When the sun sets in the city of Manila, don’t you dare make a wrong turn and end up in that dimly-lit side of the metro, where aswang run the most-wanted kidnapping rings, where kapre are the kingpins of crime, and engkantos slip through the cracks and steal your most precious possessions. When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese.
source: Trese Komiks Press Release
Alexandra Trese | the chosen “babaylan” and 6th child of the 6th, Alexandra takes on the world differently unlike ordinary girls of her age. In her childhood, she witnessed the supernatural and learned her family line mission as leading the balance between the human and supernatural world. At present, she helps out solve supernatural-related crimes with the police.
Kambal (Crispin &Basilio) | Trese’s intimidating and mischievous bodyguards wear smiling and frowning masks when in battle. They call Alexandra Trese as “Bossing” because their purpose is to support and protect her in every battle. As to their backstory, they are demigods adopted by Anton Trese during childhood.
Captain Guerrero | the sergeant assigned with mysterious cases since the time of Anton Trese. At present, he works with Alexandra and understands the supernatural phenomenon than relying fully on human law.
Anton Trese | the father of Alexandra and trained her to grow as a responsible warrior and lakan. He gave Alexandra the dagger named “sinag”, known to have the spirit of Alexandra’s twin sister.
Trese: The Animated Series in Netflix is animation is carried by Lex and Otis Animation Studio. The tone of colors and character design stayed true to the visuals of the comics. They were able to showcase the landmarks in Manila and make the Filipino Folklore creatures such as nuno, kapre and more close on how it is described in Filipino Mythology. Thumbs up! Watch the TRESE: AFTER DARK (in Netflix) if you are interested to learn more about their pre-production stage.
Related Link: The Millionaire Detective: Anime Review
Opening OST – Balluhad Bayauen – Ifugao Ethnic Song | produced by Kiner Music
Ending OST – Paagi by Up Dharma Down
The choice of music in Trese: The Animated Series is well thought of. I am so glad to hear UDD again after all these years. Their music style is suited for a song dedicated to this genre of story.
TRESE in origin is a Filipino Comics series published in 2005 (writer: Budjette Tan; illustrator: Kajo Baldisimo). Though I am aware of Filipino Comics communities because of Komikon, I am not immersed in the modern-day comics of the Philippines. Hence, I really have no idea about Trese in comics series beforehand watching the animated version on Netflix.
As someone new to the story and visuals, my judgment towards the animation was not influenced of any biases from the comics and no reference for a thorough comparison between the two. I really just enjoyed watching the animated version and knowing the story itself. Mind you, this is my first Filipino “anime review” content for my blog. 🙂 Congrats Munting Trese! Haha.
A Global Take on Filipino Folklore and Culture
Netflix is a streaming platform that gives an opportunity for films and tv series to be out to the world. As the global pandemic strike, I became a subscriber and an avid fan of Netflix. Paying for a subscription monthly shows respect to the creative property of artists, actors, and filmmakers in a legal sense than having me just downloading movies for free. :p
Introducing Filipino Folklore and Culture to a global audience through Netflix is amazing and exciting. I watched some reviews on YouTube that such creatures in Philippine mythology and literature should be explored more as it has something more to offer. They love its originality and its relevance to the norms of a foreign culture to them like the Philippines.
I hope this may be the beginning of embracing more Filipino original stories and creation being out on a global platform. Through this, Filipino talents and original stories may be known also around the world. Trese should not remain only as a “hyped” Filipino animated series on Netflix.
Voice Acting Preference
When you are an animation fan, voice dubbing is a big deal. Many are in protest or in the question of why Filipina actress Liza Soberano got the role for it while her voice sounds monotonous the entire time. Honestly, I watched using both English dub and Filipino dub alternately. Meanwhile, my brother chose a Japanese dub. easy right? Haha! Yes, I must say there could be more voice actors that will suit the character of Alexandra Trese. Shay Mitchell (Filam Actress from Glee) did well on her part English dubbing Trese. Eventually, I get by the dubbing of Liza Soberano because I am more into digesting the story.
Watching the Trese: After Dark, I realized that most of the production people are a blend of Filipino Americans. In order to cater to a foreign audience, a part of it must be relatable to them as well so maybe that’s the reason why they cast Liza to do it. She is articulate and well-versed during the interview session so ok, why not. But maybe next time, we can make more Filipino be involved in projects like this. Let us stop spreading hate, guys. 🙂
Chunking of Episodes
Among all the things in Trese, the chops and chunking of storyline per episode is my major concern. I suggest that the series must be extended to 9 to 10 episodes at least. This will help elaborate properly on the backstory of Alexandra Trese and the present time crimes they are solving. The parts that need more storyline support are about the white lady, tsanak, and lightning man. There are times I am confused and almost drop the episode. Thanks to the fun twins who are keeping up the humor that balances Trese’s rigid facade. With that, I decided to finish watching the 6 episodes in one sitting. :p
Is it worth the hype?
I remember how they market TRESE animated series. The vandalized billboard pictures became viral over social media. It was a clever move to catch the attention of people. Though at first, I was thinking why they are pouring too much effort into this project that it might be for a short show only. Now, I have trust issues. Haha!
Overall, I think Trese on Netflix is worth watching and raised the chance of more Filipino animations to be produced in the future. I appreciate more the cityscape of Manila and our own Folklore by watching it. Kudos to team Trese! Thank you!
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Do we have the same thoughts on this anime? Please share about it in the comments section. Or, you can also recommend other anime to watch with this same genre. Thanks for reading!
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NOTE: THE CRITIQUE AND RATING OF THE ANIME SERIES ARE ONLY BASED ON THE OPINION OF THE REVIEWER.
Anime aren’t usually my ‘thing’, but I really like the sound of this! I’ll have to check this out, thanks for sharing x
Hello Sophie! Thanks for visiting my blog the first time. 🙂
Yes, Trese is one good animation that presents Filipino Mythology.
You should try watching. <3