Most anime have a reasonably typical setting where protagonists go to school and find romance. However, Classroom of the Elite takes this scenario, flips it on its head, and creates something new with more twists than expected.
Koudo Ikusei Senior High School students are given an unprecedented amount of freedom. Still, there is a dark side to the school. There are only four classes in this utopia, and they’re ranked A through D, with class A being the best. Classes B-D receive unfavorable treatment even if their grades keep them high up on all Japan rankings.
Kiyotaka Ayanokouji is a student of Class D, where the school dumps its worst. Upon entering this new class, he meets Suzune Horikita, who believes she was placed in Class D by mistake and desires to climb up from there. We also meet Kikyou Kushida, who aspires to make friends with everyone around her.
In this school, your class rank can change drastically depending on how well you do. Class D is the lowest-ranked with no limit to what methods are used to get ahead of others and raise ranks. The students of Class D are not playing around. In their quest for the top spot, they’ll do whatever it takes to get there – from acing tests by any means necessary to take on a rival classmate in an impromptu battle royal!
Classroom of the Elite is a school anime that explores what it’s like to be a student in one of Japan’s most prestigious high schools. The show features students driven by fear, greed, and ambition to fight tooth and nail for success. It brings viewers into another world where the stakes couldn’t get any higher. If you’re looking for more shows with similarly intense themes, then here’s our list of best anime similar to Classroom of the Elite!
9. Prison School
If you’re looking for a place where girls reign supreme, Hachimitsu Private Academy is the perfect destination. Located on the outskirts of Tokyo, this prestigious all-girls boarding school has been famous for its high-quality education and disciplined students – but that was before they revised their most iconic policy to allow boys to enroll as well!
At the start of this new semester, only five boys were accepted. This left two hundred girls to one boy! The first day at school was a disaster for these guys because they couldn’t speak with their female classmates and had no idea how to approach them on campus either. So, to get closer to these beautiful women who lived nearby, they tried peeping into the girl’s bath.
It’s only after the infamous Underground Student Council thoroughly decimates their plan that the motley crew finds themselves thrown into the school’s prison, with a sentence of an entire month. As they trudge through day-to-day life, these boys will be pushed past their limits and tested on everything – from friendships to brotherhood.
It’s a little hard to believe that something as outlandish and sinister could happen in the world of anime, but Prison School is there for those who need an escape. In this particular school hierarchy, all-powerful student councils have taken over duties from teachers, which leaves them free to take advantage of power at will. So when one member peeps into the girls’ bathroom, he gets sent straight to prison, where they’re treated like offenders with no chance of parole – or so it seems.
It’s not every day you get to see a comedy that combines humor and seriousness. Still, Prison School manages to do so perfectly. With the right balance of inappropriate scenes and severe tone throughout each episode, I found myself laughing at some points while also feeling guilty about all the wrongs going on in this school.
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When students of Hyakkaou Private Academy attend school during the day, they are educated in history and other subjects. However, at night after most people have gone to bed for the evening, it turns into a gambling den that educates its pupils on dealing with money and manipulating others. Many wealthy individuals send their children here to learn these lessons from an early age without actually being involved.
Yumeko Jabami transfers to Hyakkaou Academy, intending to learn how to gamble. However, unlike her classmates, she doesn’t play for victory but rather plays for thrills, making things more interesting than they would have been otherwise and introducing a new deck in this game of cards.
In the show, students at Huakkaou Academy are encouraged to gamble with high stakes. They will often bet against one another for money or other things of value such as a person’s car, house, and even their body to rise in rank within the school hierarchy. The anime is recommended if that kind of thing gets your heart racing!
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7. Danganronpa: The Animation
Hope’s Peak Academy is an elite academy that accepts only the most talented students – from gifted programmers and artists to athletes and musicians; those who successfully enroll are given their unique titles reflective of their skills.
In a school where the best of the best attended, Makoto Naegi was lucky enough to be admitted. Upon his acceptance into Hope’s Peak Academy, he received an appropriate title: Super High School-Level Luck.
The students of the school are excited to be chosen, but these feelings don’t last long. They soon start meeting Monokuma, who traps them inside and tells them that one must take the life of a classmate without being caught for any hope of getting out or graduating. If you’re found guilty, then you’ll die! That’s why it is crucial not to get took the life of while trying not to be seen by anyone else as they try their best at this match until only one remains.
Danganronpa, a popular anime series where students are pitted against one another to survive, is absurd and surprisingly realistic. As gifted high schoolers who were never told the rules of their new game show setting, these characters find themselves feeling more than just sympathy for each other as inevitable looms over them like an ever-present cloud.
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6. Assassination Classroom
When a mysterious creature chops the moon down to a permanent crescent, all that can be done is for Kunugigaoka Middle School’s Class 3-E students to prepare themselves. But they soon find out what their challenge will entail when Koro-sensei arrives and starts flying at Mach 20 speeds, leaving any attempt to subdue him in his extraterrestrial dust. The strange, tentacled beast soon becomes a very popular teacher among the 3-E class. He is not only knowledgeable but also caring and thoughtful.
Kunigigaoka Middle School also has a caste system. The main campus is for the students with top grades, while those who are not as strong in their academics go to an old school building at the summit of Kuni Mountain. Teachers tell them that if they don’t improve academically, they will be exiled there too.
