Classroom of the Elite: One of the best school anime

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Shabana Gupta, Staff Writer

Despite all of the amazing school-based anime I’ve seen, none of them compare to Classroom of the Elite in intensity. This is the only one that I’ve found that focuses on the school and how it continues to stay completely different from others, despite the normal people who join it. There isn’t violence, and there isn’t horror. It is entirely focused on how the school is set up, and how the characters don’t show their real personalities until later in the anime.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing School is a top ranked high school, where all graduates are guaranteed to excel later in life. From what I can see, they aren’t necessarily highly exclusive. There are characters that fit the ‘delinquent’ category of student. These characters are part of ‘D’ class, which means they are the lowest performing students in the school. However, just the fact that they were admitted was strange. By the second month, they already have a high likelihood of being expelled.

The school system has an odd way of going about weeding out students who can’t compete with the rigorous curriculum. While most schools would care about carrying the student along with them, or expelling them for bad grades, this school limits the amount of money each students has. Without care of how much money the student is used to having, the school starts them off with a high income for the first month of approximately $900 to spend on food and extracurricular activities. From then on, their income depends on their performance at the school. It is judged as a group event, so if one person in the class does poorly, it brings the collective income for the class down. Even the highest performing student is forced to live off of the minimal amount.

This causes multiple problems amounts the classes. In the beginning, students are excited that they don’t have to attend classes, since they will not be called out by the teacher. They also buy video games or expensive foods, and burn through their funds. When they discover cash flow is cut, they become distraught and, in some cases, violent.

This isn’t the end to the problems, and no where close to the extent of the drama. As we continue learning about characters, hints to their true personalities are slowly revealed before we can fully see who they are. There are some that act the complete opposite of what we expect, and some who slowly change as their walls drop. However, there is no change with the main character, Kiyotaka Ayanokōji. From the start he acts like a bored character who rarely cares about morals, but is still willing to talk with people and help them in order to fit in. Through the anime we learn about the oddities and contradictions that he portrays, with only a couple glimpses of his childhood.

Even with a lack of information, Kiyotaka is a fantastic character. He has a hand in everything, many times as the driving force, but never lets people know what he did. Very few characters have caught on to his way of helping, and those who have are curious about him and his past life. When Kiyotaka is confronted about his past by a classmate, he silently shoots out angry vibes and tells them not to bother with him. My absolute favorite part about this character is how he never changes. His facial expressions are set on bored no matter the situation. With the greatest poker face every, he faces odd situations that would make most people choke.

One of the best parts about his anime is the extra finesse they’ve added. For example, with the ending song, it flashes through multiple different languages, sometimes the text scrolling across the screen is French, sometimes German, sometimes Japanese. They also place quotes at the beginning of each episode that gives a small hint of what the main focus of the episode will be. I find the foreshadowing to be a great technique, since there’s a sense of achievement when you find out what the hidden meaning was.

The main problem that I’ve seen with this anime is the focus on the female body and other fan service. While I understand that some scenes are necessary to the plot they have decided to follow, all but one could have been avoided. I can understand why they decided to add these moments in, partly with having so many students around with minimal supervision, in addition with access to anything they want.

I give this anime a 9/10. It was well thought out and would love to see what else will come out. I am interested in the goal of the characters, since we can only understand what a few of them are truly after.

Warning for later chapters: Content may contain triggers for some people. View discretion is advised.