Zankyou no Terror – 9

Had every episode SRS.TRAGEDY-COULD-HAVE-BEEN of Zankyou no Terror been like this, it would have been a great series. There was tension, drama, cinematography, compelling choices, solid exposition, and real character development. In particular, I highly enjoyed the slow, careful pace the episode took with the bomb sequence, adding weight to it while simultaneously allowing both the viewer and characters to step back and consider what was going on among Nine, Lisa, and Five. Instead of turning this into some mind-numbing, last-minute-disarm-the-bomb action trope, we got to see some character development finally deliver on its promise, with each player, even Five to some degree, revealing new things about themselves. At last, the series sets itself up for its finale and throws the characters into their final confrontation.

Amazing how it failed to do this effectively for the past nine episodes, wasting all that time to accomplish so little. You might as well watch the first episode, maybe the fifth, and this one, and you’d end up at the same point as if you’d watched all the others in sequence. We just found out that Japan might have been developing a nuclear weapon, a shocking thing to say the least, given the country’s geopolitical position, popular sentiments, and the Japanese constitution that forswears the right to wage offensive war ever again. This single idea carries more substance than everything else that’s happened in the entire series, especially the cliched Unit 731 shit about savant children that was telegraphed into the ground. Why didn’t it just capitalize on this concept? Seriously, does anybody still remember those stupid Oedipus plots? Or the references to the Apocrypha? Or the fucking airport sequence? Anybody still care about those elaborate plots to blow up buildings? Nope.

I don’t think you could have asked for a better lesson on the importance of execution. Zankyou no Terror had all the trappings and foundations of a good series, but missed the forest for the trees. Characterization and drama are more about potentially small, yet deep moments between characters that you set up over time, rather than flashy sequences to get the adrenaline flowing and the brain shut off. Moments like what happened between Nine and Lisa here make a series memorable, not clever nods at obscure texts to make things seem revelatory to the dull-edged mind. The framing, the pacing, the simple-yet-impossible challenge presented to Nine, Lisa overcoming her insecurities somewhat, and Five revealing she cares way more about driving a wedge between her two rivals, the only two people in the world she has any connection to, than the legitimate concerns of the American government–all of that was light-years ahead in quality compared to Clarence the Henchman locking Lisa away on an airplane in some cockamamie scheme. And we didn’t even need Five grinning and painting her nails to make it serious and threatening.

God, kids, maybe this series might have a decent conclusion. It’ll still be a disaster, but we might be able to salvage something out of this trainwreck. No putting the breaks on the Crazy Train now. Only two more stops.

Sword Art Online II – 10

Minute 1: SiSILLY.CANT-MOVEnon somehow has enough psychological composure in the face of utter panic to spout cliche philosophical ramblings on the meaning of fighting that every Shounen Anime has regurgitated a billion times before.

Minute 4: Kirito rescues Sinon. Plot twist: they get away.

Minute 6: Sinon somehow has a convenient mental breakdown in the face of a situation no less traumatic or dangerous than ones we have already witnessed her enduring with ease. The writers proceed apace with breaking down the character they’ve built up over the past nine episodes so she can fall in love with Kirito too. Everything is going according to plan. Someone stop them.

Minute 8: Pull the fucking trigger, Sinon. Then get in the fucking robot.

Minute 10: Death Gun somehow has the reflexes to see the high-powered sniper rifle bullet hit the car and explode AND leap off his Magical Robot Unicorn in time. In reality, all these events would take less time than it would for his nervous system to process. Death Gun should be dead.

Minute 12: Is the rest of this episode seriously going to take place in a fucking cave?

Minute 15: OVER-THE-TOP ANIME RENDITION OF PTSD THAT MAKES A BIGGER DEAL OUT OF SINON JUSTIFIABLY KILLING A CRAZY PERSON THREATENING HER MOTHER AND OTHER INNOCENT LIVES INSTEAD OF THE TRAUMA OF BEING THREATENED BY SAID CRAZY PERSON. BECAUSE KILLING PEOPLE IS ALWAYS BAD BECAUSE JAPANESE PACIFISM.

Minute 16: Sinon goes through more stages of PTSD and psychological trauma in minutes than what most victims transition through over months or years.

