With this episode we reach the end of yet another arc of Classroom of the Elite. Looking back, one thing has become painfully clear: Kushida is a pretty crappy villain, especially when compared to this season’s other focus characters. Both Ayanokoji and Horikita possess excellent physical and mental abilities, but are shown to have obvious personal flaws. For Horikita, it’s her solitary nature and that she expects others to live up to the unrealistic standards she sets for herself. For Ayanokoji, it’s his ego.
The main villain in this series so far, namely Ryuen, has exploited Horikita’s weaknesses time and time again. And without Ayanokoji in the shadows supporting her, he would have had his way. Kushida, on the other hand, has never really felt like a credible threat to our heroes. Her attempt to blackmail Ayanokoji (by forcing him to grope her) was rather weak in terms of threats, and Ayanokoji basically ignored it. Meanwhile, Kushida needlessly turned out to be a class traitor, announcing that she wanted both Ayanokoji and Horikita in their faces and wasting her best weapon: plausible denial.
While Kusida’s backstory helped explain her goals and motivations, it made her little more of a threat. And, as we see in this episode, she had already lost her bet with Horikita before she set her own plan in motion. And this wasn’t some Machiavellian plan of Ayaonokoji either; Horikita simply went to the teacher and took advantage of her position as class president to ensure that only she was allowed to submit the test questions. This in turn meant that Kushida would have nothing to trade with Class-C, making their study bet a fair challenge that Horikita won easily. (And Ayaonokoji even had a backup plan in place should something go wrong) Kushida never posed any danger to the two in the first place.
Kushida’s strength is built around the fact that people trust her and are happy to give her information that she can use as a weapon against them if necessary. The problem is, neither Ayanokoji nor Horikita ever trusted her, and neither did Ryuen, for that matter. She has absolutely no influence on it.
That said, it’s important to note that just because she’s a weak villain now doesn’t mean she’ll always be one. She could become a much bigger threat if everyone in the class trusts her (and she has a collection of their secrets to use). Even if she can’t blackmail our heroes directly, she should be able to turn the rest of the class against them. But for now, this arc has made her a C-tier villain for the foreseeable future as far as our heroes are concerned.
• The smash cut after Kushida and Horikita’s confrontation implies that Kushida’s next target is Ayanokoji. After this episode, I don’t worry about that anymore.
• I’ve said it before, but it’s a shame that Kushida lets her fear rule. She could be her true self around Horikita and Ayanokoji and neither of them would compete with her.
• Looks like Class C is going to bully Karuizawa (because they know the brain saved her before). It’s time to see what Ayanokoji’s “protection” really means.
• While we know that Ayanokoji is not emotionally attached to anyone, Karuizawa has been damn helpful to him this season and if he let go of her, he would lose control of the female half of the class.
• I’m not sure why Ayanokoji agreed to be part of the new friend group. Maybe it’s just to make him seem even less overbearing by surrounding himself with other former class loners.
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 blogging.