Classroom of the Elite Episode 7
by Nick Creamer,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Classroom of the Elite ?
At this point, it feels like Classroom of the Elite has made some sort of oath to open every single episode with an incongruous boob shot. Its streak remained unbroken this week, but for once, that boob shot actually felt appropriate for the episode to come. With both Sakura and Sudo's conflicts resolved last episode, the show took a break from meaningful conflict this week to relax in the summertime. This week, Classroom of the Elite offered a shameless, comedy-focused pool episode!
As I mentioned last week, it feels like Classroom of the Elite is at its best when it's verging on self-parody or at least embracing melodrama. This episode seemed specifically designed to capitalize on that, transposing the plot of a raunchy '80s comedy against consistent jokes that riffed on the show's own sillier tendencies. The spying on girls plot was definitely overplayed, but the overall result felt more confident and often more effective than anything the show's done before.
Many of my favorite gags appeared in the margins. Framing much of the episode from Horikita's perspective allowed for a variety of solid jokes that riffed on her larger-than-life personality. I really loved the visual gag of Horikita's scheduling pie chart, which simply alternated sleeping, eating, and studying during all open segments. The show also had fun visually articulating her analytical style of conversation, completely smothering several scenes in expository dialogue to evoke her very specific view of her classmates. Later on, Horikita got one of the episode's best lines, when she admitted that even she couldn't tell the difference between Sudo's two delinquent friends. I appreciate a show that can admit when its characters are literally designed as “Delinquent B” and “Delinquent C.”
The episode's overall conceit was significantly weaker than its individual gags. The show mined some decent comedy out of its self-serious framing of a peeping escapade, but the gag simply wasn't strong enough to support a full episode. That said, I did enjoy watching the various titans of the school trade barbs in their swimsuits, and there were still some inspired single gags contained within that larger narrative. I particularly liked when the student council president effortlessly leapt twenty feet off a balcony, a gag clearly designed to poke holes in his invincible persona.
Outside of the goofy gags, the only noteworthy thing about this episode was its tremendous amount of fanservice. I can generally just ignore Classroom's fanservice when it appears in the margins, but I had to laugh at this episode's shamelessness - at times, it felt like I was just watching a conversation between several sentient pairs of breasts. The fanservice felt too blunt and random to be sensually effective, but if you've been waiting to see these characters in swimsuits, this episode certainly didn't disappoint.
Overall, while I wouldn't say this was a great episode, it at least confirmed the show has a sense of humor about itself. Knowing the show understands that Horikita is a pretty silly person, and that her brother is a huge ham, gives me more faith that it'll strike the right tone in its second half. I hope the show maintains at least a portion of this sense of irreverence going forward.
Classroom of the Elite is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Nick writes about anime, storytelling, and the meaning of life at Wrong Every Time.
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