OP Sequence

OP: 「コバルト」 (Cobalt) by Trysail

「リストラの教室」 (Risutora no Kyōshitsu)
“Classroom Downsizing”

I noted in my introduction of Chaos Dragon (which I haven’t been inspired to cover regularly) that writing good fantasy was hard, partially because of the difficulty in finding a good way to explain your setting to the audience. I consider science fiction a subset of fantasy, and indeed it suffers from similar problems; it’s just one kind of technobabble replacing another. Some less experienced authors are also overly eagre to find opportunities to show off all the research they did to support their science fiction setting, and would spend awkward asides to display all that they knew about gravitational constants or propulsion theory or anything with ‘quantum’ in it, much like the highschool essayist who would spew everything they crammed about a subject rather than actually answer the question. In this analogy, ‘answer the question’ means ‘write something readable’.

(Speaking of research, Nagisa’s resume—Caristo? Seriously? You got Europa and Ganymede right but screwed up on Callisto? I know translating for a simulcast puts you under a lot of time pressure, but still.)

The thing is, few read or watch science fiction actually for the hard science; most are after speculative fiction or discussion on the social impacts of technology and stuff like that. Science fiction is no more for scientists than ghost stories are for ghosts. And traditional anime make for a poor vehicle for communicating large dumps of information. We have documentaries for that.

Perhaps with that in mind, this week of Classroom Crisis is mostly a documentary.

I actually approve of this move. If we must be lectured about the Kirishina corporation, if we must have Sera-sensei’s backstory, and if we must learn about the prestigious sponsored races that will likely become a key plot point, then I suppose a framing device is more interesting than walls of text or artificial dialogue. Though I’m personally of the ‘don’t explain anything’ school of anime writing, I appreciate the documentary as a straightforward compromise. The handling of exposition is basically a question about how to dress it up, and this is one way. And it’s also a handy in-universe way to tell us what the role of each member of the class is, and what their personal motivations are. I doubt we’re going to get character episodes for each of them—there’s just not enough time—so this is probably as good as we’re going to get. That said, there’s no way I’ll be able to remember any of their names, though. In my head, they’re just going to ‘engineer guy’ or ‘maths girl’ for the foreseeable future.

There’s never too many reasons to hate middle management

So the public relations video tells us all we’re ever going to need to know about the public face of Kirishina Inc., but its also connected to its private intrigues, it being a final maneuver to delay A-TEC’s execution. It’s these private intrigues, and what we’re not told, that form the main interest of the episode; everything else just sets the scene. In particular, shady corporate shark Kiryuu Nagisa is a real cipher. A third, black sheep Kiryuu brother who shouldn’t exist? Dunno. Secret past with Iris? Dunno. Business prodigy or just a ruthless asset stripper? Dunno. For someone who’s supposed to have incredible management acumen though, I can’t really approve of his strategy. I question how effective starting your tenure by being a douche (a technical term) to all your subordinates sounds to me a poor plan. Sure, it’s only supposed to be six months, but on the other hand it’s a whole six months. I don’t know where he’s been working, but even the lowliest drone can make your life very unpleasant for sixth months. Unless he’s planning to make all his coffee himself.

New frontier ~ looking ahead

So Classroom Crisis doesn’t seem like much of a rom-com at all, unless Nagisa and Iris really have that kind of past (or unless you’re sailing the yuri ship). It’s possible the it’ll do another partial genre switch next episode, but assuming it doesn’t, here’s how I see it. Sera Kaito, the kind who gets emotional when watching his own idealistic rants, will have to play foil to Nagisa’s cynicism. They’re probably going to go to the races. And maybe, meanwhile, the members of A-TEC will get dropped one by one by bad reality TV.

It’s hard to say definitively, of course. The strength of Classroom Crisis, so far, is that it has established a lot of potential plot hooks. There’s backstory about the Kiryuu half of Kirishina ousting the Shinamiya half. And then Nagisa will have to oust his slimy brothers. Then I suppose he’ll either turn a new leaf, fall on his sword, or get ousted in turn as part of the whole white-collar cloak-and-dagger routine. Meanwhile, there’s some psycho lady in the preview. Combined with whatever efforts are made to save A-TEC, and all the science fiction, there’s a lot that can be going on. Which is great, but one of the dangers of having so much to do is that in the rush to get it all done there will be little to show for it at the end but a mess. That is, there could be a pacing issue, but so far Classroom Crisis has not not raced too far ahead. Here’s to hoping that it maintains.

Full-length images: ED 01.


ED Sequence

ED: 「アネモネ」 (Anemone) by ClariS



  1. This show is turning out to be all intrigue without the emotional connections to back it up. Something about both these episodes – the cinematic choices, the lack of comedy and the simplistic battle of innovation vs corporation – just hasn’t made me care about the characters. I do appreciate the evasion of hard sci-fi, but it feels like there’s nothing substantial in its place.

    More of my thoughts here: https://unnecessaryexclamationmark.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/classroom%E2%98%86crisis-02/

    Hopefully we’ll have some pen-related fun next episode though (and maybe a third translation screw-up too!).

    1. The level to which you care about the cast is, of course, up to you, but I would disagree on the ‘all intrigue’ part. Only Nagisa’s interactions with his brother and what they insinuated (the scandal they were covering up, their past with Shinamiya), as well as whatever Nagisa’s personal circumstances turn out to be, was really intrigue. The rest is more the ‘classroom’ half of Classroom Crisis. I suspect there are those who would have preferred all intrigue.

      1. I’m only getting ‘intrigued’ by the classroom half as well, though. I’m interested to see how Mizuki will affect Nagisa, and how Iris will develop, and how Sera will coordinate this bunch, but I’m not emotionally invested in seeing any kind of outcome. I think it’s mainly to do with how the classroom doesn’t feel vulnerable to the corporate threat.

