As anime expands and becomes more accessible to many across the world; we are starting to see variety of animes appear. Netflix and Crunchyroll have taken the lead of bringing original animes, donghua and adaptations to their streaming services. One of these projects is Trese, a Filipino inspired anime. Trese is based on a Filipino comic series written by Budjette Tan and illustrated by Kajo Baldisimo. As the series took off in the Philippines, it inspired Netflix to create this anime.
In this series, we follow our protagonist Alexandra Trese, a private detective who specializes in cases involving supernatural crimes. We are taken to Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Throughout the series, we are taken to a dark and chaotic world of humans and supernatural beings “co-existing.” We are immersed into the Filipino culture through its folklore and mythology. Legends and myths that are used to scare young children or scary stories people share during their childhood come to life in the world of Trese. We are able to see these creatures and god/goddess as they interact with our protagonist. For those unaware of Filipino culture, Trese does an interesting introduction to figures that belong to both classic and indigenous Filipino legends.
Furthermore, we are also taken through the city of Manila with hints of realism and fantasy. Traversing the city of Manila, we are able to see part of Philippines and culture in a different light. As the series progresses, we become aware of corruptive politicians and socioeconomical disparity throughout the animation. Having a dark theme surrounding the anime, it highlights the supernatural aspects of the series, making the show even more enjoyable.
As for the animation style, it is not your traditional anime. This series reminds me strongly of the Blood + or Blood C franchise. Its dark and gory presence is not for the faint of heart. The animation flows nicely, and the color pallet used in this series makes it even more enjoyable. The dark colors alongside bright colors (reds, white/silver, blues) give this series a gothic aesthetic. Additionally, our protagonist is a strong, badass female. Giving Selene from Underworld vibes we see her take on these supernatural beings to uncover the truth. All in all, Trese is an anime that will have you captivated from the beginning. Check out this, anime if you are in the mood for culture, horror and gore. You won’t be disappointed!