「金と選挙と学園祭」 (Money, Elections and School Festivals)
“Kimu to Senkyo to Gakuensai”
Permit me to divert our usual weekly discussion with a rant. Look: I understand that translation is a tricky business. I know that simulcasting has a busy schedule. I have no problem with you translating Celsius to Fahrenheit for the sake of your main American audience. But if you only do half a job, that’s worse than doing nothing. Consistency is all we ask.
Also, I thought I heard her say 38.3 degrees. In which case, shouldn’t that be 100.94 in Fahrenheit? Eh, whatever. Where were we? Not nitpicking? Right.
As the season gets colder on Mars and the A-TEC kids start hanging blazers over their winter uniforms, it’s time for Classroom Crisis‘s take on the school festival episode, a staple of anime set in high schools. Which is, all of them. All of them. This being Classroom Crisis it’s to be expected that they wouldn’t be playing this entirely straight, even ignoring the fact that one of the classes participating are literal rocket scientists. Remember that bottle rocket they were playing with back in episode 05? Turns out, they had bigger plans. I can’t help but wonder how the rest of the school feels about being always shown up by the nerds. It’s like at the science fair, where all the kids are trying to feel happy about their baking soda volcano, except for that one little twerp whose father is an engineer, there’s no way an eight-year-old even knows what a circuit board is, no I’m not bitter.
The topic that Classroom Crisis decides to meld with its school festival is, curiously enough, politics. That’s… new, I guess. Politics is probably not the most interesting subject for everyone, by which I mean anyone, but these days one can’t really have a good conspiracy without the government being involved, and we’ve had hints already that they were. It’s nothing particularly astounding, though; Kirishina is supporting the incumbent government, who are in turn giving them some kind of kickback, big business is in bed with their regulators; institutional corruption, basically. That doesn’t even count as news on a slow day. What we don’t know, and what is arguably the driving question of this story, is what kind of shady thing Kirishina needs the government to overlook on their behalf. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Kirishina needs to appeal to the government at all; I actually assumed that they basically ran the place and political leaders were merely puppets. I suppose the world of Classroom Crisis hasn’t gone full cyberpunk dystopia yet (for which I’m half relieved and half disappointed). It explains why Nagisa’s brother is so irritable all the time. He’s being under pressure from many sides. I almost feel sorry for the man. Almost.
Of course, the rest of A-TEC remain blissfully unaware of all the machinations that are swirling around them, even as they allow the opposition to go around with their pork barrel and make their stump speeches on their lawn. They represent, after all, the purer vision of achievement and fulfillment (even if that achievement is ultimately just an expensive catapult). These are the two worlds that Nagisa finds himself torn between: the schemes surrounding his brothers and the climb to the top of the corporate ladder, or simple camaraderie at the bottom of the totem pole. Ultimately, this episode, his schoolkid spirit is the first thing to be ditched.
It should be expected that Nagisa wouldn’t go completely soft, especially as his brothers’ plans seem to be starting to unravel and he can smell the blood in the water. We’ll likely see that angle develop come into play again towards the end of the series. For now, as always, more pieces of the plot fall into place. Nagisa continues to be oblique regarding Iris, but it’s more or less confirmed that their families are connected. Still not sure how Iris’s past is going to tie into the Kirishina conspiracy, but I’m sure they’ll come together at some point; Nagisa holds the cards in both hands. With the politicians also entering the fray, I believe that (switching metaphors) all the pieces are on the board now. The moves to the endgame should come into view shortly.
Full-length images: 08.