「遅れてきた転校生」 (Okurete Kita Tenkōsei)
“The Delayed Transfer Student”
I avoided most of the promotional material for Classroom Crisis before it aired, and decided to blog it based on nothing about it other than that it was supposed to be some rom-com set on Mars. If, a year ago when I started writing for RandomC, someone had told me I would spend multiple seasons in a row blogging romantic comedies I would have laughed at them. Yet, here we are. Where did it all go wrong?
In all seriousness, I don’t really have anything against rom-coms (dead genre though they seem to be in the West), and it’s not evident from the first episode that Classroom Crisis is a romantic comedy. Sure, there’s the highschool setting that is oh so common in anime, but this one is apparently appended to a megacorporation. We start with the introduction of a transfer student, a common opener, but this one is being held hostage. And of course, the whole thing is set In the Future. So if Classroom Crisis was trying to distinguish itself, I’ll say: mission accomplished. In doing so, though, I’m left not really sure what Classroom Crisis actually is. Though it billed itself as a rom-com, again this pilot does not make that readily apparent. Sure there was a boy meets girl moment, and there were funny faces, but that doesn’t exactly a rom-com make. Instead, the focus of the episode, besides the introductory elements, was the hostage rescue operation with 3 720 to 1 odds of success. And to Classroom Crisis‘s credit, I got into it. I got pumped when the prototype spacecraft launched, and I winced when the multibillion dollar project promptly scrapped itself. A class of kids looking out of place while playing ad-hoc Houston was also plenty fun. Perhaps it’s because it reminded me of goofy mecha series. In particular, there was an old kid’s show called Matchless Raijin-oh (perhaps better known as the base template for Bokurano) where the classroom would transform into a command HQ for children to support giant combining robots. That’s the stuff that sold toys, back in its day. Of relatively more modern vintage would be Robotics;Notes, which started with a similar, slightly playful air and involved highschoolers dabbling in technology they frankly shouldn’t be allowed near.
Of course, there’s many comparisons that we can be making based on this first impression, but at this point who can say where Classroom Crisis will go from here? This pilot episode had both a classroom and a crisis, which checks those boxes, but with the X-2 reduced to expensive junk the ability for a similar adventure seems stymied for the near future. And with the introduction of the business-minded Kiryuu Nagisa (Uchida Yuuma) to downsize their department/class/whatever, I’m not sure fun would even be tolerated. Perhaps this is where the rom-com would come in; Nagisa starts as a stick-in-the-mud, eventually falls in love, is brought around to the joy of invention and the wonders of space, so on and so forth ad nauseam. Perhaps the rom-com was a lie, and there will be more corporate shenanigans. Or I could be completely wrong about everything (which is always a safe thing to bet on).
Regardless, Classroom Crisis has secured my attention for now. This first episode was a good mix of plot and development, and had a commendable lack of overt exposition (until the info-dump at the end, anyway; congratulations to New Zealand for getting a colony on this side of Mars before Australia, just like how Canada beat out the US). It just goes to show audiences don’t really need to be told much at all; it’s easy enough to figure out we’re on Mars via background information and establishing shots. Maruto Fumiaki, who also wrote my past pet love Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata, seems adept at weaving in exposition, and it’s good to see him putting that skill to work here as well. And Classroom Crisis is his first original anime, so he probably has something at least interesting waiting in the wings. So far so good; let’s see how it goes from here.