• remind me tomorrow
  • remind me next week
  • never remind me
Subscribe to the ANN Newsletter • Wake up every Sunday to a curated list of ANN's most interesting posts of the week. read more


by Richard Eisenbeis,

Classroom of the Elite Season 3

Anime Series Review

Classroom of the Elite Season 3 Anime Series Review
At the Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing School, students are not only expected to keep up their grades but are forced to take part in numerous tests designed to separate the wheat from the chaff. Over the school year, the reject class—the class set for failure by design—has managed to climb out of the bottom spot thanks to genius student Ayanokoji playing puppet master behind the scenes. However, as their freshman year nears its end, Ayanokoji finds himself facing threats from not only within the school but from outside it as well.

On most levels, Classroom of the Elite Season 3 falls into the category of being "more of the same." After all, the usual story pattern remains intact: Some new threat comes for Ayanakoji's class, and he pulls strings from behind the scenes, eventually coming out on top. That said, this season does its best to add a few new twists to the formula to keep things from getting too stale.

The first arc of the season deals with the class being split into teams from across the whole grade. This allows for a natural introduction/reintroduction to important members of other classes. The second arc also does this, focusing on Class A working to destroy Class B through a series of rumors—rather than on Class C's adventures.

However, the biggest twist comes in the form of the third arc of the series. This marks the first time in the show that there is no way for Ayanokoji to secure a complete victory. By the very nature of the test, someone will be kicked out of Class C—and the class has to vote on who this is. But even more than not succeeding in keeping the class together, Ayanokoji is also unable to get the one person kicked out of the class that he wants to—and he's barely able to manage not getting kicked out himself.

All this serves to reign in Ayanokoji as a character. While smart and clever beyond belief, he is not untouchable. Due to his insistence on living an average school life (at least on the outside), he has handicapped himself to the point where failure is a very real option. This adds scores of tension to the series—especially as the fourth and final arc of the season ends in yet another loss for the character.

This season is mainly focused on developing some of the heavy hitters in the story who have remained a bit of a mystery until now—diving into their histories to find out what makes them tick. The second arc does this for Ichinose, the leader of class B. It takes a look at her past and psychology—and the unhealthy dependence she's starting to have on Ayanokoji. Meanwhile, the fourth arc does something similar with Hirata, the face of Class C. Having been both a bystander and a class tyrant to calamitous effect in his past, his failure to keep Class C together when acting as a virtuous person completely wrecks him mentally. Comparing and contrasting him to Ichinose also does a lot for both characters, casting how they acted in previous seasons in a new light.

However, for all the good to be found in the season, there is a notable flaw: its pacing. There is no real climax. Across the season, everything is set up for a battle between Ayanokoji and Sakayanagi—the one other student who knows who Ayanokoji is. However, this battle becomes an anti-climax as the big villain for the next arc swoops in out of left field to ruin their duel. Then, the anime meanders on for two more episodes, setting things up for a fourth season that may never come.

All in all, this is a decently enjoyable season of Classroom of the Elite that sits on par with both previous seasons—except for its end. It has some solid character work and does a great job of adding tension by bringing Ayanokoji down a few pegs. Here's hoping for a fourth season.

Overall (sub) : B-
Story : B-
Animation : C+
Art : C+
Music : C+

+ Ayanokoji faces his first "no-win scenario" and we get a deep dive into what makes a few major names in the supporting cast tick.
No real climax to the season. Instead, it has an anti-climax and then meanders on for a few episodes before petering out.

discuss this in the forum (1 post) |
bookmark/share with: short url
Add this anime to
Production Info:
Chief Director:
Hiroyuki Hashimoto
Seiji Kishi
Director: Yoshihito Nishōji
Series Composition:
Hayato Kazano
Yasushi Shigenobu
Kyōko Katsuya
Ukyō Kodachi
Yasushi Shigenobu
Hiroyuki Hashimoto
Hirokazu Hisayuki
Yuichi Itou
Goichi Iwahata
Hiromitsu Kanazawa
Masaki Kitamura
Haruki Nekusu
Hideki Okamoto
Yoshiaki Okumura
Yuusuke Saito
Shūichirō Semura
Hiroyuki Shimazu
Episode Director:
Nana Fujiwara
Hiroyuki Hashimoto
Masaru Kanemori
Yuuki Nagasawa
Haruki Nekusu
Takuma Suzuki
Hideki Tonokatsu
Susumu Yamamoto
Kana Hashiguchi
Masaru Yokoyama
Original creator: Syougo Kinugasa
Original Character Design: Shunsaku Tomose
Character Design: Kazuaki Morita
Art Director: Hirofune Hane
Chief Animation Director: Miho Ichikawa
Sound Director: Satoki Iida
Cgi Director: Tomohiro Hirayama
Director of Photography: Naoki Serizawa

Full encyclopedia details about
Classroom of the Elite (TV 3)

Review homepage / archives