Category Archives: Classroom Crisis

Review: Classroom Crisis, Episode 13: The Greatest Presentation in History

Review:

As Nagisa hurtles through space towards his death, Iris works to prepare herself to pilot the new X-3 for the rescue attempt. At the same time, Mizuki tries to convince Iris to do the same while also discussing their friendship (and while the rest of the team listens in). Elsewhere (and several hours later), Kaito gives his presentation to the Kirishina board, ultimately displaying the footage of Iris’ rescue attempt. It is also revealed that the same footage was broadcast to several interested investors, an important part of Nagisa’s ultimate plan, although delivering the final blow of the plan still falls to Nagisa in the long run. While the future looks bright for Nagisa and A-TEC, there are several plot points that remain unresolved, and a vague phone call by Kazuhisa that suggests things aren’t quite over.

As a finale, this episode managed to keep up the suspense pretty much the entire time. The Nagisa rescue is one part of this, as we do not know whether Mizuki and Iris will reach him in time, or if Iris will overcome the fear that had overtaken her for the latter half of the series—of course, the writers use a pretty cliché approach in dealing with this by bringing everything down to the last second. What helps maintain the suspense, though, is that these scenes are cut between scenes of Kaito’s presentation, meaning that while we are in the midst of one suspenseful situation, we are then pulled away to another. This interplay allows the episode to keep us on our toes for most of its run time, and there are a few instances where the show is downright surprising. Kaitos’ reveal that they were also broadcasting the “demo” flight to interested investors is one of these things, while the fact that Iris apparently has romantic feelings for Nagisa is another.

Perhaps most intriguing about this episode is that it doesn’t resolve everything. Near the end, Kazuhisa makes a phone call to tell his father that it is not time for him to get involved yet, which certainly seems like something that could be used for further plot. Beyond this, Nagisa seems to find himself in the midst of a love triangle that is not resolved (or even present in this episode), despite the romantic situation between him and Mizuki seeming to have been settled a few episodes prior. On top of that, A-TEC is just getting started on their new path, which would certainly be grounds for a second season, and that is where all of this is going: the series seems to set itself up for that potential, and hopefully it will deliver. The one thing that is completely unresolved to the show’s detriment is the significance of Iris being the real Nagisa. This was played up quite a bit and was ultimately the source of Iris’ trauma, yet here we are at the last episode, and it doesn’t seem to matter one bit. One would expect it to somehow play into Nagisa’s plan for getting back at Kazuhisa, yet it never emerges, and seems to be all but dropped. For all of the attention it was given (and for all the drama it seemed to have caused in the past), it is a bit disappointing that the writers don’t give us some kind of closure on that point.

All-in-all, Classroom Crisis was a surprising show. It didn’t start out as anything too interesting, but it became a show with some fairly entertaining plot twists that actually made viewers want to come back for more—provided they stuck around through the show’s rocky start. It may not win any “best anime” awards, but it was certainly something different, and will likely stick in viewers’ minds if only for that reason. Hopefully we can expect a season two so that the aforementioned plot points can be resolved and so that we can see more A-TEC dysfunction.

A Christian Perspective:

Romans 12: 4-8 – Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

I think I have used the comparison of the Church to a body many times in the past, whether in reference to this show or in reference to others. Nevertheless, it presents itself here again (or, more accurately, it was the best I could devise for this final episode) as a comparison. Up until he is confronted with the fact that the new X-3 would still belong to Kirishina even if the entirety of A-TEC resigned, Kaito actually manages to put Nagisa’s plan into action flawlessly, but after this he quickly finds that he hits a brick wall. Thankfully, Nagisa is able to patch into the presentation and close the meeting out on a decisive note for A-TEC, ultimately saving Kaito from embarrassing himself. Of course, Nagisa would not have been able to patch in had Iris not used her piloting skills to rescue him, and Iris may not have found the courage to pilot again had Mizuki not encouraged her and gone with her. Then there are the characters in the background who provided navigational support to Iris, not to mention those who did the maintenance work and whatnot to make the rocket functional, and so on. The point is, every character had a role to play, and everyone had to play that role for the end result of this episode to be realized.

I don’t think it’s hard to show how this relates to the verses I shared from Romans 12. Paul talks about how we who are in Christ form one body, just as we all have one body with many members. Of course, we are the individual members of Christ’s body, and we all have different gifts or functions. Paul exhorts us to use our gifts and perform our functions so that the body can function. Just as Nagisa’s rescue and Kaito’s presentation would not have been successful without everyone doing their job, so the Church cannot be successful in its mission if the individual members are not using their gifts.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: Several characters drink alcohol during the closing credits

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: None

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Classroom Crisis, Episode 12: Hope, Ambition, and Despair

Review:

After being stabbed by his own brother, Nagisa wakes to find himself in an unknown location with a vengeful Yuji and unnamed others standing over him. Unlike his previous cocky self, though, Nagisa appears to resign himself to whatever fate may befall him while Yuji rants about Nagisa and Kazuhisa only thinking about work (ironic, considering that Yuji used Nagisa’s achievements to benefit himself), and Yuji’s belief in Nagisa’s one track mind is only intensified as Nagisa inquires about A-TEC. Elsewhere, Angelina and A-TEC begin working together to track down Nagisa before it is too late; however, after discovering Nagisa’s plan to save A-TEC, Kaito pulls most of his staff from the search and rescue mission, leaving only two of them to work on that goal while the rest switch to constructing the X-3 engine. For everyone involved, it’s a race against time: will A-TEC complete the engine in time for their presentation? Will Angelina find Nagisa, and will she be in time to stop him from being shot into space?