Minute 18: Sinon is still crying. Someone shoot her.

Minute 20: Now Kirito is talking. Someone shoot him.

Minute 21: Do even half of the Japanese viewers know what “Laughing Coffin” means?

Minute 22: What the fuck kind of ending is that?

Minute 23: Someone shoot everyone.

Zankyou no Terror – 8

SILLY.BORED

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORED.

If I want to entertain myself by watching people talk for half an hour, I’ll go rewatch Stand Alone Complex. This is not that. There was nothing redeeming about this episode whatsoever. It dithered about trying to be pensive, foreboding, and tense, but didn’t get close to any one of them. To make matters worse, despite all the nominal “exposition” we got in this episode, none of it amounted to anything that we didn’t already know. Shibazaki gets fired and blackmails some Cliche Corrupt Japanese Politician, whose face looks like they copy-pasted some old Japanese dude’s Facebook profile, to find out that the Japanese government did some Unit 731-type sociological experimentation on orphans. Man, what a scoop! If only this episode had given some real details about anything about the backstory of this setting. If only.

So Hazuki Nagisa the Insane and Aizen Sousuke the Younger finally have some interpersonal conflict that feels incredibly forced and stupid. Why exactly does Twelve care so much about Lisa? This would work had this anime actually spent time developing the relationship between these characters, but it hasn’t. So now, once again, we’re told he cares about her and we’re supposed to accept that. We’re also supposed to be afraid of Gasai Yuno the Evil’s kidnapping of Lisa. How did she know where the terrorists lived? Lisa ran away from home and didn’t tell anyone where she was going. Can you say “plot hole”? Because I can. I can say it a lot. This anime has three episodes left and I can just barely be arsed to keep watching thanks to the sunk cost fallacy.

Ugh, way to waste a two-week hiatus, Zankyou no Terror, not that you were worth much of anything to begin with.

Sword Art Online II – 9

Wow, Kirito anSILLY.ASSUMEd Sinon. You sure bought first-class tickets on Assumption Airlines. No wonder you fell into an extremely obvious trap. You don’t know any of the things you said you did. You don’t know he’ll show up on the satellite scan; he might have a cloaking device. You don’t know he’ll head for the abandoned city because “he’s a sniper”; you just observed him using close-quarter ambush tactics to stun and execute someone. And how retarded can you be to stand around in wide open spaces talking about your plans when you have assumed your enemy is a precision sniper capable of literally killing people in a video game? You might want to take cover and obfuscate your moves as you approach the city. I dunno. Something intelligent, I guess. And I’m getting really tired of these semi-omniscient moments these characters have. People do not have the reaction time to dodge bullets like that.

Don’t worry, though, because our main antagonist is even more retarded than our protagonists. Double wow, Death Gun. You have first-hand experience fighting Kirito, the person who beat SAO because he got really pissed off and decided that game code just doesn’t apply to him. So your grand plan is…to piss him off? Isn’t that kind of exactly what happened the last time he beat a killer video game? How is this plan supposed to succeed? What happens if he is the real Kirito? What then? Are you going to kill him with your fancy gun thingie? What makes you think it’ll work on someone who can cow computer code into submission? Do you not have a brain? I mean, you were stupid enough to use the exact same logo of your notorious guild of murderers in a separate MMO, so I guess you’re either completely Japanesey insane or just an idiot. Either way, you’re only one step up from our last antagonist, Pedophile the Salaryman. That’s not saying much.

Oh no, I’m really on the edge of my seat as to what’ll happen next week. Dear me. It’s so thrilling. Will Sinon die?

Ha.

Sword Art Online II – 8

SILLY.OVERDRAMATIC

We get it, Kirito Sue the Magnificent: you’re scared. You’re traumatized. You’re so traumatized you’re wielding a giant hammer with “DEEP-SEATED EMOTIONAL ISSUES” scrawled on its hilt and beating all the viewers’ faces with it. So much so it’s kind of lost all of its weight. We don’t care. Why are you so afraid of Death Gun? I would like to remind you that you have conquered two MMOs, one in which you were under worse threat of death, through the sheer power of will.. You have literally willed yourself to ignore the game’s code and do whatever the fuck you want. This has been established and recognized by the games’ creator. You are actually God in this virtual universe for all intents and purposes, but you’re afraid of some guy in a mask. Instead of feeling Kirito’s anxiety, I was just amused and perplexed at how overdramatic he was being for no reason.

