I've never once thought of you as an ally. Not you. Not Kushida. Not Hirata. All people are nothing but tools. It doesn't matter how it's done. It doesn't matter what needs to be sacrificed. In this world, winning is everything. As long as I win in the end...That's all that matters.
|Nickname||Argos-4 (アルゴス４, Arugosu Fō) (by Argos Team)
Kiyopon (きよぽん, Kiyopon) (by Haruka Hasebe)
Ayanon (あやのん, Ayanon) (by Haruka Hasebe)
"X" (Ｘ, Ekkusu) (by Kakeru Ryūen)
|Height||176 cm (5'9")|
Class 1-D (1st Year)
|Affiliation||Advanced Nurturing High School|
|Light Novel||Volume 1|
|Manga||Volume 1, Room 0.5|
|Japanese||Shōya Chiba (Anime)
Natsuki Hanae (PV 2015)
Following the entrance exam in which he scored precisely 50 points in every subject, he was placed in D-Class. In the anime adaptation, he sits at the rear left corner of the class seat next to Suzune Horikita.
Kiyotaka is a pretty tall young man with brown hair, brown eyes, and a fair complexion. He is usually seen wearing a standard school uniform. Outside of school, he wears a white hoodie covering a green shirt with an orange stripe along with brown pants. He is also seen wearing a blue vest over a white shirt and brown pants.
He is considered to be very handsome, as was mentioned in the light novels, by Kikyō Kushida, that he ranked 5th in ikemen amongst the first-year boys. This is somewhat confirmed as he has attracted the attention of many girls in his class, some of whom are even very popular.
He also has an incredibly well-built body, which was pointed out by Suzune Horikita at the swimming pool. She noticed the immense muscular structure of his body and his arms, particularly his lower arms, and questioned if he did sports, but he denied this. The reason for this is most likely due to the extensive training he went through as a child in the White Room. Most of the time, he is shown to express a carefree and idle look, which suggests an unconcerned attitude. This can be interpreted as indifference or a relatively passive demeanour. It is shown in a flashback, that even as a child he possessed a similar unmoving expression that he would keep until adolescence.
In contrast to the anime, the light novel depicts (to an extent) Kiyotaka with more dynamic facial expressions.
Kiyotaka is an inconspicuous and unobtrusive student, and while his grades are average, he possesses an extreme insight to study the emotions of people around him.
He is well-versed with history as he has quoted many historical figures who are all well known for their intelligence. He tends to come up with ingenious and imaginative plans such as using the school rules so that he could obtain old test questions from an older D-Class student by paying him 15,000 points. He also used the rules and the purpose of points to bribe his teacher into stopping the expulsion of Ken Sudō. In fact, it is hinted by a select few that he could have easily been placed in a higher class like A-Class if he applied himself.
He is somewhat socially awkward, as he is terrible at communicating with people and fails at correctly associating with them. As a result, he speaks in a very monotonous way (in the anime) and tends to isolate himself from his peers, not getting involved with social activities. These traits tend to leave the impression on others that he is cunning, uncaring, breezy, and carefree, while also hinting at aloofness, latency, or generally a sense of apathy towards anything besides issues that specifically concern him.
However, this isn't always the case; he is shown to be capable of holding conversations, though in a somewhat dull and toneless way, as shown in his interactions with Kikyō Kushida and his other classmates.
He appears to keep his word as he promised Airi Sakura that he would come to her aid when she needed it, a promise well-kept as he rescued her from a stalker. He also promised Suzune that he would get her to A-Class even though she forced him into helping her obtain her goal. Kiyotaka put his plan into action by assisting Suzune to shed some of her cold nature to open up to others and reaching the class which had partially worked as he helped her get mass popularity from the survival test.
Kiyotaka has voiced intentions of making friends, but his temperamental and emotionless attitude tends to leave him exempted from such matters. However, he has formed associations with others and seems to leave an impact on them. This was when he stopped Suzune from being assaulted by her brother, though he had no reason for getting involved. Whether he is simply going with the flow or genuinely looking out for Suzune is unknown, as both patterns are plausible. He appeared to show this caring side again after sacrificing 50,000 of his points so Ken Sudō wouldn't be expelled after the latter failed the recent exams. He also had no problem referring to himself as a friend to Honami Ichinose of B-Class (even though they had just met) when she reached out to him for help. Though whether this was a ploy on his part to ease her or a genuine display of consideration for her is unknown, it seems in their later interactions suggest friendship. When Airi contacted him for aid, as a crazed stalker nearly assaulted her, he quickly came to save her and comforted her after the attack.
He does not like drawing attention to himself as after purchasing answers from old tests; he had Kikyō take full credit even though he invested a lot of money to get them. This was seen again when he gave full credit to Suzune for stopping Ken's expulsion after failing a test despite it being his plan and Kikyō hinting it was him. He also allowed Ken to believe Suzune planned the events that stopped his case after he was accused of hurting three students. In that time he denied his involvement in stopping it several times in the events of Ken's case, despite Honami, Manabu Horikita, and Sae Chabashira all hinting that he was the orchestrator for saving Ken. He appears not to enjoy showing off his talents, which was the main reason for concealing himself from unwarranted attention. It's unknown why he hides his intellect, but it is shown in a flashback that a mysterious man, later revealed to be his father, informed him that those who would hide their talent are fools. From this event, it could be that he does so to prove that he can do something without revealing what he is truly capable of.
