What Genre Is ‘Classroom of the Elite’? Is It a Romantic Drama or a Psychological Thriller?

What Genre is 'Classroom of the Elite'? Is It a Romantic Drama or a Psychological Thriller?
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Classroom of the Elite is a Japanese anime series adapted from the light novel written by Shōgo Kinugasa and illustrated by Shunsaku Tomose. Aired from July 12 to September 27, 2017, the anime, directed by Seiji Kishi and Hiroyuki Hashimoto at Lerche, is set in the Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing School. Established by the Japanese government, this school aims to cultivate the next generation of leaders. Students enjoy a high degree of freedom to simulate real-life situations. Now, the series does have a different approach to the “school life” motif, so we have decided to use this article to explain what genre Classroom of the Elite belongs to.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Classroom of the Elite is a franchise consisting of three works – a light novel series, a manga series, and an anime series – and all three works are still ongoing. The light novels originally appeared in 2015.
  • Classroom of the Elite is a refreshing take on the “school life” subgenre and it definitely can be classified as a psychological thriller primarily, but it is not that simple.
  • Aside from primarily being a psychological thriller, Classroom of the Elite has a lot of other elements, including romance and drama (primarily), as well as some mystery, which makes it so specific.

Classroom of the Elite is primarily a psychological thriller, but there are elements of other genres as well

It cannot be denied that Classroom of the Elite is an intriguing and interesting work. The series has been around for years, and it not only has a steady and stable fanbase but also a growing one, as more and more people join the already large group of fans of the series. Now, in order to properly explain what genre Classroom of the Elite belongs to, we are going to tell you what the focus of the series is in terms of its plot.

A few years prior, the Japanese government founded the Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing School to offer future managers the best possible training as well as a guaranteed study or job after successful completion. The school, a boarding school, offers its students the greatest possible freedom in order to simulate real working life as best as possible. There are numerous shopping opportunities and leisure facilities on the school grounds that students can visit.

Each enrolled student also receives a starting budget of 100,000 yen in the form of private points, which can be used like money on the school grounds. Each student receives private points every month, depending on their personal performance and behavior. There is a promotion and relegation system within the school, which allows classes to be promoted to the next higher class or relegated to the next lower class under certain circumstances. This can be achieved if the class community overtakes other classes in terms of points by collecting class points.

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The plot follows Kiyotaka Ayanokōji, a rather inconspicuous and quiet high school student who is attending the first year of the high school just described. There he is assigned to class D, which has a poor status within the school community because this class is considered to be the supposed social scum. Despite being placed in the lowest grade, Kiyotaka tries to lead as normal a school and everyday life as possible, which was not possible for him before.

Although he enjoyed the best possible education under his very strict father, who runs the so-called “white room,” he and his classmates were exposed to extreme stressors. Thanks to the help of a staff member, Ayanokōji was able to leave this facility, escape from his father, and enroll in high school, which begins his journey through the intrigues and complexities of everyday life in the Advanced Nurturing School in Tokyo.

As you can see, the school setting of Classroom of the Elite can be misleading. Most non-fantasy school-based stories are either pure romantic dramas or slice-of-life stories that focus on the daily struggles of the characters. And while Classroom of the Elite does include all of these elements, the focus is on the intrigues within the school as well as the students’ struggles to overcome the tests and their rivals. There are many mind games, intrigues, and thrilling moments, which is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Classroom of the Elite is, indeed, classified as a psychological thriller and we can confirm that this is correct, as the psychological intrigues combined with the thrilling challenges that the characters have to face are – indeed – the focus of the series.

But the situation is not that simple, as Classroom of the Elite is not a “pure” work genre-wise. Namely, there are elements of other genres there as well, and they are quite pronounced in some cases. For example, the drama aspect is more than obvious, and the light novel has recently combined it with more and more romance, which is good for fans of the genre. There are also some slice-of-life elements in there, as well as mystery elements, so you can see that the series is really a rather complex work that has a lot to offer.

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