Classroom Crisis continues to excel as this season’s dark horse. This episode manages to keep viewers on their toes from beginning to end, with no event going exactly as one might expect. While we expect to see a quick, decisive victory from A-TEC, we actually see them outsmarted by Yuji and his cohorts. What’s more, the fact that Kaito comes in and quickly takes most of A-TEC off of the search and rescue mission certainly wasn’t what we would expect to see (even his staff contests it at first). His willingness to do so is a testament to the character development that has taken place over the course of the show, though, as Kaito’s relationship with Nagisa had previously been one of suspicion and dislike. It also suggests that Nagisa may have rubbed off on him a bit, as Kaito’s thinking is more closely aligned with Nagisa’s decision making in this moment.

While there is certainly the question of whether A-TEC will pull off Nagisa’s plan, the majority of this episode’s tension still comes from Nagisa’s abduction, as the writers cleverly play with the viewers several times. It is never quite clear whether Nagisa will be rescued or killed, although Yuji’s ultimate plans are made abundantly clear. On that note, what is the deal with jaded executives becoming homicidal maniacs in anime (SAO Fairy Dance arc, anyone)? Perhaps this just goes to show how twisted Yuji really was, as if his use and abuse of Nagisa didn’t do that well enough. Regardless of the reason, it definitely serves to drive home further the dislike the viewers were meant to have for Yuji’s character. The writers also manage to weave together a good amount suspense while throwing us a little action along the way, bringing the episode to a powerful crescendo that hangs as the credits roll. A frustrating ending, but a great lead in to the series finale.

A Christian Perspective:

Matthew 7:16 – By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

There is no denying that we have seen a shift in Nagisa’s character over the last few episodes, and this one simply serves to drive that point home. The question, though, is how do we know this? Do the other characters tell us and do we just believe them? Of course not! We see the change in his actions, his speech, and in the fact that, even as his life is on the line, he shows concern for A-TEC and regret for not seeing how things end up for them. The fact that he defied Kazuhisa and produced such a detailed plan to save A-TEC helps to further drive the point home.

The quote from Matthew above is actually Jesus talking, and He is explaining that we will know His disciples by the fruit that they produce. Further, the book of James states that, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17) While we are not saved by our works, our works do go to show the truth of our faith. After all, if we’ve truly encountered Jesus and have truly been changed by Him, then our lives should look comparatively different from how they did before. It also gives us something to validate a person’s faith. After all, if we were supposed to simply take people at their words, then how would we know who to trust? Sure, someone could say that they’re a Christian, but then they could turn around and lead you down a path filled with false doctrine. Now if you know your Bible then you could get off this path, of course, but better to never travel it at all. Much like Nagisa’s action prove his change of heart, so too do the actions of the redeemed exhibit their salvation, providing proof that they have indeed come to know Jesus.

Content Guide:

Language: 2 “a**”, 1 “h*ll”, 1 “d*mmit”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: Yuji kicks and punches Nagisa; men are hit with blunt objects; Angelina disarms men using her kunai and then beats them down with physical force; a character is shot

Blood/Gore: Blood is seen on the back of Nagisa’s bandage

Review: Classroom Crisis, Episode 11: To Each His Own Rebellion

Review:

Despite all of his planning Nagisa’s plans have ultimately failed, yet his brother is not the least bit mad. In fact, he had planned for most of this and anticipated it—although he admits that Nagisa did surpass his expectations. Rather than become mad at Nagisa, Kazuhisa actually reveals the truth behind his plans, and he offers Nagisa a position at the head of this new plan. At the same time, Kaito is taken by Dr. Li to an unspecified location where he, too, discovers the truth about Kirishina’s goals. Elsewhere, Iris comes to terms with her true identity and plans to tell Nagisa, and A-TEC realizes how dire their situation is now that their prototype is wrecked. Mitsuki sets to work repairing the damaged engine and is confronted by Nagisa, only to bring his true feelings out. Later, Nagisa and Kaito have a heart-to-heart that opens Nagisa’s eyes to what is truly important for a business, setting him on a new path to save A-TEC. Unfortunately, just as everything looks to be going well, tragedy strikes…

Classroom Crisis continues to present itself as powerful dark horse for this season. Nagisa started out as a detestable character, yet at this point we wait with baited breath to see how things will turn out for him, fully expecting the end of his career to result from his scheming, only to discover that the whole thing fell right into Kazuhisa’s plans. It was an unexpected plot twist, especially when coupled with the fact that Kazuhisa also knew that Nagisa was really just a stand-in for the real Nagisa for all these years. In general, the entire presentation completely obliterated any theories about Nagisa facing backlash for his actions.

