Classroom of the Elite is a really popular light novel series by Shōgo Kinugasa and its anime adaptation is nothing to scoff at either. Koudo Ikusei Senior High School appears to be a utopia. The students have unrivaled freedom, and it is highly regarded in Japan. The reality, however, is less than ideal. Four classes, A through D, are ranked in order of merit, with only the top four receiving preferential treatment. So, here are the 12+ Best Anime Like Classroom of the Elite!
12. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Kyon has recently been dragged through a series of adventures, all thanks to the SOS Brigade club and its exuberant leader, Haruhi Suzumiya. He no longer believes in the supernatural, but after being forced to join this club solely on that basis, he has witnessed things that cannot be explained logically.
Mikuru Asahina, the bookish Yuki Nagato, and the ever-jovial Itsuki Koizumi accompany Kyon on his various misadventures. Whether it’s summer vacation or a school festival, events involving their club and Haruhi always turn out strange.
- The chaos in this anime gives off a pretty similar vibe as Classroom of the Elite
11. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
Puberty Syndrome, a rare and inexplicable condition, is thought to be a myth. It’s a rare disease that only affects teenagers, and its symptoms are so supernatural that no one believes it’s a real thing. However, Sakuta Azusagawa, a high school student, knows from personal experience that it is very real and is quite common in his school.
Mai Sakurajima is a third-year high school student who rose to fame as a child actress in her youth but recently ended her promising career for reasons unknown to the public. She is well known throughout the school, but no one dares to interact with her—that is, until Sakuta notices her wandering the library in a bunny girl costume. Despite her outfit, no one seems to notice her, and when he confronts her, he realizes she is another victim of Puberty Syndrome. As Sakuta tries to assist Mai, his actions bring him into contact with more girls infected with the enigmatic disease.
- Both protagonists have pretty similar personalities and his female counterpart is a cold-hearted tsundere.
Yuu Otosaka would be an ordinary high school student if it weren’t for his ability to take over people’s minds and bodies. Despite the fact that it only lasts for five seconds at a time, Yuu’s mysterious power allowed him to cheat his way to the top of his class and into a prestigious high school, where he continues his deception.
His shenanigans are eventually put to an end by Nao Tomori, the Hoshinoumi Academy’s headstrong student council president, who sees through his deception. Nao coerces Yuu into transferring to Hoshinoumi and joining the student council. Hoshinoumi Academy is a covert institution for adolescents with supernatural abilities, with the student council tasked with tracking down those who abuse their abilities.
The group sets out to find and protect new ability users from harm, with Yuu reluctantly assisting in council affairs. However, as they investigate the abilities further, they become entangled in far more complicated matters than they could have imagined.
The main characters and their relationships are pretty similar.
9. No Game No Life
Disboard is a world ruled by Tet, the One True God, and home to sixteen sentient races. Imanity, the lowest of the sixteen, is made up of humans, a race with no affinity for magic. Humankind appears to have no way out of their predicament in a place where everything is decided through simple games—but the arrival of two outsiders changes everything.
Stepbrothers Sora and Shiro are two inseparable shut-ins who dominate various online games under the username “Blank” on Earth. While they are well-known on the internet, the pair believes that life is just another boring game. They are suddenly transported to Disboard after responding to a message from an unknown user. Tet, the mysterious sender, informs them about the world’s unbreakable rules. Following Tet’s departure, Sora and Shiro begin their search for more information and a place to stay, which leads them to Elkia—last Imanity’s remaining kingdom.
Stephanie Dola, an emotional girl vying for the kingdom’s sovereignty, meets the duo there. In desperation, she attempts to reclaim her father’s throne, but her folly renders her goal impossible to achieve. Sora and Shiro are inspired by the girl’s motivation and passion and decide to help Stephanie get Elkia back on its feet, ultimately aiming to become the new rulers of the enigmatic realm.
- Underdogs trying to do the impossible
8. Talentless Nana
Fifty years ago, horrific creatures dubbed “enemies of humanity” appeared all over the world. To combat these threats, teenagers with supernatural abilities known as “Talents,” such as pyrokinesis and time travel, train at an academy on a remote island.
