Where can you start with an episode that so perfectly wraps up a series? Honestly, I’m speechless right now. The chills are still running through my back as we speak, and this truly was a finale for the ages. No matter what you felt about the series’ developments following Five and Lisa, there’s no way you could’ve been disappointed about how things came together, and I’ll remember this episode—and this series—for years to come. It was just that damn good.

Best of all, it was so enjoyable despite the fact that we all saw this coming. We knew Sphinx didn’t intend to get out of this alive. We knew Shibazaki would be the one to find them at the end. We knew Von meant “hope” in Icelandic. I predicted that Sphinx would try to use the nuke in a high altitude explosion. Yet it didn’t matter one bit. Greatness lies within the execution, and it’s clear that the past few episodes—and this one in particular—were executed virtually flawlessly. It was great just to see things be followed through to their ultimate conclusion, and I think the big thing here now isn’t so much a discussion about what happened this episode (they stand for themselves) as it is the speculation that comes from trying to see what (if anything) Watanabe’s trying to say here.

Because the fact is, there’s a lot here that could be construed about the events here and how they happen. This whole incident with Sphinx puts a bulls-eye on the dangers of nuclear weapons + energy—you’ll note how they had to be shut down ASAP and were used as a threat at the very end—and makes you think that there’s a commentary against its usage here, but is that really all there is to this? Couldn’t it be a more scathing commentary on society in general? That we’ve become so accustomed to utilizing and trying to advance our technology that we’ve become oblivious to the simpler things in life? Alternatively, could it be a discussion of how one shouldn’t spend too much time dawdling on the past—instead spending that time looking forward to a hopeful future?

Needless to say, authorial intent here is one of the big questions, and the fact that one won’t ever know unless he says it himself is perhaps the greatest thing this series offered. That’s not to say the story was a slacker—it was pretty darn good despite what I felt to be an improper utilization of Five and Lisa—but more so to say this: Zankyou is something that’s privy to the viewer’s own interpretation. Depending on how you view this series, you could end up at a very different conclusion about the messages this series sends, and it’s nice to point out how this ends up being the case. You could say Watanabe’s pointing towards viewers toward a particular direction, but he never really ever confirms any specific view, and it gives a sort of opening to what could be some in-depth discussion about the topics he broaches. The fact that this all came together to create a finale with a fabulously emotional atmosphere is just an added bonus, and pictures do indeed tell a thousand words.

I mentioned this before, but it still rings true. Ultimately, Zankyou no Terror was a series that one needed to watch and experience for themselves, and although there were some flawed developments, the fact is that there were various episodes here that could not be described with words. Episodes whose established atmospheres kept you in awe and gave you an indication of how good anime could be. Episodes that sent chills down your back and made you remember particular scenes. Episodes filled with the brilliance of Yoko Kanno’s soundtrack—one of this year’s best. It might not have reached the masterpiece level that I wanted it to, but this was still a good to great series, and there are few better compliments I could give.


ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「bless」by Arnór Dan


Author’s Note:

With this finale comes what’s likely to be the beginning of my hiatus from coverage for at least the fall season (and perhaps the winter season) as I dedicate myself towards making sure my first year of full-time work goes smoothly. I will continue to blog the Naruto Manga and work on the occasional post (introductions, previews, best of anime etc.), but I won’t be covering any weekly series. As such, I would just like to take a moment to thank everyone here reading this and those of you that have followed me since before Zankyou and ALDNOAH.ZERO (I sure got lucky with my picks this season didn’t I?). Random Curiosity wouldn’t be what it is without the support of those of you out there, and I hope that you continue to support us as we temporarily transition (some of you may have already heard that Zanibas and Enzo are also going on hiatus for the fall) to a new core group of writers headed by the newcomers in Passerby and Samu, whom have already proven themselves to be great additions to the site. It’s been a blast and I’ll see you guys around. Thank you for reading! (And don’t forget to spread the word! We always welcome new viewers!)

*Oh yeah, if you’re ever bored, I made one of those ask.fm things everyone’s been doing.


    1. He wasn’t shot first because the sniper didn’t see what type of remote was that, Rifle scope is not a CSI level zoom. In US military history, dead man’s switch is the most common explosive trigger.

    1. Now now, they didn’t actually blow up the city. And in any case, the symbolism lies within the fact that they tossed out the nation’s electricity grid using a nuclear device that shouldn’t have even existed. That’s also a major part of it all. It was both a remembrance and an exposing of the institute, the people around it, and the shady dealings that the public had no knowledge of.

      1. 3edgey5me.

        not everyone who relies on electricity to live is a geriatric or vegetable at death’s door. there would have been plenty of people in operating rooms, emergency rooms, ICU’s, pre-op/post-op care that would have otherwise recovered and gone on to live had the electricity stayed on, never mind those on pacemakers or dialysis who would have also had their lives cut short. just accept it, it’s as a plot loophole.

        as for the anime itself, it was ok, but it hardly lived up to the hype and nowhere near being called a masterpiece. parts of the story and some of the characterizations were pretty thin. the music was well done though.

        i would rate Zankyou no Terror no worse than ‘good’ but certianly no better than ‘very good’. a solid 6.

        animu jane
      2. Never mind that disgusting grammar of your, but marking this as a “plot loophole” excuse me, have you watched the same Anime as I did? If anything, it was necessary a sacrifice, without it they would have just died for nothing, sphinx would have disappeared the way they appeared, that’s not the ending anyone would have wanted.

      3. lmao at the assblasted internet grammarian.

        in case you missed it in between your 12 and 9 jerkoff sessions, one of the main tenets of their philosophy throughout the ENTIRE season was to not kill or harm innocents. it was a plot hole and not a magically all of a sudden necessary sacrifice no matter how hard you desperately try to rationalize it. it was an OK but flawed anime, get over yourself

        animu jane
      4. Umm hello backup generators? Are you you all idiots of something? LOL y’all need to be in this Athena project program cuz y’all are dummmmb. With a B yo so let me “splain” dis real easy for you all. Anything that’s HEMP resistant can be used in an HEMP attack. Such things like specialized back up generators.

    1. If you go at it, I think the distinction they were going for is that they didn’t cause any deaths directly. It would have been an indirect attribution, meaning that when people talked about the bomb itself, it still would have been zero deaths. People might have died after, but the cause would be electric failure of equipment or something, rather than “Sphinx” or “Atomic Bomb in the atmosphere.”

      It’s hugely symbolic because of that distinction and considering the deaths that could’ve happened and the fact that everyone is looking for Sphinx to get their side of the story means that no one’s going to go talk about those few guys that passed away indirectly as a result. One could say it’s just another commentary about how we society tends to get caught up in things and forget the whole picture (among other things), which in this situation is that yes, there are likely to have been people who died, but no one will ever hear about them aside from a rare article or brief mention.

      1. Jesus Christ, way to whitewash manslaughter… Maybe YOU could just up and forget about a family member dying because some “noble” terrorists caused the electricity to turn off, but normal human beings would not, and they sure as hell would not let the rest of the society to forget about it either, and if you actually think they would, you need to get a serious reality check.

      2. See, now you’re just blowing things out to proportion. Please re-read my comments. I mentioned before in another comment that the people directly involved who lose family members will feel it, but the general populace won’t even hear about it until weeks later. That’s the point.

        Until the electronics are fixed and they can even get the word out, the general populace won’t be thinking about anything aside from their own situation (which likely won’t be too bad, because people have survived wide-scale blackouts before) and then the guys responsible. The reports of people passing away will get to the news at some point after, but (and you can call me cynical for this) you can’t tell me that the general populace who didn’t lose anyone won’t be more focused on the nuke, precisely because that’s what makes dramatic headlines the media can use for months and years down the line, and because the amount of people who lost family members would be minuscule compared to the general populace.

        Let’s not go jumping to conclusions without clearly reading what I wrote, good sir. Not to mention it’s a discussion based on a hypothetical perspective on how it might have been meant to be understood. I mentioned “I think the distinction they were going for.” It’s one thing to disagree on the perspective and another thing to accuse someone of a view he didn’t even advocate.

      3. It doesn’t really matter how the anime might have wanted people to interpret things, right now you’re arguing against people who pointed out that in reality there would be deaths resulting from this and those deaths would not be forgotten just because they weren’t “direct” by your definition. You keep insisting that “the amount of people who lost family members would be minuscule compared to the general populace” as if we don’t have tons of cases where even one or two people dying would cause a huge uproar in society.

