「文明の到来」 (Bunmei no Tourai)
“The advent of BUNMEI”
In addition to the occult, we have espers, time travelers, and aliens. Hmm, now where have I seen that combination of characters before…? Anyway, while the ingredients are similar, the mix is completely different in Waldstein Academy. As it turns out, Fumiaki was sent back in time to try and save humanity from the alien threat that’s taken over the Earth in 2012. It wasn’t anything like I was expecting, but I admit the revelation sure had some “oomph” to it. What’s more, the alien invasion is believed to be in accordance to the Nostradamus Prophecies, giving us the whole occult side to the story. I gather most of the sci-fi element will take a backseat to the events in 1999 as we go along, but it did help explain the purpose of sending agents back in time. More specifically, we learn that Fumiaki and the previous five time agents who were all killed are searching for Nostradamus’ Key, in hopes that destroying it would prevent the dimensional rift that the aliens came through from opening at Waldstein Academy.
Needless to say, it all sounds pretty far-fetched and almost a bit too outlandish, but this isn’t the first time a piece of fiction has gone for the “changing the past to save the future” bit. Personally, I’m a big fan of time travel in science fiction and the paradoxes that come from the various theories, so learning that they’re trying to save humanity using alien technology makes the premise all the better. Also, the use of Fumiaki’s cellphone camera that can see what something’s like thirteen years in the future if he destroys it or not puts an even more interesting (albeit eery) spin on things. Maya’s shock from using it on herself and seeing a pile of bones was one example of its creepy use, whereas Fumiaki using it in the storage rooms and coming across JK turned out to be a hilarious one. I don’t know why Smile punched JK without warning, but the randomness of that scene added to the laughs. The quirky humor that stemmed from Maya’s abuse of Fumiaki was present throughout — such as when she wanted to test his spoon bending ability but interrupted him for taking too damn long — but the story itself played out really well alongside it.
As hinted by the first episode, the vice-principal Kawashima Chihiro is turning out to be the main suspect behind the death of Maya’s father. Now that Maya’s taken over as principal of the school in accordance to her father’s will and discovered his old research notebook outlining how he was killed for looking into the Nostradamus Prophecies, all of Chihiro’s actions from this point on will be even more suspicious in my eyes. In any case, her involvement still doesn’t explain all the supernatural things going on, which is what I also liked about this episode. Just when it starting feeling like an introduction to Fumiaki’s undercover role as a Japanese history teacher named Abe Minoru, the ghosts came out to try and get rid of Maya before she starts digging for the truth. We can’t have all the sci-fi without the horror right? Overall, this second showing reiterated everything that I liked about the first one, making this the show I look forward to the most on a weekly basis right now. Next week looks like we’ll finally see the introduction of Chihara Minori‘s character, Nakagawa Mikaze, whom I’ve been looking forward to just to see what her role is in all this.