「希望と野望と絶望と」 (Kibō to Yabō to Zetsubō to)
“Hope, Ambition, and Despair”
There were some in the comments who were expecting the return of the kidnappers from the first episode and, sure enough, here they are. There should have been no doubt that Classroom Crisis intends to let nothing go to waste. I do admit, though, that it took some time for me to remember all the pertinent details; it’s been a few months and my memory’s a sieve. Here’s how it is: in episode 01, some labourers on an asteroid named Coldwood kidnapped Nagisa. Now Yuuji is trying to theatrically kill Nagisa by blasting him into space on some kind of jury-rigged shuttle towards Coldwood. In the meantime, the labourers from episode 01 have set up a construction company named Cold Wood (back on Mars, not on Coldwood). It’s like Classroom Crisis is trying to punish me for not paying enough attention.
This also means that the plot has come entirely full circle, as many good plots like to do. Once again, Nagisa has been abducted and once again A-TEC needs to come together to rescue him. A-TEC has matured since then (Kaito actually manages to follow Nagisa’s paper trail, for example), but Nagisa’s kidnappers are less reasonable people this time, and Nagisa is in a far worse position. It’s neat that we’re wrapping up like this, but it’s also slightly contrived. I mean, apparently they live in a surveillance state but an executive of a powerful business manages to get nabbed so easily. Yuuji goes out of his way to knife Nagisa for last week’s cliffhanger just to patch him up again to prolong his revenge. Angelina, actual ninja, manages to kick all the butts but get taken out completely stupidly (where was this earlier?). At least Classroom Crisis seems to be aware of this, and various holes can be explained with only a bit of hand waving. Kazuhisa has been overlooking the little people in every way (a Lord of the Rings moral, with Kazuhisa as Sauron this week), Yuuji’s craftier than we give him credit for, but also too crazy for logic, Angelina was in a hurry. Still, it does seem that we may be going a tad too fast keep up with. It’s the penultimate-episode-syndrome.
Not that Classroom Crisis is not still doing its thing well, as a whole. A special commendation, on my part, to the character of Yuuji, who has clearly gone over the edge and is still entirely pathetic, but still remained understandable enough to illicit a modicum of sympathy so that we don’t write him off entirely as just a deranged, nihilistic supervillain-wannabe. Classroom Crisis doesn’t play down what a twisted maniac he is, but does hint at some Freudian excuses he may have for why he turned out this way. That man is a walking mass of complexes; it’s a shame that we probably won’t have time to get into it. But his need for attention and validation, his uncomfortable position as the middle brother, his lack of proper emotional outlet in a cold corporate world—I can buy that. Oh, he’s still an ass and I’m still totally rooting for him to be utterly defeated, but at least he’s a more interesting character than he could have been. Just a hint of a third dimension is enough.
Speaking of stunted egos, Iris is still hanging around in the background, being entirely passive, wondering, like us, what role she can possibly play. Now that she can’t fly, she really doesn’t have much left. She’s been left to do deal with the revelation that she’s not really a Shirasaki Iris by herself but, frankly, it doesn’t seem very relevant right now. She’s alone, and she’s hurting. Next week should rightfully be her episode, though; they’ll likely have to fly towards Coldwood again, and if you recall the fastest route has a real asteroid field in it. Perhaps Iris will be called on to conquer that, and in turn conquer her PTSD. I doubt it’d be that simple though, and it wouldn’t be like Classroom Crisis to be so straightforward. And, of course, they need to work in the last of the Shinamiyas into the conclusion. Remember, no details wasted.