        It’s one thing for the anime to pretend that collapsing a huge donwtown building would result in no casualties (what, there was no one in the area like the oblivious person on the train that needed a personal save?) and that EMP aftermath would be a piece of cake as long as all planes managed to land – I bet we’re supposed to assume no civilians died in the nuke incident either. But if we go realistic and assume that people did die, then your argument that these deaths would somehow get overlooked and forgotten is either ignorant or comes from wanting to exonerate the “noble” perpetrators.

      4. You’re telling me that it doesn’t matter how the anime might have wanted people to interpret things when that was the whole reason I bought up a potential view in the first place? Okay…?

        And I don’t know how many times I have to say it, there WOULD LIKELY be deaths resulting from this. I never said there would not be. The point is how much of an impact those deaths would have, and I feel that the impact wouldn’t be as large as you think when compared to a nuke going off that wasn’t detonated in a city when it could have and a nuke going off that shouldn’t have existed in the nation that’s much against such a weapon.

        You say there’s huge uproar in society when even one or two people die and yes, that happens. You know how it happens? It’s from the internet. It’s from videos being uploaded. It’s from social media exploding about it. You know what they can’t do in the weeks after the fact? Do exactly that.

        The point is that any deaths that would’ve happened would only be known locally for weeks after. Word of mouth is only going so far and people only care so much about that which they are personally invested in when it comes to a situation like this, of which their foremost concern would be their own livelihood and the reasons behind them not having electronics (i.e. Sphinx and the nuke).

        I said it before and I’ll say it again: articles WILL inevitably pop up about the “indirect deaths” weeks after when there’s some kind of electronic restoration. But if you’re going to tell me that weeks after, those headlines would overpower those of Sphinx and the direct ramifications of the nuke itself, I don’t know what to say.

        The world in particular is going to focus on the nuke and its ramifications for one, and it’ll reason that in a nation that’s so against nukes, they will too once they’re back up and running. There are stories that fade away due to time and what few dozen or hundred deaths caused by equipment malfunction at hospitals, for instance, will likely be one of those stories, especially compared to the nature of the other headline at hand and if you look months, years down the road.

        The point is they honestly would be overlooked by most people before it’s all said and done (especially months and years down the line), because the nuke is the overriding factor in Japan. If this was any other nation without such strong feelings against it, it’d probably be different, but you have to remember it’s Japan we’re talking about.

        Does it mean those “indirect deaths” be totally forgotten? No. But it won’t make prime time headlines everyday like Sphinx and the nuke would.

        Last but not least, don’t give me that “you just want to exonerate the “noble” perpetrators” nonsense. Probably the most blatant thing I’ve ever seen where someone assumes the worse intentions of someone’s perspective and then tries fitting in everything they say to that assumption. You’re acting like the guy who does experiments, looks only for results he wants, then subsequently interprets the data in a way to fit the hypothesis and conclusion he thinks. Stop assuming that I believe what they did was the “objectively right” thing to do or that they should be “exonerated.”

        There’s a difference between saying what could be an interpretation (which is, contrary to your reasoning why IT IS important how the anime wanted people to interpret) and actually believing in that perspective or feeling exactly the same way.

        As for the rest, again, it’s up to you to dislike if something might be a bit too much to believe (like the building collapse causing no deaths), but that and this aren’t the same argument.

        – – –

        Anyway, that’s my two cents, and that’s about all I’ll say about this. I feel like I’ve made enough of an explanation about what I meant and hopefully you can at least see where I’m coming from, even if you disagree.

      5. You say I need to reread things but apparently so do you because what I was saying was that regardless of what the anime wanted us to think, once we started talking about realistic assumptions, we had exited the anime paradigm. You did that too, the moment you accepted the assumption of the guy you were responding to. After that, you can talk all you want about how those deaths would be overlooked, but you can no longer use the idea that apparently the anime wanted us to overlook them in your reasoning.

        And if as you say you don’t think what Sphinx did was right, then I can only assume that your personality falls well into the low end of the empathy scale if you keep on insisting that the deaths resulting from such an event would simply be forgotten by the populace at large. It’s especially ridiculous to think that anyone would be talking about the dangers of nuclear weapons using this incident and they would somehow fail to point out that even the relatively “benign” EMP pulse alone resulted in numerous “indirect” casualties. This would be the first large-scale EMP weapon incident in the world and even for that reason alone there’s no bloody way the casualties would be left out of the discussion down the line. I don’t understand how you can keep on failing to see this simple point, even if your low empathy makes you believe there would be no other reasons for people to remember this years later.

      6. They’re both linked. The concept is that the anime might have wanted to take the perspective that over time things ultimately fade out. It’s something that showed up with the whole Nine/Twelve/institute aspect multiple times and it felt like it’s applicable to the nuke vs. “indirect deaths” concept as well. It’s perfectly linked and that’s the point. You can’t just dissociate the two because you feel there were some things that were unrealistic developmentally in the show, because it’s clear there are perspectives linked to reality in there, so I’d say that’s some convenient moving of the goal posts there.

        And low end of the empathy scale? You’re really just sitting on the assumption that I’m some guy who sides with noble terrorists ain’t you? It’s more of a cynical view on society and how people view things more than anything. You can’t sit here and tell me that a majority of people would be focusing on the dozens/hundreds that may have died indirectly here in Japan months to years later, compared to the nuke (especially globally). Note that I never said they’d be completely left out, but rather overshadowed.

        Does it mean those “indirect deaths” be totally forgotten? No. But it won’t make prime time headlines everyday like Sphinx and the nuke would.

        Again, it’s a matter of impact and timing. The fact is people won’t even hear about those deaths until weeks after when electronics are restored, which lessens the impact of the news weeks later, which by then will likely be more of a discussion on how the grids were restored and a “what now/how did this happen” scenario more than a discussion on the deaths that happened indirectly. That’s how the media works.

        So no, it’s not a lack of empathy, which by the way, continues your negative accusations on me regarding the manner. I didn’t think I needed to say this but here:

        I would be one of those guys that feels that those deaths should be remembered if there were any. I’d easily empathize with those who lost people in the incident. But I’d also be one of those guys that wouldn’t be surprised at how quickly the media would stop focusing on that aspect and shift to the “who did this” and “how did it happen” portion of it all, and along with them, (ultimately) most of the people who view it daily.

      7. First of all, I absolutely can dismiss whatever the creators wanted me to assume in the anime context once I start discussing how this scenario would play out in the real world context. What a ridiculous notion to claim otherwise…

        Then, as a highly qualified media expert, you should know that the media likes nothing better than to bring up all kinds of personal suffering stories, so you can bet your ass that the deaths would not just be sidenoted. And you can stop with the repetitive strawmanning already. I never said that this aspect would far overshadow everything else about this event in news stories, but it’s ridiculous to deny – like you keep doing – that along with everything else it too would get quite a lot of coverage. It absolutely doesn’t matter if during the initial period the deaths would not get talked about as much as the nuke/Sphinx side of things. The human aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake / Fukushima disaster has been a mainstay in Japanese media and if anything its share of the coverage increased over time compared to the more technical/analytical aspects of the disaster. And since you like to repeat the same thing over and over, let me also repeat that since this would be the first large-scale EMP weapon incident in the worls, the deaths would be thoroughly scrutinized from the analytical standpoint as well, because how else to mitigate these scenarios in case something like this happened again in the future. We can’t very well have people believing that there’d be no problems as long as they’ve landed all their planes.

        And I haven’t “accused” you of anything without basis, I’ve simply conveyed my interpretation stemming from your reasoning. It’s a fair assumption that your idea that people would forget about these deaths so easily is because for you personally this is a small detail of little relevance compared to bigger things like Sphinx’s side of the story. Since that is the big thing for you, it stands to reason that in a lot of ways you sympathize more with our friendly terrorists who needed to get their story out by any means necessary than you do with their victims, “indirect” by your definition. If the victims aspect were important for you, you simply would not be writing about it in the dismissive clinical manner that you have, so me thinking that you have low empathy is your own doing. If you feel that I’ve done you some terrible wrong, by all means take my apologies, but don’t try to tell me that what I’ve come up with regarding you is wholly unreasonable.

    2. There was a countdown for the atmonic bomb, giving people time to evacuate. If the hospital was decent, they’d remove the people on life support from the hospitals in the danger area first.

