New season of The Terror calls attention to Japanese-American suffering

The return of the horror anthology series is set to the backdrop of horrors experienced in America’s Japanese internment camps.

After a highly celebrated first season, the horror anthology series The Terror is returning to AMC with an even darker, more unsettling story.

The scariest part? This twisted tale is not entirely a work of fiction.

What’s the story about?

The debut season of The Terror proved the series to be an instant classic, and it quickly amassed a cult following with its moody and dark storytelling. On August 12, the series returns with a new cast and storyline, this time detailing a sinister tale of supernatural events – all set to the backdrop of the real-life horrors experienced in America’s Japanese internment camps during World War 2. 

The historic piece follows Chester Nakayama, an American man of Japanese descent, as he and his family navigate the devastating reality of being interned within their own country, while being haunted by malevolent specters who are intent on spreading suffering and terror. Those familiar with Japanese horror folklore will be pleased to hear bakemono and yūrei both mentioned in the trailer.

What’s special about The Terror: Infamy is more than just its historic setting (and frightening current relevance). The show is already being praised for its unapologetic depiction of racism, tradition, and diaspora, as well as its attempt to call attention to the painful and infrequently discussed injustice that Japanese-Americans suffered during the war. 

George Takei, who was imprisoned in the camps in his youth, actually consulted on the project as well; several of his childhood memories were written into the series. While The Terror: Infamy is first and foremost a horror story, it intertwines questions around power, race, and displacement, begging the question: Who’s the real monster here?  

The Terror: Infamy debuts on August 12 on AMC.  

Photo credit: AMC

Who is in it?

The second season of The Terror features a predominantly Asian cast, including Greek’s Derek Mio as Chester, The Man In the High Castle’s Lee Shorten as Walt Yoshida, The Wolverine’s Shingo Usami, Torchwood’s Naoko Mori, Westworld’s Kiki Sukezane, 9-1-1’s Miki Ishikawa, and most notably Star Trek’s Takei, who has been outspoken about his childhood experiences in the Japanese internment camps.

The representation continues behind the scenes, with True Blood’s Alexander Woo leading the show.

Interesting Tidbits

Takei is neighbours with showrunner and co-creator Woo, who travelled five blocks from his house to recruit Takei as a consultant and cast member.

Making Asian American media

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