「忸怩たる一族」 (Jikuji taru Ichizoku)
“Family of Shame”

A point is made about innovation in the face of adversity this week, and it’s certainly not the first time Classroom Crisis has brought up this theme. I am reminded of the story of the Wright brothers, who invented what is widely known as the first aeroplane on more or less a shoestring budget. Even their simple prototypes, though, were developed at great personal risk (since falling is a natural precursor to flying) and there was certainly no guarantee of return on investment. Their method is certainly untranslatable into a modern business model. R&D, as we know it, involves a lot of trial and a matching amount of error, costly iterations that would not be viable without a substantial budget. And, especially for a profit-seeking company, invention and success are not strictly analogous.

Case in point: Tesla died poor and alone.

For Classroom Crisis, I suppose it’s a compromise between Kaito’s stubborn idealism and Nagisa’s grumpy cynicism. I was actually expecting Nagisa to deny Kaito’s funding request, with it’s one year return on investment*, because A-TEC isn’t supposed to last another six months, but instead it’s a goofy *fine print issue. It reinforces the point that Kaito vs Nagisa isn’t really the main matchup here. They simply have a clash of ideology, meaning they’re natural enemies, yes, but they can still have a constructive relationship from that. Nagisa forcing A-TEC to work out funding alternatives is arguably a Good Thing, but at the same time it seems that it’s just a matter of A-TEC having to work longer and without pay (surely the union should be more up in arms over that than voluntary overtime). Also, ‘create efficiencies’ is some of my most hated corporatespeak of all time. It’s a similar deal for Nagisa: innovative studying techniques? Cram with an all-nighter. Or perhaps getting help from anyone remotely resembling ‘friends’ is already a very new thing for Nagisa.

Nagisa’s and A-TEC’s troubles meeting somewhere in the middle makes for a good opportunity for our main cast to bond aka have a relationship beyond mutual torment. In particular, Mizuki (Sera the Junior) is now close enough to Nagisa to learn his origin story (whereas Sera the Senior learns it as essentially gossip). Nothing surprising here: Nagisa was the red-headed stepchild of the Kiryuu family, he’s a victim of domestic abuse, and he’s playing some finicky political games. What makes things complicated is his mother, apparently a Shinamiya and, more importantly, owned a lot of shares. It’s good-old-fashioned mystery and/or soap opera: someone probably offed someone for someone’s money, someone turns out to be someone’s child, at some point a will is read, after a variable body count. Good stuff.

That’s plenty of material already, which makes me wonder what part Iris is going to play in all of this. She’s mostly been a sideliner so far, a bonus peripheral packaged with Mizuki, but there’s plenty of hints that she has a large role yet to come (like when Nagisa suspiciously refuses to talk about Iris even before being asked). If we were to continue along the lines of old-school Japanese drama, Iris would would be the scion of a family sworn to the service of the Shinamiya, samurai style, before they were all killed. Too cliché? Well, it’d explain her bodyguard instinct. But then, what’s Nagisa’s current retainer, Angelina, ninja stalker? Questions, questions.

Maybe Angelina herself will answer those questions next episode, when she returns after this week’s absence. Classroom Crisis has been developing nicely, baiting the viewer with answers and question, just the right amount of carrot and stick (to use that metaphor loosely) to keep me engaged. I don’t even normally approve of characters narrating their life stories like Nagisa did, but here it feels like it was eased out of him rather than forced (mixing it up with Kaito listening to the tale helped, too), so I can let it slide. Overall, I’d say we’d been on a role since three episodes ago. Or, perhaps, I just like it when things are going optimistically, an improvement on the downward slide of the first few episodes. Well, Nagisa’s brother surely won’t be pleased with the current state of affairs. I’m sure he’ll come into direct antagonism with A-TEC sooner or later. There is plenty of conflict in store.




  1. I like this show. Been pretty consistent so far.
    It would be interesting to know who ends up holding Shinamiya’s 30% stocks and whether legally who should own them.

