The Terror: Infamy – Taizo Review
On this week’s episode of The Terror : Infamy, Taizo, we get some insight to how Yuko (Kiki Sukezane) became the spirit she is now, Chester (Derek Mio) returns home to find that the yurei still follows him, and Henry (Shingo Usami) and Asako (Naoko Mori) decide to tell Chester the truth.
Questions about Yuko’s past and intentions with Chester are finally answered as the first half of the episode delves into Yuko’s past. In Taizo, we see that Yuko’s arranged marriage to Hideo (Eiji Inoue) ended because of her being pregnant and she was forced to survive on the streets. Wanting a better life for her child, Yuko ultimately decides to give up her son for adoption and ends her life by jumping off a bridge and drowning in the water below. However, Yuko ends up waking up and finding herself in the care of a mysterious woman (Natsuki Kunimoto) she met before jumping off the bridge. The set design is perfect for the strange dreamscape that Yuko awakes into as it evokes a sense of tranquility and eeriness. It’s a place that seems safe at first glance but holds a sense of isolation and darkness that can be felt. Even the performance from Kunimoto evokes this feeling mystery and the dialogue between her and Sukezane adds a special blend of tension to this entire sequence.
The tranquility ends, though, once Yuko begins to understand who her captor and what this new place actually is. As Yuko begins to understand that this mysterious person is an ancestor of hers and that her hopes are for Yuko to stay and be a replacement for her dead daughter – it allows for things to take a horrifying turn. Not only does Yuko tricking the mysterious captor onto the sand offer a terrifying image as she is ripped down by dead hands to be completely swallowed whole, but it finally makes viewers understand her motivations for wanting to return to living world. Before this, Yuko simply seemed like a vengeful, evil spirit that wanted to wreak havoc, however, now that her true motivations have come to the surface, Yuko is finally shown as a very deep character. Her desire to be a real mother to her son is admirable and makes her more of tragic character than a pure antagonist. Don’t get me wrong, the way she still possesses and kills people definitely sends mixed messages, but her intentions are clear, and seeing her rise from grave shows that the second half of this season is all in on delivering true terror.
The second half of the episode focuses on Chester’s homecoming as he deals with the death of his sons and Luz (Cristina Rodlo) leaving as he learns the truth about why Yuko is haunting him. Chester’s return isn’t exactly the best as he has trouble dealing with the fact that both his family, in a sense, is gone and that the truth that his parents reveal to him causes a divide. While the reveal that Yuko is actually Chester’s mother didn’t come as much of a shock as the series hasn’t exactly mastered the art of subtlety, it’s definitely a reveal that makes devastating waves within the group.
Chester no longer respects for his parents, especially Henry, and now searches for a way to end this nightmare for good. Personally, while I love the twist and am sure that it will have a deeper impact in later episodes, the impact it leaves on Chester is a little too minimal at the moment. Obviously there needed to be time for Yamato (George Takei) to come in an perform the intriguingly creepy ritual in an attempt to destroy Yuko’s body, but there’s wasn’t enough time given for Chester and his “parents” dispute to make it seem like there’s a lasting impact. Either way, the ritual scene is awesome and even though the group might think that Yuko is gone, little footprints and a seemingly deadly illness shown in the next preview show that they’re not quite out of the woods just yet.
Taizo is another strong episode for The Terror: Infamy as it delves deep into Yuko’s past and her connection to Chester. With the group seeming dealing with illness that spread across the camp, Infamy definitely has more tricks up it’s sleeve that are ready to be unleashed.