After the stellar introduction to the series in the first episode, can the second follow-up on the hype?
I’m JustintheThief; Here’s my review!
After being pleasantly surprised by episode one, let me tell you, I was awaiting this episode. It does not disappoint. The first part of the episode is a look at the destruction of the building caused in episode one. We find out that this is televised and the newscaster is commenting on the fact that the police believe that the explosion was no accident, but instead was a terrorist act (We already knew that).
We then find Lisa, the new accomplice to Sphinx, coming home. She’s berated by her mother for not texting or calling her back, though she has apparently been trying to get a hold of her non-stop. She looks worn and unhealthy and a little bit unhealthy. This is made all the more clear when she drops that she’s worried of Lisa leaving her much like her father did. I knew there was something wrong with the mother, and I named it in my last post (I think. I at least thought it.). So the father left. That makes it interesting, since we now know Lisa doesn’t like her home life, and she’s bullied, so she’s looking for somewhere to belong. Maybe becoming an accomplice to a couple of terrorists wouldn’t be so bad.
So she pushes her mother away and heads to her room. There, she thinks about how afraid she was when talking to Twelve and Nine, especially his chilling words that there was “No turning back.” I wonder how she will do as an accomplice. I think there is more to this girl than meets the eye. She’ll surprise us with resolve (and possibly violence) before the end. Maybe she’ll even surprise Nine and Twelve.
Next we enter the Explosion Response Headquarters at Tokyo City Hall where the group is talking of the terrorist bombing. We meet the Chief of the First Investigation Division, Kurahashi, as he introduces each of the teams who are looking into the bombing.
First is Chief Shimada with the damage report. This is odd. For the fire alarm was triggered in the first episode, and people were evacuated. There were no casualties and only 27 relatively minor injuries. What is up with that? I think it has something to do with Sphinx’s philosophy or something. I don’t know what it is yet, but they don’t seem to be striking out blindly at people, they are methodically toying with people. Destroying and making the government step back, but doing no harm to the everyday person. I think that says something about them as people AND as terrorists. It’s… interesting…
Next is Chief Kinoshita from the Cybercrime Division. He shows the video of Sphinx, and explains that they can’t trace it because they used an anonymity program to disguise their IP address. The Hamura, an officer from the First Investigation Division, brings up that the terrorists seem to be boys. and that they can’t validate that the video is truly linked.
Then its Okano from the Special Investigations Team (I don’t know why I’m giving so many names, but who knows who will come up a lot later), who talked about the blackout, which they think (rightly so) that was when the bombs were placed. Hamura brings up the idea that the suspects could be the ones who instigated the blackout too (wonder if Hamura will be a big deal later on).
Then Chief Hamada from Forensics discusses the bombs themselves. This scene is interspersed with clips of Twelve and Nine working on something, putting together a new bomb it seems. He explains about the building having “super pillars” nigh unbreakable giant pillars that held the building up. He explains that the terrorists used a combination of iron oxide and powdered aluminum like a welder’s torch, the 3000 degree flame produced essentially melted and destabilized the building, making it susceptible to damage. Then, due to the high heat of the flames and the sprinklers, the water vapor caused a steam explosion, which resulted in the collapsing building.
He then explains that if they planned all of that (which I’m positive they did) they are incredibly intelligent. Hamada goes on to say he was unable to understand why there was a need for one bomb with TNT (the one used to get Lisa out of the building). It wasn’t needed to destroy the building. And when they attempted to rebuild the bomb, they found characters on it written by Sphinx. VON. Chief Kurahashi recognizes these from the theft of the material at the beginning of the first episode.
Twelve gets done with his part of the bomb, giving the OK to Nine, who tests the cellphone attached to the bomb to make sure it works. Kurahashi and another man discuss the reason First Division was given the assignment. It seems to be because they don’t want anyone to know about the investigation and that they treat this as a worst-case scenario (eg. these guys are geniuses and it will happen again). We find out that they don’t have ties to any of the other known terrorists organizations, so they don’t know why they are doing what they do.
Lisa, at school, notices that Twelve isn’t in class. He’s currently in their resident, discussing the things the news has released about their bombing. They discuss Lisa, whom Nine thinks won’t talk. Twelve asks why he called her an accomplice. He said it was to keep her from talking. It is a good idea. If you think you could get in trouble too, you’d probably be less likely spill the beans (That’s my thought, anyways). They then play rock paper scissors to decide who plants the bomb. It doesn’t say if the winner or loser takes the bomb, but regardless, its Nine. He seems irritated, so I’m going to guess the loser takes the risk.
