Terror in Resonance focuses on two teenagers who are also terrorists known as Sphinx: Arata Kokonoe (who is also known by the name Nine) and Toji Hisami (who is also known by the name Twelve). We first see them stealing plutonium from a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in Aomori, Japan. The story then skips ahead in time six months, and the two of them attack a Tokyo government office. Lisa Mishima, a girl in Twelve’s class, ends up being at the wrong place at the wrong time and becomes an accomplice to their crime in order to save her life.
The focus of the first half of Episode 12 is on the atomic bomb that Nine threatened to detonate at the end of Episode 11. Through talking with his daughter, Shibazaki learns how Nine can detonate the bomb and not kill anyone by sending up into the stratosphere. With this information, Shibazaki is able to get the police and the government to take action. It’s very tense, especially when it’s revealed that any aircraft in the sky at the time it goes off that doesn’t have anti-EMP equipment will crash; this covers all of the Japanese planes. Fortunately, everything is able to work out as best as it can when the explosion happens; the only major thing that happens is that electricity is knocked out all over Japan.
The second half of the episode sees Nine, Twelve, and Lisa getting to spend some time having fun together. That night, Shibazaki finds them and reveals what he’s figured out about their motives. Nine and Twelve wanted to be caught all along to bring what happened to them to light, and that they wanted Shibazaki to be the one to catch them. Just as Shibazaki places them under arrest, the U.S. forces, who have anti-EMP equipment in their aircraft, arrive. Two characters die over the course of this scene, and then one of the other characters is seen a year later and provides a voice-over to explain what’s happened.
Now that I’ve finished watching Terror in Resonance, I’ve come to see how the series only touches on its themes and the majority of its characters on a purely surface level. The only character to truly have any character development was Shibazaki. Lisa seemed to have the least development; all we seem to know about her is the fact that she was being bullied and had an extremely clingy mother. Episode 12 made an attempt at trying to make Lisa a more important character in the series, but at that point, it was simply too little, too late. And since the characters who were killed were really only known to the audience on a surface level, it was hard to feel any kind of emotion when they died.
Terror in Resonance is a story that had so much promise, but in the end, it didn’t deliver as I’d hoped. It’s got good animation, great music, and an interesting premise; unfortunately, the series was ultimately lacking in its overall execution. It reminds me a lot of cotton candy: it looks good, tastes great, but in the end it still leaves you feeling empty.
I’m glad I was able to watch Terror in Resonance as it was streaming, but it’s not a series I’m going to be in a hurry to watch again or to add to my anime home video collection.
Additional posts about Terror in Resonance: