Zankyou no Terror Episode Review: 1×01 “Falling”


Zankyou no Terror wasn’t on my radar before today. Beyond the small bits of info I’d seen through my usual skim of the season’s anime offerings, I didn’t know anything of substance about it, and I didn’t care to. Until I found out Shinichiro Watanabe, of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo fame, was directing.Watanabe’s work is nearly always top quality, especially when paired with musician Yoko Kanno. When the two are together, there’s little doubt that their project will be worth watching.


[insert Back to the Future plutonium joke here]

Zankyou no Terror is definitely worth it. This potentially controversial anime has already gotten off to an intriguing start, with it’s first episode managing to set up it’s characters and basic plot while also jumping right into the action.

Zankyou no Terror follows two young men who steal a case of Plutonium and commit a terrorist attack against the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. As their bombing goes off with out a hitch, they inadvertently pull a severely bullied young woman into their further schemes. It’s dark, unsettling, and mysterious, with the motives of the men, who go by “Nine” and “Twelve”, as-of-yet unknown.

It’s safe to say that Nine and Twelve are villain protagonists, and it’s not yet clear whether the audience is meant to sympathize with them or not. They seem nihilistic about the world around them, though it’s hinted that their behavior stems from a past trauma. Nine is cold and calculating, while Twelve demonstrates a disturbing peppiness about the acts of terror he casually commits. Neither boy seems too concerned with getting caught, which indicates a dangerous mentality.


“Lemme just Snapchat this real quick.”

Their unwitting accomplice, Lisa, is depressed, hinted to have an eating disorder, and constantly tormented by peers and family alike. Her decision to join Nine and Twelve (who are collectively known as Sphinx) instead of die in the bombing hints at a determination that could prove her the most dangerous one of all.

But the story isn’t without it’s heroes. The former detective, Shibasaki, is undoubtedly the foil for the members of Sphinx, and may be the key to stopping them.

Zankyou no Terror - 01 - Large 25

Kotetsu from Tiger and Bunny really let himself go.

“Falling” was an action packed first episode, but the series has a more thoughtful tone overall. It’s reminiscent to me of Eden of the East, another anime that deals, albeit more fantastically, with terror.

Zankyou no Terror will likely deal with some pretty heavy themes as it continues on, and with various real life terrorist attacks still fresh in people’s minds, it could get pretty upsetting. I have faith though that Watanabe will handle it with care, and I’m fully committed to seeing how it pans out.

 All images and properties are copyright of MAPPA.

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