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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 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.

This series provides examples of:

  • Anti-Villain: Nine and Twelve commit acts of terrorism, but are firmly against murder and don't indiscriminately bomb random buildings; they plan their bombings in such a way to ensure that the building(s) are mostly or entirely empty, and the buildings themselves are connected to each other by way of their owners. They even frantically try to stop one of their bombs after Five interferes with their tech.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The nuclear bomb Sphinx stole detonates in the stratosphere, ushering in a country wide blackout that will most likely last for years. Their primary goal of unearthing the Athena Plan is also achieved, with the main offenders getting jail time. While both Sphinx members die before they can see all of this, their mission is ultimately successful.
  • 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.
  • 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 manages to move on. Japan most likely has to rebuild after having their entire country lose access to all electricity-based technology for a while. One year after the nuclear bombing, Tokyo is the first city to have electricity back, while the conspirators of the Athena Plan are arrested by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
  • Bland-Name Product: Some real-world brand names get their names changed, while others aren't: there's "WcDonald's", "Goodgle" and "Wikipedio", and several unnamed smartphone apps that're clearly meant to resemble real-world apps like LINE and Puzzle & Dragons. Alongside these knockoffs are Tor, Amazon, and YouTube.
  • 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: Sphinx spray paints the word "Von" on the floor of the nuclear fuel facility they steal the plutonium from and at the bombing sites. It isn't until the last episode that the word's significance is revealed: "von" is Icelandic for "hope".
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: Nine plants a bomb in a police station under the guise of a ramen delivery guy.
  • Disaster Dominoes: The thermite bomb Kururi dolls trigger the fire alarms, the water from which triggers an even stronger explosion. This destroys the key infrastructure of one of the towers of the Home Office, resulting in that section's collapse.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • One of the series' key visuals is a poster depictiting two towers spewing smoke and flames in the background.
    • The ruins that result from the first attack 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.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Shibazaki solves Sphinx's riddle in Episode 3 thanks to his coworker's video game.
  • False Flag Operation: Five engineers a false flag operation 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 will sometimes have flashes of memories from his time at the Athena center, mostly focused around his, Twelve's, and Five's escape from the facility.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Japanese government was involved in a series of experimentation on orphans. It only ended when the American government found out about it.
  • The Hero Dies: By the end of the anime, both Nine and Twelve died.
  • 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.
  • Leave No Witnesses: The 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.
  • Mood Whiplash: In the last episode, Nine, Twelve, and Lisa go to the Athena Plan orphans' burial sites. They play around and enjoy themselves for once now that Sphinx's mission has been achieved. Shibazaki shows up and calmly talks about recent events with Sphinx. Then some American military helicopters randomly show up with armed soldiers inside. Nine pulls out a detonator button and threatens to push it, but the American's are ordered to fire anyway, with Twelve being their first victim. Nine hands off the detonator to Shibazaki before dying from the aftereffects of the Athena experimentation.
  • 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 is set in July 2014, the same year and month it began airing.
  • 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.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • In Episode 1, Lisa catches Twelve while he's in the middle of setting down some bomb-stuffed Kururi dolls. He gives her one of the dolls with the promise that she not let go of it. Later, after a brief discussion with Nine, Twelve calls Lisa to tell her that she can become Sphinx's accomplice or she can die. Not wanting to die, Lisa agrees to be an accomplice.
    • In Episode 9, Five calls Twelve to offer him a deal: she'll stop the countdown timer to the bomb strapped to Lisa if he tells her where Sphinx left the plutonium or he can stay loyal to Nine, but die along with with Lisa. Close to the very last second, Twelve breaks and gives Five the location. True to her word, Five stops the timer.
  • Romantic Ride Sharing: Twelve rides his bike to take Lisa away from the cops and she gets to enjoy the air as it hits her face during the whole ride. She proceeds to ask him if Sphinx are gonna actually destroy the world. He doesn't answer.
  • 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 decides to kill herself first before the disease can. In the last episode, Nine's body fails him shortly after Twelve gets shot.
  • Shout-Out: In Episode 4, the digital bomb features a purple-haired Expy of Hatsune Miku.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • 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.
    • 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- short for The Onion Router- is a real software: 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.
    • 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 Episode 5.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Nine and Twelve are teenage terrorists and Lisa's merciless bullies are her classmates.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Sphinx meticulously plans their bombings to cause destruction and terror without actually killing anyone.
  • Time Skip: The last few minutes of the final episode skips ahead one year after Nine and Twelve's deaths. Lisa's narration explains what happened during that time.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The main protagonists of the series are two teenage boys and a girl of similiar age who gets caught up in their terrorism.
  • Villain Protagonist: Two of the protagonists are terrorists who plant bombs in specific locations. 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 and isn't too concerned about endangering the lives of others. As such, Clarence often has to reel Five's callousness back.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 10 includes Five defeating Nine and killing herself. Nine decides to go and set off an atomic bomb on Japan because his press conference was stopped, revealing his face to the entire world in a pre-recorded video.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Lisa's overbearing mother is never mentioned again after Episode 3. The final episodes doesn't even bring up whether or not Lisa went back to live with her or managed to break free.
  • You Are Number 6: Nine, Twelve, and Five are just three out of twenty-six orphans that were part of the Athena Plan. The other orphans were never given proper names either.

Alternative Title(s): Zankyou No Terror