as a “normal situation.” One could say it’s a mixture of sympathy, as well as a reminder of the kind of life he could have led. This episode especially, we see he clearly has doubts about what they’re doing here, so yeah. There’s also the fact that he just might feel guilty either leaving her alone knowing what she’s been through or in involving her in the first place.

    1. One possible reason for not firing Shibazaki outright is that they lose total control over him when they do that. They probably think that the threat of firing is enough to keep him on a short leash. Fat chance.

      Five’s reaction after the agent talks to her and she grasps her head and says “This isn’t funny” leads me to believe that she has personal issues with twelve. This isn’t a job to her nor a game. Was she left behind when they escaped?

      1. Five clutching her head along with the conversation about time between Nine and Twelve kind of made me feel like maybe they, the kids from the Athena program, have some kind of deteriorating condition. You’d think being subjected to experimentation would have some negative side effects.

        It would make sense, albeit cliché, if that was their major motivation for acting. You know, exposing the truth and going out in a blaze of glory and all that. Not that I think that will happen, I feel like there’s been too much mystery and build up for it to end up like that.

        StrenX
    2. Looks as though we are now moving into the endgame which is certainly welcome news considering there’s only three episodes remaining. Although the doubts about Zankyou being able to wrap everything up still are nagging the back of the mind, currently it appears that everything should be sufficiently dealt with, thanks in part to the progress made this episode.

      The one thing that stands out most to me however is the overall simplicity of the plot, focused around a program (for all intents and purposes) designed to nurture intelligence and likely superhuman aspects; you’re not selecting kids based upon aptitude tests and then secluding them in a facility with top level researchers in medicine, neuroscience, and pharmaceuticals for much else after all. If anything Zankyou’s strength lies in its ability to eke so much suspense out of this basic storyline.

      Otherwise not much else to delve into this time around beyond really wanting to know where the dirty bomb is going to be used. Could always delve further into meaning behind the Athena Plan’s name, but sadly not as much tasty references there compared to the Oedipus riddles. There’s a few interesting bits though. Plato originally translated Athena’s name as “the mind of god” bearing to her birth from Zeus’ forehead. Furthermore Athena can be thought of as an orphan or at the minimum lacking a mother (the latter being the common portrayal). She may be the goddess of wisdom, but Athena also the goddess, among other things, of strategic warfare, strength, law and order, and civilization, personifying her duties by remaining a virgin. Gives a pretty good picture of just what the Athena Plan was designed to do 😛

      Pancakes
      1. Yeah, this is definitely one of those shows where really, the way things are and the topics broached… there’s really no way someone won’t bite the dust, especially when you consider how much they keep hammering in the “no casualties this time either” angle.

    3. A good episode with some good old-fashioned police work. So we’re getting closer to the truth with the orphans and this Athena Plan. The “gifted children being taken from orphanages to a secret organization” thing has been done before, but at least everything is coming together.

      We meet Shibazaki’s real daughter and find out from her what it would take to make plutonium into a bomb. Five seems to be a real nutcase and is playing with Lisa in order to draw the boys out. I’m actually kind of mad that Lisa’s been reduced to this. She’s really done nothing this entire show except be derpy, get caught, and become a topic of division between our Sphinx team. Some may say she has some sort of thematic meaning, but all I see is a damsel in distress that might just get our boys killed.

      Shibazaki is beginning to put together the pieces, so let’s see what happens.

      Irenesharda
      1. yeah, I’m pretty disappointed at how her character has “developed”, or rather not developed, into a plot device. though a few of the other characters aren’t faring well either, Five is pretty one note too, and Nine to some extent.

        Impel Down Hippo
    4. eh, I just want to tell Nine to fuck off for blaming Lisa that their place blew up. that was Five’s doing, and if they didn’t need her for the airport scheme to find the bomb, then Five wouldn’t have found her. though having her carrying her ID with her last episode was a pretty contrived way to get her identity compromised. but now Lisa’s captured, and guess who’s fault is that? that’s right, Nine it’s all on you. sadly it’s pretty tropey on all sides, Nine (rigid prickly straight man), Five (way too villainy and cartoonish), Lisa (simply underdeveloped and underused, and now plot device).

