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About Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance)
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: Jul, 2014 – Sep, 2014
A series of terrorist attacks, that miraculously don’t take any lives, are shocking Tokyo. While the Japanese police force works with the FBI to stop any new bombings, their only clues are in the form of strange videos uploaded by the terrorists to the web. What they don’t know is that said terrorists are not a huge army, but a pair of teenagers who have very good reasons to want to destroy the Japanese government.
Liked Zankyou no Terror? Watch Kakegurui (Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler)!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul, 2017 – Currently Airing
Ryouta Suzui has a problem with gambling: he studies in the Hyakkaou Private Academy where the children of the richest families study, and where money equals power. So the students gamble in different games, and if you loose enough, you may end up as someone’s slave, as Ryouta did when he lost against Mary Saotome. However, things seem to start to change when Yumeko Jabami, a true gambling addict, is transferred to the school.
Three Major Similarities Between Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) and Kakegurui (Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler)
1. Transfer Students bring a change.
While the scope in both series is quite different, both have a young student who is bullied by their classmates, and whose life changes completely the moment the main characters appear. In Zankyou no Terror we have Lisa Mishima, whose home life is terrifying, and her shyness has made her the target of all the girls in her school. However , upon meeting Arata and Hisami (in truth, Nine and Twelve), faced with the choice of dying or becoming their accomplice, she starts realizing that she can stand for herself a little more.
In Kakegurui, we have the poor maligned Suzui, who thanks to a huge debt, has ended up as a dog for Mary Saotome, the richest girl in his class thanks to her underhanded way of cheating when she gambles. He knows he now has no rights, and even has to wear a plaque stating he’s a pet. But when Jabami is transferred to their class, and not only manages to win against Mary, but does so while knowing that she is cheating and turning the game in her favor, he realizes that there is a chance for him to get out of debt and pet-doom.
2. Intelligent Protagonists who can fool anyone
Twelve and Nine have an extraordinary intelligence, caused by the project they were part of, and that makes them really hard to catch. But not only their antagonist, Five, has the same intelligence because she was also a subject from the same project; Japanese policeman Shibazaki can stand on his own against their riddles. He may not be in Five’s league, but he is also very close to figuring out Twelve and Nine’s plans, and he’s the one who manages to identify Nine’s face. This makes the intrigue even more interesting to the viewers as it becomes a game of cat and mouse. And at some point, we don’t know if we’re cheering for the main characters –who, at the end, are really terrorists- or for the police, Five not included.
Jabami, in Kakegurui, is also highly smart, with an incredible photographic memory. She’s quick to create complex strategies in order to win her bets when she wants to win. She’s so smart, that at certain points you can believe that the reason why she’s losing is not because she had a stroke of bad luck, or because her opponents are better at cheating than she is at strategizing around their cheats. No, she’s losing because she wants to lose as part of a more complicated game of cat and mouse with the Student Council President, Mika, even before they exchange a word. Mika is very cunning, and so are most of Jabami’s opponents, each in their own way. So it really becomes a hunt, and we’re the ones who get to see it all unfold.
3. Incredibly high stakes
The actual goal of Twelve and Nine is not made clear in the first episodes, but we know it’s not a children’s game. After all, they are taking on the whole Japanese government and setting bombs all over Tokyo. This means their actions have huge consequences. While Nine plans everything carefully so that there are no casualties, both he and Twelve know that their actions could result in someone’s death, and Five simply doesn’t care for bystanders. Not only that, but there’s also the constant threat to society as Japan knows it. In the end, we’re witnessing a chess game where the pieces are real human beings, and no chapter lets us forget that.
As Kakegurui happens inside a high school, one would believe that the stakes are less world-shattering, but the very first minute of the series will prove that to be wrong. Students at Hyakkaou Private Academy are encouraged to bet humongous amounts of money in the million yen range, and as Jabami starts challenging the Student Council members, the stakes start piling up into bodily harm: Getting your nails pulled off your fingers, or even literal Russian Roulette can be seen among the challenges. We understand early on that the actual stakes are the lives of every character we meet.