Perhaps this episode’s greatest strength was its focus on the various character relationships, though. Of course we see the interplay between Nagisa and Kazuhisa, but there are several other interactions that take place, as well. Iris, for example, meets with Angelina and vaguely discusses her plans to tell Nagisa the truth about who she is. The care that Angelina shows for Iris in that scene is a complete change from her initial attitude towards the girl. Naturally, the Mizuki/Nagisa interaction is probably the most powerful moment in the episode, although the following scene between Kaito and Nagisa certainly helps to push the plot into its next (and most likely, final) stage.

If there is one criticism that can be given about the show, it’s that the Mizuki/Nagisa relationship was sort of just there. Granted, everyone probably expected the two of them to fall in love from the beginning, but the story would have benefited with a little more time put into establishing the romance. It was played in such a way that the resulting romance was a given, so it is easy to not think much about it, but outside of Mizuki’s tutoring session, there wasn’t much time spent with the two alone, getting to know each other. Part of this is probably thanks to the thirteen episode limit, but the series’ slow beginning certainly didn’t help things.

Beyond that, this was just a downright satisfying episode. It still leaves the whole plot of Iris being the real Nagisa unresolved (for example, what are the ramifications of this?) on top of the cliffhanger ending, meaning that there is more than enough reason to come back for the next round. If you happen to be reading this review and have given up on Classroom Crisis, consider going back and giving it another chance. You will not be disappointed.

A Christian Perspective:

Read Matthew 4: 1-11, the testing of Christ

As I watched the exchange between Nagisa and Kazuhisa in this episode, I saw a clear parallel to the account(s) of the devil tempting Jesus. As Kazuhisa revealed his ultimate knowledge of Nagisa’s plans, he also revealed the direction that he hopes to take Kirishina in with new military developments. He proceeds to offer Nagisa a high position in this new endeavor, promising him power, money, and more, yet it is clear that Nagisa is at least somewhat conflicted over this information. This is shown in tandem with Kaitos’s discovery of the same information, which further suggests that this isn’t the “good” option, yet Kazuhisa sells it with tempting promises, much like Satan tried to sell his temptations with promises. The results for giving into those temptations may sound good at first (instant satisfaction, power, etc.), but compared to everything that Jesus would have given up had He given into those temptations, it is obvious that Satan’s promises only sounded good on the surface. In all things let us practice discernment to make sure that a promise that sounds good is actually good, and not just something meant to get into our ears and lead us astray.

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: One character mentions “gods”

Language: 1 “cr*p”, 1 “d*mmit”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: Kaito punches Nagisa; a character is stabbed

Blood/Gore: Blood is shown in different flashbacks—floating in space, pooled under dead bodies, etc; blood is seen soaking through a character’s clothes after he is stabbed

Review: Classroom Crisis, Episode 10: Director Nagisa Kiryu

Review:

With Yuji out of the way, Nagisa manages to ascend the ranks and takes his position as a member of the board of directors. From his new position, he begins to plan his overthrow of Kazuhisa and his salvation of A-TEC. Meanwhile, A-TEC continues to power away at their project to prove their abilities and their worth. While certain members miss Nagisa, he gathers his forces and plans his strategy to gain the majority of the votes to save A-TEC. Unfortunately for Nagisa, an unexpected turn of events throws his plan through a loop. Elsewhere, Iris takes the new ship out for its test flight, but begins to experience problems before remembering a shocking and long-forgotten secret…

This is the kind of episode that can set you on edge despite the fact that there is no “action” in the traditional sense. Now that Nagisa’s plan is in full motion, the question of what he is going to do next reigns in the viewer’s mind. While the efforts of A-TEC certainly provide a source of interest, Nagisa definitely steals the spotlight as he schemes with the vice president and meets with neutral board members in order to arrange for their support in his vote for A-TEC’s survival. Unfortunately, his meetings are played out in a series of montages, so we don’t actually get to hear how he manages to convince the neutral members to side with him.

While A-TEC’s activities are not nearly as interesting as Nagisa’s, there are still some moments worth noting. Mitsuki and Iris’ conversation that confirm certain feelings that Mitsuki holds is certainly worth seeing (and is a definite confirmation of something we already figured out), but more to the point is Iris’ test flight. It does a good job of bringing to a climax all of the various experiences Iris has had over the past several episodes, namely the various flashbacks and, later, hallucinations. All of this culminates in a plot twist that no one could have seen coming. As if one plot twist wasn’t enough, Angelina receives a phone call while Nagisa is in his meeting, and she finds out a particularly shocking political development that will completely alter the course of Nagisa’s plans. Iris and Nagisa’s fates are left hanging in the balance as the credits roll, and the lack of an episode preview means we have no idea what will happen until the next episode releases!

