Zankyou no Terror – Episode 7

And we’re back! It’s time for TERROR CHESS. I’m really hoping TERROR CHESS won’t dominate this episode, because it seems like a pretty silly idea, but I’m still excited to see where our various heroes end up. Okay, I lied, I’m mainly just excited to see what happens with Lisa and Shibazaki. Let’s go!

Episode 7

2:43 – This Engrish makes me sad. Well, maybe this’ll end up like Watanabe’s other shows, and the English version will be preferable… wait, shit, America’s an antagonist in this one, that won’t work.

Zankyou no Terror

4:41 – Yeah, this game is definitely stretching the show’s credulity more than the prior stuff. Mildly surprising no one in the airport is alarmed by all the monitors being hijacked

4:50 – And then they immediately draw attention to it, ahaha. Fair enough, Zankyou. You get to play by your rules

5:15 – The most acceptable members of the establishment simply act as an extension of its will, not cluttering the flow with their own opinions. These guys, who resist that, are cut out of the information loop

5:35 – Hey, I think this guy may know English on a conversational level

Zankyou no Terror

5:43 – Kinda doubt she does, unfortunately

6:26 – Once again, Shibazaki’s story is the most interesting. This situation may be absurd from the other characters’ perspectives, but it makes for a logical puzzle that Shibazaki could definitely break down and isn’t dependent on outside knowledge in the way the prior ones were. This is “Death Note smart” – showing someone actually deduce something, not simply acquire magic knowledge

7:24 – I see that smile!

8:12 – Nice shot

9:06 – The moe-est terrorist

Zankyou no Terror

11:52 – Aw man, lovely pan. You don’t see these often in anime, and for very good reason – a smooth angled pan requires some reaaal nice animation

12:01 – Great shot

13:12 – Yep. The more people you value, the more vulnerable you are. Pretty much the opposite of Five, who’ll blow up a loaded train to say hello

So is Nine going to have to give up Five to save Lisa, then? Or will he be on the verge of doing that, but Shibazaki will intervene?

13:48 – So who does she work for? I feel like this episode’s leaning too heavily into a plot that isn’t strong enough to support the weight

Zankyou no Terror

16:06 – Great expression

16:34 – Welp, they’re teaming up. This episode’s already pretty much a dumb action movie, might as well pull this off too

16:46 – On the other hand, yeah, it is pretty sweet to see them working together. They’ve been on the same thematic side all along

17:29 – And it sure does look pretty

18:42 – This is pretty goddamn romantic. I feel like the theatrics lend themselves better to this story than the strict thriller stuff

Zankyou no Terror

19:38 – Interesting line, considering everyone’s been being her pet dog. And damn, those eyes

21:29 – Yeah, Five’s a pretty cartoony villain

And Done

Man, that episode kinda sucked. It’s frustrating – the narrative up until now was certainly unrealistic, but this episode just veered completely into silly blockbuster thriller territory, and didn’t do anything but that. It was entirely plot-focused, and that plot was nonsense. It had enjoyable scenes, but I can watch a lot of shows to see enjoyable scenes – I figured Zankyou was trying to say something.

Well, we’ll see. It’s an outlier, currently – this was by far the most plot-focused and ridiculous episode, and though that could be a sign of the show ramping up in nonsense, it could also just be a one-off thing. And hey, this certainly wouldn’t be the first time the American government’s accepted crazy collateral damage to chase terrorists. Plus the show’s still gorgeous, which always helps!

22 thoughts on “Zankyou no Terror – Episode 7

  1. What this episode was saying is simple enough. You can’t play or control chess in reality the same way you can on the board. Too many more blind spots and weaknesses are open when the game is set on a more open world. Same thing Geass did quite a lot ever since its second episode.

    The problem is that the delivery of that message is kind of clunky in this episode. I can forgive the logic holes people complain about because it’s not really relevant to what actually happens. But it doesn’t feel like the episode made said theme all that important to the actual plot, at least so far.

    • That doesn’t really seem relevant to anything else the show’s been doing, though. And I also don’t generally complain about plausibility, but that’s because I generally don’t feel a conflict’s plausibility is load-bearing – this episode, nothing much else was actually going on.

  2. The next time I want to end an argument I think I will try saying “we shouldn’t fight! Not when we’ve been on the same thematic side all along!”

  3. It’s been a while since I’ve read one of your pieces in which your overall impression of a show diverged so much from mine. I don’t always relate to or like the angles from which you look at shows, but usually we think the same things are “good.”

    Honestly, I feel like you just missed some stuff this episode. You’ve been talking all along about how loneliness and isolation are central thematic pillars of the show, and I saw, if not tons, at least small movements along that particular vein. I wrote about this episode already, so I won’t repeat all of what I said again (you can read it if you want), but if Five’s cartoony or insane or imbalanced, it’s because she’s childish and lonely and because she’s fixated on Nine specifically. Everyone else is a distraction from the one person who has proven to be a match for her—and Lisa is a replacement for her. I wouldn’t expect Five to react in any other way than she did.

    As for the plot and believability, I wasn’t bothered by the stretches you noted, but I could see how that might be so for others. It worked for me—but I know I can sometimes suck at thinking about plot.