He does not seem to want to extend his energy unnecessarily in other matters. This was shown when he refused to become a secretary of the Student Council, despite directly being offered the position by the Student Council president.
It appears that part of his aloof and standoffish personality stems from his mysterious past that he doesn't speak to people about. He gives vague answers about the matter and shows a dislike for people who ask about it, seemingly getting angry after they ask. In his anger, he is more serious in his tone of speech as shown when he sternly told Suzune not to pry into his personal history.
In his anger, Kiyotaka is not above threatening people as he refused to comply with Sae Chabashira's order for him to aim for A-Class after stating to have been asked to expel him at the request of an unknown person later revealed to be his father. During this moment, he said his dislike of being manipulated as he even resorted to threatening her and grabbing her by the collar, unafraid that she was a teacher who could have expelled him for assault.
Due to the upbringing in the White Room, he has come to see everyone around him as a tool and is only intent on winning. He does not mind manipulating others nor concerning himself with sacrificing a pawn as long as they help obtain his goal. Because of this mindset and his actions, it is unknown whether he really cares for those he has befriended or if he just gained their trust to use them.
In the light novels, his personality is somewhat different as he displays more emotion even having comedic fashions though he appears to still carry on a serious mindset.
It is shown that Kiyotaka can be very cruel for his personal gains, like when he set up Kei Karuizawa, in the Basement of the Cruise Ship, to be tormented by Manabe and her group, just so Kei would breakdown and become a pawn for Kiyotaka to use.
He is shown to be cautious of others as he doesn't fully trust Suzune even making plans for a possible betrayal, he still associates with her. Also, he decided to challenge Manabu to a race where he chooses to reveal some of his talents, which were in contrast to his concealment in the anime.
After the race, he is surprised to see he has gained new popularity and is depicted as a little more social as he made more acquaintances and bonded with them to use their first names. However, he sees some of them as pawns, but he seems to genuinely care about a few of the people he has befriended, meaning he may not be too entirely jaded in his views.
This appears as the case since there are some of his classmates he refuses to manipulate for his own purposes, showcasing his moral side. The most prominent display of his care for his friends was when he got angry and attacked Kakeru Ryūen for bullying Kei Karuizawa. At this moment, Kiyotaka was truly enraged which is a contrast to his usual calm behaviour and his anger even scared the usual conceited Kakeru and his followers. He also showed care to Honami Ichinose comforting her, by telling her that he was always on her side after her history was revealed, and to Arisu Sakayanagi by catching her fall when Tsukishiro interrupted their secret meeting and kicked her cane in the Special Building.
When he was blackmailed by his teacher with expulsion, he actually tried to put in the effort to reach A-Class. However, when he discovered that neither his teacher nor father have any leverage to use against to expel him, he gave up trying to advance to the class while ignoring the protest of his teacher.
Almost everything about Kiyotaka's life before the entrance exams is unknown. However, during a flashback, he was shown to be part of a group of kids involved with an unknown organization called the White Room, headed by his father. He appeared to have maintained his stoic expression even as a child, as he showed no emotion and looked on when another child, situated at his left, had difficulty breathing and probably fainted for reasons unknown. There was also a time when his father had approached and told him that "those who don't reveal their talents are fools." From his time there, Kiyotaka underwent various training regiments, presumably including martial arts, while taking heavy and challenging written examinations giving him both extreme physical abilities and mental prowess. As time went on, more children started suffering like the fainted child, Kiyotaka eventually became the lone survivor of the group. His training led to him to believe that all humans are nothing but tools and that victory is all that matters in the world. With this point of view, he became determined to win no matter what and sacrifice anything or anyone to achieve his goal of obtaining victory.
At some point, the White Room was temporarily shut down for one year that this gave Kiyotaka a chance to escape with the help of Matsuo (Kiyotaka's butler) who told him to enroll at the Advanced Nurturing High School where his father cannot reach, and he would be able to live a normal school life. Kiyotaka took the entrance exams to enter Advanced Nurturing High School and scored exactly 50 out of 100 points on every subject. A few others heavily hinted that this act was done on purpose to avoid unwanted attention from the school, which he denied by claiming it to be merely a coincidence.
In the manga, he stated (in his monologue) that the biggest reason why he chose Advanced Nurturing High School was that he wanted freedom. He also noted in his monologue that while in middle school, he was forbidden to associate with friends, or even relatives, that were not approved for him.
During the bus trip to school, he witnessed Kikyō Kushida pleading Rokusuke Kōenji to give up his seat for an older woman, but to no avail. Watching the scene, he commented on the situation as he noticed another girl looking on with a cold stare. Shortly after, the students arrive at the school where Kiyotaka talks with the other girl who inquired as to why he looked at her as he stated he saw a similarity between them in the bus incident. She told him not to compare them as she chooses not to involve herself in such a trivial manner, while he internally noted that she is worse than him.
He attended the opening ceremony where he was surprised to learn he was classmates with the girl from earlier, named Suzune Horikita, who said it was a bad coincidence after being seated next to each other in class 1-D. As most of the students introduced themselves, Kiyotaka evaluated most of their personalities before being asked to introduce himself. His undecided thoughts caused him to awkwardly introduce himself, though he did give his name and stated that he hopes to be friends with the class. His speech was applauded by a few classmates, but he was mocked by Suzune. Shortly after the introductions finished the class met their teacher, Sae Chabashira, who told them about points and how the school operates.
