Some stories take a while to get interesting, maybe because it is still setting up, maybe because it has a slow start or even because it hasn’t shown its true colors yet. The latter is the case of Classroom☆Crisis, which starts off as a slice-of-life sci-fi only to become a sci-fi with focus on a company’s inner workings and a bit of fictional politics thrown in for good measure.
Classroom☆Crisis is a sci-fi anime which aired in the Summer Season of 2015 and was produced by Lay-Duce, a beginner studio that had never done a full series before. It is directed by Kenji Nagasaki, who also directed Gundam Build Fighters and No.6.
Humanity has finally reached the stars and, not only that, has finally begun colonizing other planets. On Mars, Fourth Tokyo is built and holds the most important company of Japan, Kirishina Corp.. In fact, this company even has its own specialized school, with an even more specialized classroom, which holds some of the most promising Japanese minds of the century. While the class is made up of geniuses, two girls stand out, Iris Shirasaki, an ace pilot, and Mizuki Sera, the chief mechanic and the sister of the teacher Kaito Sera. The class spends their day building prototypes, having fun and wasting money- until the CEO of Kirishina Corp. sends the executive Nagisa Kiryuu to downsize or even eliminate the classroom. The students and their teacher now have to try to keep their classroom afloat and alive, while still working in their projects.
Classroom☆Crisis starts as a slice-of-life with not much to offer, both in terms of story and characters. It has a low start, its entire first half is only made of filler episodes to introduce the characters, which are not that interesting; Iris is a textbook example of a protagonist that can’t portray emotions, her only saving grace, character-wise, being her mysterious past, while both Mizuki Sera and her brother are always cheerful and optimistic and Nagisa is a regular old stereotypical villain. But things soon start to look up, in a sense.
As the class’ situation becomes worse and worse, the plot starts getting more and more interesting, with a lot of manipulation and political deals, as well as plots being developed left and right. To seal the deal, even the characters get a bit more interesting, specially Iris, who has her past revealed. The latter half is undoubtedly stronger than the first, partly because of the reasons already mentioned, but primarily because it gains a proper direction for the story to follow and develop. After a lot of episodes in which nothing happens, the characters finally start to take action and try to accomplish their objectives, be it protecting the classroom by making deals with political parties or trying to destroy it or even something else entirely. When the climax is reached, it is on a whole other level when compared to the rest of the series, as the last episode portrays a masterfully executed, yet mostly traditional, political plot to solve the situation.
Despite the leap in quality of the main plot, the characters don’t get much more interesting, with the exception of Iris Shirasaki. Nagisa reveals another side of him that was painfully obvious from the beginning, anthe same can be said of Kaito. The only development of Mizuki comes from a romantic subplot that simply doesn’t add much to the political machineries of Classroom☆Crisis and neither to the themes of the series. It seemed to be put in the story only to fulfill a list of “what make’s an anime commercially successful”.
The art of the anime is quite pretty, having a clean look to it that fits both the sci-fi aspects and the more political/slice-of-life moments. Despite the fact that Lay-Duce is just a beginner studio, the art doesn’t decay in any moments and remains fluid throughout the series. While the character designs are pretty, they lack in details, particularly with side characters, which are barebones and stereotypical in every way imaginable.
While Classroom☆Crisis gets a lot better with time, it never becomes incredible, as their characters are hardly more than caricatures. Still, it is a pretty great political sci-fi anime that should be watched by more people. Particularly the ones that enjoy stories of plotting and political games.