Terror in Resonance, Episode 2: You Reap What You Sow

While the first episode of Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror) introduced us to and focused on the terrorists, Nine and Twelve, along with their new accomplice, Lisa, episode two largely moves the focus toward the police.  It’s an interesting shift, especially with the terrorists playing good bad guys and the police playing the role of bad good guys.

Little by littke, Shinichiro Watanabe begins to unravel a story while burdening the audience with evermore questions, particularly as they have to do with Nine and Twelve’s pasts – who are they?  What was done to them?  Why?  Who were all involved?

And whatever “VON” is, it’s quite shady, judging from the terrified looks on the faces of various characters in-the-know.  They’ve done something mightily wrong.  And this episode is all about showing that the police – and perhaps larger forces involved – have it coming to them.  The variation of the Riddle of the Sphinx emphasizes the judgment the guilty must pay, ultimately ending in judgement upon the police at the end of the episode.

Toji Hisami 12
I spy a favorite trope – awful things done to little kids. (Art by みずのえ@スタンプ, Pixiv ID 44726975)

These ideas of justice, revenge, and karma are found in heavy doses in Watanabe’s works (think of almost all the episodes involving Spike and Vicious in Cowboy Bebop).  In fact, they figure prominently in many anime – no surprise seeing how deeply ingrained these ideas are in Japanese culture, history, and religion.  Of course the bad guys must pay for their evil deeds at the hands (or on behalf) of those that suffer.  That’s justice.

Christianity, on the other hand, doesn’t work like that.  The Bible, through and through, demonstrates that even the righteous suffer greatly (Job most famously).  There is often no justice on earth, an idea that rings true if we’re honest enough to admit it.  The most defenseless and weak are often the ones who live and die, unjustly and forgotten.

The thing about Christianity, though, is that it also doesn’t guarantee karmic retribution even in the afterlife.  God judges us against a perfect measure of goodness, and thus, we all fall short, with our lies, theft, hate, and everything else condemning us.

Instead, we’re ultimately saved not by our own attempts at goodness – we’re saved only because God loves us and offers us a way to salvation.

But wait – that doesn’t sound right!  A God should be an arbiter of right and wrong, not loving, caring deity.  That characteristic almost feels very anime of Him (and not this anime, but a moe moe one).

Indeed, in Terror in Resonance, the tone matches the story’s seriousness, and the ground is set for a revenge tale.  It certainly looks like as if the series will turn into a case of this karmic retribution against a corrupt municipality that hurts the weak (though our anti-heroes will encounter difficulties and conundrums along the way).  But if many of Watanabe’s past works (Kids on the Slope, Samurai Champloo) are any indication, little grace notes will accompany justice, and maybe even overwhelm that more vicious theme.

Only time will tell.

And only God – and Shinichiro Watanabe – know.

 

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

8 thoughts on “Terror in Resonance, Episode 2: You Reap What You Sow

  1. To be honest, there has been neither motivation nor justification shown for the terrorist side so far, so assumptions that they fight for justice and revenge stem only from common tropes.

    Though the guys probably think they are doing this for justice, like all terrorists.

    1. True enough, though Watanabe’s other works have me assuming the two are among his cadre of flawed heroes. But I’ll remember your words (and a few others have also noted similar things) if they do end up being villains or something other than heroes.

  2. Maybe they were programmed since an early age by an organization (VON?)

    That’s more plausible than having them acting by themselves.

    1. Perhaps. It certainly could be that they have abilities or knowledge that stem from that organization or project. I’m excited to see what this back story will end up fleshing out to be.

  3. What about the dream that Nine had? If that plus the fact that Nine and Twelve have a personal connection with this Dream of a Memory, does not provide significant motivation for their actions then what does that dream mean? Urgh, I hope that this anime is based off of a manga or book, because I’m really want to know what will happen next!

    1. I’m definitely eager to see what that dream was based upon – I imagine that is an account what happened in their childhoods and that it indeed provides that motivation you speak of.

      The series is original, so we’ll just have to sit tight and all see where this ride is headed!

  4. Great post! I really want to watch this one… looks like it’s on Hulu, but episodes will come a week late, and I’m not subscribing to Funimation. I’ll try to wait to watch until at least half of it has aired.

    I’d like to point out that pictures of justice (even vengeance) are important to Christianity—without seeing examples of God’s wrath, we would not know as much about His mercy. The Mosaic Law pointed out how sinful people are on their own, and the penalties in the Law weren’t always lenient. In fact, relatives of a murder victim could legally go kill the murderer themselves (unless the murderer managed to get to a City of Refuge and plea involuntary manslaughter). Retribution for our sins has always been a vital part of Christianity—it’s just been taken out on Jesus, so anyone who believes can be saved (and, even better, reconciled with our Lord… that’s my favorite part).

    I know I’m not saying anything new to you… I just wanted to elaborate a bit. ^.^

    1. Thanks for sharing, Alexis. Indeed, the idea of justice is central to Christianity and helps us understand the payment for our sins and why sacrifices were needed for the Israelites, which in turns helps us understand Christ’s sacrifice.

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