「服部花子のいちばん長い日」 (Hattori Hanako no Ichiban Nagai Hi)
“Hanako Hattori’s Longest Day”
So I was following along with this week’s episode of Classroom Crisis, only pausing a few times to take notes, letting myself be carried by the conflict, basking in the wholesome feeling of heroes winning the day, but then I noticed there were still a good six or eight minutes left in the episode and was let onto the possibility that something may still be up. And then, surprise! Moral of the story: turn off the episode time when watching anime. It will ruin last minute twists for you.
My self-spoilering aside, this was, for me, a quite the good episode of Classroom Crisis, and I dare say it’s getting better as we go. Last week mostly paired Mizuki and Nagisa so that the former may soften the latter, this week it’s their bodyguards, Iris and Angelina, forming a duo for much the same effect. Angelina the grumpy accountant has not always struck the most flattering image thus far, and seeing the defensive instincts work in a positive fashion (as opposed to just getting defensive about her age) goes far to broaden her character appeal beyond just ‘Nagisa’s groupie’ (e.g. her maternal side). It’s part of the development of the relationship between management (Nagisa and Angelina) and employees (A-TEC). While last week Nagisa managed to forge a neutral work agreement with his peers, this week we see them unambiguously on the same side (best represented, perhaps, by Angelina striking a truce with Iris and freely offering her knowledge of her past). It’s a natural progression. No one would suggest that all their disagreements have been worked out, but they’re definitely warming to each other.
Since Iris and Angelina are the closest we get to action heroes in Classroom Crisis, this was also the most action intense episode we’ve had thus far, featuring that obligatorily used but always entertaining staple of space operas, low gravity fight scenes! I found the whole concept pretty clever, actually; where else can we showcase improbable ninja skills without pushing suspension of disbelief except for on a shuttle? Considering last week’s previews and how suspicious suited men wearing sunglasses indoors are, it’s no big surprise that Hattori Hanako would have flip out and stomp some fools. Sadly, even in space ninja are weak to bullets, though I would note that if you use guns in a pressurised environment (failsafes aside) you’re taking life into your own hands. I’d also question unsecured appliances on a spacecraft, but meh, details. Otherwise I’d also have to question the speed of their shuttle, the forces involved in such extreme acceleration, time delay in telecommunications…
…Good thing I’m not a physicist. Don’t have to care!
Well, fights were fun and all, but it was the rescue mission launched from back on Mars (because those have always worked so well) that brought out the interesting plot details. We see more bits of flashbacks about Iris’s past (and related trauma). We saw Nagisa’s obvious concern for his hijacked colleagues (and I suspect it wasn’t just about Angelina safety). And, of course, there’s the obvious question about where the unregistered deus ex machina ship came from. The prime suspect is the eldest Kiryuu brother Kiryuu Kazuhisa (Inoue Kazuhiko), but what would that mean? Middle sibling Yuuji plotted the hijacking, but his brother and superior had to bail it in the end (no love lost between those two as well, it seems)? Were they intentioned directed at the blonde Chinese professor (whose scribbles will no doubt turn out to be surprisingly relevant later)? Did Nagisa just randomly stumble into their plan? Or was Iris the real target all along?! Woohoo, conspiracy theories!
Next week, though, is… school festival time? Maybe we’ve had enough Crisis for now and need to balance with more Classroom. I doubt we’d be pulling all the way back, though; Classroom Crisis has so far made a point of tying all its frivolous aspects into the main plot, and I doubt they’d stop now. That said, we’re beginning to get to the point where there’s so many plot lines we’ve needed regular flashbacks in case people started losing track, so maybe we’re approaching story saturation. For now, as they say, the plot thickens.
Full-length images: 32.
(Still watching GATE? I wrote something on the side about it up to episode 06, but fair warning: I’m still hung up on political subtext. Read at your own peril.)
This and GATE are the two dark horses this season for me. Feels like a lot of people dumped them under complaints of them being generic.
While i would hardy call gate generic(seriously theres only like two anime involving tech beating magic anime) Most of the complaints gate got where its political nature. and they werent even that much concern over it for the manga and LN readers. That was until the anime came out.
Its nice to see nagise and a-tec temporarily approving each others action in there rescue plan. Though its concerning what happened to Iris. Being exposed to space whilst briefly, may have cause some serious damage to her. Both mentally and physically.
I went into GATE thinking “generic fantasy harem with a side of military” but the series if far smarter then that. Knowing where the story is going having read the manga at this point has really lead me to understand how the series tries to parallel the real world events of the Afghanistan war, but I think that’s lost on a lot of people who are still stuck on that first impression that I had as well.
For me I wouldn’t call either Gate or CC dark horses yet, both are derivative in some ways and neither has really broken through and claimed something that can be called amazing.