    3. We should keep in mind, that we don’t know if this was really Twelve and Nine’s end game. Nine gave himself up and wanted to have that press conference, where he would’ve either given up the bomb or released it in the air, but since he didn’t make it, thanks to the Five and the Americans who were allowed in by the Japanese government who probably wanted the whole thing covered up, it was released anyway.

      This of course isn’t to excuse what they’re doing, but we should remember that parts of the Japanese government, in conjunction with the Americans, were equally at fault in the handling of the situation.

      Impel Down Hippo
    4. If there are people on life-support that need that electricity, then the place where they are (hospital or similar) should really have backup power sources, like backup batteries and diesel generators. Granted, these can fail, but electricity systems have failed for something as benign as stray tree branches before.

  1. I must seem like a negative nancy but I don’t find this a masterpiece, so I disagree. Solid? Definitely, but let me explain some of my woes:

    1) Five: She was not a good antagonist at all IMO. Completely unoriginal, and while that’s not necessarily bad, she has no goods to back it up. She completely mood kills many parts with her Engrish, and quite honestly she felt like a pile of steaming filler. We could have definitely gotten better plot and story if she weren’t around. What was the purpose of her in the first place?

    2) Lisa: This is more subjective but I wish she had a bigger role. As a moral compass I felt like she was weak because Twelve probably wanted out anyways. She was just a plot device honestly and the impact that she could have had was disappointing. Not bad but just unappetizing.

    3) Shibazaki: Dues ex character who crystallizes in his visions and knows all perfectly. Don’t think his personal grudge was resolved so there’s a loose end. He was enjoyable but could have been better.

    4) Death of Twelve and Nine: While definitely a beautiful scene I feel like Twelve’s death was just a way to give the anime a dark edge. I know the purpose of why he died but…it felt random. Nine also convieniently died and a convieniently sad time.

    5) The bombing: Didn’t like the naivety of not harming anyone. That last EMP bomb probably killed tons of people in aircraft, and shut down power in lots of hospitals and could really have been deadly. Plus after that they’re playing catch, lol.

    6) Lack of closure: Nine and Twelve just died and Lisa just… has to accept it. Her life in itself has no closure at all. Her mom? Her living arrangements? Her mooooom? Five also had a huge lack of closure. Why did she even do what she did? To get close with Nine? Gimme a break, how weak.

    7) Motive was predictable and anti-climactic. Saw it coming. Don’t say you didn’t either.

    8) Turned more into Death Note and teenage drama rather than a thriller that could have been redifining.

    Definitely a solid anime though. Amazing OST and animation but I feel like it’s overhyped

    1. Admittedly, Zankyou no Terror wasn’t always as consistently strong as I hoped it’d be, but I didn’t have the same problems as you. Let me try and address your concerns from your perspective.

      1) & 2) Five and Lisa: Five could have been better as a villain, but I didn’t mind her that much because of the existence of Lisa, and while I looked for more from Lisa I didn’t mind her that much because of the introduction of Five. Five and Lisa are foils for each other, much in the same way Nine and Twelve were. I’ll leave it at that for the moment because I’m still putting my thoughts together, but I’ll say: it’s less about what they do but what they represent.

      3) That’s not what deus ex machina really means, but whatever. I thought Shibazaki was done well. He made a good guile hero, in my opinion. In the grander scheme, his existence was necessary to the narrative; there only needs to be one person who figures out the truth and cares about it enough to shout. And wasn’t his confrontation with Mamiya the link with his personal grudge? I may need to go over everything again.

      4) Nine and Twelve, almost from the start, were slated to die. Five’s death certainly more than foreshadowed it; it put the nail in their coffin. Nine and Twelve’s contrasting philosophies are much more relevant considering they expected to die. Also, think about it from the Greek tragedy viewpoint a bit.

      5) I suppose that’s why Nine and Twelve needed someone like Shibazaki and cultivated his role. They needed someone who could figure things out and actively work things out in their place. And remember that the nuke was a last resort, a dead man’s switch. Was Nine’s nuke in the reactor at the end a bluff? How much was he willing to sacrifice, when cornered? Something to think about.

      6) to 8) All these complaints, I think, stem from the previous five. Maybe the narrative was not executed optimally, leading to difficulties in understanding. But once you understand the narrative, everything falls into place. And I think that’s masterful in its own right.

      1. I was about ready to write a long spiel myself explaining why i felt Zankyou no terror still hit the right notes regardless of some slight stumbles but you ended up stating my thoughts so eloquently that all i can say no is that i absolutely agree with your assessment; and yes; this was a greeeeaaat finale. Yes i feel that the narrative could have been a bit stronger; and maybe there was some sort of pressure on the staff to tell the story within the time frame that they had that might have affected the creative process a bit but man did the directorial effort from Watanabe pull this series through. I dont know who wrote the series but watanabe’s direction sure as hell won me over; He kept the narrative in line even when it stumbled.

      2. Well said, Passerby.

        I read a really good analysis on Five on Tumblr, and I’ll quote the last paragraph, because it pretty much sums up my opinion the character and her relevance to the show’s themes.

        “Those who say that Five is a one-dimensional character aren’t really wrong, strictly speaking. But that in itself, is the tragedy of her character- denied a chance to develop and grow mentally until her death. Five is a product of her circumstances, and ultimately, those circumstances have reduced her to a brilliant but sickly, childish and mentally unsound girl. Much like Nine and Twelve, her story sends a message of freedom. Specifically, it’s a dramatised version of what happens when there is an extreme lack of freedom, and the isolation that comes with it.”

      3. Thanks for your responses Passerby but I stick with what I say.

        1) & 2) I see what you’re saying but if both of them doesn’t serve a huge purpose the fact that they’re foils doesn’t really matter. If in Death Note where were two characters that sorta meshed in with the plot but were “foils,” well, I guess you should leave it up to the execution. But didn’ really work for me.

        3) I know what dues ex means. Shibazaki to me was there in very convienient situations and was used many times to just move the plot. Again this was done well and he was enjoyable but he kinda was dues ex.

        4) Fair point. Wasn’t exactly a huge complaint but yeah. The execution here was just something I think couldve been tweaked slightly.

        5) While I disagree with the first part in a way (I still think it was foolishly naive to expect no one to die, yet it happened anyways) the last resort business I suppose was unavoidable with how the narrative was.

        6) No matter what the narrative was going for, you can’t deny the loose ends with the closure of Lisa’s life, Five’s goals, and Shibazaki’s personal grudge. As simplisic and poetic as the narrative was, in the end you have to pull stuff out of your ass to explain some of those things. I guess it’s more of a story where the end is open to interpretation but with the story reaching to such a high scale, that route feels lacking.

        Don’t misunderstand though I really enjoyed this series. But it was definitely flawed and imperfect. Guess we’ll just ahree to disagree – thanks for the reply ^^

      4. Also to add to #1, I do understand the philosophy behind Five and Lisa. All the characters in this show were chained down to something, with their lives totally directed in a certain inevitable path. I’m not denying the representations of Five and Lisa as characters, but moreso how tey were executed as characters themselves and overall as a part of the narrative. To me, the story should have came first over any symbolic metaphorical mix of stuff. But as characters of their own right, they were both weak.

        Five as a villain, as I said, was very typical, and quite frankly boring. And I will say this until someone can provide compelling proof, but she was not at all useful to the narrative. Maybe as a poetic symbol, sure, but she took up so much of the plot, where in the end, did it really matter? She shot herself up in flames and literally, she’s gone and went ka-poof. What about the government agent she killed? Why did she have to go through such life threatening lengths to get a peck on the lips with Nine? I mean, what is that?? In terms of her being a representation of a certain theme in the anime, I feel like if they left that part and expanded Lisa as a character, rather than the damsel-in-distress she was, the plot would have weaved better and Lisa would have been a much more sympathetic character. Symbols are never set in stone. There are different ways to express certain themes and considering the scope of this anime, Five was not the way to go. Or she could have been, but the writing around her character was weak. That I will most certainly believe.

      5. 1) & 2) I think Five and Lisa served important roles in the narrative because of what they represented. Their roles as foils for each other simply enhance that. And I do not understand the Death Note comparison.

        3) Your understanding of deus ex machina seems somewhat different from mine, so let’s leave that aside for now. However, if you are begrudging a protagonist for moving the plot, then…I guess there’s nothing to be said.

