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Classroom of the Elite II
Episode 7

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 7 of
Classroom of the Elite II (TV 2) ?
Community score: 4.4

Following Classroom of the Elite's usual pattern for starting a new arc, this episode is focused on introducing us to the next trial our heroes have to face as well as their plan for overcoming it. In this case, it appears to be a pair test where only one of the two needs to pass. Of course, Horikita immediately exploits a loophole, gaming the pair selection process so that the strongest and weakest members of the class are paired together. So far, everything looks to be going to plan—which is always a bad sign when it comes to the messed-up school our heroes attend.

While the inevitable twist has yet to be revealed, the test doesn't even necessarily need one. Class unity (i.e., society over the individual) is the main lesson the school is trying to impart on its students. So since the sports festival has brought Class-D together more than ever before, it makes sense that the following test would be designed to test that newfound unity. Pairing the academically strongest with the academically weakest means that the bottom quarter of students get a free ride, the top quarter burdened with the responsibility of carrying them, and the remaining half all have to work their butts off to make sure they pass. It's basically designed to tear the class apart by making ¾ of the class envious of the of bottom ¼. And as for the other classes writing the exams thing... well, if you know a class has gamed the system like Horikita has, I'm sure you can tailor the test to exploit that information.

Although the setup for our heroes' next trial is important, it's not all that engaging to watch. Luckily, this episode returns its focus to the season's most interesting character, Karuizawa. Simply put, Karuizawa feels that her position with regards to Ayanokoji may be threatened—especially now that the girls in class have started to notice him. While it might initially seem like she is jealous in a romantic sense, that's only the surface level of what is going on here.

While Karuizawa has likened herself to a parasite attaching herself to anyone who will protect her, that's not the correct metaphor when you think about it. She's not a parasite; she's a symbiont. In return for protection, she will do whatever she can to help her protector—be that keeping Hirata out of romantic drama or loyally following Ayanokoji's plans (even if she doesn't understand them). The problem she is currently facing is not one of jealousy but rather one of insecurity: there's nothing she can pro-actively do for Ayanokoji. Sure, she follows his orders, but when there are no orders to follow she is completely free to do whatever. In times like these, it's only natural for her to interpret that freedom as a sign of abandonment. The obvious way to allay such fears would be to show Ayanokoji how useful she is so that he will continue to protect her—but as she can't, her anxiety grows.

The idea that he would get a girlfriend—one who could do all the things she does for him in addition to all the things couples do—is a terrifying thought for Karuizawa (especially as Ayanokoji seems to have no interest in her physically or romantically). What she is currently looking for is reassurance that she is doing a good job and won't be discarded. And surprisingly enough, Ayanokoji is able to do this. While he may not really care about the hurricane of emotions swirling inside Karuizawa, he does at least understand her worries enough to reiterate his promise to drop everything and protect her ruthlessly should anyone attempt to bully her again.

All in all, this episode does its job of setting up the next arc in the story while delivering another enjoyable character piece about the season's breakout heroine. No complaints here.


Random Thoughts:

• Now, despite all that I said about Karuizawa and her motivations above, she almost certainly does have a crush on Ayanokoji. However, I doubt it has anything to do with him personally. I suspect she would have a crush on whoever fills the role of “protector” in her life at any given moment.

• I love the fact that Kushida is trying to get Horikita expelled for knowing a secret that she doesn't actually even know.

• As a sign of her continuing growth, Horikita has not only learned to accept help, but also to thank people for it.

• Ryuen is his own worse enemy. He uses violence too often and too liberally. People follow him out of fear, not loyalty. This will bite him in the ass one day.

• I'm sure that Ayanokoji already has a plan in place to make it so that Yukimura appears to be the “secret mastermind” of Class-D. (That said, the “mastermind” doesn't have to actually be Yukimura or Ayanokoji. It could be anyone they had told about the bullying, too. Ryuen's making one hell of a jump in logic in assuming it's one of the two.)

• Horikita's brother isn't really “resigning” from being school president. Rather, his term has naturally come to an end. In Japanese schools, all third years are forced to quit their clubs and sports teams (including the student council) after summer break so that they can focus fully on college entrance exam prep.

Classroom of the Elite II is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.

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