      Shibazaki saying that Sphinx would be considered something other than a terrorist group is a poor critique on terrorism in general. I don’t think he knows enough about them to feel that they’re justified in their action. all he knows is they’ve blown up a few bombs and destroyed many buildings while miraculously not killing anyone.

      overall decent episode, but as some have said, the quality has taken a hit.

      Impel Down Hippo
      1. You’re right, Shibazaki doesn’t know enough about them. I think that’s why that comment was framed as a possibility and not something definite. Or at least that was the vibe I got.

        hbell
        1. my take on it, and the story from his youth, was that it was a clumsy metaphor for “what are terrorists to some are freedom fighters to others, and vice versa”. the show’s trying to make a sophisticated statement about how we perceive such things in this day and age, which is fine, but its execution is really lacking.

          I’m probably being a little too critical, but considering the high pedigree, I think it’s a compliment to start scrutinizing it more closely.

          Impel Down Hippo
      2. I completely agree with your first part. But I dont get the second part. Its a poor critique on terrorism? I think its the contrary and tries to see terrorism in a different light. And honestly, I dont find that poor at all. It doesnt matter if he doesnt know that theyre justified. Thats exactly the point. Its just your own opinion, theres no objective “right” or “wrong”. And while people in the past critizising the politique were sometimes seen as “good” by the society, nowadays they are terrorists. But those guys still think they are right.

        I liked this scene especially because you can see this thinking process even today. See, in Syria, the rebells were the good ones, cause the regime was evil. In Egypt, in Libya – they were the good ones. In Ucraine – they were the good ones. But the separatist in the east now- they are the bad ones -still they are fighting against a corrupt regime with nazis in their government. So its kinda random, this title “terrorist”. I dont mean want to say we should hear them all out, because I too think WE are justified to a certain degree, but our society is sometijmes pretty weird.

        Two other examples: Our stupid head of state is a pastor, he was lucky that others protested in a country that was led by a terrible regime. But he described the occupy-movement as “ridiculous”. And some people in our country think, violence from the left spectrum is ok, because it goes against the “right guys”. So where is the difference?

        You see – this sentence made me think 😀 Therefore it cant be that poor. Terrorism is a label we give some people, and we dont give others. Sometimes justified, sometimes not.

        Libélula
        1. I mentioned above a little better why I think it’s a poor critique, that the show’s trying to make a sophisticated statement about how we perceive such things in this day and age, which is fine, but its execution is really clumsy.

          what you mentioned are the examples of what would qualify as making good analogy as opposed to the one Shibazaki made to correlate with Sphinx. and up until now Sphinx has just been playing mind games and blowing shit up. We know they have deeper motives than that, but Shibazaki doesn’t. The only thing he knows besides that is they helped during the airport episode. But other than that, their portrayal has been lacking if we want to believe the Shibazaki would begin to empathize with them.

          Impel Down Hippo
        2. Although i don’t want to derail the conversation, but i feel this has to be said, there always a way to determine good from bad in any conflict .. or rather in a more realistic way .. which side is more tolerable than the other, more human and more capable of correcting and making up for any mistakes/crimes they might do during the conflict, I’m from Egypt and i’m following the news closly in Syria, one might think the the regime in Syria is evil and all, but that’s all bullcrap .. he is fighting aganist scum .. the worst kind of scum believable .. people willing to kill, torture and mutilate the bodies of the dead (and post it online) to shock their enemies .. people who if victorious will murder anyone who has a different religion or dogma that doesn’t agree with their narrow retarded and extremist views .. those are the so called “rebels” is Syria .. they have ZERO ability to accept any human different from them and ZERO value for life or even respect for the dead .. sure the regime of Assad did a lot of violent and destructive attacks that got innocents killed in the crossfire .. but look back at Syria before the so called “rebels” started their murder spree (and false propaganda supported by some western countries and Al Jazeera who wanted Assad out of the game once and for all) it was stable country with a growing economy and people from more than 6 different religions living together in peace .. enter the so called “rebels” and now any one who doesn’t follow their exact sect and bigoted ideas isn’t safe anymore .. that’s why i would totally support the Assad in this conflict without a second thought .. because i know if he falls and those bastards win things will only get 100 times worse in the region .. he isn’t good .. but he is the better of the two fighting sides .. in the series it’s clear despite all the carnage that Nine and Twelve had caused that they value human life and went as far as risking their own lives to stop the metro bomb .. this makes them far more tolerable than the maniac five who has no qualms blowing up their apartment in a building filled with residents or send a rigged plane into the airport killing hundreds of people just to frame them, Twelve and Nine are also better than the Japanese officials who were ready to turn a blind eye to all of Five’s craziness and murder of their own citizens (which should be unacceptable under and circumstances .. specially if it’s this intentional and pre-planned false flag terrorism), it’s not a matter of Good Vs Bad but rather who is better than whom.

