Classroom Crisis

March 20, 2016

It is one of those shows where the synopsis doesn’t say much. A very general statement that could just mean anything, everything or nothing. But when you start watching it, it turns out differently. Of course that is mainly because you have formed your own perceptions and beliefs onto it. At least that was the case for me when I got to know Classroom Crisis and after I watched it. I knew it was going to be some sort of sci-fi as it states about human settlements throughout the solar system. This means colonies and duplicates of great cities like Tokyo (what else?) on planets such as Mars as seen in this series. The rest of the bland synopsis tells us what the main characters do. That’s it. I’m not sure if the charm is in the mystery of not telling us the rest and perhaps to pique our interest in watching the series. And then it turns out a little different than what you anticipated. It could be really great or just shockingly disappointing. But I’ll leave that at the end of the blog.

So judging by the anime title itself, I was thinking that the school is going to shut down due to the minimal number of enrolling students and thus they take it upon themselves to save the school. Oh wait. They did that already in Love Live. Futuristic version of it? Nope… Well then, hmmm… The main characters are a brother-sister pair whose relationship is also a teacher-student connection. So is there some sort of incest going around and when it is busted they go into damage control while trying to maintain status quo? Nope… How about a new transfer student that turns out to be some sort of crazy killer and picking off everybody in class one by one? That’s absolutely crazy! Definitely a big no on that. So if it isn’t all of the above, what else could it be? Hint: Business and politics… Oh…

Episode 1
There is a discussion among the big wigs of Kirishina Corporation about a demand of a hostage. There are threats to kill him if payment demands are not met. The CEO, Genzou Yanai is really tearing his hair out of this. However, the conglomerate which is run by the Kiryuu family, led by Kazuhisa the president and his brother, Yuuji the vice president, it seems they do not intend to give in to such demands despite the hostage is of an important person in their corporation. They want to label this as business related and not incident. So please keep your mouth shut on this. At the technological department, Kaito Sera is fixing a prototype craft. His outgoing chief Saigou Sasayama hopes he could be there to witness its official performance before his tenure ends. Kaito is also a teacher of the A-TEC (Advance Tech Development and Education) section. But looks like he isn’t so keen on teaching his students and wants to get back fixing his prototype. The class is abuzz of a new transfer student today but when he doesn’t show up, rumour has it that it has been delayed. In actual fact, he is actually in that hostage situation. As explained by Sasayama to Kaito, one of the mining asteroids owned by Kirishina. Coldwood experienced uprising by local workers not satisfied with the payment. The hostage got dragged into it. However Kirishina seems to be withholding payment despite Yanai wanting to just pay them off since that mine is slated to be closed and the banks have withdrawn their financial support. As the kidnappers have no bank accounts, the demand is to deliver by hand the cash. Failure to meet that deadline means the hostage will be killed. Kaito then starts to map out the fastest route and seems he knows he can make it there in time. The hostage tells the kidnappers their demands won’t be met. Not because of their faulty plan, but rather they chose the wrong hostage. He shows them his business card as he explains because of who he is, there are others who are going to snuff them out while taking him out too. He wants them to think of a plan that will benefit all parties and make a profit.

Kaito tells this to his students and he is confident he can reach there in his prototype, X-2. Of course the students protest since it is not tested and Kaito’s qualification as a pilot is questionable (he wants to play hero and ride that thing). Not to mention Mizuki is not only his student but his sister. Before Kaito can explain the rest of his plan, they realize their ace pilot, Iris Shirasaki has already taken off! Clearly lots of protocol violation here. They have no choice but to rush down to the control room and support her. Iris flies through a restricted zone which is asteroid belts. Each time a part of X-2 gets damaged, Yuna Nouen heart breaks. Oh, the cost… She is going to have a heart attack when Iris is forced to discharge a damaged booster. Cost rising, heartache rising. When Iris arrives before Coldwood, the landing system is down. No time for repairs? No problem. She’ll crash land that thing. It is amazing she is still in one piece but X-2 is wrecked beyond recognition. Oh, poor Yuna… When she heads in, she is surprised to see the hostage freed and alone. He too is surprised to see her. When he is safely returned, he chides Kaito for making the worst decision ever! He explains of the bloated costs in this rescue mission. Hundreds of millions! But that is just trivial. The X-2 they just wrecked? Billions! It’s a good thing they managed to salvage all the damaged parts, eh? When he shows his name card, he is Nagisa Kiryuu, the chief of the Advanced Technological Development department at Kirishina. This means the transfer student is their boss and his job is to downsize them. Cost cutting measure, eh?

Episode 2
A narration of Kirishina’s history in the aerospace industry for 70 years. It even goes as far back as how it all started. Founded by a couple of high school students after they exhibited their rocket at a local science fair, Takahisa Kiryuu and Renichirou Shinamiya. Nagisa’s introduction in A-TEC is most cold and business-like. He’ll be shutting down this department in a year. It’s been only a short while, so nice to meet you folks. Jerk. He also maintains his unfriendly disposition as he has read up the failure of this current A-TEC class. No worthwhile results and that scandal 2 day ago. Another narration of Kirishina’s A-TEC department that developed some SWNPR engine that led to the popular SWNPR Race. Call it the formula one of outer space. It goes without saying that Kirishina dominates the race with their advanced technology. Kaito is also highlighted under this review as he had been racing in junior grand prix and also developed his own engine that brought about major changes to the rules. Nagisa confronts Iris about her reckless piloting that was suicidal but she just ignores the jerk. Mizuki tries to be friendly with him but that guy is just being a plain jerk.

Nagisa then sees big brother Yuuji who feels the dismantling of A-TEC is a must to preserve their legacy. Nagisa suggests using that scandal and they’ll be gone in no time but Yuuji doesn’t want him to do that as the Coldwood incident cover-up will be for nothing. Yuuji gives him a time limit of 6 months to get the job done or else. Nagisa then hints of the many snags during his trip to Coldwood that led up to the hostage situation. He felt like there were higher hands playing into this. That irk on Yuuji’s face tells it all. Kaito and his students discover the big achievements Nagisa has made. He joined the company at 16 and has done lots of high end deals and elite meetings. A highly successful businessman groomed to be the future CEO of Kirishina! Just too awesome to ignore. The footage of A-TEC interviews continue as we hear the students’ varying goals of joining this class. Then there is the interview with Kaito himself. His speech is so awesome, filled with hope and motivation that Kaito himself is touched when he rewatches it! This gives him the motivation to march down to Nagisa’s office to tell him off that he won’t accept his way of things. Although Nagisa says his position here was decided by the company, feel free to do whatever underhanded tactics to drag him down if he feels like it. But Kaito is going to play fair and make the big guys at Kirishina see the usefulness of A-TEC. Nagisa dares him to convince the current management and hopefully he would succeed before he becomes CEO. This leaves Kaito in surprise since Nagisa has planned his future that far ahead.

Episode 3
Yuuji tells Nagisa that A-TEC’s budget has been cut by 70%. They will perish in no time. When Nagisa says he didn’t have to do this, Yuuji screams back all he needs to do is listen to his orders. He points out their problem is not the fact Nagisa had 100% successful business record but his refusal to obey him. After Kaito and his students continue to develop their engine, Kaito then marches into Nagisa’s office and throws all the cost proposals to seek additional funding. Nagisa throws it all back at him because it doesn’t tell him why they should invest in this or its impact on the company. As the students head to their lab, they are surprised to see this woman, Angelina packing their recycled and waste papers away nicely. She then chides them for leaving it in such a messy state that they risk leaking their secrets to rivals. Cost cutting is one thing but this is just too much. As she is from the accounting and budget division, she is sent by Nagisa to be their vice homeroom teacher and observe Kaito too. Later Kaito tries to convince Angelina to side and invest with them. But he is being told off about the way they are spending money that is just bleeding the company. At this rate they will not last 3 months. She advises him to stick to her budget plans. When he mentions being a teacher first, a researcher second, Angelina again chides him for being a tyrant boss instead because from the way she sees it, the students are overworked to the bone.

Next day, the students are shocked to see their lab turned into a manufacturing factory. All in just one day? It seems Kaito unknowingly agreed to her budget cut plan but he didn’t count taking away their workspace was part of it. Don’t worry. She has prepared an appropriate place for them. The abandoned memorial house of Kirishina is a good place for them. In fact, the small lab where the founders made their rocket is going to be their base. Behold! Technically the birthplace of A-TEC. The students protest at this place lacking infrastructure and proper equipment so Angelina tells them off about their lax attitude towards status quo. She mentions about the high cost in keeping their lab running. They won’t even get to cover and pay back all that working their entire lives. This at least is 1/20 of the cost. What about proper tools? Use your damn creativity! And that’s final. Later Kaito talks to retired Sasayama about the current problem. Even more heartbreaking was half of his students quit the team. He is at a lost that all that they have done is for nought. Sasayama tries to look positive at things. At least they have a chance to prove themselves albeit a tiny one. Angelina talks to Nagisa about him assigning her to A-TEC which means he is trying to preserve the class. Angelina’s other job is to spy on Yuuji. She has found out that A-TEC’s budget cut is not widely known. Only the very top management knows about this. This question is where all that money would go to. Angelina thought she could share a night of passion with him but he only agreed to let her stay to use his shower. That’s it. What a letdown. We see a big hideous scar over his back as he ponders who is going to survive this. Him or A-TEC.

Episode 4
What can a small group do without proper funding and equipment? Nothing. When a teacher begs Kaito to go to some political speech, this gives him an idea to take his issues through the union. So he goes see the union leader, Shigeru Yamamoto and he agrees to fight for his cause. So we see the union putting up some little protests and getting people to sign their petition to overthrow the management’s decision. Mizuki is even cheeky enough to try and get Nagisa to sign but he warns them the union is not as clean and selfless as they think. Kaito is even made to go out on stage to do a political speech as Yamamoto suggests expanding their fight to cover the entire nation and hit the corporation where it hurts most. Yuuji summons Nagisa and is furious about Kaito teaming up with Oozora Party. Though Nagisa doesn’t find it a big deal for A-TEC to join the union, Yuuji tells him to dismantle this partnership. He doesn’t care how. Just do it. This only serves as a hint to Nagisa that Yuuji might have something planned for the next general election or something else that is troubling him. He has Angelina do more digging. When Nagisa and the union agree to sit down and talk, before anything could began, Kaito is handed a letter. It states his promotion to assistant chief. The union workers are devastated and they leave. Because now Nagisa is an executive, it will make the union his enemy as they only fight for the labourer’s rights. Congratulations on his promotion. Now left with no help from both side.

At their wit’s end, Kaito gives the greatest motivational speech to his students that he wants to become a great teacher and boss for them and that is why he is never going to give up. He hopes they will keep supporting him. Surprisingly, the students who quit returned after hearing such heartfelt speech. 2 weeks later as Angelina goes to check on them, she is shocked to see the garage now filled with proper equipment for them to do their R&D on X-3. What is the meaning of this? How did they get the funds? All I understand is that since Kaito is now a high level management, he gets to make decisions without going through certain protocols that involve higher management for fund approval up to a certain amount. Even if that limit is not enough, he sent out 30 circulars to secure funds of 599,700,000 Yen! Angelina leaving without saying anything is a resounding victory for them. But she warns Kaito that whether she lets this slide or not, A-TEC is still doomed. Then they get into a petty argument and Angelina is most pissed when Kaito mentions her real name: Hanako Hattori. I guess they did a little snooping too. Kaito gets a slap in his face. Later, when Nagisa talks to Kaito about his funding method, I think he is putting in a long winded way that he approves of it.

