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Anime / Terror in Resonance

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Pull the trigger on this world.

Tokyo has been struck by a shocking terrorist attack, and the only hint to the identity of the culprit is a bizarre video uploaded to the Internet. The police, baffled by this cryptic clue, are powerless to stop the paranoia spreading across the population. While the world searches for a criminal mastermind to blame for this tragedy, two mysterious children — children who shouldn't even exist — masterfully carry out their heinous plan.

These two children are publicly known as Arata Kokonoe and Tōji Hisami, two ordinary roommates and new transfer students to their high school. On the day they carry out their plot, Shrinking Violet Lisa Mishima comes across it. When faced with either death or joining them, she chooses to become an accomplice in their efforts.

From Studio MAPPA, Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror) is a Summer 2014 Anime directed by Shinichiro Watanabe with music composed by Yoko Kanno.


The show had a stage play that went from March 2-6, 2016 with Megumi Han and Mitsuaki Kanuka retained as Five and Mukasa.

Tropes in Resonance:

  • All According to Plan: Said by Nine during Sphinx's first plot.
  • Anti-Villain: Nine and Twelve seems to be this as part of their agenda.
  • Anyone Can Die: The final episodes feature a lot of this. Even Nine and Twelve die in the last one.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Villain Protagonist duo accomplish their objective, and also set off a nuclear weapon over Japan.
  • Batman Gambit: Sphinx's bombing plots rely on predicting how people and public services will act after various diversions or threats, usually with the result being that no one is killed.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The song von, which plays during the Ferris Wheel scene, makes sense if you know Icelandic.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Nine and Twelve both die, but they manage to reveal the truth about their past to the world through Shibazaki. Lisa also lives and moves on with her life. Also, Japan most likely has to rebuild after having their entire country lose access to all electricity-based technology for a while. So far, progress has been made with Tokyo being the first city to have electricity back, while the conspirators of the Athena Plan are arrested by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bland-Name Product: Applied inconsistently. The ever-ubiquitous "Wcdonald's" is present, as well as other knock-offs like "Goodgle" and "Wikipedio", and several unnamed smartphone apps are clearly meant to resemble real-world apps like LINE and Puzzle & Dragons. Some real names, like Tor, Amazon and YouTube, also appear, however.
  • Blatant Lies:
    Nine: I don't have a cell phone or anything.
    [phone rings]
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Nine and Twelve as their MO. Albeit, they don't actually throw the bombs they use shortly before detonating them, but yeah.
    Twelve: I'm Number Two, and I love explosions!
  • Calling Card: "VON" for Sphinx.
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: Nine plants a bomb in a police station under the guise of a food delivery.
  • Disaster Dominoes: The thermite bomb Kururi dolls trigger the fire alarms, the water from which triggers an even stronger explosion. In the process, the building is evacuated before the second explosion.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Out-of-universe example with the opening theme, Trigger. This is an anime about terrorism, but Yuuki Ozaki's voice is somehow just so soothing...
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The cover poster is two towers spewing smoke and flames, just in case you were wondering what theme the show's about.
    • The names of the Villain Protagonists, 9 and 12, may be another, albeit flimsy, reference to 9/11.
    • The ruins that result from the first attack also heavily resemble that of the World Trade Center during its immediate aftermath.
    • Nine dropping a smoke bomb in the subway in episode 5 brings to mind the Aum Shinrikyo cult's sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Nine removes his mask at the end of the pre-recorded video message at the end of Episode 10 after announcing that the atomic bomb is set to explode at 10 PM, revealing his face to the world. "Goodbye, Japan" indeed.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Shibazaki solves Sphinx's riddle in episode 3 thanks to his coworker's video game. Happens again in episode 4.
  • False Flag Operation: Five engineers one by orchestrating a terror attack at Haneda Airport to blame Sphinx for the casualties. She later does another one on the TMPD prisoner convoy in order to conduct a "blacker than black" op.
  • Flashback: Nine has one of his past. Also doubles as a Dream Sequence.
  • Foreshadowing: "You should've sacrificed your queen."
  • Government Conspiracy: The Japanese government was involved in a series of experimentation on Japanese orphans. This ended when the American government found out about it.
  • Gratuitous English: Episode 6 has a part where Five and her team are watching Twelve and Nine at the airport. Five is speaking in English, but her pronunciation is extremely stilted and unnatural. Her cohort Clarence, on the other hand, has an actor who is fluent in English as well as Japanese... and a thick British accent note .
  • Hollywood Hacking: Zigzagged. Social engineering is an important component as it is in the real world, but the computer side of the hacking is still depicted inaccurately, just more subdued and less "cracker" than generally shown in fiction.
  • Jump, I'll Catch You!: Twelve catches Lisa after jumping out of a partially destroyed building in Episode 1.
  • Karma Houdini: By the end, the American government.
  • The Last Dance: Nine, Twelve and Five are all going through this due to being Secretly Dying.
