Trese is a Filipino animated series directed by Jay Oliva, Tim Divar, David Hartman and Mel Zwyer. It is based on the Filipino komik series of the same name by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. The English voice cast includes Shay Mitchell, Griffin Puatu, Nicole Scherzinger and Carlos Alazraqui, alongside other members.
Netflix describes Trese as “In Manila, where dark supernatural forces pervade the criminal underworld, it’s up to Alexandra Trese to keep the peace — but there’s a storm brewing.”
And a storm is right. Trese doesn’t try to beat around the bush. From the get-go, the fantasy-horror series introduces a few supernatural goons and the kickass protagonist Alexandra Trese. We get a very surprising murder within minutes of that and from there on out, it’s just minute after minute of action and ghouls.
We make introductions with Trese slowly. There are no background stories in the first few minutes; essentially, the series doesn’t care about making you understand who she is before throwing you down the rabbit hole. Thus, you slowly get to know her as the series progresses. If you, like me, are someone who hasn’t read the comic before, then it might come as a little bit of a shock. However, it’s not really a bother since there’s just so much going on most of the time.
Additionally, I really liked her character. She’s feisty af and takes shit from no one. Her strength, resilience and the way in which she stands up in front of adversaries for the greater good is nice to watch. Honestly, it gives you a certain amount of hope.
Trese has six episodes, each has a different case that our protagonist needs to solve while also having a common thread that binds the series together as a whole. It’s a format that a lot of “crime” series follow and it works well for the most part. Here, the thread that binds the series together is Alexandra’s background and a peek into how she became who she is. Of course, there are other things too, but I’ll leave that for you to find out.
It is also interesting to see how the series showcases that creatures such as these live among humans and everyone knows about them. It’s a part of everyday life and just like humans, there are good and bad variants of them. The folklore is seriously interesting to see and peeling back how Alexandra is a part of all of this adds flavour to that dish.
The action sequences, too, are pretty hard-hitting. It’s great to watch Trese beating the shit out of a bunch of ghouls with a broom and then extracting someone’s eye (there is a good amount of the latter). If you have kids with you, it’s probably a good idea to not have them with you for this one. The ghosts and ghouls, too, might turn out to be pretty scary for kids in addition to the huge amounts of blood. But adults who love stories of folklore, mysticism and horror, in general, are going to seriously enjoy it.
Furthermore, I loved the animation style of the series. We all expect anime to be something that belongs exclusively to Japan and anticipate great things from them. And while that is very true, Trese makes a mark in that respect. This Filipino series is unique as it is old and it gives a lot for you to enjoy. The principal English voice cast including Shay Mitchell, Griffin Puatu, Nicole Scherzinger and Carlos Alazraqui is great to hear and add all the flavours that are required from a series such as this.
Summing up: Trese
Trese Netflix series is a good addition to horror and anime. The series adds good punches and gets you hooked to it from start to finish. There are a lot of things to unpack and it helps the audience do so very well. With a runtime of 30 minutes each episode, it’s short enough to not be bored by the sheer length of it but not heavy enough for you to feel bogged down. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it. With a kickass protagonist like Alexandra, it’s absolutely a blast.
Trese is streaming on Netflix.
Edit on 11 June 2021: Trese is a Filipino TV series instead of Indonesian-Singaporean, as was previously written.