「しかし概して人々が運命と呼ぶものは、大半が自分の愚行にすぎない。」 (Shikashi gaishite Hitobito ga Unmei to Yobu Mono wa, Taihan ga Jibun no Gukou ni Suginai.)
“What People Commonly call Fate is Mostly their Own Stupidity.”
Full-length images: 13.
「天才とは、狂気よりも1階層分だけ上に住んでいる者のことである。」 (Tensai to wa, kyouki yori mo 1-kaisou-bun dake ue ni sunde iru mono no koto de aru.)
“Genius Lives Only One Story Above Madness.”
Of course, it turns out that Kiyotaka is still the “good” guy to some extent and that the entire test was a game to see who could outwit who. I was amazed by how much I enjoyed this final episode given that the entire series until now has been just average. I think it really sped up the resolution of the test, but it also brought out everyone’s true personality and intentions of coming out on top. From the get-go clearly Kiyotaka wasn’t playing to lose and he makes a lot of decisions that ultimately put his class on top, but at great risk. I think a lot of things also happened out of luck because even though he had suspicions, he didn’t know if people would actually act on certain ques (e.g. Mio stealing Suzune’s card). Or it could’ve all been due to the careful planning from Kiyotaka. I thought what was shocking at the end, was hearing him admit that he’s not a nice guy – he’s doing all of this to come out as the winner. He sees this as a game and he wants to win, even if it means stepping on top of his classmates to do so. I have a hard time digesting his personality because it sways so much; from his demeanor and apathetic attitude, to his voice and actions and finally his inner thoughts of what he wants. They all seem to contradict one another and it amazes me how many people he can fool. I’m dying to know his history in that children’s ward (hospital? Experiment?) but it might be a while before we know the truth.
The second shocker (which I should’ve expected from Class C) was the revival of Kakeru. His entrance timing was just impeccable and then the flashback of his past week was very interesting as well. I loved seeing how everything was unfolding from his POV, still offering up enough information but not completing giving away everything about the deal between him and Kouhei. While I thought he completely underestimated the abilities of Class D and B, I have to give him some credit for doing all this in the first place. In the end, he doesn’t win for the class, but he does manage to score a perpetuity of points until graduation! Regardless of what you think of his methods, he does come out better than say – Kouhei. His choice of leadership style is certainly not the way that people should rule (being the selfish character that he is and his undermining tactics) but you can’t say that he just bowed out and didn’t try. In fact, unlike Kouhei that didn’t have a backup plan (or Kiyotaka that adapted to the situation very well), Kakeru had an ulterior motive from the start. He’s playing to get points in the long run.
There’s a lot of other characters and sidelines that I want to talk about but I feel like it’s nothing people don’t already know. In my opinion, Class A failed because they thought they were smarter than everyone else and didn’t even read between the lines of what Kakeru was trying to do. They had no contingencies and ultimately, they were even let down by their own classmate. Class B seems to be the ideal class – always right in the middle and never really starting any beef with anyone. They’re not the winners but they’re also not the losers and they’re only one step away from Class A. Honami is the only one that stands out in this class and that’s because she has over 2M points! She finally gives us a hint of what she’s saving up for and honestly, it sounds like she’s going to buy her way into Class A. But why would anyone want to be in that class anyway? Seems dreadful to be in that drama. I loved the ending where they finally revealed the totals of everyone’s points in the credits. Gives you a lot to think about when you know who is where on the totem pole.
Wow, it feels like a long ride to get to this point. I feel bad that I’ve been very neglectful blogging this show when it definitely deserved better. My initial impression was that it was going to be another romcom school-life, maybe melodramatic teen anime. I still don’t think my assumptions are wrong, but there’s a lot more to the characters that I gave them credit for and the way that the story unfolds, isn’t necessarily in arcs focused on one or two people. After 12 episodes with Class D, there is still so much to each student that I want to know more about. Some of them have secrets, some of them have dark pasts, and some of them are just fun to watch. This doesn’t even include students from the other classes who are also very interesting to in their own way. Seeing the different leadership styles, and the way that the class chooses to work together democratically or because of some unseen hierarchy, is so applicable to real life in many ways. It’s a shame that it takes a full season for me to feel invested in some of the characters. While some are easy to love from the get-go, some others take a while to get used to. Even at the end, I don’t know what to make of Kiyotaka,. However, that’s what makes for a good series when there’s that much depth to each person.
I would’ve loved to see them advance even further in the story with one full season. There are certainly times where I felt the story was lagging or taking too long to get to the point (e.g. Airi’s arc) and by the time I’m hooked, the season’s over. Even this final arc took a while for me to think I knew where it was going before throwing in all the twists and turns. The worst part though, is that the show leaves you with so many clues in this finale about Kiyotaka, the different classes, the students and yet – there’s no indication of a second season so there’s a lot to be desired. One of the typical labels for this anime is also “romcom” and there’s not that much romance in it at all. I’m a sucker for romances (even if they’re atrocious sometimes) so the fact that there’s none, is disappointing. There’s not even that connection between characters or a spark to suggest interest, which isn’t weird when you have a protagonist like Kiyotaka but then you see the girls blushing and I can’t really tell if he’s going to reciprocate. Besides that, I think the drama is a huge part of the show and tension that you feel between classes and students is real. If you’re someone that doesn’t like the melodrama or exaggerated confrontations, then you’ll probably have a harder time sitting through this one. Otherwise, I’d say it’s a pretty entertaining ride and I’d wait to watch the whole thing before passing judgment.