「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.