Special Tests and Subterfuge – Classroom of the Elite S2 Ep 1 Review

On the heels of the Island Arc, Class D is thrown into yet another special test that divides them all. How will Ayanokoji Kiyotaka and Mars Group succeed?

“Remember to keep a clear head in difficult times”  

Or  

“Keep thou an even temper’s balance, still When times are hard; so when good luck is nigh Let no presumptuous joy thy spirit fill, Since, Dellius, thou art doomed, like all, to die!” by Horace, Odes, Epodes, and Carmen Saeculare

 Check out our Classroom of the Elite Season One review to know our thoughts going into Season Two! 

Ah, it feels great to be back with the students of the Advanced Nurturing High School! I am also really happy that the anime decided to reintroduce all of the characters because it is quite difficult to keep track of their names! 

On the heels of the Island Arc, the students seemingly got one single day to relax before another test is being conducted for the remainder of their cruise. We received a little scene of Student Council president Horikita Manabu being all hot and bothered after learning of Class D’s success, and a possible setup for the continued silent war or rivalry between Manabu and Ayanokoji. 

The Special Test 

Class D students Ayanokoji, Kei, Sotomura, and Yukimura meet as Mars Group
Class D students Ayanokoji, Kei, Sotomura, and Yukimura meet as Mars Group

Since Class A and Class C had an agreement, and Class B and Class D were an alliance on the island, I see no reason not to suspect the same outcome regarding the special test.  

Although the Special Test rules appeared quite complex, here’s a breakdown in layman’s terms from my own understanding: 

Each class is broken up into eight groups reflecting the planets, with fourteen members from the four alphabet classes. There are four students from Class C and D, with three students from Class A and B in each group, respectively. 

Ayanokoji has landed in Mars Group (Mars being the Roman God of War), with fellow Class D students Sotomura Hideo, Yukimura Teruhiko, and Hirata’s girlfriend Karuizawa Kei. I haven’t read the light novel yet, but based on what I’ve heard while reading Reddit threads it seems like this season will be focused on Kei’s arc.

Judging by the ending theme, and Ayanokoji seemingly getting jealous when Class A’s Machida defended Kei from the Class C bullies, this should be really interesting to watch unfold. 

Special Test Mars Group Discusses Strategy 

Ayanokoji mentions that there are four possible outcomes to this test based on which of the four case scenarios the group chooses.  

Case 1: The entire group agrees to reveal the VIP’s identity and concurrently email it to the school before the exam ends. All participants receive 500k private points and the (known) VIP receives an extra 500k on top of the base reward.  

Nice girl façade aside, I truly believe Ichinose Honami is a dangerous student, and somebody to closely watch
Nice girl façade aside, I truly believe Ichinose Honami is a dangerous student, and somebody to closely watch

This is the most optimal situation for all group participants, and would greatly benefit Classes C and D in the school hierarchy.  

Naturally, Class A would be against this outcome, as it narrows their grip on being number one in the first-year class rankings. Class B’s unofficial leader Ichinose Honami advocates for this outcome during both meetings in Mars Group, and even makes herself the moderator in order to further try and discern who the VIP is amongst them. 

Case 2: If the group fails to submit an answer speculating the VIP’s identity by the exam deadline, or if someone submits an incorrect answer then only the VIP alone would receive the 500k private points. 

Class A’s unofficial leader Katsuragi Kohei favors this, as it would not upset the delicately balanced inter-class status quo he seems desperate to preserve.  

Katsuragi instructs the Class A faction within Mars Group to not cooperate during VIP identity speculation and discussions
Katsuragi instructs the Class A faction within Mars Group to not cooperate during VIP identity speculation and discussions

Given the Katsuragi and Sakayanagi factions vying for power in Class A, it makes sense that Katsuragi would be paranoid about one of his own giving a wrong answer on purpose to further sabotage their class – as there were already traitors amongst them during the Island exam. 

Case 3: This outcome is a special case that would only begin if someone were to correctly name the VIP before the exam’s final day.  

That student’s class would gain 50 points for guessing the VIP’s identity, and the student who correctly guessed would receive 500k private points. In return, the VIP’s class would lose 50 class points as a penalty, and this situation would not work if a student names a VIP and they happen to be in the same class. 

A very complicated case that involves sneaking around and employing subterfuge to eventually stab your classmates in the back, of course this appeals to Class C’s resident bully-lord Ryuen Kakeru.  

Ryuen with goons Ibuki and Albert in tow decide to harass Ayanokoji and Suzune before the Special Test begins
Ryuen with goons Ibuki and Albert in tow decide to harass Ayanokoji and Suzune before the Special Test begins

It is unclear whether or not Ibuki Mio will employ the same ‘spying’ tactics she used on the island while in group Mars. But judging by Class A’s refusal to take part in group discussions, it is not far off to assume Ibuki has been instructed by Ryuen to reprise her surveillance role. 

Case 4: This is another special case that would only be triggered if someone incorrectly names the VIP without waiting for the final exam day. The consequences result in that student’s class collectively losing 50 points, and the VIP simultaneously gaining 500k private points. 

Based on the way this case was portrayed on screen, it seems Ayanokoji favors using this method. Or rather, setting up another group to invertedly trigger Case 4 by using a misdirect and sowing doubt amongst them.  

I am personally hoping Ayanokoji tries this on whatever group Ryuen is in, but the latter seems to be expecting something from either Ayanokoji or Suzune.  

And since Katsuragi is also on guard, it would only make sense to try and blindside Ichinose and Class C by making it seem like the work of another class. Thus, preserving the alliance between Class B and Class D on the surface, while subtly sticking it to Class A and Class C while sowing discord among them. 

It would be even better if Ayanokoji somehow made a secret alliance with Sakayanagi and her faction members to learn of another group’s VIP members.  

After all, the enemy of an enemy is always a potential friend. 

Ayanokoji Kiyotaka observes his classmates from the metaphorical high ground
Ayanokoji Kiyotaka observes his classmates from the metaphorical high ground

Anyway, I think I’m going to wrap it up here. But, tell me your thoughts. 

What do you think of the special test given on the final days of the cruise? 

How do you think Ayanokoji giving Suzune the credit for Class D’s success on the island will impact her group during this test? 

And…does Ayanokoji have a thing for Kei? 

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Classroom of the Elite Season 2 Episode Reviews and Discussions!       

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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

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