A Christian Perspective:

Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Many of my examples are imperfect at best, and this one is no different, because I am ultimately comparing a Scripture about man’s plans vs. God’s to a situation where the plans of two men conflict. At any rate, I hope you’ll at least see what I’m trying to do.

So, the Scripture above makes it clear that we have many of our own plans, but ultimately they are meaningless, because God’s will prevails. In this episode, we watch as Nagisa carefully plans his next move to ensure his victory over Kazuhisa between meeting with the VP, pouring over documents with Angelina, and meeting with the various men he hopes to win to his side. When he goes into the meeting, everything appears to be on his side and his victory assured, only for a completely unforeseen series of circumstances unfold that completely undo all of Nagisa’s plans. It is strongly suggested that Kazuhisa knew about Nagisa’s plans long before they were laid, and that his plans were set in motion to counteract Nagisa. Of course, Kazuhisa isn’t omniscient, which is why this is not a perfect comparison, but the fact still remains that Nagisa made a lot of plans only to have them fall apart at the hands of someone more powerful and more knowledgeable.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “dumb*ss”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: People are shot off screen

Blood/Gore: A child’s face is shown with some blood splattered on it; men appear to be lying in pools of blood; another man appears to be lying in a pool of blood; other flashbacks show blood, including a man bleeding in a spaceship with blood floating around him and an old man shot in the back, lying in a pool of blood

Review: Classroom Crisis, Episode 9: Joyless Victory

Review:

After receiving his latest order from Yuji, Nagisa gets to work making political moves in the background. Unfortunately for Yuji, this was the moment Nagisa was waiting for, and while he technically did exactly what he was asked to do, it was not what Yuji wanted. Meanwhile, Angelina approaches A-TEC and explains exactly how Nagisa went about his scheme while also sharing her concerns about the path he is walking. Even Nagisa himself appears unconvinced as he tries to play the villain to Kaito, only to tear up at the thought. Elsewhere, Yuji’s world crumbles around him, and the field is prepared for the showdown between Nagisa and Kazuhisa.

Some parts of this episode may seem hard to follow, not only because it jumps around between different times at some points, but also because it deals with a bit of business and political dealings. Certain conversations may be harder to follow if you do not have a mind for that kind of material (or maybe that’s just me). In any event, if you can understand what is going on or even look past it, then this episode really satisfies in the sense that it finally puts some of the building conflict into motion. For those who were hoping to see Nagisa finally get back at Yuji for all of the pain and trouble he has caused, it will definitely be worth it.

Where the episode deserves applause, though, is in the fact that it makes us question whether Nagisa really wanted this. Once his plan has been hatched, Nagisa returns to the A-TEC hangar, where he is approached by Kaito. Nagisa looks for Kaito to censure him, yet Kaito refuses, which sends Nagisa into a long rant about how he is a villain. Kaito calls him out on this and points out that Nagisa is crying. A large question that floats in the background of this episode is whether or not the Nagisa we are first introduced to is the real Nagisa, or if it is the Nagisa that we have seen emerge throughout the series by his interactions with A-TEC. Judging by this scene, it would seem that the changed Nagisa may very well be the real one. It is worth watching the episode for this moment alone; of course, if you haven’t watched the rest of it, then this part won’t make much sense on its own.

Unfortunately, Nagisa’s identity crisis doesn’t put a stop to his plans. At the end of the episode, he is still contemplating his move on Kazuhisa, which will inevitably play out in the coming episodes. What this will mean for Nagisa and A-TEC is yet to be seen, so stay tuned to find out!

A Christian Perspective:

Romans 12:19 – Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Well…. this one is kind of obvious. Everything that happens in this episode is born from Nagisa’s desire to get revenge on his brothers, and the task handed him by Yuji presented the perfect opportunity. By convincing the contender for the Seinin party to switch sides, Nagisa effectively took political power from his brother and simultaneously set himself up to have a pawn in his own back pocket. He also succeeded in getting Yuji shipped off to an undesirable location. Yet, despite all of this, Nagisa doesn’t seem happy, or else why would he start crying as he tries to play the villain? The lesson is clear: revenge doesn’t bring happiness.

In the same way, we may feel tempted to get revenge on the people who have wronged us, but we should not follow through on it (and should not expect good results if we ignore reason and do so anyway). First, as Scripture states, revenge is God’s, so we can’t expect God to bless any attempt we make at revenge. Second, it is likely to lead to more bad things. At best, we simply end up feeling terrible about our choice; at worst, we set off a chain reaction where the other person then seeks revenge on you and so on. Let’s just leave the vengeance to God and not trouble ourselves with such things, shall we?

