Classroom of the Elite’s Kushida: When Out-of-Character is In-Character

The first two episodes of Classroom of the Elite play Kikyo Kushida close the vest. Although I had my suspicions that Kushida was not what she seemed, it was because of the framework of the series, not because of her characterization. But episode three drops hints throughout, until the end reveal makes sense in terms of what we’ve seen the whole episode long.

The first crack in Kushida’s armor is the lack of character she shows when Ayanokoji pays for the senior’s old exams. She gives an almost perfunctory “are you sure?” kind of response, but does so late and seems to be utterly in support of using old tests. Her concerns are alleviated when Ayanokoji assures her that it’s not against the rules. Any student would tell you, though, that unless suggested by the teachers themselves, this is a morally troublesome road to take. It goes further downhill when Kushida gladly accepts the credit for Ayanokoji’s scheme, so that it’s no surprise when we see the real (?) Kushida at episode’s end. So what seems out-of-character maybe isn’t so OOC after all.

The signs were all there. She was doing the wrong things all episode long; the angry words and threatening language toward Ayanokoji is only a taking those of those actions further. Her lack of character begets more lack of character.

kushida secret
“I guess this will be our little LIE, then” 😛

Ultimately, Kushida’s finds her conniving self exposed (ironically since it’s Ayanokoji who declares himself the conniving one in this episode). But all thisgoes to support the idea that your true character will eventually shine through.

It’s no different with me. In fact, just as with this episode, I see these “reveals” coming from a mile away. I’ll do something that I know is a sin, something I shouldn’t do, and like Kushida’s small signs, my decisions lead me to being a grump for the rest of the day until at some point it blows up and I act like a complete fool. The end result was no surprise, because like small temors before the big one, I’d been sinning all day, not just with the final explosion.

kushida eyes classroom of the elite
Ayanokoji should have seen this coming.

But getting caught, or acting like an idiot, won’t on it’s own lead to change. After all, Kushida is not surprised by her own connivance, nor am I surprised when I act a fool. Change comes when you realize the depths of your depravity and want to become something better, and if you’re very far gone, it takes help. As I grow in my faith, I realize with my heart what my brain has known for years, that when I surrender, I become strong.

I imagine Kushida will undergo a journey in this series, one that began with Ayokanoji and perhaps one that includes and ends with him as well, as an anchor for her in helping Kushida become who she knows she should be. I hope for that kind of narrative because I love seeing the impossible happen, for bad people to become good, probably because no matter how distant that kind of story seems to be, it’s intimate to me, personal. Because it’s my story, too.


2 thoughts on “Classroom of the Elite’s Kushida: When Out-of-Character is In-Character

    1. Our point of view—obviously with real people, but anime characters are representative of how we feel about others—is that none of us deserve saving. And yet God offers forgiveness, even when we act like Kushieda does.

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