On June 11, 2021, “Trese” was released globally on Netflix for viewers to enjoy. The show, dubbed “A Netflix Original Anime Series”, is based on the original Filipino comic created by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. It tells the story of Alexandra Trese, a supernatural detective, who is thrust into the chaos that emerges in the city of Manila when crimes of a paranormal nature begin to take place one after another.
The show puts heavy emphasis on Filipino folklore, introducing many creatures and practices to a worldwide audience. For many, this could be the first look at Filipino monsters and legends. The show certainly does this fact justice. “Trese” is a wonderfully exciting ride. It provides a short, but compelling story, that ultimately complements the mythology it is based on to a tee.
A bite-sized binge
Netflix’s “Trese” is a very short show. Comprising of only six episodes, each episode clocking at about less than 40 minutes, it is a very easy watch. This is great news for those out there who are looking for a quick binge. It’s even more impressive how much story the show is able to pack into its short runtime. The show opens on a few episodic episodes, telling condensed, bite-sized stories at first. These episodes serve mainly to introduce viewers to the mysteries and intricacies of the world. Of course, scattered throughout these initial episodes are hints toward an overarching plot. These hints pay off more toward the end of the show, where the episodes coalesce to form a larger story with more impact and gravitas.
For a show that was only given six episodes to tell its story, the end result is quite commendable. On top of the thrills and excitement the show brings, the series is able to effectively explore Alexandra Trese’s story, by the end of the show defining who she really is and what she stands for.
Beyond its story, the technical aspects of the show are also quite commendable. The animation is very competent from a visual perspective. While it’s not quite on the level of more mainstream shows, “Trese” does a good job of executing its storytelling in a visually appealing manner. There are a number of chilling moments in the show; these moments are only as effective as the art style allows. The gory, shocking moments wouldn’t hit as hard if the visuals didn’t keep up.
Animation-wise, the show does do a good job. Though there are some action sequences that do feel a bit stiff, these are hardly noticeable and don’t occur too often. At its best, the show is able to inject plenty of energy into its action sequences. There was a point where it was actually surprising how much adrenaline there was in certain scenes, as there was plenty of power and movement in combat. Nothing here is quite on the level of scenes such as Demon Slayer‘s Tanjiro vs. Rui, My Hero Academia‘s Deku vs. Todoroki, or Mob Psycho 100‘s Mob vs. Koyama. But how many things out there are on that level? For what it set out to accomplish, Trese’s visuals are more than good enough.
The music in Trese, while more subtle in nature, does a good job at enhancing the creepy atmosphere the show goes for as well. In many scenes, there will be harrowing music in the background, sometimes accompanied by haunting Filipino chanting. It sets a scene well and is a noteworthy aspect of the show.
Trese’s rich, varied cast
Another impressive thing about Netflix’s “Trese” is the fact that it comes with voice acting in at least three languages, namely English, Filipino, and Japanese. It may seem like a small thing, but to have three audio options for their audience, the show allows itself to be more accessible to more people.
For the most part, the cast does a good job in their acting. Those that stand out, in particular, are Shay Mitchell, Simon dela Cruz, and Apollo Abraham. However, the voice acting isn’t perfect. For one, when the English cast does attempt to sprinkle in the occasional Filipino lines, it comes off as very forced and just not done well. It may not be noticeable for those who are unfamiliar with the Filipino language, but for those who are, the oddities in pronunciation are glaring.
Another thing of note is Liza Soberano’s performance as the Filipino voice for Alexandra Trese. While she doesn’t do a terrible job, her tone is monotonous far too often. Hearing her voice alongside those of other voice actors, who inject a good level of emotion in their performances, the differences are extremely evident. Her Filipino, at times, sounds a tad laborious as well. It’s as though she’s making sure to pronounce each word properly, to the point that the lines don’t sound like a part of an actual conversation. Overall, she puts in a decent performance, but it was hard to ignore these aspects of her work.
None of these things ruin the voice acting or anything. As was mentioned earlier, the cast does a good job in acting overall, being competent in their delivery and execution.
Just a tad flawed
As fun as Netflix’s Trese is, it is a series that is flawed. However, these flaws in the show are very understandable given the circumstances behind the show. It’s likely that there’s no guarantee that “Trese” will get any more seasons. Knowing this, it’s understandable that the showrunners possibly wanted to put in as much story as they could into the show’s little runtime. And despite the undoubted success that this initial outing is, there are certainly other aspects of the show that warrant some criticism.
For one, the show feels rather rushed. Perhaps this is the tradeoff for having so much story in such a small package, but “Trese” certainly feels like it rushes through a number of big moments in its story. With such a small runtime, some may have seen that coming. While it may be due to factors outside of the show creators’ control, it is a rather obvious blight on the series.
Furthermore, by the end, “Trese” feels like it let the cat out of the bag far too early. The escalation that occurs in the last two episodes is rather absurd. It feels like an ending that would feel more earned if given time. Alas, time ultimately was not on the show’s side given its episode count. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the ending, while exciting and thrilling, does not necessarily feel earned. Plot points that arise at the end could have used more time to flesh out and explore the world a bit more.
Trese: a bloody great time
As a whole, “Trese” ultimately proves to be an immensely fun watch. No, it’s not a perfect show by any means. However, it’s got thrills and chills to get viewers on the edge of their seats and brings to life a rich, storied world to get lost in. It has many lively moments and a compelling story to complement it.
“Trese” is now available globally on Netflix! Why not give it a watch? The adventures of Alexandra Trese are not for the faint of heart. However, they certainly make for an exhilarating binge.
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