What a short journey, Terror in Resonance.
Today marks the day of my completed marathon with this show. TIR quite has the pull. It made me go back to it after I left it in the third episode, two years ago. I’m not fond of spoiler. I got spoiled of its ending when reading the YouTube’s comment section, yet now that I reached the eleventh episode, it still hits me hard, which only strengthen the fact that this show truly resonates with me. I want to share it with you, my thoughts of this lovely little gem. Despite its drawbacks and short episodes (because I miss Nine and Twelve, and Lisa), let me convince you why you should watch this story from a cold land:
• The Title and Poster
I’m not gonna lie. I love the idea of people with a lost and longing yet desperate look on their face standing before a city ruins, looking so done with their life. The title and poster slap some ‘escapism’ vibe to my senses, and I have always been a fan of escapism in a story. It takes you to places and wonders, no matter how wicked the setting is.
• The Core
The trio is the vital breathing support of the show. Nine and Twelve are extraordinary people who use their gift for a criminal purpose, and Lisa is the very definition of a weak and undecided person- I’m impressed with how her character actually work with the boys. Usually, I’m not up for a female character who couldn’t defend herself and full of hesitation, but with Lisa, I don’t know if the story would pan out better if she’s made to be more resourceful and not a burden to Nine and Twelve.
To me, their dynamic is the most surprising thing, because normally I would hate to see ‘a Lisa’ in such an intense show. Perhaps Lisa symbolized the powerlessness residing inside of us, to a different degree. While Nine and Twelve are our courage and faith, which are the ideals we muster. The balance of these three aspects, to me, is what made their relationship works.
• Shining Supporting Cast
Notice that I only use a singular form, because yes, Detective Shibazaki is the only one that comes to mind. He is like their messenger of the Sphinx, in a way. Nine and Twelve might call him their Oedipus, but I would simply call him their angel.
He made those people on the police headquarters understand the boys’ motive. He is also the one that made sure of the Nine and Twelve’s voices heard, with the truth unveiled to the world. Shibazaki is the father that Nine and Twelve never had.
In a way, he’s more than just a father. He is a protector of their rights. I feel like this would not be enough, but it’s important that someone like Shibazaki exists in their universe. He’s the one who gives the boys some humane factor and not just viewed simply as cold killing machines.
• The Abrupt Appearance of The Third Orphan
Five is an interesting character- or not. She could have been one, though. It’s just that she messed too much of our boys while in the end she quits it before Nine’s eyes. I don’t understand why she would do that, because her character is always bordering to possessiveness and obsession toward Nine, and under that is a love that isn’t pronounced.
She loves Nine, let’s admit it, and I’m sure Nine also holds her dearly, of a sort. So, because of how she views Nine as a precious ‘possession’, I am then not convinced of her action ending her life, before him. Why kill herself when she could just grab his collar and ran away with him, only that this time they should make it, not like the mistakes they did on the facility.
If only Five learns how deep and traumatized Nine is affected by losing her back then, perhaps she would reconsider her decision.
• Songs from A Cold Land
If not for the beautiful and melancholy accompanying tracks, we would probably be missing part of the impact of each scene. Yoko Kanno, the composer, spent her time writing the songs on Iceland, collaborating with the locals as well.
There’s a continuous cold inhibiting the space of the songs, and it does capture the feeling of isolation derived from the cold perfectly.
Just like what Nine says,
“It was music from a cold land.”
Yes Nine, we all heard it too. Indeed, it’s so cold that sometimes I feel like wrapping myself with a jacket while drinking cold chocolate and tuning to this show.
• The Story
Two orphans planning revenge on the people responsible for the discontinued human experiment project- by making bombs and detonate them on buildings with zero casualties, while giving hints to the police of its whereabouts, all for the sake of revealing the dark truth of the government agenda. Isn’t revenge a common theme already in stories we have seen? Terrorism itself is a very crucial and sensitive subject to explore, because it had happened in our world history, and it’s still happening, with so many victims and families affected by the act.
In TIR, our morals are challenged by seeing the boys’ action. On one hand, what they did is wrong. But, we can’t help wanting them to win, somehow. Of course, I wish they would utilize something else, other than spreading terrors by bombs. The chance of people getting hurt is completely high. They also break the city’s infrastructures. What they did is not justifiable, but the truth is also sadder.
In the end, Nine and Twelve just wanted their rights. They wanted a life where they’re supposed to be treated as a human being and not just a mere experiment. They want justice to be served. The worst part of the story is, Nine and Twelve did not get to witness their wish and dream with their own eyes. But at least it’s finally heard. Their voices are echoing in the whole world. Despite their demises, TIR also gives its fair share of a hopeful ending.
• The Strong Social Commentaries
First, we need to look it from a literal glasses. There are people who created terror by bombing, the terrorist of course. Their ideas of justice and peace are twisted, and by viewing TIR from a literal perspective, what the boys did is unjustifiable, and also American’s involvement is very rude and discerning. I really hate Five every time the airport scene pop to my mind.
Now, take TIR from a blurry glasses and things get different fast. Nine and Twelve are the embodiment of people whose life and future stolen from them. Let’s remember the civilians of the countries under war. All because of humanity and our greed. Fighting for natural resources by sacrificing the civilians seems like a normal thing to do on a daily basis.
On a smaller scale, I am sure each of you also fights for your rights too. There are probably times when your right is violated, and you just need to get it back. People resort to different ways, but we have one thing in common, we want what has always been ours. Nine and Twelve are the example of people who take extreme measures to gain it back. This is where the lines are drawn. I don’t agree with their choice, but I could understand why they decided to pursue that path.
The facility and the human experiment project also reminded me of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Of course, we know that Auschwitz wasn’t the only camp with such purpose in this world. Countless of camps with similar intents, and on a smaller case, a relationship between people who want to overpower the other, it’s less uncommon than we think.
And then there is Lisa, who represents the harshness of society to indifference. The Lisa who got bullied, the Lisa whom always pressured by her mother, the Lisa who finally wanting to break free, the Lisa searching for freedom, and finally, the Lisa trying to cope by escaping from her world.
That’s why the question Lisa posed during the motorcycle escape at night rings hard,
“Are you going to destroy the whole world?”
More than a vile intent, the question is on an agreement with her arc, which is escapism. And that’s why it’s a great addition to the show. I’m sure that at a point, we could relate to her desires. Just, you know, not to think about anything and simply go somewhere that we really belong to.
It has been a beautiful journey, and for those of you are lucky enough to stumble upon this show and can appreciate its beauty, I applaud and cherish you. Thank you for giving this show some love.