Days went by, and Kiyotaka is still unable to make friends but did find an associate in Suzune, who sits next to him in class. He later met Kikyō, who is one of the few to interact with Kiyotaka apart from Suzune. She asked for his help in befriending Suzune herself, and he reluctantly agreed to take her to a café for the meetup. After class the next day he asked Suzune to accompany him, as it was a girls café and he felt too scared to go along. Upon arriving at the packed place, a table opened up for them to sit, where they were joined by Kikyō, although that caused Suzune to leave due to her uncovering their plan.
After a month passed, the class was told they wouldn't get any more points after losing them all, although put their effort in the upcoming test to gain more. Kiyotaka was invited to lunch by Suzune, and while he was doubtful on her intentions, he went and treated himself to lunch at her expense. To his mild dismay, Suzune uses this as an opportunity to force him into helping her reach Class A bringing up his supposed conspiring with Kikyō as a means to get an agreement. Reluctant, he agrees and is tasked by Suzune to gather up the more idiotic students for a study group. He was annoyed that the first girl to give him her number was blackmailed him. He tried to get Kanji Ike, Haruki Yamauchi and Ken Sudō to join but they all refuse; however, it took bringing Kikyō into the plan and Suzune herself reaching out to Ken for everyone else to agree on joining. Despite this, Suzune's condescending attitude causes them to leave and taking the risk of failing. Kiyotaka brought this up to Suzune who paid it no mind and said what they did had no repercussion on her.
One night, while he was out getting a drink, he found Suzune about to be assaulted by her older brother, Manabu Horikita, but quickly intervened by grabbing the man's hand admonishing his acts as he demanded him to release her. He was told by Suzune not to get involved as he noted on the sincerity in her tone, which caused him to release Manabu before avoiding the latter's strikes with ease and pushing him back. Kiyotaka was asked by Manabu in which fighting arts he practised, but he replied with a vague answer. Manabu proceeded to recall him from his test scores and implied that Kiyotaka is hiding his intelligence, but he called it a coincidence as Manabu left the area.
Suzune thanked him, but he shrugged it off, and when she complimented his fighting skill he stated it was nothing special, just piano and tea ceremony lessons as to which she called him out on this contradictory statement. He was then questioned by Suzune if her brother's statement about him scoring half of what he should have made was true, but he again provides a vague answer. Suzune remarked that everything about him is a mystery, to which he replied asking if the study group was finished, in which she confirmed. Kiyotaka asked her if she ever wondered whether it was her distant and cold behaviour that got her placed in D-Class, but she couldn't answer it.
When Suzune decided to disband her study group, Kiyotaka decided to use the school rules to his advantage. With the help of Kikyō, he requested an upperclassman to give him answers for an old test in exchange for points while also having Kikyō use her charm to convince him further to lower his payment. Not liking the thought of attention, Kiyotaka has Kikyō take credit, and a majority of the class passed except Ken, who would be expelled. Kiyotaka then used his points to bribe the teacher to overturn this decision, to which she agreed but only after Suzune helped out with the payment. Because of this, Ken was saved, and the teacher told them to keep making things interesting for her since they could advance to Class A which is something nobody else did something in the history of class 1-D.
During a celebratory party at his room, Kiyotaka was asked by Kikyō if he had a hand in stopping Ken's expulsion as the latter and his friends listened to see if this was true. However, Kiyotaka passed the credit to Suzune, much to her dismay. Later that night, he went to return a phone that Kikyō left behind, however stumbling upon her hidden personality, cursing Suzune out loud. After being spotted, Kikyō threatened him with rape charges after she placed his hand on her breasts. After asking whether she can trust him, he swore not to tell anyone about this as she reverted to her cheerful personality and walked off.
Kiyotaka soon made another acquaintance with Honami and helped her in facing a love confession from her friend by giving her the courage, to be honest after she requested that he pretended to be her boyfriend. When this was done, he gained her gratitude, and she paid him back by helping in proving the innocence of Ken after he was accused of attacking three boys of class 1-C.
He and Kikyō soon meet Airi, who witnessed the brawl but stated she didn't want to get involved, though after her camera broke, she requested their help in getting it repaired. Kiyotaka then helped her with two matters, first with the broken camera and then by telling her not to burden herself with the current event. Those encouraging words later motivated her to change her mind and help with the hearing. At the hearing, he noticed Suzune was in fearful silence due to her brother's presence and helped her to return to her senses and called for Airi, who provided her evidence. After the hearing ended for the day, he spoke to Airi, comforting her just as Manabu appeared and stated he expected more from the hearing since he saw Kiyotaka was present. Kiyotaka shrugged it off and once more avoided Manabu's strike with ease while affirming his belief in Airi.
After that, Kiyotaka and Suzune went to the area where the fight occurred, and Suzune devised a plan to get the trio of class 1-C to withdraw their complaint, which had Kiyotaka borrow points from Honami to buy cameras. With that done, he headed to class and spoke to Airi promising her help in the future before going off to put the plan into action. The procedure was successful as Suzune and Kiyotaka have the students believe that the Student Council President knows the truth, causing them to withdraw their complaint. Soon afterwards, Kiyotaka spoke with Honami and with her help saved Airi from being assaulted by a crazed stalker. After the stalker was apprehended by security, Kiyotaka made another acquaintance in Airi.