Episode 5
Yuuji is not pleased that A-TEC has not been shut down and now they have resources to continue their work. But didn’t he say to sever their ties with Oozora Party? Yuuji quickly changes the subject and it seems Nagisa has got a deal done in just a week. A deal that would have at least taken a month. Impressive? A-TEC is on their way for their class trip at the beach. The partying and singing in the bus really must have got to Angelina’s nerves. I wonder how Nagisa can still work calmly in all that partying. Wondering if all his data is secured, Nagisa assures it is all saved in the company’s server but Sakugo Maioka easily hacks it. At the beach, Mizuki tries to persuade Nagisa to join them instead of working. Kaito misinterprets he is trying to hit on his sister. Angelina misinterprets the brat is trying to hit on him. Because Angelina is seemingly going to do something dangerous, Iris goes into defensive mode as both girls go into showdown. Mizuki tries to diffuse the tension. Angelina knows about Iris’ amnesia that she cannot remember her childhood, a secret only known to Kaito and Mizuki. During the tension, Angelina accidentally flings her sausage-on-a-stick. Can you believe it? The stick destroyed Nagisa’s laptop monitor! It is either Angelina’s super strength or they don’t make durable PCs like they do nowadays. Nagisa borrows her tablet to continue working. Even during meal time, Nagisa is seen working. Mizuki again tries to persuade him to join them. Because the guys are fooling around with their invention, they accidentally break the tablet. Meanwhile Angelina forces Kaito to accompany her and drink as they pour out their sorrows.

Nagisa wants the guys help to repair this tablet since they broke it. And as their boss, he orders them! However they tell him about the class caste so as a transfer student, he ranks lowest. They will fix the tablet but in exchange must do something for them. With no time left, he agrees. But when he realizes that they are going to peep on the girls in the hotspring, he just leaves. No time for their stupidity. It’s a good move. Because the girls predicted this and the boys step on a trap and turn them into fireworks. When Mizuki learns of Nagisa’s troubles, she mentions a Kirishina branch nearby but it is 2 hours drive. No time. Nagisa only has 1 hour. Iris then borrows a van and recklessly drifts and drives all the way there! Hang on! Every corner it feels like death is, well, around the corner. Eventually he arrives but the branch has no authority to log on to the main server. That is when Angelina calls and tells him to input the password that enables him to do so. Actually she threatened Sakugo to do some hacking… Job done. The ride back is slow and peaceful. Nagisa and Mizuki soak in separate hotsprings that night. She still tries to be friendly with him but he tells her outright he has no intention to befriend any of them. Despite this being his first class trip, it feels awful and he doesn’t want to do it again. When Iris enters the wrong bath section, Nagisa panics and brings down the barrier. It’s not his nice ass that Mizuki is shocked to see. It’s his back scar.

Episode 6
Nagisa rejects Kaito’s request for another funding. Asking at this rate will kill his department faster so he advises him about innovation being born when there is an obstacle to overcome. It’s not his words. That is what the founders said. People like him with no money, no time and no support should think outside the box and use their creativity to succeed. Not too sure if this is Kaito’s revenge because during a class test, Nagisa fails. He has to take a make-up test. I guess he never learnt all those technical stuffs in school. And now Kaito has the last laugh of telling him about innovation and outside the box thinking. In Mizuki’s bid to be friendlier with him, she stays after class with him to help tutor him. After a little small talk, he seems ready to reveal a bit of his family past. Similarly, Kaito who is out drinking with Sasayama to complain about the funding reject (he is also advised to think out of the box), is also being told the same. We learn that Nagisa is the son of Yasuhisa and his lover, Chisato. He was taken into the family at the age of 6. Yuuji rejected and hated everything about him and even resorted to abuse in those younger days. Even more shocking is that Nagisa’s mother was the only remaining blood relative of the Shinamiya clan. Having both blood means he is directly related to the founders. This is the reason why Yanai is trying to win over him so he could win over Kazuhisa and Yasuhisa who is the current CEO.

If it caused many complications, why take in Nagisa in the first place? It was stocks. At the time, Nagisa’s mom owned 30% of Kirishina’s stocks. This was the reason Yasuhisa approached her and the reason why he took Nagisa in after she died. All of Nagisa’s success, Yuuji took credit for it. As thanks for all that, he carved his gratitude on his back. Yup. That scar. I guess Nagisa has to stop now that Mizuki is crying. But she too stops and resumes the tutoring. When they leave very late, Iris has been waiting for Mizuki! Wait a minute. She’s been waiting this long? Maybe Mizuki told her she’d be back in a short while but don’t you think after never coming back, should she not have sensed something amiss and gone to look for her instead of sitting down there like an idiot? Seeing Mizuki’s red eyes, she is quick to blame Nagisa might have done something to her. To Nagisa’s shock, the A-TEC students are breaking the rules by working overtime. However they reword it as after school activity. Nagisa still chides them because it is still work related. Seriously, because of him rejecting their funding, they are currently trying to find ways to reduce their costs to save money for other things. Mizuki then has everyone help Nagisa study and everyone is glad to oblige. They’re not going to be as kind as Mizuki. Because of that all-nighter, Nagisa barely passes the make-up tests. Iris wakes up from a nightmare where her grandpa is dying in his pool of blood and telling her to protect Nagisa at all costs and not let him being taken away.

Episode 7
Surprise! A-TEC is actually doing their job on schedule and within the allotted budget! See? You can do it if you want to! But they still lack the 1.5 billion funds needed to buy the reactor. Ah shucks! The final piece to the puzzle. Don’t worry. Kaito will think of something. I hope. Currently, Angelina and Iris are away for a seminar. It was so boring for Angelina that she just slept through it. But the worst part is that they had quite the nice dinner and probably she was drinking too much that they missed the last flight back to Mars. And she has an important meeting tomorrow. Nagisa uses his authority to arrange a flight for them home. Also on this flight is Professor Jason Li. Imagine Angelina’s shock to hear this great system engineering professor tutored Kaito. After a while the flight takes off, Iris notices their path is not towards Mars. That is when those agents whip out their guns as they want Li to accompany them to Earth. Angelina uses her ninja skills to easily disable them. Even Iris had at least a moment by knocking one with a lamp shade. A-TEC is shock to hear the ship’s hijack but thankfully they are safe. The pilot is also in cohorts and has locked himself in the cockpit. When Nagisa calls Yuuji to inform what is happening and request authority to handle this, big brother doesn’t want him to do anything and to leave everything to him. And that he means is to wait and see since he doesn’t want anybody to discover whatever plans they had. Nagisa knows he can’t sit still and do nothing. Kaito’s answer is more straightforward. Just go rescue them like last time. Well, if they only had a ship.

The plan now is for them to get into the cockpit and take control so that they can send some guidance data back to A-TEC for them to help out. It gets better when Nagisa gives them his permission to do what it takes to rescue them. After relaying the plan to Angelina, she talks to Iris about Nagisa’s family who had another family who once protected them. They are called Shirasaki. She believes has something to do with him before she lost her memories as her family’s name was stitched on her clothes when they found her. After subduing the pilots and taking over the control, all that is left is to turn the ship around and let it fly back to Mars. Could have been a closed case if not for the pilot regaining consciousness and trying to shoot Iris. Angelina sees this coming and uses her arm to block the shot (it’s just a flesh wound). But this scene evokes horrific trauma for Iris as she passes out. The ship veers off course and is going to collide into a satellite. The only thing Angelina can do is to protect and cover Iris. A passing ship luckily pulls it away. Iris is grateful Angelina protected her. A-TEC’s ground control is glad that everybody turned out safe and even happier they get to talk to Li. However suspicions abound for Nagisa. Especially about that unidentified ship. It is definitely not Yuuji. Speaking of him, he is being told off by Kazuhisa for his bad decision to let Li die as he is an important man in Kirishina. He won’t reprimand him but just notes that he failed to reach an optimum conclusion. Kazuhisa than welcomes Li into his office.

Episode 8
As the bottom of the file and rank, Yuuji has to do the groundwork for the cultural festival. Meanwhile Yuuji sees a couple of politicians from the ruling party, Seimin. It seems the general election is near and the polls indicate Oozora is taking a very big lead. The politicians want Yuuji to cough up more money and assure crowds at their candidates’ venue. They lambast him the irony that Seimin has always worked closely with Kirishina and despite Oozora and the union are supposed to be under their control, they are taking the lead. Do something about this or he will not achieve his goal. Meanwhile Sadayuki Murakami from Oozora talks to Kaito about the possibility of having his speech before his cultural festival activity. Kaito is not so sure because he remembers the union and party bailed at him before. Murakami then switches mode to apologize and like the smooth operator he is, convinces Kaito that his true goal is to fight for the labourers’ rights. Safe to say, the simpleton is taken in by his speech and will support him. As A-TEC work on their rocket to be on a flight demo during the festival, Iris as the test pilot starts to experience her past trauma. Something about being alone in a capsule floating in space and it is about to hit an asteroid! Mizuki pulls her out and takes her temperature. A little high. Don’t worry. We have Kaito as the replacement test pilot. Looking a bit clumsy… Mizuki hopes Nagisa could make it to the after party. She will be eagerly waiting for him. Then Iris asks Nagisa if he knows anything about the Shirasaki family because when they first met, it was like he was very familiar with her. He says he was only surprised to see a female test pilot. He asks if she plans to be a pilot for the rest of her life. She doesn’t answer but I think it means a yes. He believes that is the best choice since revenge is only for fools.

Angelina returns with her findings on the channelling of A-TEC’s budget. Because someone noticed this new trend and reported it to the superior who is no other than Yuuji and that news doesn’t move anywhere, it is clear Yuuji is diverting large amounts of money. This money would have been a big boost for them. If they can find out, not only A-TEC’s budget will be saved but their survival as well. They both note that they have become sympathetic for A-TEC although Angelina points out Nagisa has changed after spending more time at A-TEC. He has become more likeable. The festival proceeds well. So does the rocket demonstration. Big success. Then it had to run out of fuel and crash land. I wonder how much this is going to cost with Kaito ejecting from his seat. Yuuji wants Nagisa to do something about Murakami and do it by any means like a scandal or election violation. Nagisa reminds him he is now part of this corporation and no longer his shadow lackey. If he gets caught in foul play, Yuuji will also fall. Yuuji then punches him and tells him off that if he gets caught, don’t you dare mention his name. All the doing was of his own and nothing related. This only serves to make Nagisa realize that Kazuhisa also has a hand in this. Now he can destroy both of them depending on his approach. Time to get planning. Mizuki waits for Nagisa at the allotted time but he doesn’t turn up.

Episode 9
Yuuji is furious that there have been no updates from Nagisa. Last minute he calls to confirm Murakami is history and that their candidate, Kenshou Furubayashi will win. For a clearer explanation, please watch the news now. It seems Furubayashi has quit from Seimin to join Oozora. Murakami is also panicking at the implication of this. He should be because with him in Oozora, the union will now support him. Out you go Murakami. Yuuji continues to scream his head off at Nagisa but he is just being cool. Hey, you told him to do whatever he wanted, right? And he did it all on his own accord. Plus, Furubayashi also made a pledge for a personal favour to Nagisa if he wins. He knows Yuuji was supposed to ensure Furubayashi’s win as Seimin assemblyman but couldn’t comply with Kazuhisa’s wishes. But it didn’t happen. With this, Yuuji is finished. Angelina reveals all that has happened to A-TEC. A week before the elections, Nagisa met up with Furubayashi. First he showed him the missing funds and Furubayashi thought he want his money back or drag him to court or something. Nagisa just wanted to be sure… Then he suggests him to switch party. This is a sure way for him to get elected. As personal reasons are not the cause of his struggling campaign, it is the party itself. Seimin is to blame and if he continues aligning himself with it, he will definitely lose. Furubayashi isn’t convinced with this verbal tactic so Nagisa brings in Yamamoto and Takehiko Sonozaki, the secretary general of Oozora. I believe they are old buddies. With that, Furubayashi made the switch. All this has been the backdoor planning between Nagisa and Yamamoto. With Nagisa siding with the union and promising them many favours after he takes over, Yamamoto indulged him in some insider information. A win-win situation.

The A-TEC students are just looking gloomy after hearing this story. Heck, I thought they turned into zombies! Kaito confronts Nagisa. But he is not going to censure and save him. This surprises Nagisa because he expected him to do that since this is where A-TEC’s budget has gone. But Kaito only says he is sad and disappointed. He thought it wasn’t the Nagisa he knew when he did this kind of thing. Because if he wanted to play the villain, he should do it with confidence. At least believe in his own philosophy instead of looking like he is about to cry (Kaito too is about to cry). If he can’t do that, it is like saying he doesn’t believe he can make himself happy. The election came and went. Furubayashi wins on a landslide while Murakami who became an independent failed to mount any comeback. Yuuji gets a call from Kazuhisa. He is apologizing to the max and blames it all on Nagisa. But big brother is cool. He is not blaming him for the defeat but he is going to make up for it. He is going to be transferred to some distribution department at some faraway outskirts. Don’t worry. He’ll still be the director. That is all. Yuuji still wants to blame Nagisa but Kazuhisa says he should have acknowledged his talent at a young age. Or was it his very talented pawn? Goodbye. Yuuji’s finished. Breaking furniture won’t do him any good. Now Nagisa sets his sights on Kazuhisa.