        6) That’s the thing; I didn’t really feel like there were loose ends. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the narrative drew soundly to its natural conclusion. Five’s motives were clear–simple and childish (that’s the point), but clear. Shibasaki ties the main narrative and his personal grudge together in his confrontation of Dr Mamiya. Lisa is the only one who is debatable. She receives what she was looking for, even if just briefly: the personal connection and the sense of belonging. Now she must move on with her life. In the ending Lisa represents the future. That future may be full of uncertainty, but at least we know that she is moving towards it.

      6. 3. No, I just mean it feels like he only exists to move the plot. I guess that’s the point and again I enjoyed him. So I’m
        more thinking he could have been done better rather than begruding.

        1. Typed up a decent pargraph of how I feel about that.

        6. Lisa literally just shows up in the end. We assume she’s alright but I would
        have liked some more.

      1. exactly; with the altitude that the bomb exploded at (H.A.N.E), the radiation would disperse into space and the little that would be floating around the earth would be shielded by the ozone. Essentially, the explosion produces Compton elections which get spattered around by gamma rays. The spattered electrons circulated by the earth’s natural magnetic field sends these electrons into anything with an antenna or generates electricity and fries them

    2. Five has no goods? She has two.

      She had so much potential,
      to be that bad girl we’d all remember.
      I wish their “game” was explained,
      or maybe just a little hint as to what happened to her after Nine and Twelve escaped.
      But two things
      I’ll remember her for,
      are these menacingly beautiful eyes.

      Not an original antagonist, but definitely not cut and paste either. The kiss and the way she went out with a bang caught me a little off guard though. Definitely wasn’t expecting a tender moment out of her after all of her breakdowns as Nine and Twelve slipped from her fingers.

  2. And at last, the tale of Oedipus draws to an end. And at the same time, continues into real life. Zankyou no Terror is one of those anime that inspires me to write. I’ll need some time to put all my thoughts on paper. But until then: wow.

  3. https://randomc.net/image/Zankyou%20no%20Terror/Zankyou%20no%20Terror%20-%2011%20-%2025.jpg
    Take this! Hahahah

    Shi- my phone! You.. You’ll pay for that..

    I’ll only say this once, Shoot 12 and I’ll give you this detonator! Otherwise the nuclear reactor gets it.

    Alright lets do what he wants. Kill the other guy.

    Uahhh Why’d you take it so seriou…

    Tango Down.

    Good job guys, report back to your commander.

    tug tug tug tug tug

    Thanks, I owe you one. Here take this.

    My pleasure.


  4. Am I the only one that expected Lisa and Twelve to have some dramatic kiss as the atomic bomb went off, thus having them silhouetted a bit against the bright light? lol

    I also didn’t expect such whiplash with how Nine and Twelve die. I mean, showing them actually having fun (even Nine) and making you think that just maybe things may turn out okay for them now that they have accomplished what they set out to do…it’s quite sad.

    And I’m guessing that Nine must’ve had whatever kind of deterioration that Five had with the way he seemed to just fall over and presumably die the way he did?

    1. I assumed that Nine had the same deterioration Five did and that when Twelve was killed, he suffered a brain aneurysm or took some kind of shock to his system that got the better of him.

      1. The show implies that the reason why twelve, nine, and five lived for so long is because they had a goal that they wanted to intensely pursue. Five wanted to beat nine for once; a sort of sick obsession that she had for him that may have blossomed into a romance had the kids been nurtured properly in that institution. Nine and twelve lived as long as they did because they wanted to expose the truth of their upbringing. Nine wanted to atone for the ones that died in the institute, and twelve (nine as well but mostly twelve) yearned for human warmth before they expired. When Twelve died, nine pretty much lost his will to continue going on. These guys have been on deaths door for a while and that was alluded to with the white feathers that were always surrounding nine and twelve

  5. Imperfect, flawed series, but one that manages to raise more important questions than tons of moeblobs or popcorn explosion shows. Here, each explosion serves a purpose.
    Death of 12 (and, off-screen, 9) was less of an impact than I expected, since we knew the horrific experiments have left them with not long to live anyway.
    As many people have noticed, EMP blast would have killed numerous people anyway. Let’s think for a while how vulnerable is the society with most food needing cold storage, delivery chains to the shops with electronic cash to pay, emergency room equipment in hospitals, heart pacemakers (Highschool of the Dead highlights it in the form of EMP making zombie apocalypse EVEN DEADLIER). But I think Sphinx went as far as possible to minimize death toll – kinda “biggest bang for least deaths” – while still making so much impact their story could not get ignored.
    Shibazaki and Lisa seem to be characters I can relate the most to. 9, 12 and obviously 5 were twisted beyond humanity by the experiments. While Lisa seems naive and clumsy, she gives a “humanity anchor” to the Sphinx pair. It is her imperfection that stops them from being emotionless task-focused automatons. Shibazaki is personification of our common desire for justice. He might come off bit as super-knowledgable and deus ex machina, but actually the hints for him to follow are all the time left by the Sphinx. As certain Jedi, escape was not their plan (and they probably knew thy are doomed anyway).
    Visually and soundtrack wise, an excellent show. Period.
    While I am fully aware of the show deficencies, I am glad I watched it. Even if storytelling stutters and stumbles, even if chaarcters are not up to the high standard, the show is making you think, ask questions and discuss it with fellow viewers.

    1. Having gone through a 48 black out in 2003 and an ice storm that left power out for weeks you’ll survive. In fact we did live without electricity just fine in the past. There are plenty of gas generator and food can be replaced. The effect area wasn’t the whole of japan either in this case.

      1. The effect would be more than power out, frying of all electronics in the afffected area would be much harder to replace (think of losing everything stored on your PC including anime…)
        And regarding range, stratosphere blast would affect no more than few dozens miles, aka Greater Tokyo area. Still thats about 10 millions of people needing food, water (yup the water play of the kids is complete fiction since the pumps would be out) and many of them neding advanced medicine (all the Japanese elderly and whatsnot).
        Sure though, Japan probably would cope, but certainly not without dozens if not hundreds of casualties.

  6. Zankyou no Terror executes its various concepts and themes well, it also has great pacing and a decent amount of intrigue and overall this makes for a very enjoyable and interesting plot.

    However the various aspects that make up the story of ZNT are unoriginal and have been done better elsewhere thats not to say the plot is lacking in any major fashion but I felt that nothing particularly stood out among the various aspects that make up the plot either.

    Also the characters are not what I would call complex having very straight forward motives and being for the most part predictable .Also there was much character development for any of the character with maybe the exception of twelve.

    So calling Zankyou no Terrors was a very good anime but not thing more.


  7. And so Zankyou comes to its conclusion. I cannot say it was a bad ending, but certainly felt slightly rushed, especially towards the end with the death of Twelve; these events did not have the impact they were meant to have and overall felt anticlimatic. Nevertheless I’d hesitate to say it was “bad”, more like wasted potential than anything.

    Overall Zankyou was tight, well orchestrated, and thoughtfully complex, if not as uniquely memorable as many of us thought at the start of the season. The show as discussed last week is primarily a thinker’s show, it demands of the viewer to analyze the many moving components and links between them to see beyond into the ubiquitous message being sent by the author. The main weakness of Zankyou concerns its “generalist” approach per say, running a common storyline and spending as little time as possible to ingeniously flesh it out (thus allowing for better critical analysis of its underlying message). The main consequence of Zankyou’s streamlined plot of course is its characters, who beyond Nine, Twelve, and Shibazaki are not well developed. Five and Lisa don’t seem to serve much overall purpose beyond propelling the plot along, although faint tendrils of intrigue can be start to be seen here with the closeness of Twelve and Lisa. As aforementioned it’s wasted potential more than failure, all of Zankyou’s main players work well in the story, it’s simply that they could have meshed better.

    As a whole Zankyou deserves at least a “good” to “great” mark (~7.5/10) IMO for giving a consistent thriller of a story firmly grounded in (semi)realism. It might have been rushed towards the end, missing good character development, and lacking a more catchy storyline, but Zankyou remained entertaining throughout. These types of shows are growing increasingly rare, so I for one hope Zankyou has garnered enough interest to see another one grace our screens in the not too distant future.

  8. For the message being sent this episode I’ll build off of that wall of text I posted last week for one last look at Zankyou.