Content Guide:

Languae: 5 “h*ll”, 1 “b*stard”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: A recap shows Yuji punch Nagisa

Blood/Gore: None

Review: Classroom Crisis, Episode 8: Money, Elections, and School Festivals

Review:

As A-TEC gears up for the annual school festival, the brains inside Kirishina gear up for an upcoming political rally to support their party. Meanwhile, the opposing party, favored by the union and laborers, approaches Kaito and requests the opportunity to speak at A-TEC’s festival demonstration. In the midst of all this, Nagisa has his own meetings to worry about, in addition to an invitation given to him by Mitsuki. While doing some of his own investigating, Nagisa manages to uncover the means by which A-TEC’s enemies seek to bring them down, and decides to put his own plan into action.

This is quite the busy episode, with a lot of different story arcs progressing at once. On the one hand, we have the political side of things—Kirishina’s motivations and goals versus A-TEC’s ultimate assistance given to the opposing party. On the other, we have the various character relationshps developing. Mitsuki and Iris have a moment together, although that friendship doesn’t really have any need for growth; however, in the midst of it, Nagisa’s relationship with Mitsuki does seem set to deepen, depending on his actions. There is also a brief moment between Nagisa and Iris that gives some peace to the question of her past for the time being. The conflict between Nagisa and Yuji continues to grow as well, and seems to finally come to a head by episode’s end. Kaito is also featured a bit in the episode, but not much is done with his character—he ultimately buys into supporting the union’s political party, but he doesn’t actually see any character growth.

What the episode actually achieves is to show how far Nagisa has come as a character. While he was previously set on simply accomplishing his goal of shutting down A-TEC, he now seems to have some level of sympathy for them, along with a desire to save the class. Whether this comes from an emotional attachment to his classmates or simply a desire to crush his brother(s) is unclear, but given the path he seems to be on it is likely that he is developing an emotional attachment. At the very least, he certainly expresses some level of affection for the work given to him in preparation for the festival.

Content Guide:

Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

This was another hard episode to make a biblical connection with, but I want to focus in on the fact that people within the Kirishina Corporation (at least Yuji, and probably others) have been spending money on unspecified things and then recording the costs as if they were being used by A-TEC. In other words, it was a dishonest business practice to allow them to spend money and pin it on someone else. Such practices are immoral and show a lack of integrity on the part of the person(s) perpetrating the act. Of course, making immoral decisions is a good way to tarnish your name, and when you get caught (as most tend to do) it tarnishes your name. This, of course, brings us back to the Scripture in this case, which says that a good name is to be desired more than riches. Therefore, we should seek to make moral decisions, even when they aren’t the convenient decisions.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “p*sses”, 1 “d*mmit”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: Yuji punches Nagisa

Blood/Gore: A dead body is shown in a flashback, and there is blood on it as well as blood floating in space around it; Nagisa bleeds

Review: Classroom Crisis, Episode 7: Hanako Hattori’s Longest Day

Review:

While the majority of A-TEC continues to plug away at ideas for developing their new engine on a limited budget, Angelina and Iris attend a conference on another planet. Everything appears to go smoothly until the two women miss their flight and end up on a private spaceship ferrying a special guest of the Kirishina Corporation. While this at first seems to be a blessing, they quickly find themselves embroiled in a kidnapping attempt that may not be a random act of terrorism. Though the situation aboard the ship is easily taken care of, it comes down to A-TEC to lead their comrades back home.

This episode was, first and foremost, a good effort at building some camaraderie between Angelina and Iris. While the two could hardly be called “friends” by episode’s end, there certainly appears to be a nicer relationship between them at the conclusion. This installment also continues the subtle search into Iris’ past, as a certain event seems to trigger some traumatic memories for her. These memories are obscure and leave little explanation as to what they are, but it appears that something tragic may have happened. Additionally, Angelina offers some commentary that also lends to revealing details of Iris’ past. Less prevalent—but still noteworthy—is the ultimate confirmation that Angelina is much more than a simple accounting worker.

Elsewhere, Nagisa appears to continue his (admittedly subtle) character change. While he still appears to be the hard-nosed chief of A-TEC, his concern for his team (or at least Angelina) comes out when he offers to cover for some illegal activity that the class plans to employ in the rescue of Angelina and Iris. This also comes on the heels of Youji commanding him to basically not get involved in the situation at all. While Nagisa and Youji’s relationship certainly isn’t a positive one, it still says something that Nagisa was willing to defy his higher-up, given his position and goals within the company. The interaction between the two brothers also furthers the theory that Youji is behind a lot of what is going on with A-TEC’s closure and the hijacking.

While it’s hard to tell in which direction this show is moving, at least it is finally moving. A slow starter, it is gradually becoming more interesting as character motives and back-stories are explored and brought to light. Hopefully things will continue in this direction and ultimately leave us with a story worth remembering.