He later spoke with Ken who told him how the students of Class C withdrew the complaint. Kiyotaka gave Suzune credit for saving Ken, who believed it as he happily went off to practice. Kiyotaka later met with Manabu and his secretary in the hallway. Manabu explained the recent events and asked if this proved Airi was telling the truth before he congratulated him on his victory, but Kiyotaka once again gave Suzune all credit for the act. Glaring at Kiyotaka, Manabu had asked Tachibana if they had an opening for a secretary on the Student Council, to which she confirmed. Manabu offered the position to Kiyotaka, while Tachibana questioned his intentions only to be silenced by a gaze from him. He repeated this offer for Kiyotaka to join the council; however, he rejected it in favour of living a regular school life. Manabu accepted this choice for now but told him not to disappoint him as he and Tachibana walked off.
Kiyotaka soon met Suzune and walks with her in the rain with their umbrellas, and when they reach the street, she accuses him of manipulating her into carrying out false evidence to get the complaint withdrawn, he denies this and she brings up the promise he made to help her reach Class A as he reminds her that she had forced him to do so. He tries to walk off, but she stops him and presses him for the reasons of his actions as she wants to know if she can trust him as he explains that he simply wants to live a peaceful life, but she states that he wouldn't have helped if that were true. Kiyotaka states he was looking out for a friend, but she disregards this and pressures him into revealing his motives. Kiyotaka briefly reflected on his past before he stated he would help her in reaching Class A but sternly told her never to try prying into his past again.
During summer break, he was a part of a group of boys who planned to peep on the girls changing room under the codename "Argos-4", though he didn't want to participate. Knowing that the boys would proceed behind his back, he decided to join but enlisted Suzune's help to sabotage the plan. He invited her to the pool and told her of the boys' plan, and asked her to steal the memory cards from the cameras at the right time. He later invited Airi the pool as well to have fun, and they met up with some students of class 1-B. At the outing, Kiyotaka tried to use the event as a way to get Suzune to lose her cold demeanour and associate with people no matter how tough it was to get through to her. When the boys plan to hit a problem, they signalled Kiyotaka for help, and he had Suzune perform a speech that distracted everyone. This allowed the boys to safely abort the plan, while Suzune collected the cards. Kiyotaka thanked her for the help before asking if she had fun in which she gave a negative reply. He followed up by pushing her into the pool, and she did the same though everyone else joins in afterwards. He watches as she plays with the class before he was splashed by Airi as she sinks in the water out of embarrassment when he stared at her. That night, he sent Suzune a picture of her with the other students at the pool.
On the school cruise, he was summoned by Sae; he went to the theatre where she informed him of an unknown man who wanted Kiyotaka to be expelled. She promised to protect him but only if he started working his way up to A-Class, but he refused to comply, causing her to promise that he will be expelled, which in turn caused him to grab her by the collar and warn her not to manipulate him. She was unfazed by his actions and told him to choose between leaving or ascending to A-Class. After that, he went to the bow of the ship, where he contemplated whether he should reveal his talents just to stay in school.
While relaxing in his room, he is visited by Yōsuke Hirata who invites to an outing with his friends, but he turns it down. Yōsuke soon reveals his true intentions were for Kiyotaka to get Suzune to work with him as Kiyotaka gives him an unsure answer before he leaves.
He later spent his time with the 3 Idiots of D-Class, being confused over why they were excited about Kanji asking Kikyō if he can call her by her first name. He was even more confused when an excited Ken asked him what Horikita's first name was, giving him the answer before going for lunch. At the restaurant, Kiyotaka noticed how out of element they were as Ken grabbed one student for insulting them, leaving Kōhei Katsuragi to break up the fight and the boys leaving the area, Kiyotaka taking caution of Kōhei. At night, he approached Airi while she was on the deck of the ship (who was seen practising to ask him out), his presence startled her and caused her to become flustered. After being asked if he heard her, Kiyotaka denied listening to her and asked what it might've been about. Airi instead told him that she needed his help in becoming friends with the class, where she is seen to be still nervous around them. He agreed to help her, saying that it was nothing special, as she became elated and grabbed his hand out of gratitude. However, the moment between the two ceased when Kikyō appeared, and Airi quickly excused herself by leaving.
Kiyotaka talked with Kikyō and noticed that her bubbly nature almost made him forget about the hidden persona he saw the other night. When he tried to leave, Kikyō stopped him, shifting back to her darker personality to continue talking. She inquired if he was nervous and wary being alone around her, to which he confirmed, as she went back to her other personality, and told him that she just gets lonely when left all alone. She tried to tell him something else but decided not to go through with it and left while he was put off by her actions.
After receiving the provisions, class 1-D moved out while Suzune asked about Kiyotaka's dreams after graduation, earning yet another vague answer. After Yōsuke asked for everyone to gather supplies for camps, Kiyotaka volunteered, telling a surprised Suzune its best to not stick out. He was grouped with Airi and Rokusuke, though he lost track of the latter when he escaped through the trees, presumably ditching the test then.