Episode 10
On the news, Oozora although won the election has no clear majority so it is trying to form a coalition with Southern Cross Party and form a ruling government. Nagisa has been promoted to director, taking over Yuuji’s place as he heads into his first board meeting that includes Kazuhisa. A-TEC is shocked by this sudden news since this means Nagisa is no longer their classmate (nobody to boss around?) but Kaito wants his students to continue working on their project. Nagisa talks to Yanai who is glad Yuuji is gotten rid of and this will give their faction the majority within the board of directors. Yanai believes Nagisa is not a Kiryuu despite his name and the true and last descendent of Shinamiya. He wants to put Kirishina back to its original path of making only rockets. Because the company has going into more trouble ever since they expanded into other areas. He is trying to play the hate card since they both hate Kazuhisa as well as Yasuhisa, they can form an ally to take them down. Nagisa then brings about A-TEC’s disbandment and convinces Yanai they can use this as their advantage at the next board meeting to bring Kazuhisa down. Angelina is wary of Yanai because his words seem hollow and his goal is to gain more power. Nagisa isn’t the one to say as he knows he too isn’t the hero of justice. As long as Kazuhisa is a common enemy, he is one to rely on. He has Angelina go around arranging a meeting with those who are not aligned with any higher ups as Nagisa will need to convince them for their cooperation to overthrow Nagisa. Mizuki and Iris take a break. They talk about things. Especially about Nagisa. It dawned to Iris as she asks Mizuki if she is in love with Nagisa. Stunned for a while, Mizuki then acknowledges she does. Then they go back to work. How un-dramatic… But it was hardly surprising too… The snippets show Nagisa and Kazuhisa trying to canvass allies and A-TEC finally finishes X-3.

In the next meeting, Nagisa quickly initiates an emergency vote on the resolution to dissolve A-TEC. Angelina gets a call from Yamamoto who tells her to watch the news as an unexpected development has come into play. The party leaders of Oozora and Seimin have just finished their press conference and came to a conclusion that they will form a coalition. This will give the ruling party to run as an unopposed government. The shocking developments mean that Furubayashi is no longer the trump card that Nagisa can use and that the union cannot protect Furubayashi. In a way, he will have to seek a greater power. Angelina fears Kazuhisa is behind all this. It gets bad to worse when Nagisa is the only person who votes against the dissolution of A-TEC. All his allies remain silent. Including Yanai. When A-TEC tests run its new prototype, everything is going fine till Iris starts to veer off course. Her trauma is reigniting as she screams of running into an asteroid field. Ground control checks there is nothing in visual and that all her checks and equipment are running fine. Iris then remembers fully the flashback when her grandpa died before her eyes. Then this shocking twist of development: Iris is Nagisa???!!!

Episode 11
The resolution is shot down and A-TEC will be disbanded as scheduled. Although Iris crash lands, she is recovering well in hospital. Although the ship is badly damaged. There’s no way they can fix this without incurring high costs, right? Li picks up Kaito and tells him he is a fellow employee at Kirishina now. He then brings him to a warehouse to show him the latest project he is working on and Kirishina’s newest product: Bipedal war robots?! As Nagisa sits defeated, Kazuhisa comes to talk to him. He praises Nagisa’s plan at throwing a curve ball at him and then explains his goal in all of this. Kazuhisa always needed the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Economy and Trade by his side, which were helmed by Hanamura and Furubayashi respectively. In his new venture, Nagisa must have realized that with the dwindling resources, there will be military clashes. Now that he has both ministries in his hands, all that is left is to manufacture the goods. Nagisa is shocked to see the war robots. Kirishina never made this before so how did he? It then dawned to him that Kazuhisa got Li on board this project (the hijack incident was because there were other parties after him for his expertise). This is the reason why A-TEC will be disbanded. Similarly, Li has gathered his engineers to work on this project but all that he is missing is a person specialized in making the power unit. That’s right. It’s you, Kaito. Kazuhisa says he now has 5 trump cards in his grasp to make this project a success: Hanamura, Furubayashi, Li, Kaito and Nagisa. He will appoint Nagisa as the executive for this project thanks to his countless business skills he acquired as experience.

Kazuhisa praises Nagisa for taking Yuuji down. Had he gone on to be his dog, Kazuhisa would have no use for him. This is prove he is worthy of this project. Kazuhisa also knows about his revenge plot for the Shinamiya and also Nagisa is just a stand in and fake. This means he has neither Kiryuu nor Kirishina blood running in his veins. With Iris remembering her entire past now, Kazuhisa explains about the Shirasaki clan who served under Shinamiya plotting to set Nagisa (who was Iris then) to flee to Earth. But Yasuhisa got wind of this plot and started pursuing them. They used a boy of the same age as decoy (this Nagisa as we know). However the real Nagisa never made it to Earth and it is assumed they died in an accident. Yasuhisa doesn’t care about this fake Nagisa’s lineage and took advantage of the situation. As long as the world sees him as the last remaining Shinamiya survivor, he took him in and stole everything that belonged to that family. Even though Nagisa knew all about it, he played his role well, just as Yasuhisa wanted, seeking revenge for Shinamiya. But Kazuhisa doesn’t care about all that and his past. What he cares about is his abilities he has now. Forget about revenge and work under him. They can strike it rich and at the same time please the shareholders and protect the employees, which is what their position is all about, right? Wow. Nagisa looks pretty convinced to join him. Especially when he has such big long term vision. Later when he learns Iris has had an accident, he rushes to the hospital but she is already discharged. She is now looking for him at his office but Angelina is only there. She asks Angelina why she works loyally under him. Is it because she has something to do with Shinamiya? She only cares about him and has nothing to do about that clan. Angelina believes Iris has remembered something important but unfortunately the first person she needs to tell first is Nagisa. I hope Angelina didn’t get the wrong idea it is about love or something.

