Author: Kinugasa Shougo
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance, School
Production Studio: Lerche
The summer season of 2017 had a ton of good anime shows, but one particular show that stood out was Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoustisu e, also known as Classroom of the Elite. The story is a mesh of a few other notable titles but it makes a very nice change of pace compared to the other titles within this genre. What got me hooked to the show was the story telling and the character development, but let us see what else is in store.
The story follows the main character named Kiyotaka Ayanokouji at the Koudo Ikusei Senior High School. It is a leading prestigious school with state-of-the-art facilities where nearly 100% of the students will move on to university or employment. The students have the liberty to live however they choose within the campus and are allowed to purchase any item they wish for within their budgeting means. However, the truth is that only the best and superior students will receive favourable treatment.
Ayanokouji is a student of class 1-D, which is the “inferior” class where most of the delinquents and bottom-tier students are placed at. For some reason, he is placed in class 1-D and with the meeting of Horikita Suzune and Kushida Kikyou, the wheel of fate starts to move for them and the entire class.
The overarching story is a mashup of Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu and Ansatsu Kyoushitsa but with a dramatic note as class 1-D needs to overcome many challenges to ensure that they are able to earn points and jump over the other classes to reach the top. As mentioned earlier, students are able to use points to buy items they so desire and also vice versa with the points. With many obstacles ahead for the class of 1-D, they would need to use their clever wits to move forward.
Animation & Art
Studio Lerche has done several high school anime shows such as Ansatsu Kyoushitsu and Danganronpa, thus their animation quality is suited for a show of this type. The fluidity of the animation and facial character expression is clearly shown within the show itself and it displays that the studio takes care of how the animate it. With that being said, there isn’t many action-packed sequences in the show, hence they are able to make a anime which feels really fluid and not too eye-straining as most shows tend to be.
The art direction for the show is also a strong point of this anime, even though it is not flashy like others but they have done a very good job with it. The colours used within the show also portray a strong meaning and a clear contrast as the students were crimson red and the background as various different colours.
Sound & Music
The sound quality is really great and with sound effects for nearly every scene that suits its needs. When the main character has his monologues, they really make it feel as if you can hear it in your head. The music is also top notch with ZAQ singing the opening “Caste Room” and Minami singing the ending “Beautiful Soldier”. ZAQ has made quite a number of really great opening songs for other shows and this is not an exception. On the other hand, the ending kinda feels lackluster and has a really laid back style which is partially portrayed within the show.
As the main character for the Classroom of the Elite, he portrays a character who does not want to try to hard and would want to take things easy. He passed the examinations with a “perfect intermediate 50” score for all subjects. It seems slightly abnormal for a student to even get such a score for the entrance examination for the Kouda Ikusei Senior High School.
Ayanokouji is the sort of character that would like to do things under the radar and would push responsibility and glory to his other classmates. He does have a disturbing past and shows this true prowess and cleverness to overcome nearly every dire situation in order to maintain his status quo within the class. Though things do change for him as certain events start to chain one another.
The female lead, Suzune Horikita is a beautiful student who strives to do the very best she can as a lone wolf and thinks it is unnecessary to communicate with her other classmates. But for some reason, at the beginning, she only talks with Ayanokouji but slowly opens up to the rest of the class. Horikita finds herself wrongly placed as she believes she deserves to be in Class 1-A instead of Class 1-D. She will be trying her best to get to the top, but in order to do that she will need the rest of the class and also the help of Ayanokouji to reach there.
This show starts off with a very exciting premise and takes its slower progress as an opportunity to build very good character development. For 12 episodes, it is impressive that such a short series managed to build up within the span that they were given. There were some really good plot twists within the show and I wish there could be more of this as the story and characters are really compelling to watch. This series has been slightly under the radar than the other shows in Summer 2017, but it held its own ground and slightly distinguishes itself from other titles within the same genre. Hence, it is still a memorable anime series to watch. Here’s to hoping for a second season!