        You’re right that there’s lots of scope for different plot directions, though. Gives me hope that the direction it chooses makes me feel closer to some of the cast over the next few weeks.

  2. The very fact that I have seen nothing quite like this show is what is keeping me hooked. I love the look of it aesthetically, if we are going on a shallow level, and I really adore the character designs. This might be a bit slow for a lot of people but I don’t know, I can’t put my finger on what makes me like it so much. Is the show charming? Is it likable? I don’t know but I’m gonna keep watching.

    1. Lay-Duce’s first full project (and an original one at that) at least deserves some attention, even if it turns out to be unsuccessful. The show’s already turning into a good display of what happens when all the things I love about anime don’t feature.

  3. Still not impressive nor interesting, even with all the potential routes to take the plot it just falls flat at the moment. For me part of it likely has to do with the (high) school setting once again, especially in this case. Seeing teenagers do the club routine is one thing, but to think up, design, and oversee use of spacecraft (and engine design on top of that)? In this semi-serious case without any comedic foundation it really seems unbelievable; don’t even get me started on the teenage executive prodigy. I cannot help but think scrapping the school bit, increasing the character’s ages, and going full throttle into corporate intrigue (which to CC’s benefit may still happen) would have helped the show tremendously.

    Classroom Crisis right now just makes me all the more eager to see the Expanse when it comes out later this year.

    1. I think that Classroom Crisis, in emphasising that ‘innovation from the younger generation’ angle, is trying to speak to the youth of Japan today i.e. the ones who have had to hope through about 15 years of recession. It wouldn’t be the only anime to make the attempt.

  4. There’s two tropes that I’m getting tired of:
    The genius high school (or younger) kid.
    The vicious evil corporate CEO that only cares about money or himself (almost always a he).

    This show has managed to put both of them together. I lasted thru half this episode before closing the player.

    1. I’m also tired how the “good guy” is usually a wimp, while the bad guy could give Batman a run for his money when it comes to poker facing the enemy. Wear a cup if you have to, but be prepared to show “strong” females age 16 why men age 22+ show leadership better in combat. And be prepared to break fingers to prevent a face slap or pencil to the neck.

      It gets me how Kiryuu Nagisa belittled the ATEC class for blowing 15 billion “for nothing” and no one stood up to him with “but we saved a life”. We’re also not told how Nagisa defused the situation – how would he promise workers back pay, if he has no authority? Does he have those resources and authority on the company’s behalf? Wouldn’t his brother the Director oppose such expenditures to deliberately undermine him? We’re not told.

  5. I guess I’m gtg to be one of the few who actually like the show. I appreciated how the documentary showcased some of the quirks with the students, and the message they were advocating. As a student trying to go for an engineering degree, the episode gave me that sentimental feeling, and I love seeing characters beating adversity and striving to innovate new things in the process. Not sure if the anime is going to be able to tie in everything smoothly but I’m going to continue watching.

    P.S Plus, that opening was beautiful, probably my favorite so far.

  6. With the way the episode ended its a given that Nagisa will use A-TEC against his brother, being a dick as a method to prod them into producing something is a big gamble.

  7. I hope they could nail things from Shirobako to know how make a technical show with a larg cast of characters right.

    Right now the main factor which is lacking is the main character (teacher), though. He is not that bland, but there are things which prevent me to emphatize (or even care) with him. Probably setting the story to be more of a personal journey of him would help, since so far things are told in a more detached way from character’s pov.

  8. Okay i try to write the Things i mean is a Fun Killer:

    General idea:
    The New Transfer Student, is to much complicated. To many things unreasonable put on his Shoulders.
    He is pushing around of his Old Brother and perhaps of the entire Family, perhaps he is a Half brother. Born from a different Mother. That would explain the Hatred and Background to work with. Yeah cliche. But better as start from nothing

    Student idea:
    As a Student, he is playing the Asshole card. High nose. The position as been their “Money/Budget” Boss is biting himself in the end. No integration in the class, and in top of that he is their Boss
    He will stay isolated. I see that this Teacher Sister is trying to break the Ice. But then, this will be the first “Defeat” for him. He will not succeed in closing down the A-1, no in the End with “Friendship” Power they will succeed in creating the Prototype

    My thought:
    The combination of Transfer Student and CEO is poison for his role. And when the Brother become aware of this Situation, then he will defend in the End the Project against Big Brother

    This Power Play of the Family, just will crush the Classroom in the middle. In the end it is a “Black Sheep” fight against Family clan, where the Classroom just give him more Social contacts. In the end the CEO is our MC, all others are Side chars

    This are my thoughts as an Veteran fan, i was trying to write as accurate as possible

  9. RE: If you dismissed Classroom Crisis as a rom-com earlier, I recommend you give it a watch now just to see what it actually is

    Rom-com or not, 2 eps in, it’s still dishwater.

  10. It seems I’m one of the few people that likes this anime, according to the comments in here, haha.
    I really like how ambitious Nagisa is! Planning on taking over CEO position? Love it! I don’t remember anime with such an ambitious character! Right now, we see him as a businessman who’ll use any method to make a profit, even cooperating with the kidnappers in the previous episode (I wonder if they will ever show what happened in there…).

    I’m really looking forward to how Nagisa will develop in future episodes! As a person who loves science and math, this is such a wonderful anime! Innovation & Future, these words will never make me tired for I’m really interested in where the director/writer’s imagination will take me.

    Thank you very much for covering this, Passerby! I’m definitely looking forward for the future episodes as well!


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