「激突!ユニオンバトル」 (Gekitotsu! Yunion Batoru)
“Clash! Union Battle”

Perhaps those of you who watched Kaze Tachinu, the Miyazaki Hayao film known in English as The Wind Rises (and which I wrote something about some time ago), may find yourself reminded of it by Classroom Crisis as I did. Obviously the settings are much different (World War II versus Martian future, for starters), but it’s exactly these contrasts that link them together in my mind. In The Wind Rises, genius aeroplane engineer Horikoshi Jirou is deliberated shielded from much of the War and the political machinations of his country, whereas genius rocket engineer Sera Kaito ends up diving headfirst into that sordid world. In The Wind Rises, Mitsubishi takes pains to preserve Jirou’s idealism, whereas Kirishina has little patience for Kaito’s. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times, with Classroom Crisis more representative of today’s more cynical corporate reality. What kind of company is eagre to invest heavily into R&D without significant government subsidies these days, when marketing is so much more profitable? So, yes, as unpleasant as Kirishina’s management is, in the end they’re just, hints of conspiracy aside, playing the game.

Thus all the unfair bullying levied against A-TEC is but part and parcel of this realistic take on the business of business. Against a company that basically owns the city, the labour union is but a weak and highly political organisation that can do little more than annoy their bosses. Kaito the engineer has no agency until he becomes Kaito the executive (via a promotion that he apparently is not allowed to refuse). And ultimately the day was won by… technical accounting loopholes, I suppose. All that said, Classroom Crisis still does not place itself in a definitive position on the cynicism/idealism spectrum. Sure, it’s still ultimately convoluted shenanigans that has temporarily revived A-TEC, but it’s Kaito’s stubborn never-say-die attitude (and his sister’s) that regained the support of the deserters, and by their united effort A-TEC’s demised is averted, for now. It seems there’s still some use for Kaito’s idealism in Classroom Crisis. Perhaps there’s a point being made about the difference between leadership and management… no, I’m reading too much into it. I’ll let Classroom Crisis make its own point at a later date, if it has one.

The important thing is that Kaito and his class now has some sort of direction—by striking a blow against Hattori Hanako, ninja accountant, it shows that they are at least capable of a fight, which is a big improvement on the various bits of ineffective moping they’ve shown us before. By showing us even one success, it instills in us an idea of how they intend to keep fighting in the future, and more importantly shows us there actually is a fight to be had. Just as a hero, a Mary Sue, effortlessly defeating all challenges doesn’t make for much of a story, a hero being hopelessly crushed by all challenges is not good watching either. There needs to be meaningful conflict. Now we can genuinely say there is.

Of course, it’s unlikely that the ultimate conflict will be between Kaito and Nagisa. Nagisa has, at least, shown an ability to be reasoned with, which is more than can be said of the loftier levels of Kirishina’s hierarchy. And the conspiracy brewing there continues to thicken. Nagisa vs Kiryu is but the first hand which is, by convention, always a bluff. If they can form a grudging respect here, it probably indicates a common enemy in the future. But what would I know? Next episode seems to be… the obligatory fanservice episode? Or maybe a fakeout disguised as one? A clearer picture of Classroom Crisis may have emerged now, but that doesn’t mean I can predict what’s going to happen. And that’s not necessary. Having no idea what’s where the next episode is going is one of the thrills of the original anime.




  1. https://randomc.net/image/Classroom%20Crisis/Classroom%20Crisis%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2032.jpg

    This Anime, owned this Char and her Seiyuu so many. She is the One that stuffed the Big Hole of this Anime Titanic, and prevent it from sinking so far…. also she is know the Captain steering between dangerous icebergs.. is she a Full Seiyuu professional? Last Straw of hope, so early?

    This Up and Down, is nothing for my gusto. I just write down my last impression here.

  2. With name like Hattori Hanako you just have to be ninja, even if youre just accountant!
    And I thought Nagisa was joking by naming her after the infamous ninja that helped Tokugawa Iyeasu to conquer Japan…

  3. Kaito the engineer has no agency until he becomes Kaito the executive

    I suspect the next episode will find Nagisa’s brother suddenly regretting giving him carte-blanche in how he prevented Kaito from being part of the union. Nice of home to play into Nagisa’s hand like that.

  4. Couple of things:
    1. I thought Kaito’s inability to refuse the promotion was strange as well. Yanked me out of the next five minutes. They could have at least taken a minute to say ‘well I refuse>if you refuse, you’re fired’ or something that would sort of get around that. I also was confused by the apparent lack of power that the new position gave him until that became the whole plot ten minutes later.

    2. I’d say Nagisa was never the villain. They’ve made clear a few times that Nagisa’s whole schtick is doing exactly what his brother says… in exactly the opposite way his brother intends. This is another case. Yes, he’s eliminating A-TEC as a drain on the company and freeing up funds… by pushing A-TEC to be a more competent, leaner, more results-oriented organization.