When they discovered a point spot, Kiyotaka hid with Airi as he felt someone was coming and covered her mouth just as Kōhei Katsuragi and Yahiko Totsuka appeared. Kiyotaka overheard them talking and noticed a glimpse of A-Class' leader card, but knowing he was a cautious man, he deduced Yahiko was the leader. After the two left, he released Airi and apologized for his actions, but she was seen still heavily blushing and squirming on the ground, nervously mumbling that it was fine. He and Airi investigate the spot, and with this, he decided to change his strategy to guess the leaders of the classes. After returning to camp, he relayed this information to Yōsuke and soon asked for Suzune to join him in gathering firewood, but she refused. He later went with Airi and Haruki who told him that he sought to win over the latter by being a nice guy. The trio then found Mio Ibuki bruised and laying against a tree as Haruki tried to approach her, but Kiyotaka stopped him, sensing something was up but relents, and they took her back to the camp. Once at camp, they discussed what to do about her before learning Rokusuke Kōenji dropped out of the test which would deplete some of the class' points.
The next day, Kiyotaka and Suzune went on a reconnaissance to see what the situation was like at the other class camps. The first camp they found was class B. They had their spot set up near a waterfall and operated similarly like theirs. Suzune was impressed when she witnessed how disciplined and coordinated everyone was. A quality that D class lacks. Honami modestly explained the difficulties she and her class faced at first, and how they eventually overcame it together. When Suzune and Honami finished affirming their relation, a student interrupts their conversation and asks if there was something he could do to help out around camp. Honami assigns him to help out a few other students, he thanks her politely and makes his way. Seeing that he was somewhat distant from the rest, Suzune asks Honami out of curiosity. Leading them to learn that, he is actually from class C, but was kicked out due to a falling out.
Kiyotaka internally deduced that the student was a spy sent from class C and chose not to identify class B's leader due to their class alliance and that the leader would be guessed anyway. The pair then left to scout class A's camp which was in a cave. When they arrived, they hid in the bushes while they observed class A's movements from a distance. Seeing that Suzune wasn't going to take the initiative because she was intimidated by the best class, Kiyotaka takes a stand and tells her that he is going to them. Suzune hesitates at first, however after Kiyotaka reasonably reasons against her emotions, she regains her usual confidence. Following his lead to approach them. They were unknowingly speaking to class A's leader for entry to their camp. When Suzune was about to take a look beyond the draped curtains at the entrance of the cave, she was stopped by Kōhei. He summons his security force and warns her that her 'right to enter' was an intrusion on their territory and that might lead to a start of a war.
With that, Kiyotaka and Suzune decided to leave class A alone and depart for class C's camp which they found at a beachside. Under Kakeru's leadership, the pair discovered that class C had spent all their S-points on buying luxury items the other class was scrimping on. Kakeru told them that they did this, knowing that they will not be penalized even if they had spent all of their test points. Kakeru mocks class D for sacrificing themselves for the test. Suzune and Kiyotaka witness how Kakeru treats his classmates like slaves. As such, Kakeru had punished Mio for being disobedient and critical of his leadership while Suzune spoke with Kakeru, Kiyotaka spotted a two-way communicator and deduced Kakeru was the leader before he and Suzune left the area. He told Suzune what Kakeru's endgame was similar to what Rokusuke did to return to the cruise. That night, Kiyotaka sneaked into the girls' tent at the class D camp and searched Mio's bag for her phone. He discovered her camera and sabotaged it as he figured that she was a spy.
On the fourth day, class D did more survey to find out who the class leaders are. Kiyotaka and Airi were gathering supplies when he asked her if she wanted to stay in a pair with him, to which she confirmed though apologized for dragging him down in the search. He soon asked her if she was afraid if people started talking to her about them, as she told him that she didn't care about that, explaining that she was down on the school trip at first due to not having friends, but now was glad that she came. She then admiringly looked at him, stated regrettably that she wanted to have her camera so that she could take a great picture of him. He and Airi met Honami and Ryūji Kanzaki at class C's camp only to find out that everybody except Mio had withdrawn from the test. He then asked them about Arisu Sakayanagi and Kōhei Katsuragi, he learned of the two were leaders of the class, but their ideals collide with one another. On the fifth day, Kei Karuizawa found out that her underwear was stolen. The girls of class D had Yōsuke conduct a bag search, and Haruki found it in Kanji's bag. Kiyotaka believed he didn't take it, but Kanji quickly planted it on him, he was forced to hide it just as Yōsuke did a pat-down search on him and he prepared for the worse. To his surprise, Yōsuke reported that he does not have it. Unsurely, Kiyotaka confronted Yōsuke and asked why he covered for him as Yōsuke asked if he took them, but Kiyotaka confirms he did not, and Yōsuke decides to take the underwear knowing that his reputation would be damaged the least for being the culprit because Kei is his girlfriend. He then asked for Kiyotaka to find the real thief which he agrees.
The day after the underwear scandal, the girls demanded the boys be separated from them. They made Yōsuke stand guard, with Suzune intervening by stating that since he is a boy himself, he needed to be watched as well. The girls agreed but were unsure of who else to pick as Suzune nominated Kiyotaka as another guard since he didn't seem like the type to peep on girls. While some of the girls noted on his lack of prominence in the class, they nevertheless accepted him as a guard as he complained about being the last resort, but still accepting the request. As he worked, Kiyotaka was approached by Mio, who asked if he believed she stole the underwear since she was an outsider. However, he replied he knew she didn't do it and trusted her, much to her surprise and joy as she thanked him for believing her. After he finished working, he met Suzune and asked her why she made him a guard, as she stated she needed him as an incentive as Yōsuke couldn't be trusted. They talk about secretive people for a while as Suzune stated, unlike Kiyotaka and others she has no such side. He soon asks her how long she was going to pretend to be healthy while she asked how he knew she was sick in the first place as he mentioned her behaviour since the test started.