    It is interesting that Nine let the nuke go off as I personally thought he would stop it (thus supporting the idea that he has chosen the path not set out for him by history); however, closer inspection still supports the general thought of loosening the shackles of history to become “free” from its coercive influence. By detonating the nuke, Nine has effectively “destroyed” the tool of history, thrown off the fate of walking a predestined and well worn path; rather than using it to destroy, Twelve used the “breaking” of the nuke to bring the tool’s existence and purpose to light (i.e. the facility). Like Oedipus, Nine and Twelve have thrown off the imposition of fate to choose their own path, free from the machinations of the old; there is now no longer any “baggage” to hold them down.

    Building from this is Twelve’s death. Although strange at the surface, there is something here. Twelve was the activist who found a purpose beyond ideals, the one who abandoned his self-determined fate for his purpose (Lisa). It could be argued the point is that the idealist (Nine) will always have casualties in the fight for his goals, but more likely IMO is showing that fate still binds men. Nine and Twelve were free to shrug off the fate which was not theirs to uphold (collective history), but not that fate which was predestined. Just like Oedipus both Nine and Twelve were destined to die; Twelve’s death was simply the indicator to show that even after abandoning the fight of ideals he too could not outrun its inevitability (with the Blackhawks representing the Erinyes). Nine likewise perished, but only after completing his mission; those paying attention would know that Twelve died after having a period of fun, calm, and recollection with Lisa, his new found goal that was met before Nine met his objective.

    If there is any unified message in Zankyou I’d say like last week’s post that it has to do with the advancement of society and the choices confronting its inheritors: our generation. Watanabe if anything is showing that change does not have to rely upon the tools of the old (violence, war, death) nor their influence, that it can still be determined rationally and thoughtfully by ourselves once removed of such influences. Considering the current state of geopolitics in Asia and the general shift in Japanese domestic politics it’s a well-timed message which aims to show not that violence is inherently wrong, but should only be implemented when all other options have been exhausted. Based on the examples throughout Zankyou I’d argue that Watanabe is one who disagrees with Abe’s nationalism, hoping that the current generation of the young in Japan hold similar values and won’t give in to the temptation of a romanticized past.

    1. First, I like your thoughts on the generational transition commentary and upholding collective history. I don’t really know the Oedipus story well enough to tie it in with the show, so thanks for generally adding your take on things from week to week here.

      I’d like to add that there has to be some commentary on technology here as well. We got through most of the show using the web, computers, cellphones, giant walls of monitors and ended with a few kids playing with a ball. Though I suppose that kind of ties in with starting over with a new beginning and all that. Dunno, just felt like it was too big a theme not to mention.

    2. Regarding the statement on Japanese domestic politics, I think it’s worth it to note that the portrayal of America in this show suggests that Watanabe does, in fact, acknowledge that change insofar as the country’s relationship with America probably is necessary. Even removing Five’s instability, America in Zankyou was not Japan’s friend. Clarence’s actual mission was to capture proof of Japan’s hidden nuclear weapon programme (presumably to use as further political blackmail), and at the end, despite the misgivings of the US pilots themselves, their motivation for getting rid of Nine and Twelve is to cover their own involvement, at all costs. I think the actual message is that, while Japan does need to stand on its own feet again, it also shouldn’t subscribe to, as you said, a romanticized nationalistic past and end up committing the same errors as past Japan and present America.

      For what it’s worth, while I still believe the show would have been better off without Five, I do think that as a whole, it’s a well-crafted, if thematically heavy, show. The final theme the show leaves off with is a cautionary warning on the nature of secrets – where, at some point, a secret quickly becomes the justification for another, and another, and another. Old politician Mamiya drove people to social and actual suicide to hide one secret – America would countenance another nuclear explosion to hide their involvement in the matters leading to the previous one. Shibazaki, then, is the picture of the ideal counterelement to such poison – the type of person who keeps no secrets, and stops at nothing to uncover them.

      I also do like the fact that the whole Iceland theme turned out to be a complete red herring. At the end of it, all it turned out to be was a reminder that Nine was human as well – an expression of his own tastes and whims. I never thought characterization was all that lacking, if a bit inconsistent in Five’s case – merely rather more subtle than most.

      1. Well then, tell me. Did the US government did anything WRONG in this show?
        Mind you, Five was not part of the US government, and actively disobeyed its orders, and killed one of its agents.

      2. @JimJIm

        What? Let’s see. Killed an unarmed boy and were going to kill the other two. Countenanced a the blowing up of an airliner with a girl on board that was going to be crashed into an airport that would have killed how many? Remember they were using Five to track down Sphinx and didn’t really care how she did it. Their hands were as dirty as the Japanese Gov.

      3. @JimJIm

        Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t see the nuke Twelve was holding in his hand when he was shot. Nine had the detonator and they didn’t care if the bomb went off anyway. All they wanted to do was to cover up the airport incident and the expressway incident and they specifically stated such. They were going to kill them regardless.

      4. @Bear

        And that is precisely why I think this show is pathetic.

        Flat characters. Sub-par story. Poor logic. Plot holes EVERYWHERE. Posing as a thinking-man’s show and lure the intellectuals in, than delivery this brainless bull.

        The US Forces should have kill them BOTH. But because of poor writing, certain individuals are spared for the show’s ending.

        Any human with a reasonably functional brain will ask this simple question: how the hell is the detective in the end going to expose Rising Sun? He does not have ANY physical or circumstantial evidences, just accusations. They gave us the classical “newspaper headline flash shot” and that’s it?

        Then the questioning goes on and on. You believe that the region of KANTO can be evacuated in ONE DAY? just like that? Seriously?

        LOOKING DIRECTLY at an exploding atomic bomb like that and everybody will be blind in seconds. Watch those 1960 PSA films and do some research.

      5. @JImJim

        If any of the last comment is directed at things I wrote I have no idea where you got that from a simple point that the US was up to it’s collective ears in this mess.

        There were plot holes from beginning to end and where did I state otherwise?

        Where did I say Kanto could be evacuated in a day?

        What does any of your response have to do with my original comment? Please tell me.

        AFA the nuke goes:

        The nuke was over 8 miles high if it was in the Stratosphere (8 to 30 miles) and above the ceiling of the jets chasing it. The JASDF uses F15J that have a service ceiling of 65,000 ft (that’s over 12 miles) so the bomb had to be well above that if they couldn’t lock their missiles on. The AIM-7C/D has a range of 20 miles so the bomb could be over 20 miles up easily. It was also a suitcase bomb so it’s no megaton deal. Maybe six kilotons, much smaller than Hiroshima. Consider these pictures about not being able to look at a Nuclear Test It depends on the size and how far away you are. They look a lot closer than where this bomb is and it doesn’t look like they’re all fried to me. Maybe you should do some research instead of watching a generalized PSA that has no bearing on what was in this story.

  9. Was I the only one who thought maybe they were wake up Japan? Japan has been sleeping. A large percentage of it’s possibly productive human capital is addicted to a different kind of drug -electricity. Isn’t it possible that maybe they are just solving the “NEET” problem once and for all ? and By taking away their toys. The scene where they went out to play suggested to me that they wanted Japan to get out and live real life. Maybe I’m just over thinking things that I feel are more immediate concerns and missing the point.

    1. I think you may be reading into it, but I like your take on it, as that could also lead to Japan fixing its dwindling population issues if people are forced to go outside more and interact with each other.

      Impel Down Hippo
  10. “Good not great” is an apt way of describing it. The high points were quite good, but it felt overall under developed. I’m not sure, but I feel like this should have been a longer series. The downside being a potential loss of pacing and focus.

    There is definitely a lot of room for interpretation and explanation, but I wonder at what point that changes from finding meaning to just rationalizing.

  11. While this was indeed a good finale(I actually felt something for Twelve and Nine in the end), Zankyou no Terror was the biggest disappointment of the season for me; along with Aldnoah.Zero. The two shows that I was looking forward to the most too.

    Production values, Watanabe’s stunning and cinematic direction, the animation, and Kanno’s wonderful score – all on point.

    But the writing? It left a lot to be desired. Despite my love for Megumi Han, Five was a weak antagonist and had such an abrupt end(episode 10 was the worst of the series, easily). Lisa was a much more interesting character in the beginning when she was dealing with bullying and her terrible mother. Then she became klutzy and cute when she joined up with Twelve and Nine. Her character was just handled so poorly, and ultimately nothing was done with her. Five and Lisa were definitely the biggest problems I had with the show.