  • Leave No Witnesses: American special forces were ordered to assassinate Nine and Twelve due to their personal involvement with Five.
  • Leitmotif:
    • "walt" plays during many of Lisa's scenes.
    • As with "fugl" and its arrangement, "seele".
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Episode 1: "Fly high, Lisa!"
    • Episode 4: "Know thyself."
    • Episode 5: "Are you ready?"
  • Mood Whiplash: The incredibly upbeat scenes near the end of the last episode. Tokyo is left without power and Nine, Twelve, and Lisa go to play around and enjoy themselves near the Athena Plan orphans' burial sites.
  • Morton's Fork: Five gives one to Twelve. Betray Nine and save Lisa, or let Lisa die and protect Nine.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent:
    • Sphinx's plots are structured so that, despite their destructiveness, nobody is killed. Subverted in that Twelve has zero qualms about letting Lisa die if she decides not to join Sphinx.
    • Later on, Nine is perfectly willing to let Lisa be killed by Five. Twice. By this point Twelve is very not okay with it, though.
  • The New '10s: The show's set in 2014. Particularly in the month of July.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Even with a few hours to prepare for it, it's doubtful that an EMP blast over Japan would not result in at least a few casualties; like everyone on hospitalized life support, such as premature infants, and countless people trampled under the inevitably ensuing wave of panicked civil unrest, just to name a few... thousand.
  • No Party Given: Averted: the politician whom Shibazaki interviews in Episode 8 is clearly stated on a campaign poster to be part of the Liberal Democratic Party, the main powerhouse party of Japanese politics.
  • Relocating the Explosion: The Kururi-bomb Twelve gives Lisa is meant to kill her if she doesn't join Sphinx; Nine has her use it to blow a hole in a wall to facilitate her escape.
  • The Reveal: Nine and Twelve didn't steal plutonium from the reprocessing facility: it was a genuine miniaturized nuclear bomb secretly built by the Japanese government in blatant violation of international treaties.
  • Riddle Me This: The way Sphinx hints at where they place their bombs.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • You can die where you are, or become an accomplice.
    • In Episode 9, Five gives Twelve one: Disclose the location of the nuke they stole and thus betray Nine, or die together with Lisa.
  • Scenery Porn: One episode and the animation is already getting overwhelming praise.
    • Scenery Gorn: Scenes of destruction get just as much attention as scenes of beauty.
  • Secretly Dying: All the children from the institution have their days numbered because of the drugs they took while being raised/trained there. Five hides it well at the beginning, but it becomes quickly clear that her physical state is worse than Nine and Twelve, and she bites the dust first by committing suicide. Nine's body fails him in the last episode. As for Twelve, he would probably have died the same way as Nine had he not been shot.
  • Shout-Out: Episode 4 features a purple-haired Expy of Hatsune Miku.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • During a briefing meeting, the police mention that Sphinx uploaded their threat video to the internet using a software called TOR to avoid detection. TOR is real, and it's short for The Onion Router; it's a technology that allows internet access through a series of proxy servers to avoid detection, similar to the layers of an onion.
    • The mechanics behind the thermite bombs and the subsequent phreatic explosion are accurate to real-world physics.
    • Shibazaki makes the astute observation that "Sphinx" is pronounced with a hard "P" which is the Greek pronunciation of the word instead of the more widely known Latin version which uses a soft "F" sound.
    • The processes by which Sphinx acquires its materials is described accurate to real-life criminal practices.
    • When the Special Investigation Team launches raids on suspected Sphinx hideouts/bombing sites, they sometimes use the Australian and tandem rappeling styles, which are common methods used by elite police and military units in conducting raids. The two rappeling techniques are most commonly used by elite Japanese police/military units.
  • Stealth Pun: The episode that Five is introduced in is, of course, Episode 5.
  • Teens Are Monsters: There's Nine and Twelve being terrorists, and Lisa's merciless bullies.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: How Sphinx's plans are laid out: causing destruction and terror with no casualties, if possible.
  • Time Skip: There's one in the final episode of a year.
  • Tragedy: Nine and Twelve are determined to reveal their pasts to the world at any cost, and this determination leads to their deaths.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Nine, Twelve, and Lisa.
  • Villain Protagonist: Two of the protagonists are terrorists who are planting bombs all over Tokyo. Granted, they're going out of their way to make sure no one dies.
  • Voice of Reason: Clarence is duty-bound, honor-bound, and very by-the-book. Unfortunately, he is paired with Five, who wants to ruthlessly pursue a very personal "game" against Sphinx that will clearly endanger others.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Episode 7 is 20 minutes of this. Both literally and figuratively.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 10. Five defeats Nine and kills herself, but the real wham moment is Nine deciding to go and set off an atomic bomb on Japan because his press conference was stopped.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Lisa's mother, who was never mentioned again after episode 3, and we never found out who Lisa's Disappeared Dad was.
  • You Are Number 6: The names of our resident bomb-throwers are Nine, Twelve and Five, courtesy of the Rising Peace Academy.

Alternative Title(s): Zankyou No Terror