Review: Stage Play - Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror) - We Wanted to Become Human


We Wanted to Become Human

  • Episodes : 1 (Stage Play)
  • Genre : Psychological, Thriller
  • Airing Date : March 2 2016 - March 6 2016
  • Producers : Shuutarou Oku (Director), Jun Kumagai (Scriptwriter), Sennosuke Okumura (Producer)

Stage Play - Terror in Resonance Preview / Plot (No Spoilers)

After the theft of plutonium from Aomori’s nuclear fuel reprocessing facility, a series of incidents shakes Japan. Nine and Twelve, two mysterious young men who go by the name ‘Sphinx,’ upload a video online warning viewers that an explosion will soon take place, and asking them to solve a riddle to work out the location.

After setting off a bomb in Tokyo Government Office, Nine and Twelve end up saving the life of a runaway schoolgirl, Lisa Mishima. However, Sphinx continue their terrorist attacks - that is, until they are reunited with Five, a young woman who was raised in the same facility as them.

While the police desperately try to catch the terrorists, Shibasaki, a detective demoted after an incident with politician Mamiya, is determined to get to the bottom of this case, and expose the terrifying truth behind Nine and Twelve’s past - and the darkness that Japan is hiding.


Who does Stage Play - Terror in Resonance cater to?

The Terror in Resonance stage play follows, for the most part, the same storyline as the original anime. However, there is a difference in the timing and the explanations of the events taking place, which have been reorganised so that they are in chronological order. With the play being just two hours long instead of the eleven twenty-five minute episodes available in the anime series, this makes it easy to understand even for an uninitiated audience. But for those who already know the anime inside out, don't worry - this doesn't make it boring! The fact that this is a live action, with live actors, makes it a new and exciting experience, even if you know what's going to happen.

For those who don't know the story of Terror in Resonance, there is a reason why it’s so internationally popular. Of course there are the big, dramatic action scenes and the background of nuclear war, the protagonists with a dark past trying to right the world. But more than that, there are people. Human relationships. Trust and love and betrayal and loathing and helplessness, all bared to the audience. There is no black or white when it comes to evil and justice. It's complicated, it's messy - it's human. So whether you’re into action or emotional developments, this story is sure to deliver.

What's so appealing about this piece of work.


Of course, the first thing I have to touch on is the 3D stage effects. I wasn't expecting much, as I personally have a hard time watching 3D films, but I was pleasantly surprised. The 3D was subtle, often beautiful, and sometimes scary. The acting, too, surprised me. As an avid fan of the anime, I was worried that the characters’ individuality and depth would be either lost due to time constraints or exaggerated beyond all reason for the sake of the stage. Luckily, this was not the case. Ryuunosuke Matsumura and Mashuu Ishiwatari accurately and sensitively portrayed Nine and Twelve - not only their personalities, but their relationship, too.


However, possibly the most appealing thing about this production is the music. If you've heard and enjoyed the opening theme and OST for the anime, you're sure to appreciate this aspect. Haunting songs with lyrics performed by Yuuki Oozaki (the anime OP artist and vocalist and guitarist of Galileo Galilei) blend perfectly into background music that really gets under your skin, matching the tone of the story as it flows, from slow and dark depressing tones through to fast-paced explosive action.

Stage Play: Terror in Resonance Trailer

Stage Play: Terror in Resonance Main Characters List


zankyou no terror stage play nine

Actor :Ryuunosuke Matsumura

One of the members of Sphinx, and very rarely seen without Twelve. Incredibly intelligent with a gift for chess and strategical thinking. He may seem calm and collected, but he in fact suffers from intense panic attacks due to his past, which often get in the way of his plans.


zankyou no terror stage play twelve

Actor :Mashuu Ishiwatari

At first glance, Twelve may look as though he is the complete opposite of his Sphinx partner, Nine. Always joking and never seeming to take anything seriously, he even shows empathy towards Lisa - however, under this surface, he is able to carry out unthinkable acts without batting an eyelid, and is ruthless once he has made a decision about something.

Mishima Lisa

zankyou no terror stage play lisa mishima

Actor :Misaki Momose

A high-school girl who is often bullied and is unhappy with her home life. After meeting Nine and Twelve, she feels an affinity for them and is instantly drawn into their life. She becomes especially attached to Twelve, who is more open with her, unlike Nine who tries to keep his distance.

Contains Spoilers

Stage Play - Terror in Resonance Review

1. Nine’s Attacks

If you’ve ever experience a panic attack, you’ll understand the sheer terror they cause. With mental illness rarely spoken about in Japan, Nine’s PTSD attacks are something to be commended. Although accurately portrayed in the anime, seeing Ryuunosuke Matsumura gasping and writhing in pain makes it much more real, and so much more poignant. Add to this the other actors playing out scenes from his memories, the 3D visuals, and the layered musical score in the background, and you can feel Nine’s pain as if it were your own with every attack.

2. Five’s Final Scene

Megumi Han makes an excellent Five - both in the anime and on the stage - and if this isn’t the climax to the stage play, I don’t know what is. As Twelve and Lisa lean in to kiss, they are rudely interrupted by a phone call - to a number which only Nine should know. Five’s voice rings through the speaker, telling Twelve that a ‘game’ is about to begin. Suddenly surrounded by men with guns, the two begin fleeing for their life.


After phoning Nine and threatening him with Twelve’s life to play against her seriously, Five thoroughly enjoys her final game - until Clarence appears, trying to shoot Nine. Stepping into the bullet’s path, Five spares Nine’s life, shooting Clarence down with an unstable hand before falling herself. In Nine’s arms, she gasps, in a voice unlike that which we’ve heard so far, “What a boring way to die.”


3. Twelve’s Death

If you’ve seen the anime, you were no doubt shocked by the swiftness of Twelve’s passing. One moment he was living - if gravely injured - and the next, he was shot dead. Although I myself knew that he would inevitably die, and believe it to be an accurate depiction of the abruptness of death, I felt that something was lacking in the anime - without parting words, it just seemed too cruel. Thankfully, my wishes were answered in the stage play - Twelve was able to convey his final feelings to Lisa, and left with his parting words, “I’ll have to apologise to Nine, huh?”


If you’ve got the chance to see this live action stage play, I would thoroughly recommend it.
With accurate portrayals of the characters, excellent plot development pacing, and an incredible soundtrack, this is one play you don’t want to miss - whether you’re a dedicated member of the Terror in Resonance fandom or it’s your first time hearing about it. The show will go on until March 6 at Zepp Blue Theatre - if you want a ticket, make sure to check out the website here:


The full cast at curtain call.

Ellyn Barnes


Author: Ellyn Barnes

Gudetama goods collector with a soft spot for seiyuu and an undying love for Matsuoka Rin. When I'm not smashing out the latest news in the office, you'll find me holed up at home watching anime, playing rhythm games, and sobbing because Miyano Mamoru exists. Other interests include reading far too much bad BL and occasionally trying to create stuff.

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