Zankyou no Terror Episode Review: 1×08 “My Fair Lady”

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With only a handful of episodes left, Zankyou no Terror is keying up for it’s big finish. It’s been an interesting, if sometimes frustrating, ride. With some many potential ways to wrap up the series, I look forward to seeing how things play out. 

“My Fair Lady” documents the fallout of the airplane incident. While no injuries or deaths occur, the explosion effects the lives of both Sphinx and Shibasaki. The former decide to look for a new hideout now that their faces have been seen by Five. The latter finds himself indefinitely suspended from the police force. Five is the only one who comes out on top, as she not only successfully pins the bombing on Sphinx (though it seems that Kurahashi and co. seem aware of her involvement), but also manages to manipulate Lisa into leaving Nine and Twelve, thus opening herself to capture.

Five is, in my opinion, just a little too over-the-top for such a subdued anime. I find her personality to be a bit of a cliche, and her motivations haven’t yet been justified or even explained. She’s supposedly an American spy pulled in to deal with the Sphinx situation, but her methods are much more dangerous than theirs. However, her sudden moment of pain is intriguing. Perhaps she’s suffering from the results of the experiments she was likely subjected to as a child. It’s a side effect that could potentially be a factor in her actions.

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“The convoluted nature…of my plot to capture Nine and Twelve…it’s killing me!”

Shibasaki, despite being suspended, continues to investigate the Rising Peace Academy on the sly, asking questions of his engineering student daughter and enlisting a couple of his also-suspended coworkers. What they uncover is a program called the “Athena Plan”, a shady government initiative to “teach” orphaned gifted children. It’s pretty clear that this is the traumatizing past that Nine, Twelve, and Five all share, and it’s the motivation Shibasaki has been looking for. While Nine and Twelve’s ultimate goals still haven’t been revealed, it more than likely has something to do with blowing the top off of this scandal.

Twelve seems to be waning in his desire to get revenge, or whatever it is they’ve been working toward. He seems to have found some kind of comfort in Lisa, and his desire to protect her and keep her around has made him doubt the plan. Nine, who reverts back to his Lisa-hating ways almost immediately, doesn’t understand, which causes a rift between the two. When Lisa gets captured by Five and held hostage as a trap, Twelve sets off to get her, leaving Nine behind. The two are close, which makes me think that Nine won’t allow Twelve to do it alone.

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“I dunno man, maybe blowing things up to make a point was a dumb idea.”

Lisa still hasn’t gotten the credit she’s due. The circumstances she finds herself in are almost entirely the fault of the people who decided to become terrorists in the first place, but she gets stuck with the blame anyway. I want her to snap, to stand up for herself, yell, scream, anything. When Five captures her and treats her like all of her classmates and her family does, Lisa looks as if she wants to fight back. But she doesn’t. And now she needs to be rescued again. I can only hope that Lisa finds her inner strength and does something incredible.

I will say that Twelve and Lisa’s relationship is sweet. Neither of them seem used to having friends, and Twelve has gone from seeing Lisa as someone to mess with to seeing her as someone to care about. I used to think that Twelve was the one most off his rocker, but now I see his humanity in his interactions with Lisa.

“My Fair Lady” reveals a lot about the plot, which is one of government corruption and sketchiness. It’s a fairly basic plot, but Zankyou no Terror‘s unique look at how people view Sphinx and whether or not their work is heroic or not makes up for it. I’m not sure Five really meshes well with the tone of the series, but if nothing else, she raises the stakes. The next couple episodes should be pretty interesting.

Images are copyright of MAPPA.

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