Behold! A textbook example on why everyone hates Mary Sues and why they never work. If there is no threat to the character, there is no tension for the viewer to experience, and thus there is no reason for them to become invested in what they are perceiving. These are some of the most foundational pillars of Human Storytelling. We are emotional creatures; stories are ways for us to share those emotions with one another. Nobody wants to see fucking Frodo waltz his way into Mordor on the Eagles’ backs; they want to see him carry it into Mordor, risking life and limb with no thought of himself, while his friends defend the free world at great risk to themselves. Kirito never experiences any real obstacles, only “challenges” we are commanded to take seriously by various elements of the show. Sword Art Online is high-school-level storytelling at best, but it’s gotten so popular because otaku and Japanophiles eat this shit up. We’re only five episodes removed from Episodes 2 and 3, and already everything is just boring. Here’s an idea: get rid of Kirito and go back to Episode 2 where Sinon was engaging in sniper duels with opponents that challenged her. That’s the part of this episode I enjoyed: watching Sinon do her thing like a real, legitimate character. Whenever Kirito shows up my eyes just gloss over because I already know what’s going to happen.

Surprise me, Sword Art Online II. You did it in Episodes 2 and 3. I’m sure you can do it again somehow.

Zankyou no Terror – 7

It took 16 FUSILLY.EVACUATECKING minutes into this episode for them to figure out that evacuating one of the busiest airports in the world might have been a good idea, i.e., the one thing that would have singlehandedly derailed all of Gasai Yuno the Evil’s convoluted plans.  Of course, they don’t actually do that, thus putting tens of thousands of innocent people at risk.

In fact, there were tons of ways both sides could have done things smarter. Let’s start with our genius terrorists:

  • Contact Shibazaki before the very last second and coordinate with him more so you have a better chance of succeeding.
  • Set off mass panic in the airport, forcing an evacuation that the local authorities, including the evil police working for the evil Americans, would have no way to resist and would have no choice but to ensure proceeded in an orderly manner, thus taxing their resources and allowing our genius terrorists to move more freely throughout the airport. Think that facial recognition software is going to work when thousands of people are running through the hallways?
  • Predict that Gasai Yuno the Evil wasn’t going to play by her demented little rules in the first place and consider where she might end up actually placing the bomb in order to create the most destruction possible. This is called “reading your opponent.” Maybe you didn’t pay attention in that class at Unit 731’s School for Gifted Psychopaths.
  • Tell Lisa to stay in hiding once her part in the plan was done. Since they switched the surveillance camera footage, all she had to do was remain out of sight of the cameras so that Clarence the Henchman wouldn’t know where to find her. Instead, Clarence the Henchman finds her in like two seconds and puts on her a plane in five seconds without anyone noticing. How did they get onto an empty plane with no one noticing?
  • Lisa, have you ever flown on a plane before? Use the emergency exits. I’m pretty sure Clarence the Henchman had neither the time nor the tools or expertise to disable all the emergency exits on an international airliner that are expressly designed to require no knowledge to use and be almost impossible to disable or impede? I was laughing the whole time. Why was she in any danger in the first place? Why was this supposed to be a tense scene? All she had to do was use her brain for three seconds and take a sled ride outside of the aircraft. Woop dee doo.
  • Hey, idiots: you can memorize detailed floor layouts of huge skyscrapers and play chess-games in your head in an international airport while running as fast as your legs can carry you. (This is biologically impossible, by the way. Your higher brain functions shut down whenever you push yourself past your aerobic comfort zone, so to speak.) Why don’t you just instruct Lisa on how to stop the plane? Remote auto-pilot can be overriden by the manual controls in the aircraft because simple engineering. How come you conveniently don’t know the controls for an airliner when you need to? You have for the other six episodes.
  • How do you even know there’s just one bomb? What if Gasai Yuno the Evil put, like, five more bombs around the airport just to be a dick? Or as a pretty basic backup plan? What would you do then? It’s almost like everyone just read the script in advance.

