「経理部から来た女」 (Keiri-bu kara Ki ta Onna)
“The Woman Came from the Accounting Department”
For those of you unfamiliar with the oft quoted, ‘Three Episode Rule’, it goes something like this: an anime (and perhaps other media) has one episode (or chapter, or whatever) to hook, and three to impress. After that one may make a relatively informed decision on whether a particular show is a keeper, or one to be unceremoniously dropped like sewage from an airliner. It’s not a perfect system, but a functional one, a compromise between the first impression and the full haul, leaving more thorough accounting to, say, chumps writing for RandomC.
The three episode rule is a natural product of time being a limited resource. And it is with great irony that I now try to judge Classroom Crisis on this metric, since it too has attempted to lecture on efficiency this episode. Just as Sera Kaito must convince his boss that his projects are worth more investment, so too must Clasroom Crisis convince the audience, us, that it is worth watching beyond the third episode. Some anime have a harder task of this than others, not being prepared to show their hands after just an hour of content but being naturally required to do so. On Classroom Crisis‘s part, it has been slow, perhaps too slow. Humans are not known for being especially patient creatures.
Humans may not be patient, but we are smart (generally speaking). We understand how stories generally work and know what to expect of them, perhaps because we’ve been told stories in one form or another since infancy. Therefore even the most neonatal of anime viewers can come to terms with a show very quickly, even if it’s just by linking it with whatever vague sense of genre s/he is familiar with. The problem with Classroom Crisis is that it has, in a way, obfuscated itself, having yet to clearly establish a clear picture of the plot. I’m not asking for specific details, per se, just the general shapes of the plot so I have an idea of what kind of story Classroom Crisis will unfold into. Instead, Classroom Crisis less roadmaps and more insinuates a plot. There are a lot of interesting elements that pop up here and there and many genuinely good scenes, but the parts have not been clearly put together yet. Give us more hints about where you want to head, Classroom Crisis, or your audience won’t know they they’re watching the show. Your paper needs an abstract.
I think this episode is quite demonstrative of how Classroom Crisis fails in this area. Almost half the supporting cast suddenly picking up and leaving is a big event, and objectively made for a powerful scene, but I still couldn’t see how it fitted into the greater scheme of Classroom Crisis, so the effect was slightly diminished for me. Instead, I become frustrated with the nominal hot-headed protagonist being all talk. I thought he would get the ball rolling this episode but no, he’s still being pushed around. In terms of inter-character powerplay our hero, such as he is, is being bullied, but it’s not obvious how he is going to respond, if at all. That’s not very satisfying. Classroom Crisis is essentially telling us to keep waiting, which is a bit of a masochistic exercise, because Dilbert played straight is just depressing. I mean, I will wait, because 1) I’m an evolutionary dead-end who hates himself and 2) I’m blogging the show anyway, but not all of your audience can be expected to.
Despite my criticism, I still think Classroom Crisis is, ultimately, a good show. It’s just, so far, been paced too slowly. Perhaps it’s not even a matter of ‘speed’; it could just be that its top heavy. Either way does little to flatter the production, though. However, if Classroom Crisis manages to get over this hill then these problems should be transitory. So far it’s been a matter of letting the ingredients sit for too long but hopefully not too much of it would have spoilt when they at last get to cooking. Alternatively, it all goes nowhere and it flops, but there’s no reason to be that pessimistic. Yet.
On my part, my interest has still been maintained, perhaps because I can somewhat connect with the corporate management shenanigans that are going on. I think I got the exact same lecture on document disposal back when I worked in tax. But that can only sustain for so long. Since our protagonists are pretty much at their lowest this episode it’s high time for them to put their own plot into motion, being creative instead of relying on money yada yada. I think—I think—I can almost see how all the pieces are going to come together. Almost. I’m hoping its something incredible that will make Classroom Crisis‘s slow start and shyness from usual genre forms pay off. I refuse to believe that it will settle for mediocrity. Success or bomb, I think there’s a certain ambition here. It’s frustratingly close. One more push, Classroom Crisis.
Until then, at least we have beefcake. Woo.
Full-length images: 34.