Shortly after, he goes back to the spot where he found Mio and discovers a communicator like Kakeru confirming her as a spy. To put a plan in action, he promises Haruki that he'd give him Airi's email if he did him a favour. He, Suzune and Kanji tried to catch some fish but to no avail as they only caught one. Kiyotaka then spoke with Suzune discussing the leader key card as he had seen it on Kōhei and wanted to match them. Once he saw it, Kiyotaka confirmed they didn't match, but Haruki places mud on Suzune after noting on their closeness, which earned him a flip from Suzune but Kiyotaka caught him. This would soon prove to be part of his plan as he had Suzune show him the card so Mio would be tempted to steal it since her camera was destroyed. By having Haruki drop mud on her, Kiyotaka gave Suzune a reason to go to the waterfall so she temporarily relieves herself of the card so that Mio could steal it.
While the class was distracted by the fire he started, Kiyotaka put his plan into action to help D-Class win the test. After Mio stole the card once she defeated Suzune, Kiyotaka found an unconscious Suzune injured after her fight with Mio and took her to a tree before she awoke. They talk where he discovered her reasons for reaching Class A and noticed she wanted allies before he implores her to withdraw from the test, but she refused out of pride though she fell unconscious. He carried her and returned Suzune in her deteriorating condition to the teachers to go back to the ship, officially causing her to drop out. He assumed the position as the class leader, foiling class 1-A and class 1-C's plan so they'd incorrectly guess D-Class' leader as still being Suzune.
When the test finished the following day, D-Class cleaned up camp as Kiyotaka spoke with Airi for a while and approached Yōsuke. He gives the sulking Yōsuke a list of the other class' leaders and the latter puts down the names on the list. Later on, D Class is declared the winner of the test due to correctly guessing the leaders of classes A & C, leaving class B's out because he wanted to remain friends with them. Upon returning to the ship, Kiyotaka is questioned by Suzune on how the class passed the test, and he told her of his plan and how he outsmarted the other classes with various tactics, which left her in astonishment at his intellect as she tries to ask about his motives before the class arrives. It turns out he told their class the credit was all Suzune's, quickly gaining her popularity. Kiyotaka then met with Kikyō, who asked whether he would prefer being with Suzune or her, to which Kiyotaka said he didn't know, leaving her dissatisfied with the answer.
As this happened, Kiyotaka was contacted by Sae Chabashira who requested he met with her again at the theatre. Once there, Kiyotaka's plan is complemented by her, and she revealed it was indeed his father who requested Kiyotaka be expelled though he also said Kiyotaka would leave of his own accord soon enough. Sae soon asked him on what he planned to do now, to which she receives a vague answer, she goes amused at his response.
He wandered the ship just as Suzune confronted him once again and he calmly stated that she needed allies, having noticed she finally changed her anti-social behaviour. After he confirmed he did everything to help her, she gets flustered and blushed before begrudgingly thanking him while stating that she will see him as an ally though she warned Kiyotaka not to get too friendly with her as all she wanted is to reach A-Class.
While she went on about this, Kiyotaka internally noted that he doesn't truly acknowledge her, Kikyō and Yōsuke as allies but merely pawns in helping him to win. As it turned out, Kiyotaka's time in the White Room made him more than willing to do anything to accomplish victory even if it meant using people to believe that all of humanity was nothing but tools. He ended his monologue, stating that all that matters is him winning in the end.
|Academic Ability||Intelligence||Decision Making||Physical Ability||Cooperativeness|
|OAA SCORE (compare)|
|Academic Ability||Adaptability||Physical Ability||Social Contribution||Overall|
|C (51)||D+ (37)||C+ (60)||C+ (60)||C (51)|
|OAA SCORE (compare)|
|Academic Ability||Adaptability||Physical Ability||Social Contribution||Overall|
|A- (81)||D+ (40)||B- (61)||B (68)||B- (62)|
Kiyotaka's past is very mysterious, although he is shown to be extremely intelligent. Other than his claims of participating in after-school activities such as piano, calligraphy, and tea ceremonies. It is unknown if he did any of these things. There is no currently existing information regarding his past before the entrance exam of the school. He is shown to have been a part of an unknown organization in his younger years, though how long he was there or how he left it is unknown.
While Kiyotaka would try to make friends, his inexperience in social matters had caused him to miss out on forming a group. While he did find an associate in Suzune Horikita, he was put off by her dislike of friendship and reserved nature. Despite his desire to live an ordinary life, he found himself helping people in their times of need as shown when he helped Suzune avoid an assault from her older brother, helped Ken Sudō avoid expulsion twice and saved Airi Sakura from a stalker as well as gaining the latter's affections for him.
In the light novels, it is revealed he was in the White Room and was trained from an early age. He was able to leave by enrolling at the Advanced Nurturing High School, due to advice from his butler. While initially socially excluded, he gained great popularity from his class after he revealed some of his true talents following a race with Manabu Horikita. By doing this, girls started fawning over him, and a study group called the Ayanokōji Group was formed. He later got Kakeru Ryūen to relinquish his leadership of C-Class by attacking him and covering the acts of him and his gang.
