Episode seven of Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror) was the payoff episode I didn’t know I was waiting for.
Each succeeding week of Watanabe’s bordering-on-classic series has ratcheted up the tension with our once invincible duo getting closer and closer to having their plans derailed. The police force started as totally inept, but when Shibazaki came on board, Twelve and Nine had an adversary to nearly matched them, but even he was mostly being used by the terrorists in their plans. But with Five, we have a character who equals Nine in intelligence, and maybe bests him.
Throughout the episode, Five plays a game of chess, apparently a former favorite between her and Nine, with the boys, but she surprises them by showing the final move is the delivery point of the bomb, which is on an empty plane headed toward them. No problem, since Nine has switched up security footage and made his way to Five, holding her at gunpoint, right?
Wrong, since the suspense further builds with Lisa Mishima in the mix. Having established her both as an innocent and as loveable (now the moe-building in the previous episodes, which I originally decried, make sense!), the audience is held at baited breath when she’s trapped on the plane holding the bomb.
But with all this intense action happening – and it was indeed great – what excited me the most was seeing Shibazaki and Nine finally interacting in real time. Though they’re clearly on separate sides of the law, Shibazaki understands that neither wants people hurt here, and he agrees to work with the terrorist. Already a loose canon of sorts, Shibazaki isn’t afraid to run counter the the culture established within the police department in order to do the right thing.
I was reminded of how Christians should likewise be counter-cultural. In fact, I think it would be fair to say that if it’s hard to tell you apart from the larger culture that surrounds you, you’re probably doing Christianity wrong. Christ was the defining example of this, of course, as His ministry was frequently at odds with the respected teachers of Jewish law, those who had final say in so many matters of 1st century Palestinian life. Ultimately, they even painted Jesus as a insurrectionist, someone trying to destroy the status quo.
Though the metaphor is very limited, I can’t help but see strokes of Jesus in Nine and Twelve, two young people who are doing wrong by the world in order to do something just (I’m guessing) and trying to save others, frequently at the risk of their own lives. Highers up in the police force and even higher in government – those that Nine and Twelve are targeting – have the power, but like the Roman government or the Pharisees, are doing or have done evil.
Shibazaki is an interesting character, too. Again this is limited, but he strikes me as a John the Baptist figure – someone who has stood against corruption in the past, and is now becoming a part of something greater. And like John, too, he needs some convincing (Matthew 11:2-6).
And while you could sketch the officers who went to the airport with Shibazaki as John’s disciples, perhaps they fit better as disciples in general. They have seen the sins of the people (and of themselves?), and are now following those more righteous and doing what is right. The young guy following Shibazaki around feels like a good fit as Peter, does he not?
As for Five…the CIA…and everyone else involved in the experimentation on the children, their roles are probably easy to determine.
But more than these analogies, there’s a message here. Sometimes doing right means being colored as the bad guy. Sometimes doing “bad” is doing good. And sometimes going against the culture means standing on the side of right. Because ultimately, society is not concerned with being just, righteous, or compassionate because of some fundamental love for it’s people – it’s concerned with those things for less altruistic ends, like selfishness, greed, gain, and simple survival. If you want to stand for something more, you’ll need to get your hands dirty, become a little brave, and maybe even be a little “bad.”