  2. Brilliant episode. I feel Nagisa’s story could have been handled with more finesse, but I get that this is only 1-cour (and they did tease his trauma since episode 2). I liked how Kaito didn’t cave even after hearing Nagisa’s backstory. Despite his hotblooded idealism, Kaito remains a fair teacher.

    1. Actually Kaito seemed anything but fair. Even the kids are giving Nagisa more of a fair shake than Kaito is. I mean, he’s basically mad at him for trying to shut A-TEC down, when Nagisa isn’t even responsible for that. He’s being ordered by his brother, the director, to shut the department down. If you want to be mad at anybody, be mad at him!

      In fact, if it wasn’t for Nagisa’s finesse in business and the fact that he’s basically doing everything against his brother, A-TEC would have been shut down long ago. I think Nagisa could do it in a week if he really wanted to.

      1. Kaito doesn’t know any of that, though. While it is true that vindication played a part in Kaito’s actions this episode, Nagisa is still a student enrolled in his class. I’m pretty sure Kaito could have just given Nagisa a free pass so he won’t have to take exams anymore, but Kaito didn’t– and he seemed genuinely happy when Nagisa managed to scrape a passing score.

        This might be a shot in the dark, but I get the feeling that what Nagisa is learning about engineering will actually help him overthrow his brother in the future. Who knows? Maybe Nagisa and Kaito end up starting their own corporation to rival Kirishina.

      2. Yeah, it did feel more like Kaito was just looking for any sort of excuse to “upstage” Nagisa somehow (like the way he mocked Nagisa with using his own words and trying to apply them to the tests), and even after learning about Nagisa’s past, Kaito seems to care more about holding onto that one-sided grudge against him (who, as you said, isn’t even the one seeking to shut down A-TEC, but is simply the one chosen to oversee it, but it’s not like he’s been unfair to them either) rather than trying to understand Nagisa’s own position. All Kaito seems to want to see is “an enemy”. That’s not to say it’s not nice for the others that he doesn’t just give in out of sympathy, but he should at least be trying to understand. Instead, that’s being left up to Mizuki.

        It’s pretty unfair when you consider Kaito had largely been living while being showered in adoration and free rides due to his name and fame (as Nagisa pretty much said, that’s the only reason such issues like wasted money and no results weren’t brought up a lot sooner; people giving him a lot of leeway simply due to his name and such) whereas Nagisa had been, and still is, growing up hated, abused, and/or used both by his family because of his blood, and by people like Kaito simply because they refuse to see past that big mean corporate suit trying to “keep them down”.

      3. @Beedle
        You’re telling me Kaito doesn’t know the very basic ins and outs of any company? He just explained what kind of person Nagisa’s brother is, and that his brother is his direct boss. You’re tell me that he doesn’t know that Nagisa is getting his orders from someone higher up? Not only has Nagisa said this, but it’s common sense. Does he really think Nagisa is doing this out of some kind of sadistic pleasure. If so, then’s he’s more stupid than anyone could have possibly though.

        And do you really think that Nagisa is really worried about his classes? He’s only in there to oversee the operation (and to give this show a classroom angle). His grades this time were so his brother wouldn’t have any ammunition against him. If his brothers were to say kick him out completely, he would completely leave the class and department to take his brothers down. He can handle business like a pro, and he’s 18 already. He really doesn’t need the class. And if Kaito were to treat him like a pity case in said class, Nagisa would take it as an affront and make the man’s life a living hell. He’d never want that.

      4. While Kaito is being rather single-minded (which is pretty much his defining character trait), Nagisa’s brothers weren’t being all that reasonable minded when they enrolled him in a class for rocket scientists. Even the aspiring accountants or HR kids in the class weren’t exempt from the physics curriculum, so there’s no reason for Nagisa to be. Yes, Kaito may have been revelling just a bit too much, but I think it more demonstrates the weird power dynamic between Nagisa and Kaito, with one holding the advantage as a manager and the other as an educator.