When Nagisa heads to A-TEC, he sees Mizuki working alone. As usual, he screams his head off at all the violations and ignored warnings but Mizuki is just playing cool and smiling back. Then all the pent up frustrations has him break down as he starts feeling guilty for being responsible for A-TEC’s disbandment. All Mizuki can do is console him with a smile and says he tried his best. She realizes too late her dirty hands made his face dirty. The more she tries to clean it, the dirtier it gets. So much so he looks funny! And then… They started hugging! Oh, his shirt is dirty too. I guess it is heartbreak for Iris seeing this scene so she flees. Well, I don’t know if she could it if she ever saw them kissing! OMG! They’re doing a real kiss! Of course Kaito sees this and he isn’t too happy what this grumpy ex-boss is doing to his sister. Yeah, boss or not, he punches him (because Nagisa told him to too). The guys talk especially about Nagisa’s next move. Kazuhisa’s proposal seems tempting and right from a businessman’s perspective. But Kaito tells him despite so, they are forgetting another important factor: Customers. Kaito wants to put a smile on customers’ face so of course he will turn down Li’s invitation. Even if this means being fired from A-TEC and disappoint his students who admire him? Didn’t think that far, eh? Nagisa suggests teaming up to disrupt their plans. Nagisa works out a plan for A-TEC’s restructuring. But then he gets stabbed by an assailant in the streets. OMG! It’s Yuuji!

Episode 12
Nagisa is kidnapped and beaten up by Yuuji who of course is clearly out for revenge. He will make him suffer like hell before killing him. Angelina sees the footage of Nagisa’s kidnapping and reports to Kazuhisa. Of course he also knows about this and is trying his best to locate him. As he doesn’t want this to get public and that this is a Kiryuu family problem, he has his hands tied in utilizing the few people for the search. I guess this means you need to get the job done yourself. When Angelina tells this to A-TEC, they right away go into action to help retrace everything. Angelina is surprised she thought they would resent him but I guess nobody else is their better slave than him. Whoops. Although they manage to trace the whereabouts, when Angelina reaches there, they are already gone. Yuuji and his men used the tactic of switching many cars and locations so it will be hard to trace them. But Kaito tells them all to go back and rest because they have to finish their X-3. So is he abandoning to save Nagisa? Actually Nagisa left Kaito a draft of A-TEC’s restructuring. He has put a lot of effort into this. So even if he comes back alive but A-TEC is gone, it will kill his ambition. Therefore they are going to do what they know best and leave the fighting and combat to Angelina. Kaito assigns Yuna and Kaoruko Takanashi to assist Angelina who has also been given a contact card of Nagisa’s connections. Yuuji continues beating up Nagisa but all he can think of is A-TEC’s presentation and worried if they caught on the clues he left behind for them. This only fuels Yuuji’s anger. But since Nagisa wants so much to see how their presentation goes, Yuuji will delay his death till that day.

Angelina goes to see Ibra of a construction company. He and his men were those initial kidnappers of Nagisa on Coldwood. They are already on the move to trace Nagisa but cannot act too rash or the enemy will run away. A-TEC continues to fix X-3, Kaito manages to secure several big wigs for the presentation and Iris is still having that asteroid trauma while in her practice simulation. On the day of the presentation, Yuuji surprises Nagisa by loading him up in X-2. Looks like he got the money to salvage it and employ guys to do some adjustments. Nagisa will crash into Coldwood with this baby and with that vanish along with A-TEC that he loves so much too. That is, if it doesn’t explode on the way. But Nagisa apologizes to Yuuji for his trivial revenge that made him unhappy, only to provoke him and furiously turning Nagisa into a punching bag. After loading him in, the construction guys barge in to attack Yuuji and his men. Angelina would love to kill this bastard who is cowering in fear but she’ll leave the administration to deal with him. Sometimes you wonder if that is a good idea because as she tries to stop the launch, Yuuji shoots her from the back before being taken out shortly by Ibra. X-2 launches and the operation is a failure. When A-TEC learns of this, Kaito mentions the change in plans. The mission to rescue Nagisa and the presentation will run simultaneously.

Episode 13
Mizuki catches Iris red handed when she tries to sneak in to ride X-3 to save Nagisa. She knows something is wrong with her. She must have remembered something. Because previously she was never afraid and look at her, her hands are still trembling. I guess Iris still can’t say it so she starts crying. Meanwhile Kaito begins his presentation although the board members aren’t pleased that he is continuing it despite Nagisa’s emergency situation. Kaito argues that if they don’t do this now, it will be hard for all of them to gather like this again. So once he has done presenting all the juicy facts, Kazuhisa mentions it is all great only on theory and not practical. After all this is all still done by Kaito’s brain. When he mentions Kaito doesn’t have a demo test model today, the others believe that his students are not on par with him. On the contrary, Kaito shows them the X-3 model right now in action, on its way to Coldwood. Previously before Iris could tell the truth, the other A-TEC students interrupt them because there’s no time for the sappy drama and time to get things moving. That is when Mizuki told her she was here to convince Iris to fly X-3 and not stop her because there are no other pilots who can match her skills. But Mizuki will also be tagging along with her so that somebody can tend to Nagisa while she flies the craft. Kaito continues his presentation about X-3’s speed and time bettering X-2’s performance by half and at lesser cost. They even use the original cockpit model from the museum to fit on the engine. The guys don’t think this old wreck can withstand the power of the new engine so Kaito explains how his students did all the modifications to make it work. They are doing everything they can to save their friend and that is why Kaito wants to continue working with them.

X-3 catches up with X-2 and Iris has no room for mistakes. Oops. But she almost did one when she tries to latch both ships but failed. Time is running out and Iris must manoeuvre quickly. In the dying seconds, she manages to latch the ship and miss Coldwood by metres! Wow. What a heart pounding action drama! At least for those who are watching. As Mizuki checks the ship, Iris goes to check on Nagisa. She becomes frantic in seeing his injured state. But could she be gentler in untying him? Her tears wake him up and everyone is happy to hear Nagisa is safe. With everything in order, Kaito now asks the guys to reconsider disbanding A-TEC. They really find it irresistible. Low cost and high performance. However Kazuhisa points out their disbandment was made in the last meeting and cannot be overturned. But Kaito isn’t panicking. He never counted on him to save A-TEC. He gets a call from Yuna confirming several sponsors willing to invest billions! This presentation wasn’t only shown to them but live streamed to others. Kaito throws down all their resignation letters. They will just leave and start up another company. This was all Nagisa’s plan and his resignation letter is also there. Li is starting to worry because he only joined Kirishina because he promised Kaito would work with him. Kaito then lectures those money making guys about some things in life that money can’t buy: Ambition. They don’t want to make money making technologies but one that can make people smile. So instead of a prize in physics they rather get a prize in peace (because with his technology in use, there is no need for wars to hunt for scarce resources).

