Terror in Resonance, an Alternative View

Before you read any more of this post, I want to let you know there will be SPOILERS to the show Terror in Resonance. This posting is in response to the recent Anime News Network podcast, it is meant to provide my point of view on the series. Enjoy the discussion!

I recently reviewed the show Terror in Resonance on my site and mentioned about how I enjoyed the show. It was sometime last week I was catching up on my podcasts, including  the ANN Cast, which I listen to regularly. The crew at ANN had a different perspective on the show and since listening to the episode I have thought about what I enjoyed about the show and how I perceived it. The goal of this post isn’t to defend the show, but simply to provide my own perspective and maybe open up another avenue for a viewer to enjoy the show.

The story centers around 2 youths who are terrorists but don’t kill people in their bombings. The two characters posses a nuclear weapon and play some games with the police. Eventually a special force is brought in to oversee the operation. The leader and the 2 terrorists all were experiments of a government program to raise super intellects.

Some of the criticism from ANN I can agree with. I thought it was a bit convenient for the main detective to have someone who studied nuclear technology in his circle. There wasn’t much set up in this aspect and seemed a little sloppy without any kind of set up or foreshadowing.

ANN said Terror in Resonance “was a wasted opportunity that clipped its own balls by making the 2 lead characters not kill other people”. At times, I agreed with this statement, it wasn’t until the end of the series that it made sense to me. I believe that the two characters are actually eco-terrorists. Eco-terrorism refers to acts of violence committed in support of ecological or environmental causes against persons or their property, from Wikipedia. Before you roll your eyes and close the browser window, hear me out.

Eco-terrorists don’t kill people, which would be in-line with the 2 lead characters belief systems. Some of ANN’s criticism of the series was that the series didn’t offer anything new to the concept or notion of terrorism, which I disagree with. I felt that Terror in Resonance’s main theme wasn’t about terrorism at all, but the over reliance on technology in society.

Throughout the show, there is the element of the nuclear weapon which I thought (and undoubtedly many other fans thought) was going to be used to either destroy a city or was going to be recovered by the police. There lies a common misperception in nuclear terrorism. Would terrorists detonate a nuclear weapon in a city and kill millions of people? Or would they target a high level detonation (such as seen at the end of the series) where it would disable an entire country’s electronic infrastructure?

If you want to learn a little bit more about Electro Magnetic Pulses (EMPS), this article from USA Today is a good start.

It’s an honest question to ask and one that I think the series tries to ask and start a discussion. Would one kill millions of people or kill them slowly by destroying their infrastructure and causing a massive rebuilding effort at home, one that would potentially limit the reach of a country on the international stage.

How would a technologically advanced society react to having no electronic infrastructure, meaning no cell phones or other means of communication. I don’t believe the show was framing terrorism from past events in the US or Japan, but to point out how fragile our society is to terrorist attacks.

The characters detonate the nuclear weapon at the end of the series to unplug all of society from their devices and get them to focus more on nature and living with it. There goal was never to kill people, it was to save them from technology and to save the planet.

It is with that lens, I look at Terror in Resonance. The viewpoint of the characters as eco-terrorists, which is why I find the series powerful and with a story worth telling.

 

 

 

 

Production Update 109

Admittedly, I didn’t get the week off to the aggressive start I wanted to. I had some thing I had to prepare for the retreat that took a bit more time than I originally thought. However, I did make some good progress on the retreat and in the car on the way home.

The retreat went well, spent some quality time with co-workers and learned more about our team. In the meantime, I was able to wrap up one shot, and get another prepared on the car ride. That shot will be wrapped up this week. I have three shots this week I am confident I can finish up, and 2 more shots that might take a little bit longer. Now down to 5 shots before finishing up this scene.

I have a 3D render to set up tomorrow night for one of the upcoming shots, that should take about 2 nights to render out.

I might have some travel at the end of the week, I should know more later this week. Next week I will aim to get up some new production art again for you!

 

Recent Reading: Flowers of Evil Volume 11

The day has finally come, the release date for the final volume of Flowers of Evil by Shuzo Oshimi. For the duration of the series, I have been long praising it as a model for character development and emotional artwork. Volume 11 added a new reason to read the series, Oshimi’s amazing ability to tell a story without relying on dialogue. There is a phrase in the comic and manga world “Show, don’t tell” and the final installment of Flowers of Evil does just that.

There are chunks of pages where the character expressions and environments tell the story so well that words are not needed. Truly amazing and strongly suggested as a series from me.

I got into the manga series after I watched the anime series and since the series wasn’t getting an ending, I needed to dig into the manga to get a resolution. I will admit, there were a couple volumes that had me a little concerned with how the story was going to play out, but the resolution was solid and didn’t leave me with any regrets or empty hands.

Volume 11 of Flowers of Evil has a chapter with some fantastic artwork that is very stylized. The stylization of the artwork works well since it is the way of a character telling a story.

After wrapping up the Flowers of Evil, I can whole-heartedly recommend this title to anyone, volume 11 did nothing to change my feelings on the piece. You can pick up all the volumes from Vertical.

