Ryuuen Tortures Karuizawa Kei – Classroom of the Elite S2 Ep 11 Review 

As Ryuen grows more desperate to uncover the Class D mastermind, he turns to torturing Karuizawa Kei. Meanwhile, Ayanokoji enjoys a nice night out at karaoke.

Check out last week’s episode review

This episode of Classroom of the Elite was actually insane to watch. 

Although things have been amping up in our storyline, it’s been gradual – through drips and drabs of incidents here and there. It seems like someone just decided to completely floor it concerning the plot, moving it forward at an almost dizzying pace. 

Because of that, we have a lot to talk about – and speculate on – concerning these characters that are complete sociopaths masquerading as innocent and upstanding teenagers in a government-sponsored high school. 

How Smart is Koenji Rokusuke? 

Koenji's vanity is ultimately what holds him back from being a productive student in Class D
Koenji’s vanity is ultimately what holds him back from being a productive student in Class D

Much like Ayanokoji, Koenji seems to be an aloof genius who has demonstrated immense talent, despite not caring about any outcomes surrounding the success or failure of Class D. 

I don’t know if Koenji was placed in Class D due to his extreme vanity or narcissism, but imagine if Koenji decided to play for the team and embrace his fellow classmates’ goal of unity?  

During the Deserted Island Special Test arc, Koenji turned into Tarzan and began swinging through the jungle-like trees with ease. Tiring himself out, Koenji had to return back to the ship early during the exam and because of this, technically did not participate.  

Only later on after the exam finished, it is revealed Koenji purposefully overexerted himself in order to forfeit taking the exam in favor of having a good time. 

Koenji on the cruise ship appears in Ryuen's memories during his monologue about power
Koenji on the cruise ship appears in Ryuen’s memories during his monologue about power

During the Cruise Ship Special Test, Koenji quickly guessed his group’s VIP in order to resume his vacation time unencumbered. Koenji did this on a whim mind you, and although it worked out and gave Class D points, he didn’t really care either way. 

While Ryuen was giving a speech concerning the hypocrisy of rules at their farcical school, we were shown what appeared to be his memories on screen. In one memory, Koenji was on the cruise ship at night, speaking with Ryuen while smiling. 

We already know Kushida approached Ryuen and made a deal on the cruise ship, I have to wonder if Koenji has done the same. 

Sakayanagi Arisu vs Dragon Boy 

I know Sakayanagi has devoted spies loyal to her Class A faction, but I have no clue how or why Sakayanagi knew there would be an impromptu confrontation between Ryuen and Koenji in the courtyard.  

I’m also highly surprised that Ryuen was rattled by something so simple as being called ‘Dragon Boy’. Unless…that was another calculated move to make himself seem erratic and irrational. I don’t remember where I read this, but I learned of a quote that went to the effect of:  

“if you can’t defeat your enemies, confuse them.”  

This would aptly factor in Ryuen’s strategy of trying to create an atmosphere of tension, fear, and distrust amongst the students of Class D. Through his own admission, he hoped one of the students would crack, but honestly it seems to have backfired and instead united them closer together.  

Which is why Ryuen is now trying to break Karuizawa Kei as a contingency plan. 

When searching for the source of the quote I mentioned moments ago, I found an even better quote by Sun Tzu, the man credited with writing The Art of War

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” 

Sun Tzu

This could explain why Ryuen is obsessed with figuring out the Class D mastermind, because as of right now he is an enigma – an adversary that Ryuen cannot defeat. In the same vein, Ryuen getting a read on Koenji and Sakayanagi’s defenses by trying to harm them help Ryuen discern what type of adversary they are to him. 

Why Did Kei Meet Ryuen Alone? 

A Legend of Zelda meme to illustrate how Kei needs to stop going alone to places, and may need to take up swordplay
A Legend of Zelda meme to illustrate how Kei needs to stop going alone to places, and may need to take up swordplay

I like Kei. Her character has grown on me, but she has got to learn from the past. 

“A man who cannot command himself will always be a slave.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

The last time she answered an anonymous mail while assuming it to be from Hirata, she was brought to the boiler room of the Cruise Ship and beaten by Manabe and her goons from Class C.  

This time around, Kei was led to a building under construction with no video surveillance, or witnesses to what was about to transpire. I am in no way, shape, or form victim-blaming Kei for the situation she found herself in, but I am pretty sure this week’s episode title and maxim is solely about her. 

How Did Ryuen Find Out About Kei’s Past? 

Kei is tortured by Ryuen
Kei is tortured by Ryuen

After figuring out who the Class C traitor was who helped the mastermind during the Sports festival, Manabe told Ryuen about Kei’s past.  

In turn, the source of Manabe’s information about Kei’s bullying in middle school came from Ayanokoji in order for the girls to break Kei down to a point where Ayanokoji could use her. It’s kind of crazy when you think about how much of Kei’s current situation was actually (un)intentionally orchestrated by Ayanokoji in his pursuit of reaching Class A.  

“The material has to be created.”

Florence Nightingale 

With that motivation gone, and Ayanokoji now enjoying karaoke while Kei is brutally tortured by Ryuen, I have to wonder if he will even care enough to save her from a situation he ultimately created. 

Is Ryuuen Kakeru the Perfect Antagonist? 

Does a meritocracy create a better society? Or allow enough chaos and violence to survive, which in turn creates the desire for order and stability? 

We’ve already seen hints of Ayanokoji-sensei and Chairman Sakayanagi’s dueling philosophy with both men’s creations of the White Room and the Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing High School, respectively. 

Whereas Ayanokoji-sensei employed a very Machiavellian sense of “the end justifies the means” which is present in his son Kiyotaka’s personality, it seems Chairman Sakayanagi has approached ‘nurture’ with a “do what thou wilt” mentality – evidenced in his daughter Arisu’s personality. 

I think Ryuuen Kakeru lies somewhere between these two extremes of ideology. 

Mentioning that the school seems governed by laws but is really based on social politics does make you realize how the students have continually ‘tested the system’ in their own ways.  

Now, Ryuen is testing the limits of what can be considered a mere prank by the school’s standards. 

Although, if Kei dies from the waterboarding or becomes severely ill due to hypothermia, I’m not sure how Ryuen can tell Kei that she has no evidence of his actions, and at the same time scream “it’s just a prank, bro” when facing reprimand from the school. 

Either way, I’m really looking forward to next week’s episode. But, tell me your thoughts. 

Sakayanagi Arisu of Class A is another student we need to watch
Sakayanagi Arisu of Class A is another student we need to watch

Did Ryuen go too far this time? 

Why did Sakayanagi show up to the exchange between Ryuen and Koenji unannounced? 


Does Kei need some type of caller ID on her cell phone and chat messages or something?  

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!        

次のエピソード: Ayanokoji vs Ryuen  

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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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