      3. @ Impel Down Hippo’s first comment :In regards to Nine blaming Lisa all the time, perhaps this is his way of ‘not getting involved’? It is something he doesn’t want to do, after all, and maybe he feels that if he does he has to avoid setting himself up for the pain Twelve will surely experience if something happens?

        Aki-Chan
        1. oh def agreed, as that’s a really common method of keeping/pushing someone away, but there’s a point where his blaming is just in service of the plot and not really rational. he knows Five was behind the bomb, and whether or not she was there or answered the door, Five would have found them. Five was onto them way before that, so this was inevitable regardless of Lisa. Nine should know that. and being a dick now was just unnecessary.

          plus pushing her away at that crucial time just set up the trap they’re in now. I was thinking maybeNine was onto Five’s plan, but it doesn’t seem that way. Like someone mentioned, I think Nine will probably sacrifice himself in some way to save Lisa and Twelve to make amends.

          Impel Down Hippo
    5. the theme in this ep seems to be the essence of time, and those who seem to be running out of it. In the beginning of this ep, things seemed to be frozen in time, and we see that twelve is content with things feeling as peaceful as they did. It comes as no surprise that he wants to back out of his and nine’s plan, and when Lisa gets kidnapped, he realizes that he is truly running out of time and may never get another chance to be with someone that makes him feel human again. Shibazaki is running out of time because he needs to piece the puzzle together before shit hits the fan; and nine feels that with five on their ass, he and twelve are running out of time and need to put the rest of their plan in motion. Who knows, a part of nine and twelve’s feeling of lack of time could also be that there actually might be some degeneration going on within them which is why they were acting as drastically as they were in the beginning of the series.

      sonicsenryaku
    6. Am I the only one getting irked by Lisa’s incompetent behaviour? If she had been more gallant in nature, her capture would be more acceptable. Utilising the “damsel in distress” trope is kinda like relating her to Peach in the Mario series. Not seeing any attempt to learn from past mistakes or not having an acceptable degree of self awareness in a character annoys me, because they will not strive to improve themselves. And all they do is flail around hopelessly waiting to die or get captured as depicted by Lisa in this episode.

      Well. That’s just in my humble opinion anyway. If that was intentional, then the directors are doing a good job for making different audiences experience different emotions for different characters. I’m sure there are sympathisers out there who think differently. Give this a like if you found Lisa annoying. A dislike if you sympathise her 🙂 It’ll be interesting to see the public opinion. I’d imagine Thinkers of the Myer Briggs test would dislike her, where Feelers would understand her better.

      Why Lisa
      1. Just went and looked up that test in your comment and completed a version of it. It seems you are right-I happen to sympathise with Lisa, and the test scored me as moderately preferring feeling over thinking. I assume you are a thinker?
        I do admit getting annoyed by her dopey moments, but I do not dislike her as a character at all.So I’m not sure where the dislike of her actual character comes from. But to each their own, I guess.

        Aki-Chan
      2. I don’t think that’s Lisa’s fault, just the writing for her “character”. she’s just a plot device at this point, which is a shame. But Five is also a plot device too, which also is disappointing. perhaps the writers are just bad at making good female characters?