Gate, for all its wonderful military p0rn, is stunted in terms of political and international ramifications so far, what should be front and centre in such a story. Once the MC meets with the national diet we should see just how far the author’s knowledge here goes. People criticise Gate over its nationalist (or jingoist, depending on the level of hatred) flavour which is present, but at this point it’s little more than JGSDF good, obliterates everything and everyone bad, never makes mistakes, perfect in every way. Going to have to wait and see how things develop before a call can be made on anything beyond fond, biased reminiscing of past military experiences.
As for CC the issues here are largely based around the plot itself. We have a show that proclaimed itself as SoL, has introduced what appears to be a plot based around conspiracy, all the while pushing a message of self improvement and the capability to do anything if one sets their mind to it. It’s trying to do several things at once and not really succeeding with any. It has improved since a very lackluster beginning, but there are still issues with suspension of disbelief (IMO the characters all needed to be in their twenties at least) and just where the plot is going to go from here. CC keeps skirting around the edges, teasing us here and there, but so far refuses to give anything of substance by tying the disparate parts together. It’s largely a question if CC can give us a satisfying climax and tie up everything nicely for all the runaround since the start.
“it’s little more than JSDF good, obliterates everything and everyone bad, never makes mistakes, perfect in every way”
I’ve got to say, there have been a number of things that have made me think twice about their actions. You’ve got the military p0rn which, for all its OTT tendencies, tends to feel like overkill, and when did overdoing something all the time ever look good? Then you have their invasion making the opportunity for the evil king/emperor/whatever to weaken the people around him, so whenever I saw the dragon flapping around or heard about how places were left ‘leaderless’, I always thought that was partly the JSDF’s fault- they’d disturbed the natural order of the world they invaded and allowed an asshat of a ruler to take advantage of that. But after all that, the JSDF’s prerogative is to make friends with the villagers – hi, our invasion kinda led to you being leaderless and vulnerable, now be our friends! Like, do they have any choice? Similarly to before, when has being two-faced ever looked good?
While I can hardly say these are condemnations of the JSDF’s actions, it doesn’t allow them to be ‘perfect’. All these things remind me throughout the show that, regardless of how ‘good’ one side is over another, war is ugly. War makes both sides cause horrible things to happen, and they ought to be both held responsible.
As for CC, I agree that I had, and still have, no idea what it is or wants to be. This season’s PlaMemo for sure.
I don’t necessarily agree about Classroom Crisis, perhaps because I never really had the same suspension of disbelief issues (10-year-olds can attend university, so teenage rocket engineers isn’t a stretch for me. A-TEC’s supposed to be the prodigy class, after all). I don’t get the impression that Classroom Crisis was ever supposed to be a slice-of-life, at least not in the usual sense; too much stuff happens. And I think the conspiracy, which has been the main thrust since the first episode, has been coming together nicely in the recent episodes. We at least have a sense of who the key players are and who will ultimately be pitted against whom, and we’re being fed new information at a fairly steady rate. A good conspiracy should be a huge tease up until the very end, and I have high hopes for it all coming together.
I think one of the key differences between GATE and CC in response to your point is that you can’t just create the grey/multilayered part of the story in your own mind. While you could easily make the argument that the stuff the JSDF has done is fairly terrible, the show itself has never made that argument aside from like 2 lines that got brushed off almost immediately. As Pancakes said, in the show itself, the JSDF is just good and everyone else is somewhere between evil and incompetent. From the evil emperor to the princess who failed at everything she tried, to the presidents of the US and China.
CC on the other hand has, from the beginning, presented its characters as multilayered and complex, to the point that early on it was hard to figure out what the story was about at times. Kaito is a brilliant engineer who believes in pushing humanity forward, but he’s also kind of an incompetent employee who was basically babied by the company and never learned how to work with his back against the wall. Nagisa is a corporate monster who wants to destroy the best of us (humanity/r&d/whatever) in order to chase greater profit and efficiency, but he’s also doing his best to encourage to a-tec to fight harder and smarter; to be better.
That is how you do multilayered characters and situations. In CC, it’s IN the story itself. In GATE, the only grey area is in your head, at least thus far.
Building off what KaleRylan said, what you have to remember is the circumstances regarding Gate’s plot. The JGSDF is attacking an enemy whom initially launched an unprovoked offensive against them on their territory; the military actions are always framed under an aura of self defense. Furthermore the Empire is constantly portrayed so far as an aggressive and expansive power protecting itself at the expense of others. The slaughter of vassal forces by the JGSDF? The Empire tricked them into it, they already knew what would transpire. In every engagement the JGSDF has been in the right by either defending themselves or protecting others, it has never once done anything openly aggressive. This doesn’t change from what I know of the series too where foreign powers (American, Chinese, British, etc.) are construed similarly to the Empire as expansionist powers within this new world while Japan seeks symbiosis and common cause. It can be subtle to see, but this is where the nationalism rebukes come from.