With that in mind, let’s talk, Five:

  • Why not carry your gun with you to the control tower just in case someone makes it up there? You know, the gun you had with you in the previous scene? Where did it go? Did it run off on its own two legs? What, did you just leave it with your Token Black Henchman down in the Surveillance Van for some inexplicable reason? Why didn’t you have your gun? That would have prevented Shibazaki from stopping you. What the hell?
  • On that note: where was Clarence the Henchman after he dropped Lisa off on the plane? Where did he go? Why didn’t you just tell him to meet you at the control tower?
  • Place more than one bomb at the airport as a backup plan and make no indication of where they are. If it really bothers your addled brain so much, just use Aizen Sousuke the Younger’s self-serving logic and say he was cheating by having a third member he didn’t announce. You win no matter what they do. That’s what I would call “checkmate.” If you know your opponent is going to make a billion stupid assumptions about your mindset and plans, use that to your advantage.
  • Why put Lisa on a plane unattended where she could easily get off had she had functional grey matter? Why not just capture her and use her as a hostage? Or kill her to make her an example and blame it on Sphinx? Say she found one of those other bombs by accident and foolishly tried to disable it in a naive act of heroism, thus painting Sphinx as the brutal terrorists they almost are anyway. Seriously, this is Subterfuge 101, here. Did you skip that class too?
  • Predict that your foes, being skilled in electronic warfare, might think about infiltrating the server room and secure it before they ever get the chance. Derp.
  • Notice with your insane genius brain the security footage was changed instantly, as opposed to five minutes later for some reason we call “Shitty Writing.”
  • Capture your foes right after they leave the airport when you know exactly where they are.

Shibazaki, you’re not guiltless here either:

  • Call in an anonymous bomb threat to the local authorities, thus forcing an evacuation of the airport. This bypasses any political strings the Evil Americans can pull and drastically reduces the gravity of the situation.
  • If that doesn’t work, point out the strange messages being flashed on screen–which would unnerve everyone in the airport anyway–and get your fellows to set off mass panic.
  • When you figure out the terrorists or whoever are planning to ram a bomb-laden airplane into the terminal, get one of your people to set off mass panic so people leave. I’m pretty sure people will catch on that the plane heading straight for the terminal with no guidance is bad and should be avoided.
  • If you have a visual on one of the terrorists on a particular vehicle at a particular geographical location, call it in via the control tower and tell people to secure that vehicle and to lockdown the airport–which would be happening automatically after a plane exploded on the goddamn runway. Then you can apprehend them and put an end to the whole mess.

My only explanation is that everyone in this show is addicted to stupid pills.

Sword Art Online II – 7

This image sums up thSILLY.SEX-IS-GROSSe entire status of Kirito and Asuna’s relationship. It’s been seven episodes and I still don’t know why these two attractive young teenagers aren’t fucking like rabbits in a meadow. It probably has something to do with Japanese culture and its severe, crippling allergy to all things mildly related to realistic physical and emotional intimacy between people, opting instead to harp on the same three or four tired lines we’ve all heard before. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away: Sinon, you might want to kinda give the guy who obviously really cares about you a mature answer. No, you don’t have to like him back, but you could at least address the elephant in the room head on instead of doing what every other female anime protagonist has ever done, i.e., brush it off with an embarrassed chuckle. You don’t have many friends; it’s probably not a good idea to treat your most dedicated one like crap. Can’t you hear the red alert sirens going off? This is going to come back and bite you in the ass. The anime you’re in isn’t exactly pushing the bounds of creativity here. Jilted companion + mysterious group of villains = bad mojo.

