Terror in Resonance (Zankyo no Terror): The Complete Series (Blu-ray) (2014)

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Released 2-Mar-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Audio Commentary-x 2
Interviews-Cast-(21:46)
More…-Textless Opening Song “Trigger”
More…-Textless Closing Song “Dareka Umiwo”
Trailer-US Trailer
Trailer-x 10 for other anime
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 251:52 (Case: 275)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Shinichirô Watanabe
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Kaito Ishikawa / Christopher Bevins
Soma Saito / Aaron Dismuke
Atsumi Tanezaki / Jad Saxton
Shunsuke Sabuya / Robert McCollum
Megumi Han / Jamie Marchi
Case ?
RPI ? Music Yoko Kanno


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     In Tokyo the police receive a video message from two high school boys in masks calling themselves the Sphinx, who warn, obliquely, of a terrorist act that is about to happen. The two boys are Arata “Nine” Kokonoe (voiced by Kaito Ishikawa / Christopher Bevins) and Toji “Twelve” Hisami (Soma Saito / Aaron Dismuke) and, good to their word, shortly afterwards a government building in Tokyo is blown up, although without causalities. Initially caught in the building, troubled fellow student Lisa Mishima (Atsumi Tanezaki / Jad Saxton) is rescued by Twelve and becomes the boys’ accomplice.

     Sphinx continue to send video riddles to the police, followed up by bombings if the cryptic message is not solved although the only police officer seemingly able to decipher the riddles is disgraced Detective Shibazaki (Shunsuke Sabuya / Robert McCollum). Sphinx are being careful to avoid the death of innocents. But when they plant a bomb on a train intending that the police will find and disarm it, it seems that someone in the government is determined that the bomb will explode, pulling Shibazaki and his team off the case, so the boys have to try to stop the explosion themselves. This is when Nine and Twelve discover that Five (Megumi Han / Jamie Marchi), with who they have history, has returned from America with FBI status. She is determined to find them and is prepared to let innocent people die so sets a trap for Nine and Twelve by planting a bomb at the airport that she knows they will try to disarm. Meanwhile, as Shibazaki investigates further despite official obstruction, he discovers evidence of a cover-up of government experiments with drugs on gifted, orphaned children in a secret facility which caused the death of most of the children.

     Terror in Resonance (Zankyo no Terror) is director Shinichiro Watanabe in fine form building on his excellent Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, both of which I reviewed on this site and very much enjoyed. With the current “war against terror” and terrorist acts around the world, Terror in Resonance with its sympathy for “heroes” who are terrorists walks a fine line although it could not be more topical by delving, as it does, into the failures of modern society and governments resulting in loneliness, alienation, disempowerment and a world where violence is endemic. Along the way the anime brings in relationships between parents and children, the Oedipus myth and the difference between justice and revenge while hanging over everything is one of the most violent state sponsored acts in history; the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in WW2.

     This is indeed a fine line, especially as an early scene clearly references the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York, but why Terror in Resonance works is because of an intelligent script which focuses on a small number of damaged characters to examine wider truths. All the main characters are victims of the society; Nine and Twelve are alone and dying due to government experiments, Lisa is abused and bullied at school with a dysfunctional mother, Shibazaki demoted because he pushed too hard in an investigation that implicated important people. The series asks if, sometimes, violent acts can be justified as the only way of getting the attention of those in power by those who are ignored and disempowered, although, ultimately in the contrasting actions of Sphinx and Five the anime comes down on the side of hope; hope for a better society and a better future. Add to this a wonderful score by Yoko Kanno and a heartrending ending, and Terror in Resonance is one of the most thoughtful, powerful and compelling anime series in a long time.

     The 11 episodes of Terror in Resonance aired on Japanese TV between July and December 2014. Terror in Resonance – The Complete Series contains all 11 episodes; episodes 1-8 plus one audio commentary are on disc 1 while episodes 9-11 plus the rest of the extras are on disc 2.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Terror in Resonance is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original broadcast ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     This is a rich, beautiful anime of a world which feels genuine. The series juxtaposes beautiful vibrant daytime colours with grainy flashbacks and scenes of destruction. The lines and detail are strong, despite a great many very dark sequences in rooms and at night where blacks are rock solid and shadow detail very good. Some sequences, such as the lighted Ferris Wheel in the dark, look fabulous.