The suspension is disbelief is largely personal preference. For me I come from a heavy STEM background and can safely say the chance of finding child prodigies is just on this side of finding a unicorn. They do exist, but are much rarer than made out, universities will often duel to the death to acquire them (it’s why such stories often make the media, they are that unbelievable). To have a full class of them here just screams “what the f*ck?!?” fantasy to me, not helped further by the teen executive getting passing marks in quantum mechanics and rocket design overnight (you don’t know mental anguish until doing calculus based general and special relativity). I can see why others don’t mind the idea, but for me it just stretches my disbelief a little too much.
As for the SoL bit I think it has more to do with how the show looked and previewed before being aired. From the promotions I got the sci fi with SoL focus and it (for better or worse) stuck with me up to now. I would probably give CC more credit if it wasn’t for the strong shift back into SoL scenes every episode. Might be good for character building, but IMO it takes away from what looks to be the central plot of the series. Either way I do agree though that hopefully the plot can come together nicely, it’s the one thing that keeps me coming back every week.
The politics and international ramifications in GATE’s plot are about to happen. There are a lot of tiny little threads that were started early on that will come to play later like the oppression of the demi human races, and Tuka’s PTSD. The manga/novels are actually a much darker take on the story then the anime.
@pancakes and @KaleRylan
Yeah, I’m agreeing on the fact that the show is ‘saying’ that the JSDF are amazing – even ‘perfect’ and there is a lot of supporting evidence for that opinion. But for them to be ‘perfect’, there would have to be no complications beneath what is said to be ‘perfect’, and I don’t see that. I see a girl getting sexually charged by warfare and carnage alongside a battle that has a lot of (aptly named) ‘military fetishism’ – I see, underneath the surface of the JSDF ‘doing the right thing’, an overdose of pride and use of power that strikes me as overly indulgent in a way I can’t think of as positive. This is hardly a long stretch from what we do a lot in our lives – see someone profess to be one thing, and argue that they’re actually portraying themselves as something else, maybe in addition to or even completely contrary to what they want to be seen as.
I’d find the show a lot more boring if there were no methods of inquiry into the JSDF’s actions. As it stands, every instance of their warfare has given me room to think twice about how ‘perfect’ these strangers with their almighty weapons are, in comparison to how ‘perfect’ they might appear to those they’re saving. There’s no condemnation, but no absolute commendation, of the JSDF in what I see – even if everyone around them is bad, in some cases that’s made me see some of that evil in the JSDF themselves, in small but significant ways.
Gate feels open to interpretation, and that’s almost always for the best. It may also be worth bearing in mind, while I say all this stuff about the nationalistic side of Gate being weaker somewhat for me, that I’ve actually got some nationalistic leanings myself. I’m not just trying to poke holes in the nationalism because I want to unravel it; I’ve seen nationalism done well, and Gate strikes me, instead, as only nationalism trying to do itself well. It makes for a more fun ride though, so I’m actually holding that ‘weakness’ in its favour for now.
The Show is on the right Path now. Next Episode they want us to show Iris background, and perhaps the accident that created her Amnesia. The last Preview suggest us an collision with an Meteoroid. Perhaps the Pilot was hit from a tiny little meteoroid that penetrate the cockpit and killed him. I dont know if the Pilot was taken out on purpose
all of this came from he little flashback memories and the preview
In this Episode this Guy asked what is more cute…
I think its the right one, that remembers me of some special Squid girl 🙂
Nah, I think it’s the left one. Look at that cute round head.
These G Force they are showing us, is because they did an 180 degrees turn and use the Engine full power to Break and accelerate in one go.
you see this Captain in the cockpit pressed against the Wall, because of that
You know the Very Old Game Asteroids? Then you get the gist
They took 8 seconds to do a complete stop of Space Shuttle going about what 7000 m/s, this is 88g acceleration. Even John Stapp did not get this far.
And about the time delay, because we know they are somewhat near/between Mars and Earth the delay is between 3-21 minutes.
so we get te see eldest Kiryu (and the one in charge)
I wonder if Angelina knows something more about Iris and her past?
I also wonder who was the target of the kidnapping attempt -professor or maybe …. Iris?
BTW I think I have nailed the reference of “Angelina” nickname… “Stainless Steel Rat” series of books!
I always thought Hanako was beautiful, but I just fell hard for her this episode after seeing how truly badass she is (and that tsundere).
Crisis’s series composition is written by Maruto Fumiaki, author of the “How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend” LN series and the White Album 2 game.