Netflix is experimenting with multicultural Anime Shows/Films to expand its coverage and gather more intriguing tales worldwide. Well, it’s a laudable endeavor as many viewers (including me) are bored to death, watching “all American” narratives on the screen. A change is needed, and now it’s inevitable. Filipino animated series, Trese is an occult detective tale but captures much more realistic subjects through supernatural folklores. Some stories, figures, and characters that have never been experienced before.
Alexandra Trese is a young detective who investigates supernatural crimes and underworld criminals in Metro Manila (the capital of the Philippines). While most of the episodes of the series are standalone integrations, a flashback layer connects the dots to Trese’s origins. The whole show is heavily inspired by Filipino folktales and incorporates demons and gods from the same.
Through a supernatural spectrum, the series underlines some realistic crimes that threatens the Philippines or the world. On the practical side, it focuses on drug wars, corrupt officers, and dirty politicians that stain our society. They not only feed on government machinery but indulge in human trafficking and promoting gang wars. A character in the first episode, Mayar Santamaria, plays the role of an ultimate protagonist. He kills his mistress and collaborates with vampires to win elections (except vampires, our world is filled with folks like Santamaria).
Similarly, one of the episodes also deals with myths from Catholicism. A vampire-like creature, tiyanak comes back to life and haunts its mother, an actress who aborted the child to avoid putting blemish on her Hollywood career. Roman Catholic, the dominant religion of the lands, identifies abortion as a deadly sin. The supernatural vampire coming back to life and terrifying its mother is a symbolic reference of the cultural myth.
The narrative also resembles with John Constantine, who is a popular occult detective. In the comic series, Constantine dealt with supernatural criminals as well, but he is majorly an anti-hero rather than a healer and savior like Alexandra Trese.
The series is a bouquet of some intriguing characters coming straight out of the folklore, keeping you engaged throughout. The clean and crisp contrasting graphics supplements the narrative, like a cherry on the top. Voiced by the beautiful Liza Soberano (in Filipino), the series even surpassed (in terms of engagement) Yazuke, a Japanese animated series about a black samurai. Through its mythical storyline, it also explores and connects with Babylon’s roots, a unique territory for audiences throughout the world.
Showcasing such a meaty anime drama and linking to the history is an enhancement that would provide much more quality content throughout the world. Without a global competition, the creators often take the audience for granted and serve anything they find feasible. But a drama like Trese and its success is a ray of hope and a message to creators worldwide that the audience can only be lured by the depth and not by flimsiness.
For anime lovers, Trese is a tempting treat. In 6 episodes of half-hour each, it captures a realm that is both intriguing and illuminating. If you are looking for an engaging anime drama, then Trese would be everything you might be looking for.
Read More – ‘Trese’ Season 1 Ending, Explained
Trese is a 2021 Filipino animated series based on the “komik” book of the same name. Season 1 is streaming on Netflix.