Terror in Resonance – 02
So this has turned out to be a rather stacked season for me, but a lot of the shows I’m watching are for pure entertainment value and I don’t have much to actively say about them. However Terror in Resonance (I’m sticking with the English translation of the title – think it is catchier) is definitely grabbing my attention because it is definitely trying to go somewhere with its terrorism fuelled plot. Where that destination actually is I have no idea, but I think I’m going to enjoy the journey!
This second episode serves to examine the fall-out and response to last weeks attention-grabbing bombing of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. I have to say I am somewhat disappointed that there were no fatalities at all as a result of the incident, it takes away from the realistic tone the series is trying to establish. Even if a full evacuation of the building and surrounding area occurred, there should still have been some collateral damage and associated deaths or serious injuries during such a huge explosion. To have no one die and only 27 people sustain minor injuries doesn’t really feel authentic and instead seems to suggest we should be supporting Nine & Twelve’s reign of terror, because no one has actually gotten hurt as a result of their actions.
It is a strange feeling because at the moment we don’t really know what Nine & Twelve’s motivations are or if they are actually justified in their actions – although no acts of terrorism can ever truly be justified, no matter the cause they are in aid of. I grew up in Northern Ireland, and while most of the Troubles had subsided by the time I was really old enough to pay attention, things were unsettled enough throughout my childhood to garner a rather desensitised attitude towards terrorist bombings, which I know isn’t really the healthiest of attitudes. But bomb threats are more of a inconvenience than anything else at this stage, especially when there continue to be so many hoaxes. But at least I was aware of why the Troubles here were going on, I’d like to have the same understanding of the events in Terror in Resonance, so I can form my own opinion on the boys actions.
This is especially important since Sphinx are quite clearly completely serious and are not pulling any punches – stealing radioactive material, bombing a prominent government building and then flat out attacking the heart of the police in this episode – there are no half-measures being taken here and so they must have a very compelling cause. At least I hope they have some sort of cause in mind, because if their actions are purely revenge for what happened at that sinister institution, I really can’t cheer for our protagonists. No matter their personal suffering, involving innocent civilians and ignorant security forces is never justified.
The treatment given to Lisa is also causing me to have trouble sympathising with the boys – especially Twelve as he goes out of his way to make sure Lisa knows she is an outsider in their group and not a true accomplice. I’m not entirely sure what to really make of Lisa at the moment, I do feel somewhat sorry for her since she doesn’t really seem to have any reprieve from constant negative emotions given her home life, but at the same time Lisa isn’t all that interesting to watch since she is so passive in everything she does. Lisa is supposed to be our window into the extraordinary world of teenage terrorists, but she doesn’t really give much of a reaction to anything – the most emotion we’ve gotten out of her was in the first episode when she decided she would do whatever it took to survive, even if that was literally jumping into the arms of the terrorists. I do hope she becomes a bit more active in the future, her down-trodden expression is kind of depressing to watch.
I can’t imagine Twelve’s attitude towards Lisa improving any since he sees her as surplus to requirements. Lisa served her purpose of allowing Nine the opportunity to save someone, putting a few of his demons of guilt to bed, but now they have no real use for her and Twelve goes out of his way to draw that line firmly for Lisa. It remains to be seen what Nine’s motive for calling her an accomplice truly where and if he has any plans for using her in the future, but at the moment the world created by Nine & Twelve is still firmly out of Lisa’s reach, which is yet another slap in the face for the poor girl. Much as I’m sure she doesn’t want to be involved in any terrorist plot, there was a brief moment where she was included in something – having that taken away again is bound to sting a bit.
But back to this episode before I go further down my rambling tangent. Here we’re introduced to the police response to Sphinx – the usual good guys in most terrorism themed series. I do like that the police aren’t been depicted as an incompetent mass of corrupt cops, they are experience and methodical but easily blindsided by the sheer audacity of Sphinx’s actions. As a large group of adults are given to doing, they underestimate the intelligence and abilities of the two teenaged members of Sphinx, many of them wondering if they boys aren’t a front for a large organisation. One has to wonder if they would have taken the warning videos more seriously if they were presented by adults in a more deadpan manner. Sphinx’s joking manner and age make them difficult for the police to take seriously, and they are very good at using their youth as an effective cover – as demonstrated by Nine strolling into Roppongi Police Station with a flimsy disguise and handily setting up surveillance and a bomb.
The theme of Oedipus was a really nice nod to the unwitting blindness the security forces had found themselves in. Underestimating the opponent’s intelligence and not fully researching the riddle caused things to blow up in their faces, quite literally unfortunately. It is a good thing there seems to be a detective who can match wits with Sphinx, even if he was a step behind this week due to not being in active service. You have to wonder why a man who is as sharp as Shibazaki is working in the archives – it must be a choice he made himself, because even with a demotion given his talent he should still be involved in active cases in some capacity. It will interesting to see if his emotional baggage affects his performance once he returns to active service.
So yes, Terror in Resonance is definitely off to a very intriguing start and I am very interested in seeing how the story develops. Completely ready for some backstory on the characters though. There is real quality here, both in production and writing, and it is certainly the most polished looking show of the season with its technical brilliance, however it needs a bit more human warmth to really make it effective on a emotional level – hopefully it delivers.