Prior to Twelve revealing his synesthesia to Lisa by telling her that her voice is a “pale yellow,” another character in Terror in Resonance had already been associated with that same color by her unruly mop of hair.
Nine is haunted by Five. His recurring dreams of her always include the tow-headed girl stopping short of a chain-link fence that the Nine and Twelve climb, presumably to escape the institute that all three children were placed in. At first, we see him shout back at her before she is engulfed in orange flames and disappears.
As the series progresses, we are privy to more of Nine’s dream. Episode three offers the first flashback to the group of academy children. Five’s pale yellow hair immediately stands out from the rest of the children. The shot below occurs in a scene where a researcher speaks of eradicating any illusion of love or caring by eliminating their names.
The children listen to her, all looking somewhat horrified save for Five, who merely appears to be bored. Nine and Twelve peer into the room to watch the attendant deliver her speech and their eyes immediately focus on Five, as do ours by default. While the faceless researcher explains that they will be renamed with no pretense of love or individuality, Five stands out regardless to both us and the boys.
This sequence is then combined with the pieces of Nine’s memories that we already know. The two boys are chased by Five until they reach the chain link fence. As they climb, Five collapses onto the ground. Nine turns to yell. Five bursts into flames.
Episode five introduces present-day Five in a sequence of cool blues and purples. Gone is her signature pale yellow mop that identified her in the crowd of abandoned children. It is replaced by a head of white hair that reflects the blues that frame her entrance. Terror in Resonance tends to associate blue – even in its most vibrant forms – with distance. Although she lands in Japan to chase after the two boys that she grew up with, the distance between Five and Sphinx continues to grow.
Nine’s recollections in episode five build on the mysterious institution shown in episode three. The same music track used for previous nightmares and memories screeches through quick cuts of the previously established sequence: the kids at the academy, Nine and Twelve, Five standing out in the crowd of children. This transitions into Five holding her hands over her eyes in a game of hide and seek, repeating “Are you ready?” in a sing-song melody that matches the music.
In all of Nine’s flashbacks, Five stands out due to her hair color. This particular sequence is interspersed with Five’s furious typing and her swaying silver earring which, like her hair, is the slightest shade of blue.
Terror in Resonance dresses Five in both pale yellow and blue throughout the above sequence. The blue figure is the flesh and blood Five, sitting in a car following her triumph over Nine. Shown in the car window and illuminated by streetlamps is the pale yellow Five, only seen in reflections and Nine’s recollections.
Notably, in the sixth episode sequence, Five’s hair begins to glow. The shadows are where these characters are made more comfortable within the series, while the brightly-lit scenes are far more terrifying. As the figure of Five begins to laugh maniacally, her yellow hair – the defining feature that draws our attention to her – is illuminated from front to back. Unlike previous flashbacks, where Five was engulfed in flames before disappearing, Nine can only watch in horror as Five bursts into light before exploding.
“I wonder if she holds a grudge against us.”
“At that time, if she had wanted to run away, she could have. I’m sure she just wants to play a game.”
– Conversation between Twelve and Nine, Terror in Resonance, episode 6
Twelve and Nine are of two different mindsets when they speak of Five, just as they are when they talk about Lisa Mishima. While Twelve’s words hold a certain amount of guilt in them – perhaps if they had tried harder to save her, Five could have escaped with them – Nine is resolute, asserting that Five could have come with them had she wanted to.
However, Nine’s nightmares haunt him more with each passing episode, and they all center around the image Five falling short of the fence, unable to escape with the boys. Twelve audibly expresses guilt, but Nine’s every action is steeped in it, in spite of the fact that he maintains Five is simply playing a game. Meanwhile, he continues to rebuff Lisa, who is effectively Five’s stand-in.
“It’s a pale yellow. Your voice. You know, I have this thing called synesthesia where I can see colors in sound. Yeah, but you know, I hardly ever see a voice in that color. It’s rare. I mean it.”
– Twelve to Lisa Mishima, Terror in Resonance, episode six
Thanks to Twelve’s words, the color of pale yellow, featured first through Five’s hair, further unites Lisa and Five. In the entire scene that follows, and previously while folding laundry, she is placed near clothing of that color. There are a myriad of questions that Lisa could have asked of Twelve in this moment. She could have wondered what colors he saw in other sounds, or other voices. Instead, she speaks of her loneliness by saying that she’s in the way. While hiding at Nine and Twelve’s place was a brief respite, there is still no place for Lisa with the two until they let her in.
As Lisa affirms that there is not yet a place for her with Nine and Twelve, she grips the chain-link fence of the roof. Like Five, she has chased the boys to a chain-link fence and a point of no return. She must choose to aid them or lose her last place in the world.
“Um . . . Kokonoe . . . I mean, Nine! I want to be one of you. So even though I can’t handle bombs and stuff yet, I’ll try hard!”
– Lisa Mishima to Nine, Terror in Resonance, episode 6
Terror in Resonance once again shows attention to detail in naming. When Lisa begs to be included in this operation, she calls Nine “Nine” as opposed to the false name of Arata Kokonoe.
Lastly, when Lisa is shown at the airport, she is illuminated from behind with pale yellow light and framed with foliage much like the Five in Nine’s flashbacks. However, the edges of the shot are tinted with green, not a foreboding orange. In lieu of the screeching background track of “lolol,” the music stops for the same amount of time that the camera lingers on Lisa. Only the muted sounds of the airport can be heard. Everything is quiet, and her figure serene.