Sigh. I really am sick to death of this aspect of Japanese culture. Really, I am. The stereotypes and cliches are more worn down than Asuna’s vibrator. Sure, occasionally we get something like 5 cm per second that depicts the Japanese perspective on relationships, but I’ve never seen some popular Japanese media actually criticize the way the Japanese deal with the topic of sex and physical intimacy. Believe you me, it is beyond twisted and monstrously unhealthy. Before ye mindless Japanophiles prate on about how the Japanese aren’t as prude as Americans and blah blah blah and how refreshing that is, I’m going to break this down a little bit with a giant sledge hammer: you are fucking wrong. The Japanese are less prudish about depicting nudity, that’s true; at everything else relating to sex and physical intimacy between human beings, they suck balls. Japanese culture makes a goddamn profession out of being terrible at depicting realistic relationships with realistic challenges–be they physical, mental, emotional, etc.–that occur in them. Due to its culture’s debilitating obsession with saving face for no good reason whatsoever, Japanese media shies away from this more vehemently than Ebola.

Let me drive this point home. When was the last time you saw in an anime any of the following:

  • A normal, stable couple depicted without any cliched romantic stereotypes, off-the-wall mental problems, or other horrible conditions used to fuel a plot about them?
    • When was the last time you saw such a couple have sex?
      • Was that sex actually shown onscreen?
      • When was that sex merely hinted at or disguised with some really thin euphemism that was played straight nevertheless?
    • When was the last time you saw that couple fight or discuss problems in a straightforward, mature manner? Dramatic elements are not the issue. Did they actually directly address what was going on between them?
  • A couple go through a breakup that was depicted onscreen?
    • Did they discuss this in a mature way? Even if it were comedic, did the anime try to touch on a few themes or elements seriously? (Something that happens regularly even in the most shallow American TV.)
  • Young protagonists with parents that are both alive, active in their children’s lives, yet dealing with troubles that do not include severe mental derangement or some other horrific conditions?
  • Gay people.
  • Gay people depicted as normal, healthy individuals? (Stop laughing.)
  • A gay relationship depicted in detail as normal, healthy, and praiseworthy? (I mean it. This is serious.)

In comparison, when was the last time you saw in an anime any of the following:

  • Boobies.
    • But no actual tits or vaginas.
  • Highly sexualized school girl uniforms.
  • Swimsuit episodes.
  • Harems.
  • Magical girls.
  • Any female over thirty that isn’t a total bitch or otherwise a terrible person.
  • Highly effeminate yet-totally-not-gay people who are insulting stereotypes.
  • Lecherous men whose noses have more blood than the rest of their bodies.
  • Extremely shy guys who have to eventually blurt out their feelings to a woman who just doesn’t get it because women are stupid. (See above.)
  • Asshole men with hearts of gold who can’t admit their feelings about a woman ever.
  • Oblivious men who take two hundred fucking episodes to figure out they really like the female protagonist, but only to get married to. (I’m looking at you, Rurouni Kenshin.)
  • Women who say no, but really, really, really mean yes.

Weigh those on a scale. See what happens.

Oh, right. Back to the actual episode. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, that’s it. It was typical SAO filler. Kirito, you did the right thing. We’ve already been through this part of your emotional development. You killed people in SAO. You got over it. Let it go. Let it go. Can’t hold it back anymore…

(The moral of this post is that Japanese culture is really fucked up.)

Zankyou no Terror – 6

BADDO ENGURISHU, LOSILLY.ENGRISHL.

It’s actually funny, since the English itself was decently written. It’s just that Japanese studios still haven’t figured out how to hire English voice actors for more than one or two lines.
 
As usual, Zankyou no Terror fails to notice its internal contradictions and other bullshit. For the past five episodes, the genius terrorists have been setting off bombs in public buildings and areas. Let me say that again: they bombed the Tokyo Metropolitan Building, bombed an unevacuated police station, almost bombed a shrine, and now they just bombed a major metropolitan subway station. Despite this, multiple times in this episode they remark on how they’re really NOT mass murderers who aren’t playing a game. I lost count of how many times I remarked “you mean just like you’re doing?” when they condemned Five’s antics. Her actions and the terrorists’s actions are more or less indistinguishable; the only difference is that she doesn’t possess the aegis of the writers who have written off all their poorly-conceived bombings as somehow death-free, which automatically makes them “good” in their mind. Even this last one where they set a bomb in one of the busiest subway stations in the country in one of the most densely populated areas of the world results in only a few dozen injuries. No deaths. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
 