    -the show is still slightly wonky and like you said, I think the real problem was becoming just how much of a downer it was despite its colorful facade, but I think the heroes and villains are relatively clear, Kaito and Nagisa vs the crazy as hell older brother.

    1. They also bring up a few times how Nagisa was already well-known for having been sent (by his brother) to otherwise failing/out of the way businesses (probably to make sure they fail so the company can then absorb them, thus less competition and such), but Nagisa not only restores them, but makes them far better than they ever were before. A-TEC is most likely another one of those that Nagisa plans to do such a thing. He still accomplishes what he was sent to do while simultaneously building up his own name AND sticking it to his older brother. From the way it looks, his brother only has the CEO position due to being the eldest son and not due to any sort of business smarts and whatnot.

    2. Agreed on point two. By storytelling convention, it’s quite unlikely for the first ‘villain’ to b the real one. In fact, it’s may not be Kiryuu Yuuji either. We still haven’t really seen anything of the oldest brother. I wonder what his place in this story is going to be.

  5. The gang finally got their first win by, lo and behold, doing exactly what Nagisa chastised Sera for a few episodes back. Nagisa doesn’t look upset, either. In fact, he gives off a keikaku doori vibe.

  6. That was weird. I just had a dream where episode 1 was 96 minutes long and it needed all that time to get to the point. Oh, wait…

    That aside, I finally felt like I could invest in what was going on here. Like Passerby said, it’s no fun when the hero is just getting pummeled endlessly, which was how I felt for the entirety of ep. 2-3. We get it, you’re big and bad, your accountant is big and bad, now let the engineers breath. The lack of traction was really a turn-off, but after this episode I’m hopeful and no longer have to cringe when an episode is ending that yet another bomb will drop on poor Kaito’s head.

  7. I have a lot of mixed feelings about A-TEC. Rather than saying that they struck a blow against Hattori Hanako, Ninja accountant, I think it serves to show how little the class knows about Nagisa’s machinations because it’s doubtful that he would promote Kaito and not know that it would increase his authority.

    Also, it’s pretty damn selfish to be taking more company money just to save themselves; what if the money they took was supposed to be allocated among many groups and they just took 600~ million for themselves.

    1. Agreed… I just couldn’t help to think that the kids in A-TEC are nothing more but a bunch of immature brats who knows nothing of how the real world works. I mean their sensei pretty much got tricked by the Union and then got exploited by them..

    2. It makes me feel like a cynical adult that I felt a little annoyed the A-TEC folks were celebrating their big accomplishment that they gained by doing what they should have been doing to begin with.

      It’s scary what becoming a working adult does to your outlook on life :(.

    3. 1. I really never got why the union was so bad. There’s nothing wrong with I scratch your back, you scratch mine. They were trying to help Kaito until the random promotion thing. They never lied. And they do in fact seem to be a thorn in the side of the elder Kiryu, and since he is obviously evil, it would suggest the union isn’t.

      2. The whole point of the finale of the episode is that this time they actually explained the money and what they needed it for, meaning they actually earned it. Before they just were given blank checks.

      3. The show hasn’t spent enough time establishing it, but these ARE all genius inventors, meaning that as long as they’re not being wasteful morons (which apparently they were before) they’re the best engineers the company has and are more than entitled to some R&D money.

      4. We can assume that this company, which has holdings all over the freaking solar system, has an ASTRONOMICAL budget. So while 600 million is likely still meant to be a lot of money, it’s probably not the same kind of ‘a lot’ that it would be for a big company even today.

      1. I guess it’s a matter of perspective but I think it’s a bit generous to say they earned that money. I get that they needed the money to do their jobs but it’s a bit weird that apparently they didn’t get to keep any of their equipment when they were forced to move.

        Companies usually keep said talents with promises of sweet corporate bucks but it was mentioned in the first episode that A-TEC had been over budget for a while and crashing the expensive prototype didn’t help either. Perhaps they thought “R/D” meant “Rescue and Destroy”?

      2. I think the key is that what you’re talking about are basically plot holes. There’s a clear disconnect here between A-TEC as a top of the line organization of genius engineers that, according to the documentary, have been winning those races and the organization that Nagisa portrays it as, which is this incompetent, money-guzzling organization with no results.

        Those two things are if not contradictory at least sort of at odds which makes the whole premise of the show a bit shaky.

        And I didn’t say they earned the money, the show said it. Nagisa specifically says they were well reasoned and even if he had known ahead of time he couldn’t have stopped it because it was all reasonable requests. Arguing that the show itself is just wrong about itself is fairly big step.

      3. Also, my brain has shut down for a second, but I believe they said yen, correct? Assuming they’re not using some weird under the hood math to figure out what yen would be in the future, current exchange rates presumably apply meaning you remove 2 zeroes to make it into dollars as a rule of thumb (the accuracy of that rule varies, but it’s generally close enough for those of us that live in Japan) meaning that it’s actually 6 million dollars (or whatever the currency is in your country), which for a top of the line R&D department isn’t completely insane.

        Yen is a very high numbered currency.