    To be honest, even though I still had some problems with the show in the beginning, I was enjoying it. But once Five showed up, she brought the whole show down with her.

  12. I have to thank you Zephyr!
    After Five got introduced I kinda lost interest in Zankyou no Terror, cause I think she was really annoying. I even dropped it after I watched a few minutes of episode 9.
    Thanks to your preview sentences (“It’s been a long time since a finale left me speechless. This was a masterpiece of a finish if I’ve ever seen one—leaving me with chills down my spine and a lasting impression for the ages.”) I thought that I should check it out after all and now I’m glad that I did finish it after all. I even liked Five in her very last moments and thought that all her previous actions might not have been that bad after all.
    So once again, thank you very much for reviving my interest in this great anime.

  13. Maybe from an objective view it is easy to see the flaws in this show. Indeed, I am willing to admit that it was by no means perfect. But right from the beginning, this show captivated me, and that ending was just haunting. So on an emotional level,for me, this anime is indeed a masterpiece. In a way, the flaws in the characters go towards that, because flaws are very human, and I have always thought there was something so profoundly human about this anime. So I feel like Zankyou No Terror will stay with me for a long, long time.

    Thanks for covering the series, Zephyr : )

  14. I’ll be sad to see you go, Zephyr. With both you and Zani taking breaks, Cherrie remains the last of the new guard; the post-Divine conscripts. It’ll definitely mean a new era for randomC. Good luck with work, and I hope you do come back eventually 🙂

    1. Thanks! We’ll be back. Er, well I guess I can only speak for myself, but yeah there’s no way I won’t be back. I’ll probably be forced to come back as soon as the winter because of all the sequels that are coming out to shows I want to cover, haha. Sidonia and ALDNOAH just to name a few.

  15. That’s right. Just kill all of my ships this season!!! F*** you summer!!!

    But yeah, one thing I’m sure I won’t forget for a really long time to come would be that motorbike scene with 12. That scene was just epic in the simplest way possible. Thankyou. Yoko kanno

  16. Couldn’t it be a more scathing commentary on society in general? That we’ve become so accustomed to utilizing and trying to advance our technology that we’ve become oblivious to the simpler things in life? Alternatively, could it be a discussion of how one shouldn’t spend too much time dawdling on the past—instead spending that time looking forward to a hopeful future?

    Zephyr, continuing on your thought, Twelve brings up to Lisa how they never knew that their parents. That they were alone in that institution. He says “that’s why…” and then the bomb goes off. So for me I came to the conclusion that it might be more of a commentary about how we’ve become too obsessed with technology that we no longer bother to interact with others (harking back to earlier episode about how Shibazaki hated summer because no one would be outside to play with him as a child).

    Now in this modern age, everyone’s inside and interacting with everyone else through the technology barrier. Gone are the face-to-face interactions and the crucial times of family bonding, which Nine and Twelve never even got to experience. So with this bomb, they could finally force people outside and to actually have to interact more with others. Notice how the 2nd half is dedicated to Nine, Twelve, and Lisa having fun like kids before the age of internet, smartphones, and computers. Not to say that’s not the main commentary, but I thought that message might also be in there. Or perhaps I’m reading too deeply into it. o.o

    1. No, you’re exactly right. When I was talking about the whole “simpler things in life,” that’s generally what I meant. I felt too that the whole 2nd half was really there to showcase how people are too drawn in by technological advancements and virtual communications, and it’s honestly been there all series. Even Sphinx utilized the newest smartphones in their acts and you saw how some people way back in the Gov’t building were just sitting around taking selfies and gossiping around.

      And honestly, if that’s what he intended to say, he’s not wrong about how things are developing in this day and age. Virtual communication is convenient and let’s you converse across thousands of miles, but it shouldn’t be a replacement for actual proper interaction, which often seems to be the case these days among the younger generation.

  17. I haven’t cried over an anime in such exaggerated and emotional a fashion since Shin Sekai Yori. I mean, even though it was glaringly obvious what would happen in the end, it still felt like BOOM and BANG and a bullet through my heart and cymbals crashin in my ears and-

    Maybe I’m just over-emotional or something but that really hurt. 11 episodes and weepy sobby me got seriously, seriously, seriously attached to those two.

    1. Heck, in my case, I was like NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! x 3 times XD

      It’s the first time in a long time since I really went primal with my anger at a character’s death, wowwie XP

      Nishizawa Mihashi
  18. Zankyou no Terror is definitely going to be one of the most unforgettable animes ever. Everyone had theories about how this show was going to turn out and I am so happy that, in the end, it was executed well. There were no loose ends–just the unbearable but foreseeable deaths of Nine and Twelve. Moreover, it is true that this anime can be interpreted in so many ways (I’m holding myself back from rewatching the series and trying to re-figure it all out but I’m a bit still too fragile from the ending…).

    Episodes 9 & 11 are my favorite — Yoko Kanno’s soundtrack made it harder to stop crying.
    Thanks, Zephyr! Goodluck!

  19. I laugh at how this anime had zero deaths for 9 episodes straight under stupid unrealistic circumstances, and then in the last episode they suddenly realized that wow, people do tend to die I guess. So they quickly turned it into a tragedy in the last 10 minutes, while leaving two witnesses that still knew everything behind… for no reason. And never mind the plot hole that 9 probably killed thousands of people in hospitals and flights due to the EMP.

    Mostly, I’m just disappointed it does nothing interesting with the terrorism. It just uses it as decoration for a much less interesting topic. Much like in the show, it’s all just there to be attention grabbing.

    1. I mentioned this above, but:

      “If you go at it, I think the distinction they were going for is that they didn’t cause any deaths directly. It would have been an indirect attribution, meaning that when people talked about the bomb itself, it still would have been zero deaths. People might have died after, but the cause would be electric failure of equipment or something, rather than “Sphinx” or “Atomic Bomb in the atmosphere.”

      It’s hugely symbolic because of that distinction and considering the deaths that could’ve happened and the fact that everyone is looking for Sphinx to get their side of the story means that no one’s going to go talk about those few guys that passed away indirectly as a result. One could say it’s just another commentary about how we society tends to get caught up in things and forget the whole picture (among other things), which in this situation is that yes, there are likely to have been people who died, but no one will ever hear about them aside from a rare article or brief mention.”

      1. What are you talking about? People wouldn’t just handwave those deaths like that, those are innocent people that have nothing to do with the Rising Sun secret illuminati club. We’re talking about ill people dying in hospitals en masse and planes full of passengers crashing all over the place because two teenagers decided to tie a balloon to a bomb.

        And even though they’re supposed to be “geniuses”, they resort to this complicated terrorism scheme in order to get attention? What? Ever heard of the internet? Ever heard of wikileaks? Of course that’s the problem with this show, its “terrorism” only exists as a selling point and feels incredibly contrived given how the the plot bends over backwards and engages in the most unreal leaps of logic in order for their bombing hijinks to be completely victimless. So from the get-go the story fails because it wants to use a serious issue like terrorism purely as a hollow marketing point but without any depth.

      2. You’re talking about a situation where people don’t even have electricity to surf the internet and talk about this stuff right now. And as of multiple minutes before the nuke, there were only 4 planes that didn’t land yet, a few of which may have landed in the meanwhile. They’re not “falling all over the place.” There will be casualties in regards to patients in hospitals, but honestly they aren’t going to be as significant as you think, considering there are diesel backup generators present and other electronics in places that are EMP shielded in areas like this.

        The big thing people would aim for would be, “how did Sphinx get an atomic bomb that shouldn’t exist” and “who is Sphinx?”. The other indirect deaths caused by this wouldn’t even make it to the news until weeks later when they restored some kind of electronic service, and by then it’d be overwhelmed by the questions above. I don’t know if you’ve watched the news/media lately, but that’s just how they do things. It’s all about the headlines, the suspense, the drama these days, and stories about these two random terrorists that managed to find and detonate a nuke without intent to nuke an actual city will garner a lot more attention than machines in a hospital not working, especially since everyone will know about Sphinx from what they broadcasted before, but virtually no one aside from those working at the hospitals will know about what transpired there while electronics are down.