It is presumed that there is more to Kiyotaka than he lets on during his encounter with Manabu Horikita. Although Kiyotaka didn't attack, he was able to evade Manabu's strikes in the battle with relative ease and managed to deflect one punch to a point, where it forced Manabu back. This act earned praise from Manabu, who inquired as to what fighting arts he practised but received an unconvincing answer in return, showcasing Kiyotaka's excellence in martial arts.
It was also mentioned in the light novels that he has incredible speed as he was able to run at an equal speed, probably even faster, as Manabu in a race, although Kiyotaka ended up losing the race at the sports festival, due to him unexpectedly changing track as one of the other participants tripped and got into Kiyotaka's lane which all happened coincidentally - if not for that Kiyotaka would have probably won the race as hinted by Arisu Sakayanagi from class 1-A.
Similar to hiding his true intellect, he prefers to also keep his physical talents. Suzune Horikita had questioned him about why he hides his abilities when he faced off against her brother and displayed how nimble, fast and agile he was. He hides most of his physical skills, so the full extent of his physical feat and fighting skills are yet to be seen.
Kiyotaka's proficient fighting skills were seen when he overpowered and attacked Kakeru Ryūen, who is a decent fighter, where the latter was easily defeated causing the latter to end up being afraid of Kiyotaka as he showed no emotion in his attack. Kiyotaka proved to possess good endurance as he took a couple of blows from multiple opponents but shrugged them off as he managed to defeat and overpower Daichi Ishizaki easily, Albert Yamada and Mio Ibuki, despite one having a very large physique, and the other two being very skilful fighters in their own right. These feats were very notable as he emerged without earning so much as a scratch on the entire brawl.
Mio challenged Kiyotaka in a rematch and lost while believing Kiyotaka was fighting seriously but was actuality not. In volume 11.5, when Kiyotaka was approached by Ryūen and avoided all surprise attacks with perfect precision, which made Ryūen call him a "monster".
Kiyotaka is shown to be extremely intelligent as he strangely and intentionally scored exactly 50 out of 100 points for each subject on his entrance exams. In the manga, it is hinted that he is even more intelligent than Suzune Horikita, who would later force him to aid her in reaching A-Class. He is also a very skilled negotiator as he was able to secure old test answers from an upperclassman by using both Kikyō Kushida's charms and his persistence. He further displayed this by overturning the expulsion of Ken by offering his teacher points while knowing it was within the school's rules and with Suzune's help, his plan succeeded.
He is incredibly perceptive, where he is shown to be very accurate almost all the time since he was able to study the exact personalities in others as shown when he deduced Airi Sakura's fear of strangers. He picks up on situations very fast as he deduced that Chihiro Shiranami was Honami Ichinose's admirer, that Airi was in danger of an attack by a stalker and saw through Suzune's façade of being healthy as she was ill in the survival test. He also knew Kakeru was still on the island during the survival test just from seeing a communicator that he had and picked up on Mio being a spy for C-Class and outsmarted her by sabotaging her camera and making sure she'd steal the leader card before making himself the class leader.
The greatest display of his intellect was when he figured out the plan of class 1-A and class 1-C during the same test. He was a skilled master in the art of manipulation, knowing which people were scheming and who he could use to get the game to run in his favour, eventually winning the test for his class. This incredible act surprised Kōhei Katsuragi and Kakeru Ryūen, who had a surefire way to win the test. Kiyotaka's plan earned him praise from both Suzune and Sae Chabashira who were both surprised by how the test played out and question why he tries if he doesn't want to advance.
A further display of his Intellectual Abilities is when he deduced that Kei Karuizawais the "VIP" during the test on the Cruise ship and devised a double-layered trap to hide the identity of the "VIP". He also manipulated Kei to breakdown using Shiho Manabe and her group which later used the opportunity to reveal his true self for Kei to follow his orders.
During the sports festival, he figured out that Kikyō Kushida leaked the information to Kakeru Ryūen, while he didn't interfere in the test but he blackmailed a student to record footage of Ryūen telling their class about the foul play plan against Suzune Horikita, which prevented Suzune from kowtowing and paying points to Ryūen.
He figured out the Double Date trick that was proposed by Maya Satō just from coincidentally seeing Kei and Satō together in Keyaki Mall.
In the Mixed Training Camp, Miyabi Nagumo planned to expel the older Horikita's assistant, Akane Tachibana, by using 2-D students to purposely fail the exam and drag down Akane with them. The expulsions did not happen as Manabu and Nagumo both paid a "lifeline" for their respective ally. No one figured out Nagumo's plan except Kiyotaka Ayanokōji. Also during the Old Maid game, he deduced that Nagumo was cheating by marking the "Joker".
While Kiyotaka prefers not drawing attention to himself and would much rather fade in the background, he possesses outstanding talents in his academics, which was seen when it was heavily hinted by the Student Council President and his homeroom teacher that he intentionally entered D-Class to hide his talent. Kiyotaka even declined an offer to join the student council, to avoid more work, which showed he has great talent in the art of being inconspicuous, except for the few who happen to notice his talents. Most notably, Manabu Horikita, Honami Ichinose, Sae Chabashira, Suzune Horikita and Chie Hoshinomiya have all hinted that Kiyotaka is clearly the smartest student in his class and could have effortlessly gotten into the upper classes.
