「最高の魂は、この上ない悪徳と極限の美徳を発揮できる。」 (Saikou no Tamashī wa, Kono Uenai Akutoku to Kyokugen no Bitoku o Hakki Dekiru.)
“The Greatest Souls Are Capable of the Greatest Vices as Well as of the Greatest Virtues”
Normally this is the point where I’d get all smug and say “told ya so!”, but eh, hard to get too full of myself when, as usual, Youjitsu arrives at the climax with the most obtuse of strategies. In the end it came down to Kiyotaka doing what he does best, and as usual you definitely did not see the specifics coming.
As slowly (yet increasingly) fleshed out over the course of Youjitsu’s first season, most of the major hurdles encountered by Class D wind up solved by Kiyotaka. It makes sense, the kid is technically the protagonist after all, he’s got the brains and encouragement to boot, but also the personality and balance needed to avoid falling into the OP machine well of many a brooding self-insert character. You can see it best with how he handles Kei: unlike others who quite understandably jump at the moment of trouble, Kiyotaka recognizes the only way to bring Kei onboard is to get to her at the moment she’s most broken. For all it’s morally reprehensible the move revealed the truth and set Kei up to be the grand class unifier, and did so in a way which was fully in line with how Kiyotaka thinks and acts. For all I’m accepting of these tests now largely coming down to what the kid does, Youjitsu sure has a way of making the process thrilling to watch play out.
Part of the fun here as well is in just how this test wound up concluding. While easy to guess that Class A would wind up sticking foot in mouth (because arrogance breeds ignorance), the sly recognition by Homani of what Kiyotaka actually pulled was a nice touch since it further reinforces that Kiyotaka isn’t actually invincible or possessing of major plot armour. The dual layered trap after all wasn’t without risk, and Kiyotaka, for all the luck of honest reactions, isn’t exactly all that capable of steering individuals along the desired route through words alone. For every thing going right there’s a good chance something goes wrong for him and Class D, particularly the more moving pieces start being needed to see victory through.
Funny how that exact scenario is already being teased with Kakeru’s little vendetta against Suzune then wouldn’t you say?