On the surface, Koudo Ikusei Senior High School is a utopia. The students enjoy an unparalleled amount of freedom, and it is ranked highly in Japan. However, the reality is less than ideal. Four classes, A through D, are ranked in order of merit, and only the top classes receive favorable treatment.
Kiyotaka Ayanokouji is a student of Class D, where the school dumps its worst. There he meets the unsociable Suzune Horikita, who believes she was placed in Class D by mistake and desires to climb all the way to Class A, and the seemingly amicable class idol Kikyou Kushida, whose aim is to make as many friends as possible.
While class membership is permanent, class rankings are not; students in lower ranked classes can rise in rankings if they score better than those in the top ones. Additionally, in Class D, there are no bars on what methods can be used to get ahead. In this cutthroat school, can they prevail against the odds and reach the top?
Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e: An Enigmatically Engaging Enrolment!
Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e (Classroom of the Elite) is a seductively sophisticated anime series that thrives on the philosophical concepts of meritocracy and social disparity. Set in the Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing School, a government-run facility designed to cultivate future leaders of the country, the narrative follows Kiyotaka Ayanokouji, a seemingly ordinary student with extraordinary secrets.
In this atypical school, students are rewarded with points based on their overall activities, academic performances, and comportments, dictating their class hierarchy. The anime delves deep down into the intricacies of the human mind, unearthing the turmoil, ambition, and ruthless competition it hides. Alongside Ayanokouji is a diverse cast of characters, each shrouded with enigmas and motives of their own, adding flavor and depth into the narrative of Classroom of the Elite.
Digital Décor and Dazzling Design
Right from the get-go, Lerche Studio’s production quality is top-notch. The animation is slick and the character designs remain faithful to the light novel. Iconic cityscapes blend seamlessly with the immaculate school environment, creating an elegant backdrop for the engaging storyline.
Clever Characterization and Pivotal Plot
At first glance, Ayanokouji might strike you as a typical underdog protagonist. But soon, the anime drops subtle hints about his dark past and splendid strategic brain, carefully keeping you on your toes. Other characters, too, are not what they appear, their complex personalities unearthing as the story progresses, making it a riveting watch till the end.
Score from the Stratosphere
The series also boasts impressive soundtracks. The opulent opening track “Caste Room” by ZAQ sets the tone, with its intriguing blend of electronic music with a classical piano melody, while the ending theme “Beautiful Soldier” by Minami adds a soft yet empowering note to finish each episode.
To Stream, Rent or Buy?
If you’re a fan of psychological drama, relentless plot twists, and intellectual mind games, put Classroom of the Elite on your must-watch list now! The series is an addictive gamble, neatly wrapping up each episode, yet leaving you craving for more. However, adaptational issues are there, as the anime diverts somewhat from the light novel. If you’re strictly adhered to adaptations, buying the manga may be a better option for you.
All in all, Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e is a gem amidst a sea of commercialized anime, setting itself apart with its unique storyline, endearing characters, and top-tier production. However you choose to indulge –stream, rent, or buy- Classroom of the Elite is bound to be a captivating experience.
Anime Critic’s Rating: 8.5/10
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