Assassination Classroom is a slice-of-life anime about the moral of each episode that usually revolves around essential life lessons. It’s both an action and school comedy, full of mentally unwell power levels from all over Japan!
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When high school student Houtarou Oreki’s sister forces him to join the Classics Club, he wasn’t expecting much. However, he quickly realizes how deep-rooted history is when a 45-year-old mystery surrounding their club room arises, and he gets dragged into it reluctantly.
Accompanied by his fellow club members, the knowledgeable Satoshi Fukube, the stern but benign Mayaka Ibara, and Eru Chitanda– a girl who would be most content in this field of study if not for its lack of fulfillment- Oreki, must combat deadlines and lack of information with resourcefulness and hidden talent. From solving small side cases to finding truth buried beneath dust created years before them, they go on their adventures together as partners in offense-fighting through mysteries!
4. Baka & Test – Summon the Beasts
Fumizuki Academy is unlike any other Japanese high school. At the end of their freshman year, students take a test that divides up the student body based on how well they did and what class level they deserve. The highest scorers are placed into A-Class all the way down until F Class for lower scores or less talented members of society who need an extra push to succeed!
Unfortunately for Akihisa Yoshii, his supposedly “great” intellect wasn’t quite enough to be able to pass the test, and he’s now stuck at the bottom of F class. So naturally, F Class has some pretty terrible facilities: rotten tatami mats and broken tables, and outdated equipment with worn-out furniture! On a brighter note, though, Akihsa is in good company because Yuuji Sakamoto happens to be in this same class too!! And surprisingly, Mizuki Himeji, the genius girl, ended up joining them as well due to an unforeseen fever on her part during testing day.
F class is tired of being underdogs and decides to use the school’s Examinations Summon Battle system to take on higher-tiered classes for their perks. They summon fantasy characters whose power levels are equal to what they scored on tests. Still, many questions linger about how F class will fare against these foes with much more experience.
Yet another anime where your social status in school is decided by something other than what you can do on a personal level. In Baka & Test, one’s grades are the ticket to a higher rank. Similar to The Classroom of Elite students striving for their rightful place among society, class F kids want nothing more but the respect they feel entitled to.
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3. The Fruit of Grisaia
Yuuji Kazami has just transferred to Mihama Academy and is now experiencing a new life where he can escape from society’s troubles by living in this tranquil place with only five other girls. The lack of men on campus leaves Yuuji curious about what the deal is between these beautiful ladies. Hence, as time progresses, his relationship develops beyond what most people would expect for such an unusual situation.
Girls of Mihama Academy are castaways and must be rescued by one who understands their pain. Yuuji is the only hope for these girls, but he also needs to recover before saving them.
No one is perfect, and everyone has pasts that govern their actions, but Grisaia’s protagonist Yuuji Kazami will terrify you. His tragic backstory dominates his personality in The Fruit of Grisaia, with the classic trope of a strong male lead having to save all these girls who just can’t handle living on their own. But don’t let this scare you off! If your idea of an anime goes beyond average gender roles or if gritty animation intrigues you, then we recommend picking up this show.
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2. C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
The power of money is never more evident than when you have none. Kimimaro Yoga knew this all too well, as he was surrounded by the relatively luxurious lives of his peers and struggling to make ends meet while living in a country whose economy is in shambles. His world turns upside down when a stranger in an overly expensive suit knocks on his door late one night with what seemed like an offer from Heaven.
The visitor goes by the name Masakaki as they petition Yoga to come to Eastern Financial District. In this place, money flows in abundance if one offers their “future” as collateral. The greedy and desperate Yoga is reluctant at first but takes on the mantle of an Entre anyway. The land of wealth he has entered turns out to be an alternate realm built in the likeness of his own, where Entres are forced to participate in weekly duels called “Deals,” with their collateral at stake.
This anime is about the diffiy of pursuing wealth. It’s a tale that resonates with so many people and their own struggles in this pursuit. Still, there are always ways to pursue money without going through all those trials and tribulations.
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1. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
Hachiman Hikigaya thrives in this dark and cynical world. He has found that it is easier to be apathetic about life as a high school student, so he works hard at finding every possible reason to back up his beliefs–even if they’re false.
When Hachiman’s essay mocking modern social relationships gets him into trouble, the guidance counselor forces him to join the Volunteer Service Club. The club aims to extend a helping hand to any student who seeks their support in achieving their goals and can’t get it anywhere else. With Yukino as the only other club member, Hachiman is thrust into an unfamiliar place—facing his friends’ problems head-on and solving them with elegance. As he struggles to solve the problems of others, Hachiman finds himself on the road riddled with diffiies. His pessimistic perception is his most useful tool for overcoming these challenges and maybe what makes him capable enough to do it in the first place.
If you like the drama from one of these anime, then the odds are that you’ll enjoy watching both. These shows have a trio of leads: an unhelpful guy who’s always sarcastic, a girl leads with her biting wit and cynical attitude towards life, in addition to another character trying their best to be optimistic despite how all hope is lost- or at least they try! The laughter never stops when it comes down to this show.
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What are the perks of being an anime student? Well, some must gamble their way to the top while others need to work together and take the life of their teacher. All we have in common is that they’re part of our favorite stories! What’s your all-time favorite anime story like The Classroom of Elite students? Let us know in the comments. We love hearing from you.