Meeting Date: 7/28/2017
Disclaimer: The Herald Anime Club discusses shows as they’re airing. Naturally, there will be spoilers for a given episode. You have been warned!
Mike Ferreira: Good evening everyone, and welcome to the Herald Anime Club. I’m Mike Ferreira, and this week’s panel includes Lydia Rivers and L.B. Bryant.
L.B. Bryant: Hey all
Lydia Rivers: Hiii everyone!
Mike Ferreira: Tonight, we’ll be continuing our discussion of Classroom of the Elite with episode 3: “Morals, huh! What are they good for? Absolutely nothin’, baby!”
Lydia Rivers: The opening quote is completely false. “Man is an animal that makes bargains: No other animal does this – no dog exchanges bones with another.”
Lydia Rivers: Even if you except all the symbiotic relationships out there in the animal kingdom, and look JUST AT DOGS! It’s false lol.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed… but it’s pretentious as Hell, so it fits.
Lydia Rivers: Right?! So just from that alone I had a major attitude going into this episode, haha.
Mike Ferreira: Heh.. indeed
Lydia Rivers: Completely started off on the wrong foot. And then some junk with the only guy who actually expresses anger at this stupid system…and then the teacher came along like a spring wind.
Mike Ferreira: I love that teacher so much
Mike Ferreira: She’s amoral, and completely unrepentant about it
Lydia Rivers: She obviously takes her job to teach the kids how to excel and rule in an unfair society very seriously lol.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed. Right down to selling points to her exams
Lydia Rivers: Well, they DID offer her a way to save a student.
Mike Ferreira: True.
Mike Ferreira: All within the rules of the school, to boot
Lydia Rivers: If she were a hardass, he would be lost.
Lydia Rivers: …HAHA! A moral hardass that is.
Mike Ferreira: If she were a hardass, we’d have a more intriguing show on our hands.
Mike Ferreira: If she were a literal hardass she’d be in Keijo!.
Lydia Rivers: ….I…I don’t know what to say.
Lydia Rivers: *facedesk?* hehe
Mike Ferreira: Feel free. It’s a bad joke.
Lydia Rivers: There there, that’s why I laughed.
Mike Ferreira: Speaking of characters, I totally called Kushida taking the heel turn
Lydia Rivers: You did! I was pleasantly wrong about them hollowly assigning her to be the bubbly bouncy shallow character. Although I’m still skeptical of how well they’ll flesh it out.
Mike Ferreira: I’d love to see some subtlety there, as she struggles to maintain the façade. But I’m not sure if the show can pull it off.
Lydia Rivers: At least it didn’t cut corners by making fanservice a transition in this episode. It was just flavoring scenes, as it should be.
Mike Ferreira: True that.
Mike Ferreira: Episode 2 caught me off guard with the whole Gainax-y pool scene. It was like “Wait, what? I thought we were watching them freak out”
Lydia Rivers: I think I’ve figured out partly why this show irritates me though. It’s that we’re forced into the main character’s POV too often, and I pretty much hate him.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed. He has the personality of boiled spinach and his whole “I’m so listless and don’t want credit” act is as thin as cheap tissue paper
Lydia Rivers: I want to be in other character’s PoV.
Lydia Rivers: Well, about that!
Mike Ferreira: Hm?
Lydia Rivers: I understand what it’s like to want to exercise skills without being in the spotlight. It’s the only thing I can relate to him honestly. And I respect that it gives the show opportunity to explore how talent like his contribute to the power of other people
Lydia Rivers: And how the ability to manage other people’s talent adds to one’s own power. But….everything else. Uuuugh.
Mike Ferreira: Yes!
Lydia Rivers: BUT! How in the world did they take a character trope as interesting as Shadow King and make him SO BORING?!
Mike Ferreira: See this guy. He has the personality of a sopping wet paper towel
Lydia Rivers: I mentioned Kirito from Sword Art Online last time, but now I think he’s going to be a hateful cross between Kirito and Tatsuya from Irregular at Magic High.
Mike Ferreira: That sounds about right
Mike Ferreira: I don’t see him becoming a compelling character
Lydia Rivers: Oh, were you totally thrown off by the sudden stabbing?
Mike Ferreira: That was just so frickin’ weird.
Mike Ferreira: Like… out of nowhere “What’s she doing with that compass? *screen cuts to black* ow.”
Lydia Rivers: It could have been a cute moment with her punishing him for poking at her pride, but the way they ramped up to it was just bizarre and offputting o.o
Mike Ferreira: Yeah. That was just screwed up.
Mike Ferreira: It seemed out of character, even for her.
