Classroom of the Elite is a prime example of something I see happen so very often in Anime. It started off with a very interesting premise, gave us a lot of great tension and build-up in the story, but never capitalized on what it had going for it. Visually, the show is beautiful, the art and animations are crisp and colorful, and the music is easy on the ears. However, when the story doesn’t match up, all that nice art and everything just goes to waste.
Seems a lot of shows from the summer season had some serious pacing issues, and Classroom of the Elite is no different. The pacing was great at the beginning of the show, giving us a slow entry to a big reveal of the dark secrets of the school at the end of Episode 1. But then, the show slowed down a bit, moving almost half-heartedly from one plot point to the next, but never really giving us any reason for half those plot points even existing.
Now, the pool episode was one thing, an episode that didn’t really need to exist. But did they really need to spend 5 episodes, almost a full third of the season, on the island survival arc? It was my least favorite arc, it seemed really dragged out for no real reason, and I don’t think it gave us much benefit to the story at all. Overall, that whole arc was a disappointment.
My overall thoughts on the show… well, it’s complicated. The show had so much going for it to start with, but it just lost itself somewhere along the way, and never recovered. Plot points like Kushida’s attitude swings, Kiyotaka’s past, and more are barely half-covered by the end of the show, leaving a feeling of bitter disappointment in my mouth. Did I enjoy the show? Yeah, sure, I guess so. Would I recommend the show to anyone? Um… probably not. There were far better shows this season.