Nanao Nakajima, on the other hand, is unlike the others on the island in that he lacks Talent. With so many “talented” teenagers around him, Nanao is frequently bullied, but he still strives to complete his training. Soon after, two transfer students join the class: the mysterious Kyouya Onodera and the mind-reading Nana Hiiragi. But, just as everyone begins to blend as comrades-in-arms, mysterious disappearances threaten the entire foundation of the class.
- Psychological Thriller with a high school setting
- Stone cold smart protagonist with childhood trauma
7. Baka and Test
Baka and Test, with their very similar premise, could almost be a comedy spin-off of Elite. Fumizuki Academy divides its students and budget into classes, with Class A receiving the best students and supplies and Class F receiving the worst. The only way for students to progress from one class to the next is to pass tests with spirits known as ‘Avatars.’ The more hits their Avatar takes, the more points they lose until they reach zero and are demoted.
This is what happens to Mizuki Himeji, who, despite being extremely intelligent, ends up in Class F. Together with the other misfits in her class, most notably Akihisa ‘Baka’ Yoshii, they declare war on Class A and vow to take over their classroom. The series began as a light novel series by Kenji Inoue, and it was later expanded into a two-season anime series and a two-episode OVA that can be seen on the Funimation Channel.
- Pretty much the same core idea but Baka and Test focuses on comedy instead of the intense atmosphere in Classroom of the Elite.
Unlike many other schools, Hyakkaou Private Academy prepares students for life after high school. Because many of the students are the children of the world’s wealthiest people, the academy has its own quirks that set it apart from the rest. By day, it is a regular school that teaches history, languages, and other subjects. But at night, it transforms into a gambling den, where they learn how to deal with money and manipulate people. Money is power; those who win the games are at the top of the school.
Yumeko Jabami, a seemingly innocent and beautiful transfer student, is eager to dive into Hyakkaou’s specialized curriculum. She, unlike the others, plays for the thrill of the gamble, and her borderline insane gambling style may bring too many new cards to the table.
- Similar setting: School hierarchy where you need to outsmart your opponent to win.
Houtarou Oreki, a high school freshman, has only one goal: to live a grey life while conserving as much energy as possible. His peaceful days are cut short when his older sister, Tomoe, forces him to save the memberless Classics Club from disbandment.
Oreki’s predicament appears to be over when he walks into the clubroom and discovers that his fellow first-year, Eru Chitanda, has already joined. Despite fulfilling his obligation, Oreki becomes entangled with Chitanda’s curious and bubbly personality and soon joins the club of his own volition.
Hyouka follows the four members of the Classics Club, including Oreki’s friends Satoshi Fukube and Mayaka Ibara, as they solve the trivial yet intriguing mysteries that pervade their daily lives, inspired by Chitanda’s insatiable curiosity.
- The protagonists in both series are calm, bored, and really smart.
4. Assassination Classroom
A small derelict building in the mountains near the elite Kunugigaoka Middle School houses Class 3-E delinquents and dropouts. Students in this class appear to have little hope of advancing their academic careers because they are looked down upon by their peers. That is, until their new teacher is assigned by the national government as the greatest threat to their planet.
After destroying the moon, the octopus-like professor, known as “Koro-sensei,” threatened to destroy the Earth by March of the following year. The students have discovered that killing him is easier said than done in light of their mission. Koro-sensei can not only move at speeds of up to Mach 20, but he can also withstand almost any earthly weapon. He also happens to be one of the best teachers Class 3-E has ever had. Koro-sensei is confident that his students’ ingenuity and indomitable will return them to the main campus if they are trained to excel in both their studies as students and their skills as assassins.
Nagisa Shiota and the other students in Class 3-E must figure out Koro-sensei’s flaws through trial and error—and quickly, because the fate of the world depends on it.
- Both depict school life, where there is a hierarchy based on which class you are in.
- MCs aren’t particularly similar, but they do share some personality traits.
3. The Irregular at Magic High School
Magic, long thought to be folklore and fairy tales, has become a systematized technology and is taught as a technical skill at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Students are divided into two groups at First High School, the institution for magicians, based on their entrance exam scores: “Blooms,” those with high scores, are assigned to the First Course, while “Weeds,” reserve students, are assigned to the Second Course.
Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba, siblings enrolled in First High School, are the focus of The Irregular at the Magic High School. Miyuki is placed in the First Course after taking the exam, while Tatsuya is relegated to the Second Course. Though his practical test scores and status as a “Weed” indicate that he is magically inept, Tatsuya possesses extraordinary technical knowledge, physical combat abilities, and unique magic techniques, making him the outlier at a magical high school.
- The protagonist’s background of being intelligent and witty, as well as mysterious/unknown to others, are a very simple yet fundamental similarity between the two.
- Both the protagonists are smart and overpowered.
2. Tomodachi Game
Yuuichi Katagiri has faced financial difficulties his entire life, but he has learned to be content and optimistic thanks to his close circle of friends. Yuuichi saves up enough money to join them on the school trip in order to keep a promise he made to them. When the money goes missing, suspicion falls on two of Yuuichi’s friends, Shiho Sawaragi and Makoto Shibe, who were in charge of collecting the payments. Shiho and Makoto, despite being innocent, accept responsibility for the failure to protect the money when no one else does.
A few days later, Yuuichi and his friends receive mysterious letters that force them to meet. They are ambushed and knocked unconscious upon arrival. They awaken in a mysterious room with “Manabu-kun,” a character from a contentious children’s show that was canceled due to its malicious content. He informs the group that one of them brought them together inadvertently to settle a large debt. They are to play a “friendship game,” which is a series of games that will put their bond and trust in each other to the test. As the group’s faith dwindles due to an increasing number of secrets and betrayals, Yuuichi must determine which of his “friends” he can truly trust and, ultimately, identify the traitor.
- If you like the MC in one of these animes, then you’ll probably like the MC in the other one. A little hint: The MC in Tomodachi Game is an absolute demon!
- Both animes involve high school students who need to create plans and strategies to overcome bad situations.
1. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
Hachiman Hikigaya is a cynical high school student who exhibits narcissistic and semi-nihilistic tendencies. He is convinced that joyful youth is a farce and that anyone who claims otherwise is deceiving themselves.
Hachiman’s teacher forces him to join the Volunteer Service Club as a novel punishment for writing an essay mocking modern social relationships. The club aims to extend a helping hand to any student who seeks their support in achieving their goals. With only the beautiful ice queen Yukino Yukinoshita as a club member, Hachiman finds himself on the front lines of other people’s problems—a position he never imagined himself in. Will Hachiman’s skewed view of society prove to be a hindrance or a tool he can use to his advantage as he and Yukino use their wits to solve many of the students’ problems?
- Both anime have a protagonist who appears average and completely disinterested in everything but in fact, is highly skilled.
- A female protagonist who is cold and keeps her distance from others, giving the impression that she is unapproachable and has poor social skills, but above average intelligence and beauty to match her academic skills.
BONUS: Food Wars
Souma Yukihira has been cooking with his father Jouichirou since he can remember. As a sous chef at his father’s restaurant, he has spent years honing his culinary skills and creating new dishes to wow their customers. He hopes to one day surpass his father’s skill and take over the restaurant, but he is surprised to learn that Jouichirou is closing the shop to take a job in New York.
Rather than following in his father’s footsteps, Souma enrolls at the prestigious Tootsuki Culinary Academy, where only 10% of students graduate. The school is well-known for its “Shokugeki,” which are intense cooking competitions between students that are frequently used to settle debates and arguments. Jouichirou tells Souma that he must outperform him in order to survive the next three years at Tootsuki and graduate.
The brutal curriculum and fiercely competitive student body of the academy await the young chef, who must learn to navigate the perilous environment if he hopes to realize his dreams. But is talent alone enough to propel him to the top?
- Both anime are set in an elite school setting
- Student Council holds a lot of authority over the school
- Special tests are taken, and those who perform poorly face persecution and sometimes even expulsion from the academy
- Various groups form within the student body centering on the influential ones
- Both protagonists and their friends are working their way to the top
Let us you your favorite anime from this list in the comments below and as always thanks for reading!
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