Classroom☆Crisis

Classroom☆Crisis

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Humanity aims to extend its reach to the stars, and they have succeeded in colonising all the planets of the solar system. In Fourth Tokyo, a new Japanese prefecture on Mars, Iris Shirasaki is an aspiring test pilot and her best friend, Mizuki, is her fellow student and mechanic at Kirishina Academy, an advanced technological institute. Mizuki’s older brother, Kaito, is their teacher and director of developing their class of highly intelligent and capable young people and encouraging their talents.

With a concept that was essentially ‘high school for the gifted in space’, Classroom☆Crisis was definitely an anime that I had to investigate. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite ‘take off’ as quick as I’d hoped, if you excuse the pun. It had its moments, and I was willing to give it a few chances because of its intriguing premise, but I felt that it wasn’t really delivering on its potential to be a really great science fiction anime – it wasn’t particularly intense, I wasn’t sure what to make of the characters and I wouldn’t really say there was much ‘crisis’ to speak of.

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Be prepared to be confused at the get-go, as the explanation as to why they’re all in space only happens at the end of the first episode – via a peculiar montage and documentary-esque video which actually looks like it’s meant to be a piece of propaganda. We are meant to take the fact that teenagers are rocketing back and forth between different moons as the norm. Aside from that, Classroom☆Crisis starts off well. With a tense boardroom sequence, the executives of the Kirishina Corporation are discussing the large sum of money they owe, and that a space gang have taken one of their number hostage and are demanding a large sum.

imageMeanwhile, Iris and Mizuki are heading to school and wondering what the new transfer student will be like. When the student never shows, they discover that it’s because he is the hostage. Refusing to sit around and do nothing with this knowledge, the students use the new technology they’ve been developing to stage a rescue.

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Sadly, I think things kicked off a little to prematurely. The action is great, but I didn’t feel any connections to the characters at this early stage so things were diluted a little bit. Neither did I feel any sense of urgency for the team to rescue an unidentified hostage. We see Iris piloting the prototype ship, with guidance from headquarters, through an asteroid belt, having to do an emergency landing in order to complete the dangerous rescue mission. Unfortunately the hostage, Nagisa Kiryu, has already freed himself of his captors and didn’t need the team’s help at all.

There’s one thing that, from the get-go, I thought would be a big improvement for Classroom☆Crisis: more space scenes. For a intergalactic genius school set on Mars, there’s actually very little indication that they are actually there. The setting could be present-day Earth for all the background and atmosphere gives away every episode. It’s a little disappointing that there wasn’t more world-building in the early episodes. Usually, this isn’t something I particularly look for, but I think this anime has missed out on a treat here and squandered that exposition potential on an impulsive rescue mission at a time where everyone was too busy wondering what on earth (or not, in this case) was going on.image
There was so much potential to be had with this concept. There could have been a great dystopic edge, explored the economic weight and consequences for having a colony on the red planet, or gone down the route of Aldnoah Zero, but the sci-fi element just hasn’t been capitalised on in the way I expected it to. Instead, we have an executive/student announcing that the school programme will close down within a year (but not really doing much else) and a ‘beach episode’ where all the students go on a graduation trip. It’s a mildly-humerous episode that doesn’t really contribute to the overall story. And if Classroom☆Crisis is lacking something, it’s plot direction. It doesn’t seem to want to commit to any particular genre, wavering in the grey area in the middle.

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Um… guys? Isn’t your school in danger of shutting down?

However, this leisurely pace has enabled us to get to know some characters. Iris and Mizuki’s relationship is certainly interesting and there are some great scenes which show off some of the talents of those in the class – although they don’t make enough of an impact for me to remember their names! There’s a lot of fun scenes to watch, but unfortunately I already have a lot of ‘fun’ anime that I’m watching this season. I was expecting something a little more substantial from Classroom☆Crisis.

imageWith its failure to commit to a particular direction, this anime quickly falls into the background, overshadowed by Summer 2015 line-up favourites such as Himouto! Umaru-chanCharlotte and Rokka -Braves of the Six Flowers-. Episodically, I tended to forget what was going on almost immediately after watching it. It misses so many opportunities to develop a sci-fi world that I was to stay and engage with.