'Terror in Resonance' Review: An Overlooked Masterpiece
Soon after a video of two masked figures goes viral, an act of terror is enacted at a heavily frequented shopping mall. Unable to decipher any of the video's cryptic foreshadowing, the police turn to Detective Shibazaki Kenjirou for help. Despite having been disgraced and demoted in the force, Mr. Kenjirou is a brilliant investigator and seems to be the only officer capable of outwitting the two young terrorists in the video. The series quickly evolves into a psychological thriller that delves into the minds of the extremists and detective alike.
The Misadventures of Not-So-Extremists
A lot of anime and manga seem to excel at developing likable, human characters. Terror in Resonance is no exception, despite the show's sensitive subject matter. After the end of the first episode, I questioned where Watanabe was going with this story. He seemed to have spent a lot of time developing the antagonists. Surely he wouldn't tell his story from the perspective of a couple of terrorists.
Not only did Watanabe make the main characters terrorists, he made them likable! As the series progressed, we learned more and more about the bomber's past. We learned why they do what they do and even start to support their actions. This may be the point in the article where you dismiss my validity as a journalist and stop reading. To you I say, WATCH THE FREAKING SHOW! You'll understand then that Terror in Resonance has developed some of the most tragic and heartfelt characters in Anime.
Easy on the Eyes and Ears
At first glance, Terror in Resonance looks like a lot of other anime. That's to say, a lot of anime looks like other anime. Don't get me wrong, the animation itself is beautiful, but it thrives in motion. Much like in his other projects (such as Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo), Watanabe excels at choreography. Movements are fluent and a lot of care was put into the action.
However, Terror sets itself apart in its cinematography. The framing in this show is unlike any anime I've seen thus far. In fact, film buffs would have an easier time comparing this show to an independent film than they would comparing it to other anime. Whether it be using negative space to add scale to the shots, or a deep depth of field, the animators made sure that Terror in Resonance was always easy on the eyes.
Oh, and an incredible cast of English voice actors didn't hurt either (I watched the dub, sue me).
Terror in Resonance is as ambitious as it is beautiful. Watanabe crafted a narrative that gives the viewers more and more substance to absorb with every episode. The intelligent dialogue is only enhanced by a cast of incredible voice actors, and the show's ending leaves you in an emotional haze.