A Christian Perspective:

Luke 8:17 – For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

For us viewers, it seems fairly obvious that Yuji has been a less than savory character. We’ve pretty much figured out that he has a hand in the bad things that have happened or are happening in the show. That is our privilege as the viewers. As for the characters, they are not in on the secret; however, Nagisa is beginning to figure it out, although we know that he at least suspected something all along (and he may already had knowledge about Yuji’s plans). Either way, Nagisa certainly seems to figure out Yuji’s connection to this episode’s abduction, and though Nagisa does not ultimately expose Yuji, it still goes to serve as an example of this perspective’s verse: though Yuji thinks he is operating in the shadow, his schemes are actually known to at least one person, and if one person can find him out, so can others.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “cr*p”

Alcohol/Drug Use: Angelina drinks wine

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: A flashback shows Iris in a bikini top

Violence: There is a fight aboard a spaceship—men are hit, kicked, hit in the face with a knee, and hit on the head with a lamp; a character is shot

Blood/Gore: A character bleeds from her gunshot wound; a flashback shows blood

Review: Classroom Crisis, Episode 6: Family of Shame

Review:

Note: from now on, chief Kiryu (previously referred to as Kiryu) will be referred to as Nagisa, and his brother (previously referred to as Kiryu’s brother) will be referred to as Yuji. This should make things a little easier.

After turning down a proposal from Kaito and A-TEC for more funds (and providing some advice to the group), Nagisa finds himself on the receiving end of his same advice when he receives a failing grade and has to take make up exams. Determined to pass, Nagisa decides to remain in the classroom and study, even after the rest of his classmates—and his teacher—have departed. He is eventually joined by Mizuki, who had decided to bring him food and help him study. During their study session, Nagisa begins to reveal details about his dark past. Elsewhere, Kaito is drinking with Sasayama, and seems to be learning of these same details, as cutaway scenes at pivotal moments during Nagisa’s explanations would suggest. The siblings Sera seem to respond to this information in two different ways: while both are appalled by the information, Mizuki resolves to continue helping Nagisa while Kaito determines that Nagisa is still his enemy. During this time, the rest of the class rallies together to put Nagisa’s previous advice to use, and a post-credits scene presents a disturbing image and new questions.

At the end of the day, this episode is more of an info-dump than anything else. While the story of the episode leads up to this point, it basically becomes a series of flashbacks and reactions as Nagisa tells his story. In these cases, the success of the episode is dependent upon the amount of interest the writers have garnered from previous episodes. Thankfully, there have been more questions than answers up until this point, and Nagisa’s story sheds light on some of those questions while providing speculation for others. For example, we now know why Nagisa and Yuji seem to be in a sort of competition with each other even though they’re brothers, and we also know (or at least have a very good idea as to) why there is a push to shut down A-TEC. Although points could be deducted for the show ultimate telling us this information instead of showing it to us (and “show, don’t tell” seems to be a big rule in storytelling), it is handled well in this case and manages to keep the viewer’s attention from start to finish. This may be due to the fact that we don’t just see and hear the events that unfolded—we also see the reactions of other characters to these details, characters who have little reason to be sympathetic to Nagisa and yet find themselves appalled at what he had to suffer.

This was also a good opportunity to deepen the relationship between Mizuki and Nagisa. The idea of them becoming romantically involved can certainly be gleaned from past interactions, and this episode further adds fuel to that speculation train. Mizuki certainly goes out of her way to help Nagisa this time around, just as she’s gone out of her way to engage him in previous episodes, and the fact that he opens up to her suggests that their relationship may have deepened a bit. Additionally, the question of Nagisa’s relationship to Iris is also raised this time around, although not very much within the episode proper. The post-credits scene, on the other hand, is another story, so make sure you stick around for it. If you think the episode ends on a positive note, then you need to go back and wait out the credits.

Classroom Crisis has finally set itself into motion. While there were certainly some plot elements in place before—corporate bosses wanting to shut down a prestigious program, and the members of that program vying to stay in business—the questions of “why should we care” and “why is this happening” largely remained unanswered. The question of caring has gradually been taken care of as we have gotten to know this characters a bit better (and, presumably, we will continue to care more as the series progresses). The question of why at least starts to get answered in this episode, although it seems like it may go much deeper than our present hypotheses may go, especially after that post-credit scene. If you needed a reason to keep coming back to the show, this episode does a perfect job of providing you with one.

A Christian Perspective:

Matthew 5:44 – But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

There is no denying that Nagisa has made himself an enemy to the A-TEC class, seeing as he is the one who has been tasked with shutting them down. That does not stop Mitsuki from reaching out to him and helping him with his coursework, though. While it is not clear what—if any—repercussions he may face for failing classes, it is probably safe to assume that something would happen, or else why would he even care about his grades? If nothing else, it does seem that it may have kept him from an important meeting. Instead of letting Nagisa hang for everything he has done, Mitsuki instead steps him, offering him her assistance and some food, which then opens the door for Nagisa to open up to her about his painful past. Eventually, Mitsuki manages to get the entire class in on Nagisa’s tutoring, allowing him to pass his exams, even if it is barely passing.

The point is, Mitsuki and the class had every reason to justify (in their minds) letting Nagisa fail, but they still rose up and helped him. Let us model their compassion as we strive to live out Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:44.

Content Guide:

Language: 2 “d*mmit”, 2 “j**z”, 1 “b*stard”, 1 “cr*p”

Alcohol/Drug Use: Kaito and Sasayama drink together

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: A flashback shows Nagisa’s bare back

Violence: A flashback shows a young Nagisa getting beaten up by his brother

Blood/Gore: A scene shows a man with blood on his back lying in a pool of blood

Review: Classroom Crisis, Episode 5: The Shame of the Journey Overrides

Review:

After Kiryu’s plan to interfere with Kaito’s plans backfires, he finds himself in yet another confrontation with his brother. What’s worse is that he has another deal that is looming over his head, and that needs to be sealed by the end of the following day in order for it to go through. In the midst of all this, A-TEC has their class trip to the beach, which Kiryu is inevitably drug along for. Several mishaps befall him as he tries to complete his work while the others have fun around him, and in the end he must rely on one of his fellow classmates to help him accomplish the task at hand. Relationships are strengthened, new mysteries are created, and typical “beach episode” antics ensue.

On the one hand, this episode is kind of a killjoy in the sense that it almost completely halts the forward progression that the story had been taking in the previous episode. While the tension between Kaito and Kiryu was continuing to build in their game of back-and-forth, that all pretty much gets halted in this episode to focus on beach antics and Kiryu’s need to finish his deal. On the other hand, the episode certainly offers some quality moments, especially in terms of the growth between Kiryu and Mizuki and Kiryu and Iris. Whether or not a romantic relationship between Kiryu and Mizuki is the end goal cannot be said, although it certainly seems possible based on some of their interactions in this episode. There is also a scene that continues to build the mystery that seems to surround Angelina—namely, who she is, exactly. While we already know her true name (and that in no particularly special fashion), we still don’t know her true purpose, and the fact that she seemed to be pulling a kunai from her pocket in this episode—on top of the idea of her being a ninja getting jokingly declined—raises some suspicions as to whether she really is just an employee from accounting.

Unfortunately, the episode is bogged down by a bit of fanservice. While it is common fare to have a group of perverts who try to peep on the girls in the bath, it doesn’t mean the viewer needs to ultimately see what they were trying to peep on. It is certainly humorous to watch the would-be voyeurs get blown up, but we are then given a scene of several female students in the bath. While the level of nudity is not as terrible as it could be, it is certainly enough to make viewers who are sensitive to this content uncomfortable. There is another bath scene near the end of the episode, and while this one at least serves some purpose (Mizuki gets a look at Kiryu’s scars), there were certainly other ways to go about it than the baring of flesh on the screen.

If you are able to get past the unsavory content, then the episode is at least a decent entry, even if it doesn’t really progress the main plot. There are some truly humorous moments, and the character bonds that are formed will likely play a role in future developments. If nothing else, seeing more of the characters does help to become more interested in them, which may make the events of the story have more of an impact further down the line.

A Christian Perspective:

Exodus 34:21 – Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.

Let me start off by saying that I am not here to start a debate about the Sabbath and whether or not Christians are to observe it, etc etc. Chances are, you already have your stance on the issue, and if you don’t, well there are men far better versed than I who you could consult on the issue. Regardless of whether you believe in a strict Sabbath observance or not, I think the Bible does make it pretty clear that it is important to take time to rest. The verse quoted here specifies that even in times of plowing and harvest, rest should be had. So how does this apply to this episode? Well, let’s just look at Kiryu: the class is, essentially, on vacation, and yet his focus is solely on the deal he is trying to solidify, causing him to miss out on any sense of relaxation or enjoyment that may be had. Now, you may argue that he didn’t have that luxury, because the deal was a timed thing that had to be done that day. That may very well be a valid point, but this points to a larger aspect of Kiryu’s character, namely that we never see (or hear) about him taking any breaks. He always seems to be working. Inevitably, if we keep working non-stop, we will burn ourselves out. We could also miss out on other opportunities because our minds are so focused on work.

A devotional I once read stated that by being intentional about setting aside a day to rest, we could be focused on getting done everything we needed to prior to that day (my paraphrase). If Kiryu had done this—if he had found a way to seal the deal the day prior—then he could have enjoyed the trip, but based on his character, it didn’t even seem to be something that interested him, so he lost out on any chance to relax, and suffered quite a bit of stress in the process. Sabbatarian or Non-Sabbatarian, we all need to take time to rest, regardless, so let’s try to keep that in mind as we go about our lives.

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: None

Language: 1 “h*ll”

Alcohol/Drug Use: Angelina and Kaito are shown at a bar, and Angelina is clearly drunk—she shoves a glass of alcohol at Kaito, as well-written; Kaito drinks

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Kaito and his students are shown in their bathing suits—several of the female students’ suits show cleavage; there is one shot from behind Iris where the camera is close to her bikini-clad butt (you can see her butt cheeks partially sticking out); several female students are shown in a hot spring, and varying levels of nudity are shown (although no nipples or groin shots are shown); Angelina is shown with her robe falling open, to reveal cleavage; Mitsuki, Iris, and Kiryu are all shown in the bath—the tops of Mitsuki’s breasts are shown, most of Kiryu’s body is shown from a distance, and Iris’ midsection is shown close up, and you also see the tops of her breasts; Kiryu’s bare back is shown in a flashback

Violence: Angelina holds a pen to Maoika’s throat; Angelina stomps on Maoika’s head

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Subaru (who I think is female) wants to peep on the female students in the bath along with two boys; Mizuki and Iris’ relationship is still suspect; Maioka seems to enjoy having Angelina hurt him

Review: Classroom Crisis, Episode 4: Clash! Union Battle

Review:

With his class drastically reduced in size, Kaito’s spirits are low and he is in need of a new strategy to combat Kiryu’s attempts to shut down A-TEC. When a fellow employee tries to pass off an obligation to Kaito, he is inspired to appeal to the union, a move that seems to initially play in A-TEC’s favor; however, Kaito’s students quickly realize what Kiryu meant when he said that the union isn’t as righteous as they think. Even so, it seems that Kaito has gained an upper hand against Kiryu’s plans, until Kiryu pulls a trump card of his own, effectively stopping Kaito’s plans in their tracks. Just when it seems like things are back at square one, Kaito finds support from those he thought had abandoned him, and manages to find an answer to his problems from the very thing Kiryu intended as a hindrance.

This is the first episode of Classroom Crisis that I found truly compelling. Not that the previous episodes have necessarily been boring, but this time around there seemed to be a purpose and central plot driving the entire episode. The initial introduction of the union made the show seem like it may have been heading in the direction of “educational” anime, such as Spice and Wolf and Maoyu (both of which wrapped up lessons about economics in their fantasy plots), but outside of the explanation of what a union is, this episode didn’t really cover much in terms of educating the viewer about business practices. It did, however, deliver in terms of genuinely tense moments, such as Kiryu’s comment about the union not being righteous followed by the political rally where it was revealed that the union intended to use Kaito’s notoriety to back a political candidate.

The episode does raise curiosities about the standard Japanese view of unions, given the shady motives displayed and their swift abandonment of Kaito when his status changes. Of course, it is incredibly satisfying to watch Kaito turn this change of events to his favor (no doubt with the assistance of his students). Watching Kiryu (and Angelina) get one-upped is one of this entry’s highlights, especially because their characters are easy to dislike in many circumstances. Despite that, the writers do a good job of making these characters (or at least Kiryu) compelling in their on right. The tension between him and his brother continues to build, and one can’t help but wonder what the story behind their relationship (and the brother’s motives) is. Add that to Kiryu’s confusing reaction to Kaito’s actions at the end of the episode, and it really makes forming an opinion on Kiryu difficult.

If you’ve been feeling a bit unsure about Classroom Crisis, then at least give this episode a try. It’s events seem to finally establish a genuine sense of conflict between the opposing parties, instead of simply continuing the various occurrences of Kiryu and Angelina further deconstructing A-TEC. While Kaito (and, to an extent, Kiryu) seem to have definitively taken the title of “main character(s)”, the show still does a good job of showing the efforts of Kaito’s students without causing them to feel as if they’re simply tagged on characters. If Classroom Crisis can continue like this, it just may turn out to be a great show.

A Christian Perspective:

Matthew 24:13 – but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

While I know that this verse is talking about the eternal salvation of our souls (a much more serious meaning than what I’m going to discuss here), the idea of “standing firm” seemed to be presented in this episode. The implication of this verse seems to be clear: it is only those who stand firm that will be saved. In the same vein, only those who stand firm in whatever trials they face will have a chance of seeing victory. This certainly holds true for A-TEC’s situation, because if Kaito and his class choose to quit trying, then A-TEC will be closed down for good. There were certainly times in this episode where the idea of Kaito giving up was presented, yet every time he decided to stay in the game and continue fighting. As a result, several students who had quit A-TEC have returned, and they have found a way to game the system so that they can function the way they need to. Of course, as previously stated, none of this matches the severity of standing firm in our faith, but it is still a good lesson for us to learn. Of course, there will be things in life that aren’t worth pursuing, so we need wisdom and discernment to determine if what we are fighting for deserves the effort required to pursue it.

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: None

Language: 1 “h*ck”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: The episode preview shows Kaito shirtless, girls in bikinis (with some cleavage), and one girl in a hot spring where you can see the tops of her breasts

Violence: Kiryu is hit in the face with a newspaper; a character has her cheeks pulled and fists grinded into her head; Angelina slaps Kaito

Blood/Gore: None