The psychological thriller anime Classroom of the Elite received one 12-episode season adapted by Studio Lerche in 2017. Despite its international success and vocal fanbase, a Season 2 is still nowhere in sight. Based on the popular light novels starring Japan's brightest and most ruthless students, the series' success hasn't translated into its manga and anime adaptations. Here's what Classroom of the Elite covers in Season 1 and the likelihood the anime series will continue.
The Plot of Classroom of the Elite
Season 1 of Classroom of the Elite is set in Koudo Ikusei Senior High School, which works as an academic experiment for Japan's smartest students. The school has four classes labeled A, B, C and D and are ordered by merit. Class rankings change based on student performance, enforcing group accountability as each class resorts to ruthless and cunning tactics to get ahead of one another. Students are given freedom and points for good scores that they can use as currency in the school's stores and restaurants.
In a school of geniuses, Kiyotaka Ayanokouji is the mysterious and popular protagonist of the series. While he tries to maintain a low profile by scoring below his capabilities, his teacher and friends suspect he's downplaying his intelligence for an unknown reason. Placed in Class D at the bottom of the school, he meets Suzune Horikita who desperately wants to rise to the top and reach Class A. While Kiyotaka doesn't seem to care much about class rank, he uses his keen intellect to aid his class and raise their status.
Season 1 ends with the mystery surrounding Kiyotaka's superior abilities both academically and physically that derives from his twisted past in the White Room. Despite his attempts to befriend and help those in his class and even some students from other classes, Kiyotaka suddenly reveals to the audience that he sees everyone as tools to manipulate for his own goals. The season finale alludes to a much darker and more complex protagonist, leaving Classroom of the Elite with plenty of room for more plot twists and character development.
Will There Be a Season 2 of Classroom of the Elite?
Classroom of the Elite aired its 12-episode Season 1 in 2017 with no additional OVAs. The first season was based on the first three volumes of the light novel series, which currently has 18 volumes and is still ongoing with the latest volume released in February 2021. The amount of original content that remains unused gives the anime plenty of source material to pull from for several more seasons. Classroom of the Elite has over five million copies in print and is among the top 50 all-time bestselling light novels. However, there's a rumor that the original author of the novels, Shōgo Kinugasa, wasn't a fan of the anime and if that information is correct, it may prevent the on-screen adaptation from continuing.
While Classroom of the Elite found success with its light novels, this didn't carry over to its manga or anime adaptations. Since its debut, the series was more of an international success than a hit in Japan with blu-ray and merchandise sales much lower than expected. Anime studios tend to focus more on success in Japan, so a poor domestic performance is often detrimental to series continuations. Despite the growing number of fans becoming vocal about wanting a Season 2, Studio Lerche hasn't announced any plans for continuing the series.
The probability of a Classroom of the Elite Season 2 after its four-year hiatus seems unlikely. Given its bleak outlook, fans may have to turn to the series' original source material to find out what happens after Season 1. However, Studio Lerche hasn't officially canceled the anime, which leaves room for hope that its international success and fanbase may convince the it to reconsider the potential of a Season 2.