Do you *still* think this is a good anime? Because it’s far from it. This show fails in every literary facet. Last week’s scenario was somewhat exciting and tense because it was a change of pace from the one-sided puzzles that failed to establish our protagonists’ motivations or reasons despite having a third of a normal anime season to do so. Now they’ve just revealed a villain who is only a villain because of writer fiat. So this episode crumbles into boredom. To wit, I don’t know why these protagonist genius terrorists are supposed to be “good”; I don’t know why Five is supposed to be bad. Is it because she giggles? Is it because she’s American? It is because she’s playing chess with an airport bombing scenario–you know, just like our terrorist duo have done four times in a row on national television? Hey, idiots: if you’re worried about your actions being misinterpreted and hijacked to cause mass murder, it’s probably not a good idea to take actions that lead directly to mass murder. Like bombing public institutions. Why should I care about this conflict if the main enemy is doing something only slightly different from what these protagonists have been? The question “what if something goes wrong?” rears its screaming head without ceasing. Lo! Something goes wrong and the protagonists are fucked. Pardon me while I muster up some tears.
 
So it’s episode 6 out of 11 and I still don’t know what’s going on. What is Aizen Sousuke the Younger after? Why did they steal nuclear material and get America involved? Why is America even involved in such a capacity? In a more practical scenario, you might have some American experts working alongside their Japanese counterparts in an advisory capacity; they would not be heading up a secret team of American operatives with EXTREMELY TOPICAL MASS SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT operating inside a foreign country unless the Japanese government expressly requested their direct aid. And this is what I hate about this series the most: it doesn’t take much thought to devise a similar scenario that’s far more plausible. Have the Japanese government innocently request American help, then have just Five and her handler come in and subtly manipulate the Japanese team. Do you really have to insult both Japan and America by acting like the Japanese Cabinet just swallows orders from America without question or protest?
 
It’s really sad to see Yoko Kanno working her magic on such a useless series. In quaint irony, I was just listening to some Cowboy Bebop songs the other day. What I really miss in anime is that mature ring of majesty it used to hold its head high with. There’s none of that here. No Ballad of Fallen Angels, no Real Folk Blues. Just dull, somber, trite commentary trying oh so hard to be relevant. It’s the perfect example of putting the cart before the horse. No amount of social commentary can make Aizen Sousuke the Younger interesting; no amount of badly Engrish’d hacking scenes can make Five a compelling foe. If you hit upon a creative spark and forge a cast of memorable characters that we care about, everything else tends to fall into place on its own. Zankyou no Terror tastes like ash, with all its tropes, easy choices, and unremarkable characters. Anime has such incredible potential to ponder things in a way no other medium can. It’s always a crying shame to see it wasted so carelessly.

Sword Art Online – 6

Kirito Sue theSILLY.CHEAT-CODES Magnificent is the biggest cheater on the face of the planet.

This was a bad episode. The writers skimped on everything here. Instead of doing something ambitious, like, say, crafting an epic duel between Kirito and Sinon over several episodes that might define the whole season, having them go back and forth and using the terrain, environments, etc. to play to their strengths and weaknesses, while diving into the themes and issues they brought up in this episode during the battle–something an anime made ten years ago would’ve done without the slightest bit of hesitation–they set up some stupid traumatic memory to get Kirito REALLY ANGRY, then have him win because reasons. We all knew this was going to happen, but the devil’s in the details, kids. Sinon misses like ten shots when she’s sitting completely still while Kirito is standing completely still and not making the slightest bit of effort to move. Not one of them hit him, too. Not even a graze. Given how probability works in these games, I’m pretty sure *one* of them should have damaged him. Furthermore, the sudden shift in Sinon’s behavior was just stupid. She’s already stared down some monsters while her teammates were getting massacred and handled everything perfectly. Why the fuck does she care if this random twerp she’s come across is throwing the match? If you want to set up Sinon as some stone-cold killer, you have to be consistent about it, not transform her into a weak-willed Japanese girl falling for Kirito’s nonexistent charms on the turn of a dime/bullet. Come on, writers: this is basic character development. Ugh.

