You know, I really do adore characters that are outwardly innocent and bubbly, only to throw people off from their real identity as being absolutely cunning, or even downright ruthless. Like, that kind of multi-faceted character can be so fun for throwing the plot off and adding twists to a set narrative, but it’s also something that needs to be balanced out. Because those characters can go from chaotic to downright annoying really quick, if not done well. Which sadly seems to be the case for Kikyō Kushida.
Kushida is a poor excuse for a villain in Classroom Of The Elite. And so, it makes no sense why the writer, Shōgo Kinugasa, shielded her from getting expelled in Chapter 9 of the Y2V5 continuation of the light novel. And the biggest plot twist of them all was that it was Suzune Horikita, of all people, who saved her from being expelled. Honestly, from a plot standpoint, I can see why she was spared but I also don’t think she’s a character worth salvaging. For all her antagonistic ways, she’s one of the weakest parts of Classroom Of The Elite.
Then again, as popular as the series is, there are some questionable characters in it that really don’t lend themselves to the plot like they should. For a battle royale style premise, characters that are genuinely likable are important. Especially when the battles are more intellectual than action based. And this is where the Classroom Of The Elite slips, with often trope-y characters that are just a hair too typical. And to counteract that, they try pulling off completely wild or edgy which, well, they don’t work as well as you’d think.
So, when Kushida came on the scene and went from femme fatale to femme fail, yeah. It just wasn’t working for me. I think she’s outlived her importance in the series overall, but could she genuinely add more? Let’s break it down in Character Analysis – where we take your favorite characters and try to see what makes them, well, them! Today, it’s the clout chaser from Class 1-D.
Kikyō Kushida: Sweet Until She Doesn’t Get Her Way
When we first meet Kikyō Kushida, she’s perfectly genial. Warm, accommodating with a cheerful attitude to boot, she is such a foil to the other students. And you wouldn’t expect that from a school as competitive and cutthroat as the Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing Academy.
So, when Ayanokōji Kiyotaka, our extremely intuitive protagonist, figures out her secret, you’re not as surprised. Turns out, that sweet-as-apple pie personality is merely a façade and Kushida will go to any length to ensure she gets exactly what she wants: attention and popularity. At face value, those sound like very shallow attributes but I also get where she’s coming from. After all, connections and favors help when your entire schedule is staying long enough to survive the competition between each and every student. Having friends or followers could be a huge asset.
However, that doesn’t mean she has to be a brat and nearly unlikable. But sadly, her personality is rotten to the core. You see, Kushida is not above using extremely dirty tricks, including false harassment allegations against Ayanokōji, just to hide her true face from everyone else. And it really shows how sinister and diabolical her character arc can get.
But really, it’s less enjoyable because she doesn’t really show anything interesting beyond her being twofaced. And that’s what really sells her short.
Why Kushida Surviving Expulsion Angered Fans:
So, in the end of Y2V5, when everything was going down, everyone was convinced this was the moment Kushida was getting booted out of the story. I mean, we already have a better antagonist in terms of the plot through Ayanokōji’s father, Professor Ayanokōji, so it’s not like she’ll be adding anything beyond minor inconveniences, right?
Except, Horikita does the unbelievable to save Kushida instead, it made no sense. Yeah, she went on about how Kushida was secretly an asset or what not, but again, she was already an outcast in her class group. Whatever benefit she provided to Class 1-D aren’t enough to let her stay and be a nuisance.
And, I mean, it didn’t work either, considering she actively tried to get Ayanokōji expelled afterwards. Face it, this might be a bad call on the writer’s part!