For anyone following the story, it’s no surprise that many anime fans mention Kiyotaka Ayanokoji, the main character Elite classroom, as their favorite anime character ever. Ayanokoji is very reserved, offering little or no access to his inner thoughts, and this creates an air of mystery around him, arousing the viewer’s interest.
Although more about Ayanokoji is revealed as the story progresses, his layered personality leaves even more to discover. Fans of the light novel series often notice differences in the portrayal of the enigmatic character in the anime series. They are privy to the complex thoughts that run through Ayanokoji’s mind and have a deeper understanding of the story and the character leading it. Here are ten things the Classroom of the Elite light novels reveal about Ayanokoji.
9 Ayanokoji is not that far away
The first difference readers of the light novel immediately notice between the versions of Ayanokoji is in his facial expressions. In the anime, Ayanokoji is depicted with a high level of aloofness, often appearing unaffected by the waves of emotion expressed by others around him.
Although at his core Ayanokoji remains largely the same, the light novels depict him as less rigid-faced. He feels his emotions but cannot express them because of the way he was raised. While the anime focuses on his stoic nature, the light novels show both his stoic nature and a lighter version of him.
8 Ayanokoji is a Machiavellian
Ayanokoji is often referred to as a schizoid, psychopath, or sociopath by viewers due to his cold, dispassionate nature. However, with a deep analysis of characters from light novels, it can be seen that a more appropriate term is Machiavellian.
Ayanokoji sees people as tools and is only focused on winning in any situation. He manipulates people and situations to achieve his goals and feels no guilt about it. His actions and way of thinking are in line with a Machiavellian philosophy characterized by cunning behavior and an “end justifies the means” viewpoint.
7 Ayanokoji is an unreliable narrator
Readers of the light novels know that Ayanokoji’s inner thoughts are inconsistent with his words and actions. In the first volumes he portrays himself as genuinely interested in making friends and not standing out, but at the end of the story it is revealed that he is actually a skilled manipulator who only wants to win. Ayanokoji lies, even to the readers, so he can hide his true goals and portray himself in a certain light.
This shows the readers that they are not beyond the reach of Ayanokoji’s manipulation and that they should examine what information is true and what is false.
6 All Ayanokoji wants is freedom
At the beginning of the story, Ayanokoji claims that he wants a peaceful school life. But as the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that what drives him goes deeper than that. When he says that he wants a quiet school life, he means that he wants a life that is separate from the White Room, and therefore from his father.
The white room is what made Ayanokoji who he is, and he connects his trauma to it. It makes sense that he would seek freedom from all that, from the places and ideologies he was taught, and also freedom from his father.
5 Ayanokoji takes care of some people
Although Ayanokoji can be cruel and only mind his own business, using people as he pleases and remaining untouched by their feelings and opinions, at some points in the story, he shows genuine concern for some friends, protects them and refuses to manipulate them for his own gain.
An example of this is when he defended Kei Karuizawa by attacking Kakeru Ryūen for bullying her. In another example, Ayanokoji comforted Honami Ichinose after her history came to light, and also prevented Arisa Sakayanagi from falling during their secret meeting.
4 Ayanokoji is Suzune Horikita’s ally
Ayanokoji and Suzune Horikita have a complex relationship in the light novels. Ayanokoji is the only person he interacts with in class and someone he considers his first and only friend. It is often speculated that their relationship is romantic, but both ignore such claims.
Ayanokoji pulls strings in the background to ensure Suzune’s success even though he doesn’t tell her much about his plans. He recognizes her as someone to protect, although he does not fully trust her and sees her only as a means to an end.
3 Ayanokoji befriended Kohei Katsuragi
Readers of light novels often complain about several changes in how scenes from light novels are adapted or in some cases dropped entirely. An example of this happened with Kohei Katsuragi. In the 2nd season of the anime, Ayanokoji and Katsuragi are shown to have a warmer relationship which seems unusual to anime viewers.
However, light novel readers are aware of the interaction between Ayanokoji and Katsuragi in volume 4.5 of the light novel series where Ayanokoji does Katsuragi a favor by helping him send a birthday present to his sister.
2 Ayanokoji has more interactions with other girls
Another aspect that surprises light novel readers is how centralized Suzune Horikita is in the anime series. In several scenes in the anime, Suzune replaces other characters who were in the original scenes of the light novel.
Light novel readers know that Ayanokoji has some of those meaningful interactions with other girls. For example: in the anime, Ayanokoji and Suzune prevent Operation: Delta. But in the light novels, volume 4.5, Ayanokoji and Kei Karuizawa actually did it together. Another example is how Ayanokoji and Horikita threaten the students of Class 1-C with a fake surveillance camera. In Volume 2 of the light novels, Ayanokoji actually does this with Honami Ichinose.
1 Ayanokoji has a romantic relationship with Kei Karuizawa
Light novel readers know that Ayanokoji and Kei Karuizawa have a more complex relationship than the anime shows. Despite a difficult relationship at first, Kei forms a bond with Ayanokoji as he protects her from bullying.
As the story progresses, they grow closer and develop feelings for each other. They eventually confess their feelings and become a couple. The anime series has yet to fully explore this part of the light novels and show fans what this unlikely relationship looks like.
Ayanokoji doesn’t really hate the white room
Volume 0 of the light novel series explores Ayanokoji’s complicated relationship with the White Room. Although Ayanokoji admits that the White Room violates human rights, it is not something he regrets. He is grateful for all that the White Room has taught him and simply believes that there is more to learn outside of it.
Readers of the light novels understand that Ayanokoji is curious and inquisitive, and that he only joined Advanced Nurturing High School to learn about emotions and freedom, not out of outright hatred of the White Room and his upbringing.
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