        Impel Down Hippo
        1. No She’s just a plot device. This whole story is just super predictable Ofc the thing they stole wasn’t an atomic bomb but something to cast sphinx in a good light to let everyone know they are the good guys and that they want to point attention to the REAL enemy who has the REAL bomb/evil MCguffin whatever, and needs to be stopped. blah blah blah blah blah seen 100000times these guys are Anti hero’s blah blah blah”

          Thing is even predictable stuff or better yet Cliche’d stuff CAN STILL BE AWESOME (i.e. Psycho-Pass). This is just lacking in every way, and it makes me sad. . .as it started off Sooo good.

          Noh
        2. to me Psycho-Pass didn’t end realistically, or satisfactory, for me, but that’s another conversation altogether.Let’s see how they end the story for Zankyou no terror before we pass judgment, but it’s not looking promising.

          Impel Down Hippo
    7. I’m so disappointed by this show. Lisa is a pointless character. She was pointless from the start, but at least when she was a victim of abuse and bullying, her storyline was more interesting. Now she’s cutesy and klutzy, and…ugh.

      And despite my love for Megumi Han, Five is a terrible antagonist.

      Mormegil
        1. Wait, really!? Hmm… But if that was the case, next week’s episode will still be episode 9 and the numerical connection stays XP

          Let’s just hope it’s all handled well before people cry out “DON’TCHA HAVE ANY SENSITIVITY FOR MAH FEELINGZ?” 🙂

          Nishizawa Mihashi
    8. Apartment blows up in Hollywood Fashion, but nobody cares? Given all the other terrorist activities, you would think they might link that explosion to Spinx and the investigators would hear about it. Surely there’s something in the rubble that would identify Spinx (laptops, hair strands, etc.)

      Well, I’m probably just being too pedantic. This isn’t The Wire after all, and there’s been so many unrealistic things that have happened that I should keep on assuming the Japanese police force in this show are monkeys.

      Revolver
      1. Well, we did get an explanation from Clarence saying that “even he can’t hold off the police” if Five continues to do things like this, so I’m quite sure that in regards to the investigators, they were buzzed off before hand/fed some false story.

    9. Why are people so upset about Lisa being the damsel in distress again when that’s all she has ever been since the beginning of the show?
      Maybe I could understand some upset if she’d initially been introduced as a character with more backbone, but no. The story was pretty blatant that she was nothing more than a damsel in distress.
      Get used to it. -.-

      kaba
      1. Upset? Lol, probably not the most apt. term… Bored or underwhelmed would fit better.

        But. Static characters are static, and as of now, her sole purpose is to be a foil character to Five, which is redundant, because antagonists like her are not uncommon in anime and the audience knows what to make of her evil. So Lisa’s presence not only adds no purpose, it takes away time from the series that could otherwise be spent on rounding out the plot, Nine/Twelve, and the technical complexities of the situation.

        But of course, Lisa may change into a whole other person after this kidnapping. Or when Nine dies or something.

        Petit Orenji
    10. Can someone clarify how exactly Lisa was caught? I mean Five blew up their place, sure. But did she follow them to their new hideout and wait for Lisa to leave? Because if not, that means when Lisa runs away, Five just happens to be watching street cameras to track her down.

      Lost Link
    11. I really am curious about what shocking truth Shibazaki has stumbled upon…
      For now we know the name (Project Athena) of the secret program that involved , amongst others, 5,9 and 12. We also know it was some kind of training for gifted orphans, presumably for service in spy agencies and military.
      I was completely not surprised with US handler trying to shorten leash of the 5, and her being frustrated by this. In her heart, she wants probably to break free as 9 and 12 have done…
      @ Lost link, she was found by 5 on the stret security cameras, and from there it was only matter of sending some men to arrest her.
      BTW, talk about unintended consequences, having Shibazaki suspended has left him with all the time hee needed for his own private investigation…

      ewok40k
        1. But if that technology exists, does it mean every criminal would have to hide its face when going outside, for fear of being caught?
          And if we assume the face recognition theory, why would Lisa make the same mistake of going outside twice?

          One
        2. It’s not an ‘if’. Face recognition software exists now. Every time I enter New Zealand at pasport control my face is scanned and compared to my passport. Of cource the problem is it has something like a 95% accuracy, which means a 5% error which is actually really large when you have to assess large crowds.

          All they needed to do was do a search on historical footage, say the week before and try and find her.

          Scruffy

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