Production Update 108

Recap time for the week, here we go. I revised some of the shots from last week, completing some small edits. I wanted to adjust a couple things that were bothering me, such as some of the animation timing and animation curves which control how smooth things play, happier with the revisions.

I had a shot where I was experimenting with some particles to get a desired effect during a fight scene, wanting to replicate some blood splatters. I decided to use a vector splatter and animate the different layers instead.

It’s been a while since I went to an art critique and since I recently found out about a local group meet-up, I introduced some of the my fellow local artists to the Cosmic Rage universe. I had time for some Q/A to explain my process a bit and touch on some inspiration. For the next critique I am going to be taking my test e-book in and get feedback on that.

I finished up another shot as well. This one had some character animation on Zeth so it was nice getting back into the swing of things and rigging the characters. I continue to learn more about layering and building the characters as I go.

For this upcoming week, it will be a short one. I have a work retreat towards the end of the week so travel will be involved. I am aiming to have an aggressive start of the week to make up for it since I am hoping to get the first episode out at the end of winter. Looks like I have about 6 more shots before I finish this first fight scene.

Recent Viewing: Terror in Resonance

The summer season of anime is wrapping up, so I thought I would recap the series that survived my cuts along the way, Terror in Resonance. One of the main reasons I wanted to watch this show was the duo of Shinichiro Watanabe and Yoko Kanno, this duo has worked together on some noteworthy projects; Cowboy Bebop and Wolf’s Rain.

The series spans 11 episodes and follows our two main characters Nine and Twelve who are terrorists that are planting bombs. The two of them operate under the identity Sphinx and generally play some games with the police throughout the early part of the series, almost Riddler vs Batman-esque. Many of the riddles are based in mythology and mythological creatures.

The main police character is a detective named Shibazaki and a student by the name of Lisa Mishima gets mixed up with the group after an attack. Rounding out the characters is Five, a mysterious figure with a past link to Twelve and Nine.

The story becomes a cat and mouse game as three different motives are brought to light by the characters and their affiliates. From a pacing standpoint, I felt the series moved pretty well. The introductory episodes do a great job of keeping your attention and developing some of the characters. The middle lays out a bit more backstory to the characters as well as a story twist that leads to a solid payoff in the end.

I typically watch series several times over a period of time, that way I can get to know the series more and pick up on things I missed in the initial viewing. I bring that up, because I believe that there is a social or political commentary in Terror in Resonance. While I can’t go farther into detail on it since I don’t want to spoil such a new series, if you are into shows along those lines, it is a must see. Personally, I will be picking up this series when it comes out to add to my collection. Very good stuff from from the team of Watanabe and Kanno. You can watch Terror in Resonance on FUNimation’s site.

Did you watch Terror in Resonance? What were your thoughts?

Production Update 107

Back on schedule with a new production update for the week! I was able to get re-familiarized with the project files and make some edits to a couple shots, it seems like forever since I touched the files while I was prepping for AnimeFargo. After that I worked on a few other shots and made some good progress from my time at artist alley and this week.

On top of that, I also tweaked some artwork for the Cosmic Rage Youtube page, set up a Tumblr page, and also got my deviant art account up to date as well. I am aiming to do a better job at keeping all of these accounts current and posted as well as this blog here. I found a wider range of audiences while at AnimeFargo using different platforms, so I figured I would try to accommodate and see where the viewers are at.

Since it has been a while, I thought I would also share some production art for one of the shots I am working on as well.

16_Zeth_Elbow_Strike

 

I have already learned so much after working on episode one that I want to carry into episode two. I am really excited to get back into the project and with the weather starting to turn here, I would guess I am going to get a lot of time on it :D I only have one more week of gardening left before we have to pull everything out. Later this week, I have a new review up! One for a show that just finished streaming ;)

 

AnimeFargo Rewind!

I finally had a chance to sit down and recap AnimeFargo, their first year and also my first artist alley. First off, the con staff was pretty amazing. They were friendly and super helpful in getting me where I needed to be and working with me at my first artist alley and also during my 3 panels. I had a couple minor glitches in my presentations and the projector, but nothing that hindered my panels at all. I would suggest AnimeFargo to anyone who is on the fence about going next year.

Artist alley went well. I was able to get some great feedback on the Cosmic Rage project and I was able to show it off to many curious attendees. I had some character pin-ups and cards made that I sold to people as well. I feel like the project had a good reception with the fans and several people were curious when I was going to have more of it done. I have no concrete date yet, but I am aiming for the end of winter at this point. Clearly I will announce changes and updates as the season progresses. I hope to have more announcements in the near future regarding this.

My panels had a good reception. My favorite panel on the history of CGI in Anime was fun to present and look forward to tweaking it over the winter for next year. The storytelling Q/A panel was a lot of fun. I hope I was able to help some of the attendees find ways to tell their stories and inspire them as storytellers.

I met some new friends at AnimeFargo and look forward to hopefully making it back next year in some capacity. Again, I can not say enough good thins about the weekend, the staff and of course the attendees. They made my first artist alley appearance a memorable one.