I’ve known girls like Horikita – one in particular, actually. She was intelligent, talented, pretty, and unabashedly about herself. No shame, no apologies. If it bothered you, well too bad. It’s not like she cared, anyway.
Episode two of Classroom of the Elite shows us Horikita’s goal (to move her class up to A status; they are currently in D status, and by a long shot) and some of her motivation for that goal (a brother who’s very rough on her and perhaps abusive…or perhaps just about tough love). And she’s headed toward it whether you want to come along or not, and even at the expense of others. Just like the young lady I knew, Horikita’s desires are not just number one, they’re the only thing in her life.
I find it interesting that Ayanokōji, whom Horikita has undeniably taken a liking to and who witnesses her in a most vulnerable moment, tells Horikita that she should learn to work with others, but he doesn’t suggest so in an altruistic way. He infers that it will help her do what she desires.
Our other main girl, Kujita, appears to be the opposite at this point in the story. She’s all about wanting a good school life, building up friendships even among the more difficult students in the classroom.
I wonder which of the two is being more honest with what she really wants?
In my life, I know that I often do things for others ultimately, or at least mostly, for my own benefit. I won’t admit that to those around me (I sometimes won’t even admit it to myself), but I know it to be true. If there’s one thing Horikita has going for her, it’s that she’s honest in showing others that she really doesn’t care a lick about them. Kujita’s more of a wildcard – I don’t know what she’s thinking, but I imagine she’s not as selfless as she seems. I tend to trend that way, showing myself to be very kind and warm, while selfishness rages beneath the surface.
When I find myself most giving to others without regard to myself is when I’m really living out the definition of altruism. It’s when I’m loving others without thought of my own well-being, which almost every time means that I’m sacrificing something (or generally multiple things like time, money, energy, and strength). When it’s hard for me to give, that’s when I’m really giving. That’s when I’m really loving others the way I claim I do, the way I tell myself I do.
I wonder if that’s the place that Horikita will eventually find herself by the end of this show. I think that would be a nice journey for her, and it would be nice for me to watch as well, because even though I’m not a brazenly selfish person, I’m perhaps something worse, a secretly selfish person, one who also needs to learn how to put others ahead of myself. On the inside, I’m the same at Horikita. I’m just the same.
The hope, both for her and for me, is that by becoming less about ourselves, we can become something much more.
Classroom of the Elite can be streamed on Crunchyroll.