There seems to be an awful lot of pap in anime these days. Stories with the barest pretense of plot giving poorly drawn well endowed women in flimsy outfits even flimsier reasons to battle – mechas, aliens, techno-villains or more likely each other. The other strand seems to be goofy teen school stories which probably only make sense if your mind is addled by teenage hormones. Perhaps it has always been this way and we were simply not aware of it, however stories of Japanese school life with the peculiar metaphors of eye-patches and projectile nose-bleeds, and the bizarre games of authority and submission that are played out, or stories where alien clone women with super-powers battle each other until their clothes explode to assert their purity in a kind of teenage softporn version of Pokemon, offer little to engage the mind or the eye, and do nothing to further the artform.
Terror In Resonance, on the other hand, is neither of these. The art is layered and complex, rich and detailed, a play of light, shadow, background and montage. The plot complex, adult, contemporary. Think classics like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Death Note, or Akira.
It opens with an action scene worthy of James Bond. A couple of hazard-suit wearing young punks raid the Aomori Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Facility, blowing the gates with a grenade, and flee with a ball of what looks like weapons grade plutonium. One graffitos a cryptic tag on the floor and they bolt in a haphazard smash and grab, dodging guards as sirens wail, escaping in a heartpounding snowmobile chase.
Six months later, two new transfer students, calling each other by the code names Twelve and Nine, arrive at a high school in Tokyo. Lisa Mishima, bullied by other girls, pressured by her mother, is intrigued by the new students – one exuberant, friendly, the other cold, reserved – haunted by an apocalyptic dream.
The next day when Lisa discovers Nine and Twelve have somehow cut the power supply to the city and set off an explosive inferno in a huge Tokyo highrise, the building she is trapped in, she’s given a choice – die on the spot, or become their accomplice.
The first episode has action, tension, intrigue and incredible suspense. Why are these guys – seemingly good guys, committing acts of terrorism, and how do they know what’s going to happen next, and what is the knowledge that haunts them? For Lisa there’s no going back, and after you watch the first episode, there’ll be no escape from this powerful and deadly thrill ride.
Terror In Resonance is produced by Fuji Television, and MAPPA, and Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe (Samurai Champloo, Cowboy Bebop) with character designs by Kazuto Nakazawa.
It is being simulcast to Australia and New Zealand on Madman’s brilliant AnimeLab.com anime streaming platform, which is in HD, and at the moment both ad free and completely free. Yes – completely free. So if you want to see the latest brilliant anime program almost at the same time as it is broadcast in Japan Click.