        As for the latter, the point I feel is that there’s multiple ways to get attention, and each way has its varying length of effect. Things on the internet invariably fall out due to the sands of time and half the people that read stuff won’t trust or bother with half the stuff on there. If you’re looking for a more lasting impact, you can’t fault Sphinx for going the route they did. The scene of the nuke, the weeks without power, these are the things that will be ingrained permanently in these people’s memories for as long as they live. They’ll tell stories about it to their kids. It’ll be in books, textbooks, magazines. You don’t ever see anything from Wikileaks lasting more than a few weeks do you? People don’t even talk about the guy behind it anymore. There’s a stark difference here between situations, the attention garnered, and the lasting impact. And also, you talk about “geniuses,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have epic hacking skills. You’ll remember they made the abilities of these children akin to savants, who tend to excel in singular skills or tasks. Five clearly was more hacker adept of the three, and she could care less about what they were trying to do.

        You’re free to believe the terrorism is a hollow marketing point, but I think that’s far from the truth personally. Agree to disagree scenario here.

      3. I dont mean it in any way of harm or so, but you really know the Effect of an EMP Shockwave?

        Even Cars, will shut down. because the EMP Shockwave interfere with Electronic, and can destroy it.
        So Even Backup Diesel needs a battery to start, but it would not work. because the EMP shock force the starter batteries useless.
        And these Motors, need a spark to ignite the compressed Air+Fuel mixture, like it work with Car Engines.

      4. so, we have here an HEMP effect.
        Nuclear (NEMP) and high altitude nuclear (HEMP)
        Main article: Nuclear electromagnetic pulse

        NEMP is the abrupt pulse of electromagnetic radiation resulting from a nuclear explosion. The resulting rapidly changing electric fields and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges.

        In military terminology, a nuclear warhead detonated hundreds of kilometres above the Earth’s surface is known as a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) device. Typically the HEMP device produces the EMP as its primary damage mechanism. The nuclear device does this by producing gamma rays, which in turn are converted into EMP in the mid-stratosphere over a wide area within line of sight to the detonation.

        NEMP weapons are designed to maximise such effects, especially on electronic systems, and are capable of destroying susceptible electronic equipment over a wide area. The popular media often depict such EMP effects incorrectly, causing misunderstandings among the public and even professionals, and official efforts have been made in the USA to set the record straight.[/quote]

        So, they need to replace many Electronic, to get the City backup running..

        Atomic Bombs are no Toys

      5. “The scene of the nuke, the weeks without power, these are the things that will be ingrained permanently in these people’s memories for as long as they live. They’ll tell stories about it to their kids. It’ll be in books, textbooks, magazines.”

        What they will remember is the hundreds that died, how lots of people starved (food needing cold storage), how they had to basically buy almost everything they owned again, including their car, etc. THAT will be engraved in their minds more than the plight of the orphan research subjects. But talking about this is useless because we’re just exploiting a plot hole. Canonically, nobody died and no electronics were fried. Once again, reality bends over backwards in order to turn these two teenagers into tragic heroes. That’s the huge flaw with this anime, the suspension of disbelief required to believe the events is just too staggering.

        1. That the container carrying the nuclear fuel could be pierced by a bullet, when it is designed to withstand trainwrecks.
        2. That the people working in the nuclear power plant would somehow NOT know this.
        3. 12 going from a seemingly dangerous sociopath (see episode 1) to a generic whiteknight with a pure heart who will mamoru some random girl he met.
        4. NOBODY in the school recognized Sphinx as those two mysterious transfer students who were gone in a day, even though they showed in the videos their hair, hair color, voices, and more or less general personality. Nobody could put two and two together.
        5. People don’t die in terrorist attacks.
        6. The FBI giving Five an unreal amount of freedom.
        7. The subway bomb exploding a few feet from Nine and all he gets are a few back burns which disappear by the next episode.
        8. Clarence gets shot and “dies”. And then he’s alive and not even injured.
        9. Nine releases the bomb into the air and we’re supposed to accept that the EMP had no consequences outside of a blackout.
        10. The same FBI which let Five go on a rampage, and presumably had no difficulty covering everything she did up, only shoot 12 and not the one with the detonator, nor any of the other witnesses.

      6. I’ll just say your discussion about there being a suspension of disbelief is not the same argument as the one you had before, which was that they could’ve resorted to some other notion. You’re free to feel the show wasn’t as great due to the former, but they’re different topics the way you illustrated it before.

        As for the rest, I feel like there’s a lotta things there in your list that isn’t even too fantastical. I mean, you’re assuming things like people being able to recognize their faces just from seeing them in school. You’ll note that they kept a pretty low profile and people like that fade from memory more often than not in such an environment. Then there’s the stuff like Clarence getting shot, doesn’t mean he died, just assumed. He might’ve just had a vest. And for stuff like releasing the bomb, it caused a blackout by frying the electrical grid. They never said no one died this time. It’s highly possible people died, there’s no refuting that.

        The list goes on. A lot of your stuff seems nitpicky from my angle, but I guess it’s an agree to disagree.

        This goes especially in regards to the whole lack of electricity impact, cause even NYC’s gone without power for days before and we made it through just fine. In the end people wave it off as a minor inconvenience and make the most of it. And for the real emergencies, diesel generators exist for a reason, and given a few weeks they’ll have assistance from all over the world to fix their grids and stuff. Not quite a bleak a scenario as you think, especially when you consider the Japanese people and their mentality and ability to weather crises without rioting and stuff like that. And again, few will even hear about those that might’ve died from electronics issues in hospitals (which won’t even be as high as you think), so really all you’ll get are the complaints about how their stuff don’t work, which’ll ultimately phase out due to the fact that nothing works so it doesn’t matter anyway. It’ll always go back to the question of who did it in the first place and how they did it, especially in the weeks and months after. And even if they did put up stories saying “x amount” of people died indirectly, the fact a nuke went off in a country that feels so strongly about nukes will always overpower that.

      7. My point of suspension of disbelief goes back to my original post about how stupidly unrealistic the anime is regarding terrorism and death for 85% of its runtime until the end when they force deaths to try to make it into some tragedy. Yes, 12’s death was forced, the whole scene was just terrible writing (it’s like they killed him off because they forgot to show that he was also supposed to have the head cancer.) That, of course, ties into my other point about how if these two were some sort of super geniuses, they could have figured out another way to expose the secret illuminati club and its crimes. They could have just written a dossier and pitched it to another upright, relentless detective like Shibazaki. But I suppose nobody would watch that show, no. But that doesn’t mean we’re supposed to swallow this infantile, hollow and purely cosmetic depiction of terrorism.

        “You’ll note that they kept a pretty low profile”
        Did you forget the part about 12 coming out of nowhere after jumping the fence and diving into the pool fully clothed? That is not a low profile. Also, a lot of girls were fawning all over 9. I find it hard to believe that nobody would start asking the questions since the moment those two disappeared from the school the bombings conveniently began.

        And why did they need to enroll in that school anyway? It really seems so out of character that they would do that, given that they always infiltrated the places they needed to with hacked credentials and simple disguises. Oh wait, now I remember, the plot demanded they do that so they could meet up with the biggest time waster I have ever seen in an anime, Lisa.

  20. Please tell me if i missed anything from the series.

    1) what really was the motivation behind sphinx’s terrorism? is it to be not forgotten like they never existed?

    2) Whats the big deal about the Athena plan? Mamiya said it became a fine foundation for the country but there wasn’t any evidence of what it became after it failed. So what became out of it? Whats so above top secret and dangerous about it apart from Japan doing human experimentation (again) and having some sort of prototype drug?

    1. What I got from it was that:

      1) The motivation was to make sure that no one could deny their existence, which meant that no one could deny the existence of the institute and the other children that were there, or the past atrocities committed by the members that led that institute.

      2) The big deal was that they pretty much took kids out of orphanages and did human experiments on them, which is highly illegal and would be subject to massive amounts of global backlash. Mamiya said it would be a fine foundation, but it never worked out because only Five came out of the program as its sole success, with the rest of its members having died during some point in the process. Of course, Nine/Twelve did survive by running away, but it seems like they never completed the entirety of the program.

      That said, this Athena Plan also ties in with the fact that Japan illegally created a nuclear device, which Nine/Twelve took and used, which in and of itself is another huge controversy.

      1. One must remember the WW2 era bio-weapons experiments on human subjects – Japan did much to forget it, but if it happened again it would be scandal on BIG scale.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        And of course secret nuclear weapons development would be as big scandal, if not bigger. It would involve breaking NPT treaty, and openly lying to closest allies. And God knows how China would react…

  21. Take care, Zephyr! Thanks for being the resident sci-fi blogger. I really enjoyed your coverage of Sidonia no Kishi (and this season’s stuff as well, of course).

