「才能の時間」 (Sainou no Jikan)
Based on my previous posts, many of you know I have grievances with the ‘trouble of the week’ format of this show. Many of of the character developments would be more impacting given at least another episode. Fitting conflict with resolution in 20 minutes just isn’t enough time. Today’s conflict goes against that trend. That scum of the earth is gone from the school just as soon as he arrived. I only wish that he’d have left sooner.
This is not a statement on the show’s quality though. It was a pleasure seeing Takaoka Akira (Miyake Kenta) get a proper beat down by Nagisa and Karasuma. The two of them don’t get to employ their physical abilities often, so who else to show off their sleek skills other than a terrible sadist? Yeah, seeing Kanzaki and Maehara get beat down was hard to watch, but man, the look on Takaoka’s face when he got told, especially after all that smack talk, was golden. I’m sure this isn’t the last time we see Takaoka though, since his jealousy towards Karasuma and his grudge against Nagisa would be wasted if he just stopped here. I fear the day that he does come back, but I know for sure he won’t succeed.
Although infuriating, Takaoka’s presence makes sense from the perspective of the Ministry of Defense. With 8 months left until the presumed end of the world, it is entirely understandable for humanity to employ extreme methods to preserve itself against an external threat. Takaoka represented a government’s desire to expedite the process, perhaps rightfully so from their eyes, just as the introduction of Shiro and Artillery seemed plausible to deploy despite their consequences. The pain and even loss of a few students matters not when a few billion people’s lives are on the line.
We as an audience though do not share that perspective and conclusion…or at least I hope we don’t. Apart from the hope that Koro-sensei won’t actually destroy the world, it is hard for us to see children who have grown on us for 12 episodes go through such immediate, excruciating, unfair, and above all malicious pain. It is not a necessity for these students to be killed for an example, but it is the twisted view of an individual corrupted by their own jealousy, who happened to garner the attention of a few worrisome leaders. Takaoka makes for a poor villain in this regard, as even chairman Asano disagrees with his extreme methods as ineffective. However, with Takaoka’s departure also marks another step up in the complexity and magnitude of Korosensei’s opponents, both within the class and from government organizations. His presence was necessary for us to really understand to what lengths the world will go to save itself, even if it’s not pretty. Long gone are the simple methods of hiding a knife under a poem; let us welcome the really juicy stuff that makes for a compelling plot. Let the games begin, however brutal and challenging they may be.