Liked Zankyou no Terror? Watch Jigoku Shoujo Yoi no Togi (Hell Girl: Fourth Twilight)!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul, 2017 – Currently Airing
There’s a strange urban legend in Japan, about a mysterious website where you can type your worst enemy’s name and send them to Hell in revenge. However, the price for this revenge is that your own soul will go to Hell when you die, whenever that may be. If you contact the site, the Hell Girl herself, Ai Enma, will warn you of the consequences. In the end, it’s your own choice if you enter a contract, or if you let go of your grudge and keep your soul. This is the fourth season of the popular Jigoku Shoujo franchise.
Three Major Similarities Between Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) and Jigoku Shoujo Yoi no Togi (Hell Girl: Fourth Twilight)
1. Bullying is a serious problem
While it’s not a main subject in Zankyou no Terror, we can’t ignore the subtext about school bullying that surrounds Lisa’s character from the moment we’re introduced to her. It is that bullying, and the way in which she reacts to it by meekly accepting her role on life, that make her interesting to Twelve. When we add her home life -where she can’t relax, as her mother is an overbearing woman who seems paranoid that Lisa will abandon her-, it is understandable why she locks herself in the bathroom to eat. It also makes it clear why she joins with Twelve and Nine even knowing they are terrorists who cause explosions that could hurt people. Twelve is probably the only person who has been nice to her in her life.
In Jigoku Shoujo Yoi no Togi, which is more episodic in nature, many of Enma’s clients have been victims of bullying themselves, regardless of their age. It’s the best way to insure that people will end up broken and not caring that their souls are bound to hell as long as they have their own revenge. It’s clearer in the first episode: If your life is already a living hell, why would it matter if you go to hell afterwards? It’s just more of the same. Which is why one ends up feeling really bad for the bullying victims in the show, as they honestly have no real escape from their pain.
2. Revenge is worth everything
As we advance in the plot of Zenkyou no Terror, we realize that Nine has a very specific plot in his mind: take revenge on the people who created him and others like him. On the other hand, Five seems to be happy playing a game with him, but the truth is that she also despises him and wants to torture Nine and Twelve as much as she can. This makes her treat everyone around her as pawns, and not care if they’re dying. Nine and Twelve have more morals than that, in the sense that they will try to make sure to avoid innocents being harmed by their bombs as much as possible. Even so, their own lives are considered expendable, as long as they get what they want.
As it’s expected of the premise of Jigoku Shoujo Yoi no Togi, the clients are completely blinded by their desire to get revenge. However, it’s not just people who have been really wronged. As the story advances, we even get a few clients whose reasons to get revenge may seem silly or even plain wrong: The target of their hate is not really deserving of it. But the desire for revenge drives them so far that they are blinded to anything that is not getting what they want. Even if they get warnings, in the shape of a ghost girl who is opposite to Ai, in the end, the desire for revenge blinds them.
3. Cruelty has long reaching consequences
In the end, everything that happens in Zankyou no Terror is due to the cruel experiments that were made on Five, Nine, Twelve and the other children of the Athena Project where people took extreme measures to insure their subjects were Savants that later could be used as personnel in any other project the Japanese government needed. For this end, the 26 subjects were treated as guinea pigs for different drugs that, when used in children older than 5, resulted in death. Not only that, but it was degenerative so all the children would die anyway. In this light, it is not surprising that two of the Survivors wanted to topple the project that created them, and all the people involved.
The same idea comes up in Jigoku Shoujo Yoi no Togi. It’s not just the bullying, but general cruelty. At times, is a lot subtler than Zankyou no Terror and we can’t really see in the first episode said long-reaching consequences, but as the episodes advance, and we learn more about the new recurring character as well as the clients of the week; we realize what it means. We see how even those who are not affected directly by the deals made with the Hell Connection suffer from the situation, making the consequences more heartbreaking.