Mike Ferreira: Of course, I say this in the show where our token “happy sunshine girl!” has a switch that turns her into a more extreme Nabiki Tendo.
Lydia Rivers: Thank god.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed.
Lydia Rivers: I wasn’t expecting an extreme dual personality trope so the second her eyes darkened when he put the token tsundere in the spotlight, I was like “Yes!”
Mike Ferreira: I called it from the get-go. Everything just screamed “she’s gonna turn and she’s gonna turn hard.”
Lydia Rivers: Hehe good job! Your anticipation was rewarded.
Mike Ferreira: Hehe. In a place where everyone’s trying to eat each other, “nice” doesn’t exist. I actually worked with someone like her
Lydia Rivers: Scary.
Lydia Rivers: Well, I guess you’re safe as long as you’re useful and don’t get in her way?
Mike Ferreira: Yep. Lay low and pretend you don’t know, and everything is hunky dory.
Lydia Rivers: Haha. We’re good little cogs, don’t murder us please. Just wanna do my job >.<
Lydia Rivers: That scene though…I was all kinds of pissed off at it. I’m happy to elaborate a little if you want to go there. Kinda dark tho…
Mike Ferreira: Please do.
Lydia Rivers: Very well. It took a serious problem, a problem that literally traumatizes entire lives, and turned it into a cheap titillating moment to show how our beloved main character remains cool as a cucumber.
Mike Ferreira: Well said.
Lydia Rivers: False accusations can ruin lives, and the fact that she has so much power is also laughable because it is not often that a woman in her position would be believed. Even if everyone loves her.
Lydia Rivers: In fact, BECAUSE everyone loves her, they won’t want to believe it and make excuses.
Lydia Rivers: So…I was angry.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed. Just about every time, a woman is looked down upon in situations like that. Shit, look at the Cosby case… or the Trump case… or – do I need to go on? There are so many high-profile incidents where a woman stepping forward against her accuser ends up getting dragged into the mud
Lydia Rivers: Ladies have heard the “Oh, haha! He didn’t mean anything by it even if he did get a bit of a grope. Rudeness isn’t something to get that upset about ^-^.”
Lydia Rivers: Over. And over.
Mike Ferreira: Exactly
Lydia Rivers: And I’m not discounting the experiences of guys who’ve been falsely accused by crazy women. This scene just flipped off the experiences of both sides.
Mike Ferreira: Yeah. It’s just such a cheap (can we call this trashy?) scene.
Lydia Rivers: Absolutely. Let me tell you how easy it is to set up an accidental boob squeeze if you have a big chest! …Well I won’t, but they could have given the audience a palm-squish without being a total asshole to such a serious topic.
Mike Ferreira: Honestly, if they played it better, they could have made the heel turn actually hurt a bit. Instead, this came off as, well… kinda pathetic on the part of the writers.
Lydia Rivers: Yeah. I’ve seen lots of confident fan service in a great story out there. Gurren Lagann? Hehe
Mike Ferreira: Gurren Lagann was a master stroke in fanservice.
Lydia Rivers: So too was Kill la Kill.
Lydia Rivers: Equal opportunity fanservice >///<
Mike Ferreira: Amen to that. Go figure it was one of Gainax’s best and brightest who gave us both.
Lydia Rivers: The first season of Food Wars was equal opportunity fanservice too. The second season only featured the ladies, but still. The point is!!! This show does not handle its fanservice well at all.
Lydia Rivers: Surprisingly I’m still undecided as to whether I dislike the show in its entirety. I’m still really interested in the premise, and in some of the side characters.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed. There’s elements that work
Mike Ferreira: But others that just… fall flat
Lydia Rivers: I feel like next episode will finally kill it or lift it for me.
Mike Ferreira: Agreed By this point, they’ve had more than enough time to build some intrigue… but it’s not quite doing it
Lydia Rivers: If nothing else, it was interesting that it’s taken this long for me to form cohesive feelings about it.
Mike Ferreira: That’s an achievement, really. I’m still torn even now.
Mike Ferreira: Like… I’d totally watch based on SOME of these characters
Lydia Rivers: If they keep giving us more teacher, I’ll totally watch just for her.
Lydia Rivers: I’m waiting for the reveal of her soft heart, which is totally eclipsed by her razor-sharp cynicism!
Mike Ferreira: I would totally watch a show about that teacher. She’s amazing.
Mike Ferreira: Anyway, I think we’ll leave it at that this meeting. As always, thanks for joining!
Lydia Rivers: Stay shiny everyone!
Mike Ferreira: Have a great night!