    4. You’re supposed to stick it to the man, not stick up for him 😉

      In seriousness, how you feel about A-TEC probably depends on the perspective you look at their actions from. In their defence, they need this equipment and the money to do their actual jobs, and they acquired it with legitimate, if tricksy, means. Trying to finagle enough funding is really what half of R&D is about anyway, so their actions are pretty true to life. Even if it wasn’t, it’s not like A-TEC is any old department, it’s supposed to be Kirishina’s aspiration research program for the gifted and talented. Even though Kirishina’s trying to kill them off you can’t really blame them for trying to keep the dream project live.

      From what I can tell, the rocketry union is a lot like real-life unions; lacking in real power and highly political. From my experience, there are those that try to get you in by stressing the worker rights angle, which is a worthy cause, but are in fact only amassing political power for its own sake.

      And, of course, there’s also often a membership fee.

      Overall, I think the point is that they’re not a completely pretty picture, just as Nagisa, while not having done anything actually evil, is not the prettiest picture himself either. It’s ulterior motives everywhere.

      1. I get that’s where they were going with the union, I mean I don’t think they sold it. As far as we were shown the union really DID go to bat for him until the moment he was promoted out of their membership. They used his name recognition, but they were never shown to ignore the thing he came to them for. They did help set up a protest, they did organize a negotiation, and they apparently did have his back. As far as I can tell they didn’t do anything wrong except get some political help from a guy who went to them for help first.

      2. Also, I think people like to forget unions are not random parasites. They were brought into existence via significant battles by our ancestors. They were meant to protect laborers from management, because management does NOT have our back. While modern unions have often become political, the alternative is very scary as we’re already beginning to see. As employees have been de-unionized, corporate profits have skyrocketed while employee wages and benefits have been slashed or removed altogether.

      3. I have some serious issues with the messages this anime is putting out. Tweeted about them here (https://twitter.com/brunoscheele/status/625349357626388480) and they were mentioned above as well.

        My main gripe is the message that apparently you don’t need creativity, just butt-loads of money. Looking through rules until you decide you can’t find one that forbids you from finagling a truck load of money isn’t creativity. It’s basic research. The entire main cast just admitted their creativity sucks balls 🙁

      4. @SpaceRicochet
        Hey, being creative with the budget is creativity too. Getting themselves set up within 600 million dollars seems to be no mean feat. Compared to the kind of numbers they work with, that’s not a lot of money at all.

      5. Granted. But I still wonder at the message they’re sending to kids watching this show. That’s my main gripe, really. Somehow I find the message to be too money-focused.

        Hopefully we’ll get some good old “work hard, persevere and achieve results’ later on, but I’m not seeing the ‘work hard’ bit at them moment.

        Still, I enjoy our chief and the fight against his brother 🙂

  8. Granted Nagisa could handle things more kindly, but I feel like he’s getting a lot of the standard middle managmement hate. The employees blame him because corporate cut their budget and corporate blames him because the employees won’t behave, lol.

  9. Like what some of the others have commented, I cannot help but see the part about the union being something that is purely righteous as infusing one type of economic theory into the minds of the viewers and ignoring others – particularly that the union is not righteous simply because it is pursuing general public policy (which of course they are in many countries in the real world and which I am grateful since people now have security of employment/ safe working conditions/etc unlike during the industrial revolution.). I also cannot help but criticise the gross lack of research into how corporations operate in the real world. I am sure the students’ jaws would drop at the sheer amount of political donation in the real world.

    As for the so called accounting loophole (it isn’t a loophole as technically this is not an accounting standard (e.g. IFRS, GAAP etc) I find the reason rather lame. To say that an employee (an agent of the principal – the employer) has an infinite power (I see the ability to separate ‘circulars’ for an infinite amount as infinite) to request funds without prior authorisation is absurd and surely raises the flags in any statutory audit. I am also highly suspect of the so called accounting-pro student as an accountant is only an accountant after qualifying for the relevant standards – unlike other experts. (e.g. expert engineer)

    Though the story did pick up its pace, many of the more technical parts of the plot are not well researched.

    1. I should note that, generally speaking, only the US is so excessive about political donations. For most other democracies, political donations are an accepted reality, but there are usually restrictions on them, as opposed to the virtually none in place in the US.

      I do not think the point was not to portray the union as ‘bad’—they weren’t—but to portray them as not purely idealistic (contrasting Kaito, of course, who runs solely on idealism). This is not a very black and white sort of show.

    2. They don’t have an infinite power to send the circulars, nor can they do it without prior authorization. That’s the whole point, by promoting Kaito, he gained the right to give the authorization (very likely all part of Nagisa’s plan) and they go out of their way to say that the circulars were actually well-written and reasoned.

      That’s the sort of funny thing about the whole thing. They behave as though A-TEC pulled one over on the company when in reality what happened was THEY COMPETENTLY DID THEIR JOBS, as opposes to before when they apparently just sent blank money requests to corporate that were fulfilled endlessly with no explanation for what they needed.

      This time, they went through proper channels, got authorization, and outlined what they would use the money for. Those sneaky little monsters…


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