Episode 4: Classroom of the Elite II

Episode 4 - Classroom of the Elite II

No sooner have our heroes gotten off the boat then they move right into their next test—the yearly sports festival. This test, like all previous ones in the series pits individual success against group success. In this case, the best chance for winning as a team comes at the expense of the individual—the choice for the students is to either give up their chance at getting bonus points on the upcoming test (if they’re more athletically inclined) or, alternatively, risk losing points on said test (if they’re less athletically inclined). The 100 class points they will get for winning will logically compensate this. However, at the end, some students will win big while others may lose.

The problem is in the psychology of human beings. For the most part, individuals see themselves in one of two ways: either A) they are “normal” and assume that their views and experiences are in line with the majority of people or B) they assume that they are better than everyone else in one way or another.

Horikita is a problem because she believes herself to be both. She doesn’t believe she is better than anyone else and also believes that everyone can be as academically and physically gifted as her through hard work and perseverance. Her view is that everyone else in class is lazy, whether it’s academics or physical activities. She sees it as everyone’s responsibility to rise to her level. Ayanokoji is against her plan because he sees the danger in her rational, goal-oriented approach to victory. It will eventually harm the class as a whole.

Ayanokoji doesn’t necessarily want to win every competition. He wants to make his Class-A the best. He must make Class-D a class capable of becoming a Class-A group before any other. This means that he must teach Horikita how to expect others to perform at her level. After all, despite her talent and hard work she cannot keep up with Ayanokoji in the three-legged race—and this gives her the rude awakening that him coming down to her pace and supporting her will produce better results than him simply running full-out and trying to drag her along.

Horikita has to learn that she needs to help her companions in becoming the best they can be—even if she lowers herself a bit in the process. It doesn’t matter if Horikita realizes or not, this situation requires that everyone work together to win. Even the MVP can’t win all games by himself. Any day, a strong team and a good player can beat a weaker player. The team’s overall skills are what really matters.


Random Thoughts

• Poor Sakura proves the folly to Horikita’s way of thinking. Although she does her best to help, she will not be able achieve Horikita’s level by hard work alone. She needs someone to help her.

• Ayanokoji sees himself as better than everyone else, which is why his arrogance is also his biggest weakness. Sudo can trick him into divulging more about his physical strength than he intended. This is evident by Sudo’s sly smile afterwards.

• I wonder if Ayanokoji realizes that Karuizawa’s not trying to second-guess him. She is actually trying to understand his goals and be able to support him rather than follow orders. She hopes to become an irreplaceable instrument so that she doesn’t have to worry about him losing his protection.

• As I understand the whole traitor thing going on, Ayanokoji is trying to manufacture a traitor rather than let one appear naturally. The enemy can be controlled by knowing the identity of the traitor.

• I’m not sure at this point if there actually was a Class-D traitor in the last test or if Aynokoji is simply pretending there was to plant the idea of becoming a traitor in someone’s mind.

• The way Class-D is planning their team around a single person—i.e., Sudo—is worrying. He may be the most athletic member of the group, but the sheer volume of events almost guarantees that he will not be at his best in later ones. To ensure a serious loss for Class D as a whole, it is enough that another team can take him out.

• The other thing to remember with this whole sports festival ordeal is that their team isn’t simply Class 1-A and Class 1-D but all Class-As and all Class-Ds across all three years. However, I suspect we’ll be getting into that more over the next few weeks.

Classroom of Elite IIIt is streaming currently on

Richard is an anime and videogame journalist who has more than ten years of experience in Japan. His writings can be found at his website. TwitterBlog

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