Zankyou no Terror: Captivating Finale – Retrospective on Hidden Depths

The Importance of Writing in Zankyou no Terror

When it comes to evaluating the quality of a show, there are many factors to consider. From direction to music, each element plays a significant role. However, one aspect that stands out is the writing. No matter how well other aspects may be executed, if the writing is lacking, the show can never truly reach its full potential. In the case of Zankyou no Terror, this becomes all too apparent.

A Powerful Ending, Despite the Flaws

Let’s start by acknowledging that the last episode of Zankyou no Terror was undeniably impactful. It was emotionally stirring, thanks to its staging and beautifully composed closing credits music. However, once we begin dissecting the events on-screen, problems arise. The character development takes serious missteps, and there is a pervasive sense of xenophobia throughout the series. Most importantly, the plot makes almost no sense.

Now, one might argue that coherence is subjective. After all, Zankyou no Terror is no different from movies like Independence Day or Air Force One, which also prioritize entertainment value over realism. However, the show presents itself as a political and sociological commentary, aiming to be thought-provoking and introspective. While it occasionally achieves this goal, it also introduces plot developments that defy logic, undermining its credibility in the process. If a show wants to be taken seriously, it must take its story seriously.

Senseless Plot Developments

One of the first signs of trouble in Zankyou no Terror was the concept that no one was dying in the attacks orchestrated by Sphinx, the series’ central protagonists. This notion is clearly unrealistic and clashes with the initial high-level execution of the show. However, this is just the beginning.

Let’s examine the high-altitude nuclear explosion. While plausible in itself, the aftermath is portrayed in a nonsensical manner. While the explosion would generate a significant electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and knock out electronics, it disregards the tens of thousands of people reliant on life support systems in hospitals. It also fails to address the plight of panic-stricken individuals attempting to flee the chaos in a limited timeframe. These inconsistencies undermine the series’ premise, diluting the morally ambiguous stance of the protagonists and compromising the narrative’s structural integrity.

Furthermore, the ending sequence raises further questions. The arrival of U.S. helicopters at the boys’ former prison appears to vilify Americans, portraying them as cartoonishly evil. However, their selective targeting of Twelve rather than Nine seems illogical, purely for dramatic effect. Leaving witnesses who possess crucial knowledge intact also flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Such plot inconsistencies detract from the overall sense of coherence and undermine the show’s potential.

Missed Opportunities and the Power of the Ending

Despite its shortcomings, Zankyou no Terror had the seeds of a compelling story with potential. The denouement involving Twelve and Nine returning to their “home” for their final days, playing like children as Japan grappled with the unanswered questions they posed, was a powerful conclusion. Lisa finding solace and a sense of belonging among these ultimate outcasts would have added further emotional resonance. The final moments and the reveal of “VON” held true to the series’ initial promise, showcasing moments of brilliance in image and music composition.

Ultimately, Zankyou no Terror is a challenging series to categorize. It falls short of its predecessor, Sakamichi no Apollon, in terms of overall quality. While it shares the presence of sublime scenes, it fails to coalesce into a cohesive whole. The dynamic between Shibazaki and the boys stood out as the series’ strongest aspect, but it was often sidelined. The inclusion of the character Five also contributed to a lackluster middle section. When evaluating a show, both its best moments and its overall consistency matter. In the case of Zankyou no Terror, it is a mixed bag, but one that offers glimpses of greatness amidst its flaws.


In conclusion, Zankyou no Terror highlights the critical role of writing in anime. No matter how well other elements are executed, if the writing lacks coherence and fails to present a logical plot, the show cannot achieve greatness. While the series had its moments of brilliance, it failed to sustain this quality consistently. By disregarding logical storytelling and introducing plot inconsistencies, Zankyou no Terror hindered its own potential. However, it serves as a reminder of the importance of strong writing in delivering a truly exceptional and memorable anime experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Zankyou no Terror worth watching despite its flaws?

Yes, despite its shortcomings, Zankyou no Terror offers moments of brilliance that make it worth watching. Its unique premise and impactful ending still resonate with many viewers.

2. Does Zankyou no Terror prioritize entertainment over realism?

While Zankyou no Terror presents itself as a thought-provoking political and sociological commentary, it occasionally sacrifices realism in favor of entertainment value. This can be both a strength and a weakness, depending on individual viewer preferences.

3. Why did Zankyou no Terror introduce plot developments that made no sense?

The inclusion of illogical plot developments in Zankyou no Terror was a missed opportunity to create morally ambiguous anti-heroes. By attempting to strike a balance between a thought-provoking narrative and adrenaline-fueled action, the series compromised its overall coherence.

4. How does Zankyou no Terror compare to other anime by Watanabe-sensei?

Zankyou no Terror falls short of the excellence achieved by Watanabe-sensei’s previous work, Sakamichi no Apollon. While both series exhibit moments of brilliance, Zankyou no Terror fails to weave them into a consistently compelling narrative.

5. What can we learn from Zankyou no Terror about the importance of writing in anime?

Zankyou no Terror serves as a reminder that writing is a crucial component of anime. Regardless of how well other aspects are executed, the writing must provide a coherent and engaging story. Only then can a series reach its full potential and leave a lasting impact on viewers.