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 isn’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 of 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 verse from Matthew is actually Jesus talking. 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 proves 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.
Language: 2 “a**”, 1 “h*ll”, 1 “d*mmit”
Alcohol/Drug Use: 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
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