     There is some slight ghosting but otherwise marks and artefacts are absent.

     The subtitles are in American English in a clear white font. The subtitles are burnt in when the Japanese dub is selected and they also subtitle English dialogue, which can be distracting. I noticed no spelling or grammatical errors.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    As is the case with many Funimation releases, audio is a choice between the original Japanese in Dolby TrueHD 2.0 and an English dub in TrueHD 5.1. The audio track and subtitles cannot be changed on the fly with the remote, so you have to return to the main menu.

     I started to listen to the dubs alternatively but soon found the Japanese voice acting to be more intense and satisfying. The Japanese is surround encoded with a good resonance and music, some panning of engines and effects such as rain featured in the rears while the subwoofer did enhance the explosions. The effects in the English dub had more separation but not enough, for me at least, to make the difference.

     The music by Yoko Kanno, who also scored Watanabe’s previous anime, is beautiful, moving, sad and poignant. The closing song Dareka Umiwo, performed by Aimer with music by Kanno and lyrics by Ichiko Aoba, is melancholy and quite beautiful.

     It is anime so lip synchronisation is approximate in either audio track although the English does try to match lip moves as much as possible.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Disc 1

Start-up Trailer

     A trailer for Noein (1:13) plays on start-up. It cannot be selected from the menu.

Commentary – Episode 1

     The commentary is by US ADR director and voice of Nine Christopher Bevins, Aaron Dismuke and Jad Sexton (the voices of Twelve and Lisa). There is far less inane laughing than in most Funimation commentaries and they do talk about character traits and the series’ themes although the track is dominated by Bevins with very limited contributions from the others, especially Sexton. Bevins reveals that he wanted to direct this show because he wanted to play Nice. One of the better Funimation commentaries.

Disc 2

Start-up Trailer

     A trailer for Ga-Rei-Zero (1:02) plays on start-up. It cannot be selected from the menu.

In Depth Conversation with the Cast (21:46)

     US writer Tyson Rinehart, US ADR director and voice of Nine Christopher Bevins, Aaron Dismuke and Robert McCollum (the voices of Twelve and Shibazaki) sit together and talk about some the themes of Terror in Resonance including hope, when and if violence is ever justified, what would drive people to acts of terror, individual and group values and the possibility of changing society. A serious and thoughtful discussion that is well worth watching.

Commentary – Episode 11

     Recorded before the commentary for Episode 1 US ADR director and voice of Nine Christopher Bevins joins with Aaron Dismuke and Robert McCollum (the voices of Twelve and Shibazaki) plus Jeremy Inman (Assistant ADR Director and he says the voice of Hamura, although the credits give him as the voice of Mukasa). This is more a standard Funimation commentary with a lot of laughter, inane comments and jokes plus a bit about the voice acting, characters and the difference between revenge and justice. Not the worst commentary though.

Textless Opening Song “Trigger” (1:33)

     The opening song without the credits.

Textless Closing Song “Dareka Umiwo” (1:32)

     The closing song without the credits.

US Trailer (2:03)

     The US trailer for the Blu-ray.

Trailers

     Trailers for Kingdom (0:53), Eden of the East (1:02), Black Lagoon (0:47), Ghost in the Shell: Arise (1:29), Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection “F” (1:15), Tokyo Ghoul (2:02), Danganronpa (1:20) and The Future Diary (1:24).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Our local Blu-ray release of Terror in Resonance is the same as the Region A US version (although that is a Blu-ray / DVD combo) right down to FBI piracy warning.

Summary

     Terror in Resonance is a powerful meditation on the failures of modern society which lead to terrorism. Making heroes of people who plant bombs is rather fraught with danger but by delving into the reasons behind acts of terror, such as disempowerment, alienation and abandonment by society, the series perhaps offers a lesson for those in power in modern societies. Violence generally only begets violence and looking at the causes may be a way towards understanding and addressing the cycle of violence.

     The video is beautiful and the audio fine. The extras are the same as available in the US.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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