But Kazuhisa still has a trump card. Even if Kaito and A-TEC leave, X-3 belongs to them since they use Kirishina’s resources to build them. Well, Kaito didn’t think of that! Oh no! What now?! This is when Nagisa interjects. He agrees that the rights belong to Kirishina but mentions he made the wrong choice. What Kazuhisa wanted wasn’t the engine but Kaito who made it in 6 months with limited resources. Because if he wanted Kaito, he should have just taken A-TEC and the entire team itself from the start. Kazuhisa is offering 100 billion but Nagisa rejects him. Kazuhisa will make him regret this but Nagisa believes big brother will be the one regretting more. The presentation is over and now we are presented with Mizuki and Iris fighting over Nagisa?! WTF?! Kazuhisa gets a call from Yasuhisa but he won’t answer and feels it is not his time to step up yet. Iris and Mizuki plant to visit Nagisa at the hospital but looks like he fled and went out drinking with Kaito. So is Nagisa his brother in law now? Angelina comes in with good news that she has found and executive for their new company: Sasayama. Nagisa and the bunch of A-TEC guys attend the launching ceremony of their newly incorporated company: A-TEC Inc. With Nagisa as the head, his opening lines are “Let’s take over the world”. Hey wait. Do you mean the galaxy?

Money, Power & Politics: Business As Usual
Uhm… Well… Okay… I guess. The fight goes on. The business goes on. So what I expected to be some sort of sci-fi series turned out to be one that is filled with power politics in corporations and business making propositions. Although not entirely confusing and boring, surprisingly it was still interesting enough to keep my attention till the end of the series. Most probably it was because of me wondering who this Nagisa kid really is as well as Iris who is somewhat connected to him. Even so, Nagisa’s thinking and turning things around with his business-like mind is also another factor that retained my attention. Although I do not fully understand some of the political or big corporation manoeuvres, at least it was simple enough without going into the deep complicating details. All that politics throughout the series died down in the final episode as it quickly turns into a simultaneous rescue Nagisa and A-TEC plot. Can’t complain with that ‘happy ending’, right?

Another major surprise was so when I thought the series was going to be about A-TEC and their struggles, the surprising part is that it wasn’t entirely about them. Their striving and toiling were all just in the background as the big star of the series is Nagisa himself trying to take down his big brothers in the corporation. Come to think of it, it would be pretty boring to see a bunch of engineering outcasts of a doomed division trying to stay afloat. Now that they have freed themselves from Kirishina’s bounds, I am sure they can work together incredibly again and come up with something even better. Just hope Kaito doesn’t spend and waste money like water. Whether or not this move will be a good one in the long term is yet to be seen. But at least they are not under the shenanigans of Kirishina.

The big main character in focus is of course Nagisa. I think this is the only character development we would see flesh out properly and the most in this series. For a young corporate kid to be making big business decisions and his obnoxious attitude to match with it (playing the role of the villain, I suppose), you know there will be something more than meets the eye to this kid. So whatever the complicated relationship between the 2 founders that causes this complicated power struggle and faction fighting within the company, what would be of Nagisa if he successfully carries out his petty revenge? In the end, not getting a direct revenge was probably the best outcome for him. He can make Kazuhisa suffer more by pulling away from Kirishina and do things that rival the big company. When A-TEC starts rising and Kirishina starts crumbling, this would be the best revenge yet. Kaito remains a simple and true person to his passion. Without all the politics and greed in his brain, it is the reason why he flourishes in what he does. Just don’t let this guy be in charge of your finances. I think his is more of financial crisis than classroom crisis. Haha! So while he doesn’t do well in business, this is where Nagisa comes in. I think with the duo as a team, the new A-TEC will be a formidable force to reckon with. It’s the best answer they can come up of showing their disapproval of Kazuhisa’s ways.

Due to the nature of the plot and direction of this series, it is with mixed feelings about the students under A-TEC. Because seriously, they don’t even matter. If they were all nameless students, it wouldn’t really change a thing (heck, I don’t think I even remember their names). But they all are so as to give them a little more character :\. Each of them has their own personality and specialty but their very limited appearance does little justice for them. Like Sakugo who is a great hacker and gentle Kaoruko whose role in this anime seems to be gently reminding her fellow students to not use such ‘harsh’ words while they comment on criticise on their boss-cum-fellow-transfer-student. And I think there is one student whereby whose gender is a little ambiguous. The one wearing a lab coat. One normally would think he is a boy but there was this very subtle hint he may not be so because during the class trip, he somewhat refuses to go into the same bath at the same time with the other guys. But all this don’t really matter, right? We all know that they work great as a team and are tightly close to each other. Unfortunately we just don’t really see and feel it here.

This means Mizuki and Iris as the characters also feel a little under developed. Iris is like your typical amnesiac girl with a past and trauma waiting to explode on a crucial day and it happened. So when the big revelation is out and that Iris is the real Nagisa, somehow it just makes us go, “Okay… Uh huh… So what?”. Mizuki on the other hand is your typical best friend and friendly person. When she kept continuing to bug Nagisa, I just knew where this was going. At least in the department of feelings as where this is all concerned. Because for a guy who acts obnoxious and everything, he would have easily become everybody’s public enemy number one. And yet Mizuki continues to be perseverant in trying to talk nicely to him. It would be strange to think a normal girl would have this much patience. Then the inevitable happen and in a way felt weird for throwing in a little romance for side distraction because after all that business and political drama, the thought of Mizuki and Nagisa becoming an item felt just out of place. And now with Iris too heavily suspected to have feelings for him, will best friends turn to best rivals? From the look of it, yes. Oh wait. Do I need to bring in Angelina into the equation? Gosh. Polygon romance can get even more complicated than business proposals. But Angelina did hint that she doesn’t mind playing second fiddle. Or third. Or fourth. Sure about that? Well, there’s always Kaito whom she can drag out to drink out her sorrows. Is this some sort of minor running joke?

