(12ish episodes ?)
What’s it about ?
Er… A weird science-fiction/work-com/school thing ?
So, the future. Like many other countries, Japan has set up a colony on Mars where they focus on building awesome stuff. “Tokyo-4” seems to be mainly administrated by the Kirishina Corporation. They own an elite technical Campus called A-TEC, where they’ve gathered the most promising youngsters and seems to function as a glorified R&D lab.
Nagisa, a new transfer student to A-TEC, has been kidnapped by terrorists before he even showed up. The Kirishina board scramble madly to find a way to get him back. The 7,5 million ransom is of little concern, given that this guy is apparently more important than it seems, but the deadline is very strict indeed.
Under the guidance of their mellow teacher Kaito, the A-TEC students start looking into a way to mount a rescue operation. And since this is going nowhere soon, matters are taken into their own hands by…
Iris, the daredevil of the group. The kind who drives to school on a bike that can’t be street-legal and disregards any safety advice. She “borrows” the small shuttle prototype A-TEC had been working on, and gamely aims for the terrorists’ hideout. There’s little left of her vehicle by the time she gets there, but she does reach the place mostly unhurt.
The punchline is that there were never any terrorists ; Nagisa merely wanted to prove a point. Namely, that A-TEC spent about a billion on a rescue mission (to say nothing of wrecking a 15-billion prototype), despite the ransom being several orders of magnitude lower. In other words, the Kirishima Corporation is wasting billions on a money sink that’s far from delivering anything in proportion. So, as a member of the board and a relative to the CEO, he’s here to downsize A-TEC, or maybe even shut it down entirely.
Since there would be no story otherwise, I presume we’re going to get a “Save Our School” narrative next.
I’ve never heard of studio “Lay-Duce” before, but they do a good job here. The opening scene with the board’s panicked meeting being intercut with scenes of Iris driving to A-TEC is in particular very well-paced.
Well, this is certainly trying something different. And it does have its good points, such as the well-structured opening scene, or the final reveal. The problem is what’s in between : Kaito is asked to carry the plot, and his utter lack of charisma drains a good chunk of energy from the show.
I’ll be honest : without the sudden twist, I would have been too bored to continue. Nagisa’s impressive villainous scenery-chewing buys it another episode. Don’t waste it.