Zankyou no Terror Episodes 6 and 7

Well good golly gosh that’s horrifying.

To recap, Sphinx’s own plot was hijacked and for the first time, their bomb went off unplanned. Although Arata had managed to get everyone out of the train in time, there were still many injuries. This terrorism usurper is one of the children from Toji and Arata’s memories – known as Five, who is now part of (or at least posing as part of) the FBI. But why is the US so interested in these local terrorism incidents enough to involve the FBI..? It’s a mystery to everyone else – but Sphinx definitely seem to know what’s going on, Arata in particular. Just who is  Five?

Not long after the subway incident she launches another attack – a fake Sphinx bomb announcement directly to the police. Well, the announcement from Sphinx is fake, but the bomb is real. This time, it’s at Tokyo’s Haneda air-port and smack-bang in the summer holidays for maximum potential terror. Thus Sphinx themselves are spurred to act even despite knowing they will be playing right into Five’s trap – after all, if they don’t they’ll finally have blood on their hands. The situation is so dire that Arata even lets Lisa come along to help.

Meanwhile, Shibazaki immediately suspects that the latest threat was the work of a fake Sphinx…however his attempt at investigating is squashed when he is told that the police are now not allowed to interfere and the matter is now the exclusive right of the FBI. However, because he is Shibazaki it doesn’t take him long to go right ahead and ignore orders anyway.

I’m trying to take her seriously but…her hair is so big.
Toji is actually becoming quite sweet. Aww.

What I like the most about these recent episodes is the gradual shift in how Toji and Arata are being portrayed. I feel like they’re growing a lot more human with each episode – or rather they were actually always like this, but we didn’t get to see the human side of them. It’s especially noticeable with Toji – particularly in the scenes with Lisa. There’s one really nice scene where he tells her that he has synaesthesia and that he sees her voice as ‘a pale yellow’, going on to mention how rare that is. The scene itself didn’t really have much to do with anything, but it had this lovely, whimsical ambience about it that really brought out that Toji probably actually isn’t the ‘lol crazy evil smiley guy’ the first few episodes would have us believe…he even manages to make Lisa laugh. As for Arata, he’s definitely more emotional but much more cryptic, particularly in regards to his increasing nightmares. I’m not sure why it is that he seems more affected by Five than Toji does, but I’m sure we’ll find out.

Five is the most cryptic of all, of course, and we don’t even really come close to finding out exactly what her deal is.  There’s mentions to her wanting to ‘finish the game from before’, and that the whole airport bomb is just a game between her and Sphinx (or is it her and Arata…?) but more puzzling to me is how she ended up in the FBI.  She also speaks fluent english – which is, albeit grammatically perfect – somewhat awkward to listen to while heavily accented and with zero expression, but at least it makes sense for her to be somewhat off in her speaking (that is, if she is meant to be japanese, because who honestly knows.) The other FBI members whose english ranges from ‘decent’ to ‘obviously a japanese person reading a script’ have less of an excuse, and so a lot of the scenes with them were both jarring and unintentionally humourous. Still, they at least tried which is more that can be said for a lot of other anime that try to insert english conversations in.

I think what I liked best in this one was Shibazaki though, if only for that really great scene towards the end when the other police officers confront him in the car-park after he walks out…to reveal that they’re going with him. There are too many works of fiction where the lone detective breaks away from the dumb incompetent police against orders and saves the day on his own so I’m glad to see a police force that aren’t complete doormats and who may actually -gasp- do something useful.

Nice hats, nerds.
so big.

Out of 5,
Episode 7

…that outfit really suits him.

The kerfuffle at the airport continues! Five has turned the whole area into one giant game of chess between her and Arata – announcing her moves on all the screens in the area as her FBI team track him and Toji with the security cameras. Whilst Five has the upper hand, Sphinx are eventually able to dupe her by having a disguised Toji hack the security feed – allowing Arata to find and confront Five directly. Unfortunately Lisa, who had been assisting by creating a distraction, is caught by the FBI and put onto an unmanned, remote-controlled plane with the bomb.
The unthinkable happens – Sphinx collaborate with Shibazaki to and his crew to stop the plane from reaching the airport before it explodes while also saving Lisa.

Beautiful lighting here.
Well damn, he’s like a completely different character when he isn’t smiling.

This was definitely the most tense of the episode so far. I’ve mentioned it in fleeting before but Yoko Kanno’s soundtrack on this show really is incredible, and it really shines in the dramatic moments. It’s a cliche phrase, but ‘never a dull moment’ describes what went down here pretty well, and Lisa’s escape from the plane (and the bomb) really topped it all off. It was all so exciting I can forgive how cheesy the chess game thing was.

I’m glad to see Lisa being able to do a bit more, but I’m still not clear on what her overall role in this story is going to be. I’m concerned about her being useless or constantly needing to be rescued, so I hope that all the times she’s like this are for the sake of building up to something great for the show’s climax. Maybe she’ll turn out to be the most important in the end. She’s definitely important to Toji, anyway – either for some reason unknown or just because he felt some need to reach out to someone not connected to his past. The scene where he realized that they might have to let Lisa die in order to save all the people in the airport was definitely hard-hitting but it also said quite a lot about Arata. I was actually expecting Arata to say something like ‘this is why we don’t involve outsiders’, or even to pretend that he wasn’t concerned about her given his previous behaviour, but he was definitely worried and didn’t seem to think twice about going with Toji to rescue her.

Shibazaki and Sphinx actually working together was what really struck me in this episode (although how did Arata get his phone number…?) and also made me wonder if this was the direction the show could head in. Now that the airport mini-arc has finished, I’m curious about what’s going to happen next – another move from Five andthe FBI, or will Sphinx set another bomb in motion? The latter is a lot less likely considering everything that’s happened – also if their motivation for their bombings had anything to do with that facility they came from as children, they may not even need to now that they have Five’s attention. I’m sure I’ll find out in the next episode, but I’m also hoping to know more about Five. To be honest, I’m finding it really hard to like her, whether I view her as a villain or not.

This whole part was so intense.
For some reason it amuses me that he brought the mask with him.

Out of 5,

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