Terror in Resonance

Mary Had a Little Lamb, My Fair Lady: Terrorism in Mawaru Penguindrum and Terror in Resonance

Five, Five at her computer, zantero, zankyou no terror, terror in resonance, terror in tokyo

“Anyway, do you really think those guys have a future?”

– Five, to Lisa Mishima, Terror in Resonance, episode 8

Five has a future. She chose – according to Nine – to stay in the Rising Peace Academy, and therefore has been able to fashion herself quite the future from this decision. Thanks to the academy, Five has a cozy gig with the ISA and does not have to worry about her career. She commandeers an entire airport, blows up an airplane, and bombs an apartment, receiving only the gentle admonishment of, “Please show some moderation.” from her superiors. She has little need to worry about her own future, provided that she meets their goals.


Terror in Resonance and Playing by the Rules

zankyou no terror, terror chess, chess in the airport, five and nine play chess, five, terror in resonance episode 7

Monopoly is, and always has been, a boring game to me. Growing up, my brother and I would try to spice things up by playing something we called “Mafia Monopoly.” This is a fancy way of saying that we slipped each other money beneath the table and made clandestine deals with one another in an attempt to gang up on my parents and end the game in under an hour. Our parents turned a blind eye most likely because they wanted to spend time with us, even if we were dirty rotten cheaters. Similarly, I had another friend who would say the classic, “Oops! I dropped my cards!” after melodramatically performing the act before slipping extra cards into his hand. We put up with it because we liked him as a friend, even though he was a horrid card player.

When Five lays the groundwork for her chess match with Nine, she presumably also sets the rules. It is the job of Nine and Twelve to respond accordingly. She chooses the playing field. She sets the stage. She decides the goal. Unlike the rules of Monopoly – or the game she is modeling her interactions with Nine after, chess – the rules are hers to construct and break as she pleases. This makes the chess match in episode seven of Terror in Resonance a bit of a boring game for the audience; however, the parry and riposte from Sphinx and Shibazaki speak to the crumbling of established rules within the series.


Food, Friendship, and Five

lisa's food, lisa mishima, lisa cooks burnt food for nine and twelve, nine, twelve, burnt food, terror in resonance, lisa cooks sphinx dinner

“But you know, terrible food has value in a sense too. I mean, do you even remember the food we ate in that place? I can’t remember the taste of it at all. In that place, eating was just another task.”

– Twelve regarding Lisa’s burnt cooking, Terror in Resonance, episode five

Lisa Mishima is no cook. This does not deter her from a dogged attempt to make herself useful by providing Sphinx with sustenance. Food is often used as a shortcut for building an emotional connection with another person. If one wants to get to know someone better, they share a meal with them. If one wants to show how much they care about someone, they prepare a meal for them.


The Safety, and Terror, of Invisibility: Naming and Avatars in Terror in Resonance

terror in resonance, zankyou no terror, nine and twelve breaking into the aomori plant, nine's eye

“No matter how cleverly you erase records and tracks, you can’t erase a person’s memory. Besides, I wanted to feel it. The view they saw. The sounds they heard. The air they breathed. To feel those things.”

-Shibazaki, Terror in Resonance, episode four

Invisibility makes it both incredibly easy and difficult for one to act. Shibazaki visits Aomori in an attempt to remove the cloak of invisibility that shrouds Nine and Twelve. For Nine and Twelve, this likely marks the first time that anyone has tried to know them at all.