    And welcome to the world of adulthood (and paying the bills….;_;)!

  22. It is interesting to see how many unsatisfied little brats run around here pointing out every little flaw they see in this for anime standard absolutely top-tier series.

    How about just enjoying something when it’s good?

    Old Guy
    1. I guess… it’s because we’re getting really old, Old Guy…
      That we’re just enjoying the big picture as a whole, and wise enough to overlook the nitpicky-flawed-disbelief-suspended-details that makes EVERY anime un-enjoyable…

      Because many people nowadays just like what ZnT implicitly implying; if they ever have son/daughter, I bet they’ll hate the kid because he/she got 4 in math even though excels in social skills, have so many friends, and has a beautiful voice.

      Because, yeah… they care about their math skill much, rather than human as a whole…
      I guess- I live in a very harsh era…

      Long Live The Queen!
      1. I agree with you. Younger people judging an anime series tend to be losing themselves in details and try to build their opinion around those flaws/things they like.

        Looking at the whole picture of the series though, a high percentage of actions the characters in the series made were realistic and fitting to the respective charater’s traits. It might not always have been rational or beneficial actions, but these could happen anytime in real life as it highlights the human imperfectionism. This however has to seperated from characters who act inconsistently off-character or just plain irrational characters that act that way because plot orders them so. I like series where there are characters who define the plot, and not the other way round.

        Speaking of society, it is indeed true that we live in a world, where you are only worth as much as the results you deliver. Higher, faster, stronger. You basically need to improve every day. I don’t think this is essentially bad though, as long as people understand that it is the genuine effort somebody puts in that we have to judge him by, and not just look at the results and praise or scold. We need to learn to understand people, instead of just forcing our values on them. However, when it comes to raising a child, I don’t know how to handle it in that case.

        Old Guy
  23. I enjoyed this show despite its flaws. A number of people have already mentioned that Five is a one-dimensional villain who took up more time and space than warranted and that Lisa never really develops as a character. But there was a poetry to the series that moved me. I’ll be thinking about it for a while.

    1. They where support characters really. As to time wise Lise was only with them for a matter of weeks. 5. Well was fixated on her end game because she knew her time was short and be damned everyone that got in her way. These children where raised alone/isolated without human compassion so what did you expect of her as a military tool that has athority on her side.

      The one thing that bugs be is what the Hell was the US black ops involved in this at all.

      1. Removing inconvenient witnesses…
        The 9 and 12 knew it was CIA that planted bomb at airport, and, moreover they knew Black Ops were used to attack the police convoy “transporting” 9.

  24. I am SO, SOOOOOOOO HAPPY to see the shorter one (nine? twelve? I don’t give a F about remembering their pathetic numbers) get killed by the US Forces, and that tall one die with his stupid little weaky leaky body.

    For their little attention look-at-me campaign, all electronic infrastructure of the financial and political capital of a nation was destroyed. Imagine EMP pulses in the skies of New York City AND Washington DC.

    It’s not just about city infrastructures.
    I am talking about ALL of your bank account information in bank servers gone. All of the computers you own, gone. All work-related documents in your hard drive. All of the pictures you took. Your music. Your anime. EVERYTHING on your hard drives GONE.
    Energy. Police. Fire. Hospitals. Transport. Food systems. The WHOLE THING. GONE.

    And by destroying all electronic records in the region, What evidence is left to investigate anyway? You think that the evidence of Rising Sun will remain after an EMP? If not long destroyed in the first place?

    And after ALL THAT, we are presented with a scene looking at them feel-goods playing kickball and spraying water playfully to one another? Can that be more insulting?

    The crimes these two brats committed in this episode ALONE is worst than 100 times of 9-11.

    And if you mess with a nation like this, you deserve to be killed, AND FORGOTTEN, period.

  25. I think one thing I took out of this show was remembering that governments around the world all have their secrets that they simply sweep under the rug – so many untold stories simply ignored. Nine and Twelve did all they could to let the world know of their story and the other child experiments – how many people in the real world do you think have attempted to get their stories out and expose the ugliness of their governments, but were ultimately silenced?

  26. Zankyou no Terror for me, has a good romantic escenes like when Twelve picked up Lisa in his motorbike (runaway from the police), or when she saved from Five, but I didn´t understand if Lisa was in love with him or with Nine (she was not clear, in my opinion). The splendid soundtrack was a notorious trigger in every important escene. The nuclear bomb explosion gave me terror. About Five, I was aware of her true feelings, she knew that everything was lost, that´s why she said “I´ll leave first”.

  27. Expected ending, except for Twelve dying from a shot (Twelve didn’t even got a chance to say any last words before dying and was immediately dead from that shot)
    I was hoping Lisa and Twelve had some intimate relationship, then Lisa got pregnant that would make this is better end and makes her existence in this anime known more other than a burden to the two.

  28. I think there was some interesting stuff in this anime. Trying to send a message that not all terrorists have evil intentions. But the logical leaps that they have to make for such an outcome simply ruin any sense of defining depth the message could have had. Regardless of not killing anyone they were still HURTING people. I don’t care what kind of weird sense of morality the detective was trying to use as long as people are still being effected by their acts of terror it doesn’t make what they’ve been doing right. And this last bomb? TOTALLY would have killed a bunch of people. Folks on life support in hospitals are as good as dead. So their logic was to go to great lengths to not kill anyone so far but with this last bomb they just say “screw it!” and set off a bomb that could (and most likely did) kill many innocent people? Such good terrorists. I guess we should look up to them as heroes right? Well…….I don’t. And there certainly could have been a better means to get get their message out than this. Really it just pisses me off how hard they try to paint 9 and 12 as totally blameless. It’s just a horrible idea of contrived writing in my opinion. Terrorists are not always completely horrible people with meaninglessly evil intentions BUT they obviously have to acknowledge innocent people may get caught up in their antics so trying SO HARD to have 9 and 12 “noble” terrorists defeats the very purpose of message.

    Five was the worst addition into this series besides Lisa. She is unsympathetic and somehow is allowed to tell the U.S whatever the hell she wants them to do without any grievances. It’s totally absurd how it took nearly the whole damn series for them to finally try to cut ties with her. In many regards she was a generic shounen villian with motivations that we didn’t find out until her death. Sorry but all people you put in danger due to your little game isn’t going to make me feel sorry for you. Please rot in you grave.

    Lisa was completely useless to this story. She has no defining depth and is just a plot device. There was so much potential to her character that ends up being wasted. With her little sob story I’m supposed to care about her but it’s rather tough when the writers didn’t care about her either. After all this is over they don’t even say what happened to her daily life. Did she go back with her crazy mother? Is she still being bullied? Why have none of these lose threads that caused her to run away in the first place still hanging? I’ll tell you why. Because nobody cares about Lisa.

    12 and the detective were probably the best characters. The detective was literally the one who drove the story forward most of the time and his motivations were pretty understandable. I’m surprised that he wasn’t shot during that little U.S helicopter scene. Didn’t they think about how he and Lisa could have potentially leaked their involvement? They’ve already ****ed up so much in this case it would make the most sense for them to cover their tracks and wipe out everyone at the scene. But that would get in the way of such a morbid happy ending eh?

    12 was decent but development into liking Lisa really needed more detail. We are supposed to see them as a couple but it makes no sense. I know he felt pity for her but when did he start loving her? We are never told because it’s not important i guess. I suppose he had the most human side to him but since this is sadly 1 cour there wasn’t enough time for a lot of things.

    Overall it was an interesting concept with poor execution. There is so much detail on the technical side of things in this show and for them to completely jump the shark at times when it’s convenient just ruins the creditability to this situation. The characters are bland aside from the detective (and 12 kind of) and the message that these guys are noble terrorists is very heavy handed. They obviously rushed through a bunch of things here so it’s shame the series wasn’t longer. Maybe then this world could been so much more engaging.

    Personally it went from being my favorite series to the most disappointing series. It could have been so much but ends up being slightly above mediocre. Not even Yoko Kanno can prevent this anime from being a contrived story about heroic terrorists who were experimented on by WW2 douchebags painting Americans as assholes.

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  30. Sad struggle of 3 children for love, justice and victory.
    Amidst government secrets, inter-country relationships and dirty cover-ups.

    The show started strong but ended soft.
    Got me thinking if the comfortable life we are living in is supported by something we shouldn’t know.


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