Not too sure if this is a running joke too because it seems like almost everybody knows about Angelina’s real name and prefer to call her by that, in which she would subsequently remind them not to do so. A warning very often ignored. She too felt under developed because we would like to know more about her and why she is so against that real name of hers (could it be something to do with her ninja lineage since her skills and name are a big hint) and her actual relationship with Nagisa. She was missing for the big part in the final episode but even if the hijack and penultimate episode is where she takes the centre stage, it just doesn’t feel enough.

Last but not least is Kazuhisa himself. He isn’t a bad person because if you think about a guy who sits in such high profile position, he has a different set of goals and ambitions to take care of. Although still smart and smooth, but I figure he was too calculated and obsessed in getting to put forth his plan in having key people in his war robots manufacturing that he failed to grasp the basic 101s of trying to get a person to your side not via arm twisting or mud throwing tactic but the simple method of talking true to a man’s heart. Get what I’m saying? Well, Nagisa explained it all for us already. Because he wanted Kaito so much and not A-TEC, he failed to see that A-TEC was the reason that kept Kaito around. So had he kept A-TEC instead of wanting to dismantle it, he could have had a better chance in retaining this guy. But I believe he is just like Nagisa. Despite he doesn’t have the necessary key people in his plan now (not too sure if Li is sticking around after that), he doesn’t look like he has panicked yet and I am very sure he has a plan B up his sleeve. Because if he doesn’t think it is time for the big daddy to show up yet, then it mustn’t be that all grave. And about Yuuji? That guy did a good job in being so hateful that we just hate him to the last bit of molecule he is. So what happens to him eventually, we couldn’t care less. His obsession of hating Nagisa is so great that he was blinded by the fact Nagisa had been using him all the while. I mean, did he not really think that by abusing him all this years, this kid will simply continue to comply 100% and not get his revenge? That’s why I say he is too fixated in hating his half brother.

Art and drawing are pretty okay and standard. Nothing that really catches your eye. Because the technological advances seen here are, well, let’s say they might be here in a few more years like that hologram-cum-projector handphone. Only maybe except space travel and colonization on other planets. Although the character designs are simple, somehow I get the feeling I have seen them from other animes. Like Nagisa whom I thought was Kyousuke from OreImo, only looking much meaner. And then there is Iris whom I thought was that Nagato from the Haruhi series. Mizuki on the other hand has a little resemblance to Ano Natsu De Matteru’s Mio. It was just the case of changing hairstyle? I’m sure I have seen the others somewhere before but I’m too lazy to start thinking ;p. Uhm… Hey… Doesn’t Sasayama look like a fat version of that Monopoly uncle? This anime is produced by a relatively new anime studio, Lay-duce whose only other works at the moment are Magi: Sinbad No Bouken and that what-the-hell-is-this-tanka-and-haiku-theme-anime, Go! Go! 575.

There are quite a number of veteran seiyuus lending their voice to this series. Most notably, Yu Kobayashi in the main role as Angelica. She is still active in the voice acting role but the recent animes that I have watched her in are just minor supporting roles like Tsuyuko in Koufuku Graffiti and Smith in Monster Musume No Iru Nichijou. Although Gintama is still currently ongoing, I believe her character Ayame only make cameos. Speaking of which, it’s nice to hear that crazy trademark voice again whenever she starts screaming her head off. Another notable voice acting is Hiroyuki Yoshino as Yuuji. He has this comical voice that makes him suitable for comical characters like Bossun in Sket Dance, Favaro in Shingeki No Bahamut: Genesis and Saruyama in To Love-Ru series. But here, he sounds quite scary as the antagonist Yuuji. There is so much spite in his voice that he is just convincing that it makes you really want to hate his character to the bone. Kudos.

There is Yui Horie and Kana Asumi doing Kaoruko and Yuna respectively but their character roles are so minimal although it’s a good thing that I can still recognize them :). The rest of the other casts include Showtaro Morikubo as Kaito (Shikamaru in Naruto), Yuuma Uchida as Nagisa (Claus in Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid), Ari Ozawa as Mizuki (Sakura in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun), Sora Amamiya as Iris (Isla in Plastic Memories), Kazuhiko Inoue as Kazuhiko (Gildarts in Fairy Tail), Junpei Morita as Li (Doctor White in Black Jack 21), Motomu Kiyokawa as Yanai (Tippy in Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka) and Yusaku Yara as Yamamoto (Chin Chinchin in Toriko).

When I first heard the opening theme, Cobalt by TrySail, I thought I was hearing an AKB48-like music. From the beat and style of this song, I thought it was pretty similar. At least to the themes that I heard in the AKB0048 anime. Checking them out a little (read: lazy and fast browsing over the internet), TrySail is yet another one of those units formed by seiyuu rather than being ex-members of the world’s largest pop group. Oddly, not all of the trio in the unit had a voice acting role in this series (considering Denpa Kyoushi was their debut as a unit). Sora Amamiya had the biggest role and Shiina Natsukawa was one of the students in A-TEC. So what happened to Momo Asakura? The ending theme is Anemone by Claris. Sounds rather okay and like another one of their trademark style music.

Overall, not a bad anime but its misleading and synopsis may surprise some for the better or worse. I’m glad it was the former for me. Although this series won’t be as near as any masterpiece and perhaps overshadowed by other anime series that was running concurrently in the same season, it is still a pretty good show to remind us that big corporations aren’t as squeaky clean as they proclaim to be and have all that politics, power play and even prestigious family status or lineage if it has been run by the same family for generations. Amidst all that, it tells us that even a small unit with true passion can still overcome such a high wall and that nothing is impossible in the corporate world. But even so, you still need money for capital and other stuffs. Eventually money makes the world (the galaxy in this case) go round and round. If you think asking money from your company is easy, just remember how hard it was when you have no money and had to ask and convince your parents to give you money so that you can buy something you want? Yeah… It feels pretty much the same.

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