Zankyou no Terror is an original anime, i.e. it has no manga or novel of any kind. This anime is made by the very person behind illustrious anime that have made a huge impact on watchers of those anime. The guy is none other than Shinichirō Watanabe, the mind behind Cowboy Bebop and Space Dandy.Without any further ado, let’s see what the anime offers and what it fails to achieve. As usual, minor spoilers ahead!
The story is about a teenage duo, going by the name of Nine and Twelve, who are also the infamous terrorists who are bombing Tokyo and leaving videos online as clues for their next location of their bombing which just increases the paranoia called “The Sphinx”. The name “Sphinx” is inspired by the beast of the same name in Greek mythology, who guarded the entrance to the city of Thebes and only granted entrance to those who solved her riddles. Anyone who failed to answer correctly was devoured.
The story during the first half is well planned out and presents new twists and turns at every episode. The second half fails to live up to expectations that the first half sets up, but nevertheless it remains still interesting enough for the watcher to continue watching.
Cowboy Bebop, another anime by Watanabe provided a story that was obsessed with the past and offered a journey that felt complete by the time it reached its end. But, Zankyou no Terror fails or rather falls short to achieve the same heights as that of Cowboy Bebop and the other anime made by Watanabe. As far as story build-up is concerned, it is impeccably beautiful.
The separate side-story of Twelve and Nine’s past, Lisa’s current and Shibazaki’s past make up for the loss of the main content. There are moments where the anime is at its full glory and these moments make it worthwhile.
The OST’s are beautiful though you will not be able to hear them much during the anime except the intro music and the end music. It still becomes one of the most addictive parts of the anime, and you will find yourself scouring for the songs online. The voice overs are brilliant and provide a calm yet realistic perspective to each character. Ambient sounds, on the other hand, are a little dull at times, but it manages to overcome it too.
The Visuals is the area where the anime shines, from dark rooms to the busy streets of Tokyo, every frame has something new and beautiful to offer. The character art is also beautiful and each character manages to stand out and the artists have managed to give them looks which portray their personality too. As far as explosions are concerned, they are huge and magnificent. Even the chase scenes are well animated and do not fell rickety at all.
Characters have always been the best point of Shinichirō Watanabe’s anime. Zankyou no Terror is no different than his other anime like Cowboy Bebop and Space Dandy. The character created by him are so full of life and have their own problems, some might be able to relate to them in a way.
Twelve, one of the duo comprising of The Sphinx, is a cheerful and energetic who enjoys messing around in other people’s business, but he also has a side where he could get ruthless if the situation asked for it. Nine, on the other hand, is the total opposite of Twelve and is actually calm, stoic and stern. He is the main brains behind the attacks and is adept at covering his tracks. Another mysterious character in the anime is Five. She seems to have some sort of history with Nine and Twelve and keeps on toying with them for a major part of the anime.
Lisa Mishima is a girl who studies in the same high school Nine and Twelve enroll in. She is often bullied at school and has problems at home with her own mother, as her mother is paranoid that Lisa will run away just like her husband did and often becomes a cause of pain for Lisa. Her life changes when she meets Twelve and then later joins the duo in carrying out their attacks.
Shibazaki Kenjirou is an odd as well as interesting character. He is usually aloof and lazy and reluctant to go to work. But, that quickly changes when people’s life hangs in the balance and he turns into a smart and quick-minded. He is extremely intelligent and has a strong sense for justice. He is the only person who manages to solve the Sphinx’s riddles and manages to find the duo when the go into hiding after finishing their last stunt.
As I said earlier, the anime is brilliant and paces amazingly. It is not that anime where there is no logical explanation to the attacks carried out and there is absolutely no gore accompanying the attack scenes. The back story plays a pivotal role and explains who are the Sphinx and why are they carrying out these attacks. In my honest opinion, I felt that the ending was a bit abrupt and wanted a different kind of ending but, all in all this is a beautiful anime and if you decide to watch it, do remember that this anime is not your regular shounen anime and do not treat it like one. This anime was one of the best psychological seinen anime 2014 had to offer.