    • A strange thought that occured to me after reading your post and comment is the similarity between Five and Freecell in Phi Brain Season 2 (and not only physical). I joked about that last week with her “Let’s play up”, but her obsession with the main hero also add up.

    • Five is just not that compelling of an antagonistic force for me. She pulls the narrative into a strict battle of wits, which I feel it never was before. The show’s definitely drawing a contrast between her and Lisa, which will hopefully become interesting with more information, but I don’t think we’re there yet.

      • I agree that we’re not there yet, and I’m certainly projecting my theories on the parallel onto what we were presented with this episode—the end result of which was that I didn’t find the episode as disappointing as you did.

        But maybe I’m just postponing my own letdown…

  4. I’m gonna reserve judgement until I actually see the episode for myself, but I’m not too worried that the show is going into some “silly blockbuster thriller territory.” Watanabe’s whole MO with his series is to play with the notion of genre — and with Terror in Resonance specifically, entire modes of filmmaking, juxtaposing indie filmmaking techniques and style with Hollywood ones — so the episode functioning as a stylistic piece doesn’t sound all that bad to me. No reason you can’t have some fun AND say what you need to say elsewhere.

    • Yeah, this may just be an episode that leans heavily towards one element of what the show’s doing at the expense of others, but works fine as a single piece of a larger whole.

  5. I still dont understand how that chess game worked. How did Nine move his pieces? How did he know what chess pieces Five was using? can someone please explain me this?

    • Pretty sure Nine was continuously running to the space in the airport which would correspond to where he’d want to move his piece on the grid. Not sure how they knew which piece was being moved, though…

  6. I’m no chess specialist, but as far as I could tell, they were not actually following the rules of the game, so chess game is more used as an analogy here.

    • I was wondering what a chess person would think of that. Most anime seem not to use chess rules and matches too well, going for dramatic over legality. For example, apparently Lelouch is a terrible Chess player, despite being hailed as a great one.

      I found the episode enjoyable, as well as Lisa’s reactions to her smoke bomb smokescreen. Did she use a flare in the toilets area? Incidentally, I suspect calmly walking away is the better option to a full-out dash away from the crime spot – walking looks less suspicious, but Lisa’s reactions match the ones a panicked newbie would likely follow.
      The Engrish of the episode still grated, although there were a few moments of surprisingly decent stuff – why’s decent English rare in anime? Are there just few voice actors who can speak both English and Japanese passably? Kinda odd the English is subpar here considering the visuals impressiveness…

    • Oh yeah, the chess game wasn’t a real thing. I think the conflicts we were supposed to be invested in at that point were Lisa’s and Twelve’s.

  7. I feel sorry for Megumi Han, since she’s an absolutely amazing seiyuu but you can’t help having inferior pronunciation in a language that’s not your mother tongue. Just listen to an American pronouncing Japanese words. As someone who isn’t a native English speaker I’m aware I have a slight accent, so I empathize with the “ridiculing” she’s been getting. Knowing how to pronounce English perfectly isn’t part of her job description. Nonetheless I’m glad when a show makes the effort to include foreign languages.

    Normally you’d hire people (unknowns) who can speak English for these short roles but since Five is a named character you can’t do that. Alternatively the casting director could’ve anticipated it and give it to someone like Yuu Atsukawa. All in all, I don’t think Megumi is even that bad. You can easily understand her. Symphogear was way worse.

    • Honnestly, that was totally respectable Engrish here.
      They all at least try to do something correct.
      If you compare it to Night Raid 1931, for example, that was pretty good.
      It’s distracting, and somewhat suspend disbelief, but it’s in no way terrible (though that means more about Engrish in Anime than anythiçng, I’ll agree)

    • Maybe it’s not fair, but it is kinda jarring. Frankly, I think they should just have avoided having her speak English (she never really needed to for those scenes to work), and thus avoid the suspension-of-disbelief issue altogether.

  8. I’m pretty much on the opposite here.
    I was honnestly worried with Five’s apparition, and her influence on the story.
    But this episode (and last one) proved her role to be actually positive.
    Her appeéarance have redistributed the cards, and promise some pretty interresting confrontation between all the protagonists (which is one of my favourite thing).
    The game of cat and mouse between the police and terrorists, while fun to watch threatened to grow stall, honnestly.

    So, we have a pretty well done action-focused episode (It was really intense.), who broke the routine, and promise some interresting changes. (We know have at leasdt three, possibly more groups with diferent interrests interracting with each others instead of two. Yeah, that please me greatly.)

    Five is still more a narrative device than a true character, I’ll agree, but I think that she may be a good narrative device.

    • I guess we’ll have to see where it goes from here. I’ve never really been into this show for the action stuff – as I said, there’s plenty of action shows out there, not so many explorations of terrorism as a symptom of modern society.

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  10. I remember watching movies and then noticing the pans and tracking shots. They felt foreign because they’re rarely used in anime… which shows I need to watch more movies but it was interesting. Films are also more alright with cutting the character’s faces off for longer stretches of time and letting the dialogue and sound carry scenes.

    Kind of want to see a flashy long tracking-shot used in an anime not simple horizontal ones like Hosoda uses either, the ones that Scorsese, Cuaron, and Paul Thomas Anderson uses. Just so I can admire the money spent and the pain it must’ve caused the animators.

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