He takes it to the police station, disguised as a ramen delivery boy. The music in this scene was this cool, and kind of tense electronic stuff. Super catchy. You watch Nine place something on a fire extinguisher. It’s a camera. He places another one in a break room on a plant, which is where he puts the container for Ramen.
We are brought back to Shibazaki, who is doing a crossword. His partner finds a new video by Sphinx. This one states that they were the ones who made the bombs for the City Hall. They explain that their work isn’t over. They give them a hit and a riddle. “What first walks on two legs, then on four legs, and finally on three legs?” I’ve heard this riddle before, as you may have, but I’ll keep you in suspense for a little while longer.
We go back to the scene of the bombing, where we see many news stories about the impending threat of a new attack. Hamura, back at the office, is angry about the kids “Underestimating adults” (to be honest, it’s not our fault we’re smarter…) They then discuss whether the boys are the terrorists themselves or if they are merely the mouthpieces of other terrorists. Kurahashi comes in, making history and language majors proud by proclaiming that they used the greek pronunciation of Sphinx (with a hard P) not the F sound used by the Egyptians. He then gives the story of Oedipus, which I won’t go into here. Just know the Sphinx (the creature, not the terrorist duo) is in the story and asks of Oedipus the riddle. During this, we watch as Nine watches the news and keeps tabs on the police station with his cameras.
The story ends with Lisa reading about it. Twelve appears next to her, asking what she’s reading. He looks disappointed she won’t tell him. She asks if he is keeping tabs on her. He distracts her by playing a joke on her with Coke-Green Tea and Mentos, which overflows, at which point he runs out while she looks for where to put the cup. She follows after him, and we go back to the rest of the story with the Chief. He explains that the riddle is very similar to the one told by the terrorists.
Using the answer from the Oedipus riddle (man) they decide that they are going to attack a DNA research facility, using the order of the numbers in the Oedipus riddle. But why are cops in movies stupid. They used a completely different riddle and expected to get the same answer! Dumb… they should know better.
They show the police and media at the scene of the DNA research facility, trying to find where the bomb is in the building to try to stop it. Following all this, Nine begins doing something. Shibazaki calls the First Division Chief, who explains that there is another version of Oedipus that has the same riddle that Sphinx gave. The answer wasn’t man, but himself (Oedipus).
Lisa manages to catch up to Twelve, who tells her she “may be an accomplice, but you isn’t one of us.” Using this knowledge of the other riddle and the hint that the terrorists gave in regards to the police AND adding in the number sequence 243 (jesus, how convoluted), they realize that the bomb was actually placed in the Roppongi Police station.
Twelve makes a call. Nine tells Lisa if she makes one wrong move, he’ll kill her, with a smile. The bomb goes off. We see shrapnel and debris land on people. The police panic, and Shibazaki realizes he was too late. The police leave for Roppongi. The Chief tells Shibazaki that what Sphinx stole earlier was plutonium from a Nuclear reprocessing facility (now we know!). They now know the two cases are linked. The chief reveals his suspicions that Sphinx are “serious about picking a fight with this country.” He asks Shibazaki to come back. From what? Nine tells them to hurry, for he is waiting…
Damn. What a good episode two. It’s a lot of exposition at times, but they really know when to add-on the suspense. We get into the minds of a couple of characters. Lisa has a bad home life. Shibazaki left the police detective force for some reason, and apparently of his own free will. Twelve might be insane. Who knows? So, it is pretty common for a second episode to kind of peter off after a good first episode. Thankfully this isn’t the case. There’s plenty to digest, and after watching a couple of times, I still think there are more hints out there. The scenery is beautiful, and the music is fantastic. Watanabe and Kanno should never work with anyone other than each other. It seems like everything that they do is perfect.
It’s a good episode to just make me want more. I want more Zankyou no Terror. I have to know what happens next! So far, this show has really reached my highest expectations. Though it is possible that it will drag on later. I hope it doesn’t, but it’s possible. But with anime, I try to look at the positive. Here’s hoping!
Like this review? Hate it? Think I missed something important? Have you any insight on the many, many questions I have about what’s going on in this show? Well, let me know, I’d love to discuss it with you. And sorry my reviews have been so sporadic. I’ll get them all out and on schedule soon. The new girlfriend is taking up much time. See you tomorrow for more reviews!