Flash Review – Classroom of the Elite (Vol. 3)

Summer’s dropped for the Tokyo Metropolitan This Name Is Too Long School, and what better way for the first-years to spend their summer vacation than relaxing on a tropical island? I’ll tell you what: not having to live like marooned sailors who sleep in cramped tents and use cardboard boxes for toilets. After Hang ‘Em High, I’m kinda under the impression that the Japanese government doesn’t much care for its youth.

Battle of the Sexes:

As always, it’s class vs. class, but what we get to see in spades is a schism in Class D, almost exclusively along gendered lines. Nothing breeds engagement quite like conflict, and I had my gummy worms in hand whenever the girls decided they wanted to go at the boys’ throats. We’re also rewarded with additional insight into characters who up until this point popped up for a few necessary lines or were just a name floating in a mass of paragraphs.

The Big Character Reveal:

Spoilers for the anime. The final lines from the show originate from this novel, but this is an area where the point goes to the adaptation. They create a character reveal which juxtaposes the Ayanakoji we’ve been hanging out with, and because it happens right at the cliff end of the last episode, it leaves the viewer stunned. The accompanying animation also nails the shock and awe. But with the novel, those same lines happen in the middle of a chapter, so they don’t pack that same wallop. If they had been saved for the very last page, it might’ve made me drop my gummy worms.

A Lotta Loose Ends:

There’s a lot which happens, but at the same time, nothing happens. Ayanakoji does plenty of lone wolf reconnaissance, and with his reputation for being a wily weasel, you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s prepping a heaping serving of getting owned, but hardly much comes of these dishes. There’re also a handful of details which seem important to the immediate plot, but when you go to ask this volume what they meant, it says, “Sorry, but I forgot the pages explaining that on a deserted island.”

The Verdict:

I got my thoughts down, but there isn’t anything else I have to say about this volume. It doesn’t do anything exceptional, but its shortcomings didn’t pucker my lips with sourness, either. It’s a good read, and that’s all the summary it needs. But if there was one thing it did exceptionally, it was keeping Sudou mostly out of the plot.

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