#3 SEARCH & DESTROY
Game on boys.
With just 8 episodes to go, things have to move on fast as in real life when terrorists give an actual deadline. This week we effectively have all the hints/clues necessary to map out just what Zankyou’s going to be about for the rest of this season (disclaimer – this is purely my speculation of course) – Shimbazaki was the ace detective of First Division who was demoted 15 years ago to archives because of his keen snooping into the supposed suicide of a diet party secretary -> said secretary probably knew about the institute that was training abandoned children including Nine and Twelve -> the boys are plotting a revenge on the city that allowed such an atrocity to happen in the first place, for themselves as well as those left behind in the institute (it seems there’s one more number to be introduced according to the OP and flashback) -> they strategically left just enough clues to let the police link the plutonium stolen 6 months ago to Sphinx -> Shimbazaki is a worthy adversary (just see how Nine smiled) who will eventually figure out how things have come full circle as to Sphinx’s true motive and in the end, morals come into question as to balancing the lesser of 2 evils for the greater good. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself too much here but I’m VERY excited at the prospects of what’s to come with Sphinx being 3 steps ahead of even Shimbazaki who got lucky this time – even Twelve thought the riddle might’ve been too difficult… That’s the beauty of original animes – you just never know what twists lie ahead especially in a thriller genre :)
スピンクスのなぞなぞとけるかな？ Can you solve Sphinx’s riddle?
As cool as Sphinx comes across, let’s not forget that whatever they’re doing is terrorism. I’d be worried and scared of going out in Tokyo if 2 teenagers uploaded public videos of riddles on where their next bomb site is. The videos come across as jokes judging by the way the boys deliver their message in such a heck-care laid-back attitude. How is anyone suppose to feel safe when anywhere could potentially be bombed at any time? Yet this ain’t the joker or the riddler threatening Gotham City in their cynical, camp way. Sphinx is taunting you the citizen of Tokyo, the Tokyo metropolitan police as well as you the viewer. It’s difficult to imagine them as your typical villain much less Japanese teenagers as terrorists. This atypical characterisation is part of what makes Nine and Twelve such interestingly deep characters you just want to pry and find out more about. The police have been played right so easily and before their very eyes. Now they’re scrambling to get ahead in the game or what may seem to some as a game a couple of lonely teenagers are playing at. But they’re not lonely because they have each other, someone they can’t lie to about anything nor keep any secrets from be it ringing in Nine’s ears from being haunted by the memories of their escape or Twelve’s purposeful meeting with Risa last episode.
On the other hand, Shimbazaki is just as interesting a character. Unlike Tokyo Ghoul, Zankyou is a plot-driven thriller where plot comes first and characters come secondary. But Zankyou does it well so meld both together to blur the lines. Shimbazaki’s an ace of the first division detective unit who’s fallen from grace but never forgotten. What I don’t understand is why he hesitated at the end of last episode when told to return to doing what he does best – acting on instincts, outsmarting the criminal and… challenging them. Should he really have talked back to Sphinx publicly like that? Perhaps not but I’m glad he’s got the balls to do it! Visually though his skin tone’s a shade of horrible… is that what happens when a wild bird is caged up in archives? Well at least it did him, the police and all of Tokyo some good because hints and answers just come from all sorts of places don’t they?
After all the events that unfolded this week, Risa’s not forgotten. It may seem like we’re just repeating what we saw last week but no, she’s made a choice (refer ep. 01) this time to up and leave her possessive mother once and for all though not before calling Twelve, who of course doesn’t answer. It goes to show that Risa is willing to become an accomplice right? Even if she disagrees with what Sphinx is doing – that’s how desperate she must be. This is me overthinking things again – isn’t the story of Oedipus similar to Risa’s own? Her father abandoned her, she’s now left home where she’ll probably walk tirelessly until her feet swell no? Or is the story of Sphinx an ode to the boys’ own background where they’re abandoned by their country and now they return to take back what was rightfully theirs?