        And remember, Kaito still doesn’t really know there’s such vehement hate for A-TEC in the upper management of Kirishina. From his point of view Nagisa is still, by self-admission, the guy who’s here to destroy A-TEC. Sure, Nagisa has a sob story now, but he’s still the closest thing to an enemy Kaito can grasp, and Kaito does seem like the guy who needs to fight something tangible. Even then, he does seem happy that Nagisa is getting along with the rest of his students. I’m sure once Kaito realises that Nagisa is not the Big Bad (as he is just beginning to be told), he’ll have a more mature perspective.

      5. @Irenesharda:

        As of all the events that have happened thus far, yes, Kaito does believe that Nagisa’s there to crush ATEC (and by extension, his dreams); Nagisa certainly loves to remind him of that. Kaito’s been whining about it quite a lot. In case you haven’t noticed, Kaito isn’t the most rational person, nor does he have a lot of knowledge about how the company works and its structure. And, if their conversations are anything to go by, Kaito left all the admin-work to Sasayama back when the old guy was still his boss.

        Whatever the case, my original point still stands: from a teaching perspective, Kaito treated Nagisa fairly, much the same way Nagisa’s treating Kaito in the administrative-side.

        Regarding Nagisa’s grades, fact is, Nagisa could have easily just walked out– but he didn’t. Yes, he’s worried about his grades. Maybe it’s pride; maybe it’s so that his brother won’t have any ammunition against him, no one knows for sure because it’s a minor point. Still, I do think that whatever Nagisa’s learning about engineering will be used in a future episode simply because Nagisa is the personification of Kiri-Shima. At the very least, Nagisa is now able to grasp the ATEC crew’s engineering jargon.

      1. I don’t think Iris and Nagisa have romantic chemistry. She seems to be the descendant of the branch family who protected his mother’s family? Like his butler. Protecting Mizuki, likely future Mrs. Nagisa, it’ll be her job.

    1. I had money on Nagisa and Iris being related. Siblings or cousins?

      either one is possible, they definitely seem to have common granddad…
      list of possible combinations:
      -both are born to the same mother, same father (Kiryu)
      -both are born to same mother, different fathers (Kiryu for Nagisa, unknown for Iris)
      -Iris is born to either brother or sister of Nagisa’s mother

    2. I’m betting that Iris is related someway, probably either cousins or half-siblings and she’s from a branch family of the mother’s. Her family is probably Nagisa’s mother’s family’s bodyguards.

      I think Mizuki and Nagisa would be cute together. He’s beginning to come out of his shell with her.

  3. I wonder whether they intend to pair up Mizuki with Nagisa. Although, getting plunged into Nagisa’s world would be cruel to Mizuki, even though I suspect Mizuki would thrive, succeed and impose herself in that world, if she had to.

    1. They seem to be going into that direction. She’s the upbeat girl who makes the broody guy comes out his shell type. They have also blushed and displayed kind of unresolved sexual tension together.

  4. That was a very interesting and sad backstory for Nagisa, and it explains why his brother is such a bully.
    Also, for the guy to be such a genius in business and never having really had much of a formal education? Yeah, he’s totally a prodigy.

    I’m glad that he’s starting to get along with the class and especially Mizuki, was really cool. I do think that Sera however is being pretty pigheaded. He’s heard everything he has about Nagisa, and he really thinks that it’s Nagisa trying to take A-Tec down? I mean, seriously dude? If Nagisa wasn’t there, your little department would have been shut down even sooner. And you don’t think that Nagisa is getting his orders from someone? You think he’s trying to do this on his own? Come on!

    Even if Nagisa wasn’t there, the brother would just send someone else.

  5. I was alert for any signs of cliche genre packing ….and parody trolling but this series was superb from the very start. It has a clean sharp powerful feel to it. I like everyone in it and the deft use of comedy and twists of events helps lighten what might become quickly heavy and predictable. This is class A anime at its best on its way to being GOLD quality. I am eager to see more, it is one of the few shows i watch as soon as i can and rewatched even before the usual sixth episode. This will be one of the classics, and I am glad to see anime keeps getting a few shows that are better and better each year.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *