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.
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