I also didn’t buy Kirito’s whole PTSD thing. How many people did he kill in SAO? Why is he all of the sudden remembering this now? Like, haven’t we already gone through this character arc before? You’re not going to get me to believe Kirito is still wrapped up in that. One, it cheapens the real issues that people with PTSD go through, and two, it just feels way too forced and convenient here to be really convincing. Also, Sinon, why the fuck didn’t you just call for a reset on the duel, cool your jets, and kick the guy’s ass? Why settle for conditions where you know Kirito can pull some of his crazy shit you’ve been watching for hours already?

Barf.

Zankyou no Terror – 5

BioShock-Infinite-18HA HA HA HA HA. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. THE EVIL AMERICANS. BBBTTHHA HA HA HA.  THE EVIL AMERICANS HAVE ARRIVED. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

Oh my god, I laughed so hard when I saw the “United States Line” on the plane and the big American flag plastered on the tail fin just to ensure the viewer couldn’t possibly miss the message. Ain’t nothing gonna stop that anvil now, not even the very hills!

This was one of the worst and hands-down the best episode of Zankyou no Terror so far. Funny how that works. It was terrible because the plot was so ridiculous and the tropes legion beyond count; it was good simply because the writers finally figured out that protagonists need obstacles to make a story interesting. I had a reason to care about what was going on, as shallow and retarded as it was! There was a sense of risk! The genius terrorists might actually fail! They’ve met their match! After four dry-as-bone episodes setting up these bland cardboard stereotypes, something exciting happened!

Of course, the writers couldn’t craft something remotely cogent to do this. They had to backtrack and make the genius terrorists complete idiots this time, as opposed to mostly idiots. They set up a bomb on the fucking Shinjuku Line in downtown Tokyo, one of the most crowded places in the world, set it to go off at 8pm automatically, and just let it ride around the city while they wait for the police to fall for their trap. Seriously? At 8pm? When everyone’s out and about? With no backup plan? Like, WTF, kids? I thought you were supposed to be ten steps ahead of everyone. What was your whole plan? Hope the police disarm the bomb? What if they didn’t know jack shit about the Bible, let alone the Apocrypha? Did you know that maybe 1% of Japan is Christian? The average Japanese person probably couldn’t even name the first five books of the Bible. What if Shibazaki was sick that day and couldn’t be contacted? What would you do then? What if the incompetent police remained incompetent and failed to guess your riddle? If you didn’t intend for the bomb to go off and kill a bunch of innocent people (ignoring the scores you killed at that totally unevacuated police station in episode 2 that the writers hope you forgot about), thus ruining any sympathy you might have ever garnered from the general public, why the FUCK DID YOU GIVE THE BOMB A TIMER?  That’s exactly the opposite of what you should have done. Why not ensure your plan can’t fail with simple foresight? Just build it so it can only be detonated manually. HOLY SHIT.

Oh, right, because Little Evil Bitch shows up with her British-American counterpart projecting a 10km-radius field of idiocy around the Metropolis of Tokyo so your brains just shut down. Have I mistaken this series for a satiric comedy? Because seriously, this episode was so hilarious I couldn’t stand it. Ooh, I guess Five’s supposed to be creepy because she’s a WOMAN and she paints her nails WHILE SMILING. OOOOOOOOOH. I’M SCAAAARED. And why did Aizen Sousuke the Younger get a headache right at that time? And of course the Japanese police are craven and take orders from their real masters: the American Empire. Did you get that message too? Because we all know that random Americans can just show up at the Metropolitan Police Department and shut down the whole cellular network of Tokyo in an hour. America can do that sort of thing. It’s not like there’s this little factor called diplomacy in play that would never allow this to ever ever happen. Because Japan is a puppet of America. America calls the shots. American Empire. You get it?

By the way, Shibazaki got demoted to the archives because he gathered evidence on police corruption and that’s why everyone hates him and he doesn’t give a shit. There, I just figured out his backstory by paying attention to what they say. Lisa and Five are the last hope for this series, but I’m joking of course: there is no hope. Lisa’s just a bashful, repressed Japanese girl and Five’s a deranged psychopath, because no character in an anime–certainly not a woman–can ever not be a dehydrated cliche.

At least the terrorists finally fucked up and killed/hurt some innocent people. Maybe next week something even worse will happen to them. I hope all these twerps fucking die and the evil Americans win. All Hail Columbia.