Terror in Resonance - Final Thoughts
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Sep. 26th, 2014 | 04:32 pm
Despite how I grew to hate the show the further it went, the ending was pretty good, I actually liked it. Overall it had a great beginning and a nice end but the process it took to get there was horrible. That's the gist of my impressions, now for the TL;DR version. Avoid if the mere thought of someone having a different opinion than yours triggers you or something.
Spoiler warning because it obviously covers the events of the finale:
Ultimately it feels like the show suffered from one of the common issues faced by other ambitious one-cour noitaminA titles: Wanting to do a lot while not being aware that it needed more than 11 episodes to satisfyingly pull it off. There were other issues that would've popped up regardless of the length (E.g. Five, Five, Five, Five and everything surrounding Five) but that's for another paragraph. What Zantero tried to do with Nine, Twelve and Lisa relies heavily on fleshing them out as characters and effectively portraying the relationships needed to give weight to the ending where the boys die and Lisa is left alone again but changed for the better.
Twelve often brings up how he and Nine had no one but each other yet it doesn't seem like the show really drove the point home enough. To make matters worse, the romantic subplot between Twelve and Lisa comes along and breaks that so called bond with little effort. It isn't bad enough that Twelve falling for Lisa was so poorly executed and hardly believeable as it is, they just had to create a situation where Twelve would choose walking into an obvious trap for a girl he hardly knew over fulfilling his and Nine's life long goal. This isn't a sappy teen drama where the stakes are who gets to go to the prom with the girl, we're talking about two boys who escaped an inhumane ~secret~ facility, lived with limited time relying on each other and had a goal so huge it involved terrorism and an atomic bomb. Are you telling me the power of love with a poor, troubled, lonely girl you only recently knew is all it takes to threaten all that? Is that all it amounted to in the end? Really?
What Zantero needed wasn't a romantic subplot, what it really needed was meaningful interactions between Lisa and the boys. Maybe if she were allowed to interact with Nine enough instead of solely Twelve he would have given more of a damn towards her and the boys might've given a bit more thought into saving her ass while carrying out the final stage of their plan instead of splitting up so Twelve could have a romantic ferris wheel scene and be forced to sell Nine out. Nah, we can't have things go that smoothly, we need CONFLICT, DRAMA, TEEN ANGST! Who the hell decided that romance is even necessary whenever a cast consists of a girl and boy(s)? Can it not lead to beautiful friendship instead?
Next is Twelve who came off as dangerous, unpredictable and somewhat psychotic but ultimately turned out to be an innocent angel who let puberty get the better of him. All the sinister vibes he gave off in the first two episodes effectively vanished right after. It's not character development, it's the writers thrashing an element that was more complicated to handle than they thought. Soma Saito described Twelve as an innocent character with a hint of cruelty who changes through dealing with others (a.k.a. Lisa) but again none of their interactions before the big split between him and Nine was convincing enough. At best it came off as him discovering a kindred spirirt (albeit one whose problems are nothing compared to what he faces).
Then there's Five, a disturbed girl meant to represent the effects of the Athena Project on someone who stayed for the whole course, a tragic victim in her own right. Instead she becomes the embodiment of all the dumb decisions and leaps of logic the show makes. Her presence drives the plot straight into Hollywood action thriller territory, complete with big bad USA. The fact it takes so long before Clarence(? I forgot his name already) deems her actions overboard and relieves her of her duty is astounding. What, was trying to bomb an airport full of innocent people not enough? As expected of someone idiotic enough to die by the oldest trick in the book at the hands of a clearly unstable girl with a gun he knew all to well she held and had been firing. Though I said I liked the finale, I stil scratched my head at the feds coming in to silence the boys to cover Five's nonsense. Nine holds a detonator, but you've been told to kill them anyway, so obviously this means you shoot Twelve instead and leave a long enough gap for Nine to cry and you know, potentially set the bomb off? Why not shoot him first? You have a better chance of him not setting it off as he dies instead of provoking him this badly. Right, they needed to kill Twelve somehow since he wasn't dying sooner enough compared to Five and Nine. Pretty convenient that Nine happened to succumb to his illness right after.
There'll be no end to this if I continue listing my complaints, so I'll leave it at that. I'll just finish by saying that they should've removed Five altogether and spent the time on the boys building an actual relationship with Lisa. Roughly half the story is taken up by Shibazaki investigating after all, so they're even more pressed for screentime as it is. If they want suspense and conflict they could always introduce close shaves with other investigators/cops (that'll at least show that there are more competent peoeple besides Shibazaki around) or have a Sphinx plan go wrong without the need for a crazy super hacker girl. I'm not even going to suggest making Twelve more interesting with the intial angle they hinted at or removing Lisa altogether, that's asking for too much already.
Long story short, Haikyuu!! is a great show with a loveable variety of characters, satisfying drama/growth, gripping matches and depicts volleyball with enough realism to not feel like sports with superpowers. Everyone should watch it.