This appeared to be confirmed as Sae instructed Kiyotaka to start reaching for class 1-A immediately or be expelled for not applying himself, indicating he could easily accomplish it. His intellect has been shown to even surpassed that of the mindset and ingenuity of Kōhei Katsuragi who is considered the second smartest in the year level. His actions in the survival test even caused Suzune to question what drives him since he has proven that he is more than qualified to reach A-Class. Sae was also amazed by his plan quickly pulling one over on the other classes even giving him praise.
In the manga, Sae even hinted that he might even be academically smarter than even Suzune, which is notable as she is exceptionally excellent in her academics. Suzune even appeared to agree with Sae's statement after seeing his entrance exams questioning if he got some questions wrong on purpose.
- (Monologue): "If I may, I'd like to pose this question: Are humans being truly equal? Nowadays, people never shut up about the need for equality. A great man once said, "Heaven does not create one person above or below another." But the quote doesn't end there. It says we're equal at birth, but then gaps appear. That the differences are the result of one's academic efforts or lack thereof. At any rate, humans are capable of thinking for themselves. Equality may be a false concept, but our inequality remains a difficult thing to accept."
- (Monologue): "These introductions will determine everyone's standing in the class. Should I try for a joke? I bet I can get a big laugh if I'm really energetic. Or maybe I'd just creep everyone out. It's not like I have any hobbies or talents, anyway. I'm just a white bird, flying free." 
- (Monologue): "I failed at making friends."
- (To Suzune Horikita): "You know, I wonder if we look like a couple to the oth— Yeah, probably not."
- (Monologue): "The first girl's phone number of my high school career. I'm not really happy about it, but I'd better save it anyway."
- (To Suzune Horikita): "I used to do piano and tea ceremony ... I did calligraphy, too."
- (To Suzune Horikita): "I will help you get into A-Class. But... don't pry into my life."
- The name Kiyotaka consists of kanjis that mean "clear, pure, clean" (清) (kiyo) and "noble, prosperous" (隆) (taka).
- Kiyotaka's surname Ayanokōji consists of kanjis that mean "design" (綾) (aya), "small" (小) (kō) and "road" (路) (ji).
- According to Kikyō, on a first-year students’ ranking chart, Kiyotaka is ranked a respectable fifth place in the hot guy rankings behind three members of Class 1-A and Yōsuke of class 1-D.
- Kiyotaka resides on the fourth floor of one of the dorm buildings, in Room 401.
- According to Sae Chabashira, since class 1-D is for those with defective traits, Kiyotaka is the most "defective" student of the class due to hiding his true talents.
- Kiyotaka ranks #10 in "Male Character" category in the 2018 edition of Takarajimasha's Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! guidebook.
- In the following 2019, 2020 and 2021 editions, he is ranked #4, #1 and #1 respectively.
- For the 2nd Year arc, when asked about his aspirations for the next year, he answered 'I'm thinking of reflecting over and face myself for this year. I intend to do whatever possible to make that happen.'
- You-Zitsu Light Novel, Manga, and Anime — Light Novel Volume 1, Manga Volume 1, Room 1, and Episode 1
- You-Zitsu Manga and Anime — Volume 1, Room 3 (p. 27), and Episode 2
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 2, and Episode 6
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 2, and Episode 5
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 1, and Episode 3
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 1, and Episode 1
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 2, and Episode 4
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 1, and Episode 2
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 3, and Episode 10
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 4, and Episode 8
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 4, and Episode 11
- You-Zitsu Light Novel — Volume 7
- You-Zitsu Manga — Volume 1, Room 2 (p. 6)
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 4.5, and Episode 7
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 3, and Episode 9
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 3, and Episode 11
- You-Zitsu Light Novel — "Arisu Sakayanagi's Everyday: Behind the Scenes of the End of Term Exams Chapter" Short Story
- You-Zitsu Light Novel, Manga, and Anime — Light Novel Volume 1, Manga Volume 1, Room 5 (p. 24), and Episode 2
- You-Zitsu Light Novel — Volume 3
- You-Zitsu Anime — Episode 8
- Promotional Akihabara Posters
|Homeroom Teacher||Sae Chabashira|
|Class Representatives||Suzune Horikita • Yōsuke Hirata|
|Students||Kiyotaka Ayanokōji • Kikyō Kushida • Airi Sakura • Kei Karuizawa • Rokusuke Kōenji • Ken Sudō • Kanji Ike • Haruki Yamauchi • Teruhiko Yukimura • Akito Miyake • Haruka Hasebe • Mei-Yu Wang • Kokoro Inogashira • Maya Satō • Hideo Sotomura • Chiaki Matsushita • Satsuki Shinohara • Kayano Onodera • Nene Mori • Wataru Ijūin • Ryōtarō Hondō • Soshi Miyamoto • Kyōsuke Okitani|
|Homeroom Teacher||Sae Chabashira|
|Class Representatives||Suzune Horikita • Yōsuke Hirata|
|Students||Kiyotaka Ayanokōji • Kikyō Kushida • Airi Sakura • Kei Karuizawa • Rokusuke Kōenji • Ken Sudō • Kanji Ike • Teruhiko Yukimura • Akito Miyake • Haruka Hasebe • Mei-Yu Wang • Kokoro Inogashira • Maya Satō • Hideo Sotomura • Chiaki Matsushita • Satsuki Shinohara • Kayano Onodera • Nene Mori • Wataru Ijūin • Ryōtarō Hondō • Soshi Miyamoto • Kyōsuke Okitani|
|Members||Haruka Hasebe • Airi Sakura • Akito Miyake • Teruhiko Yukimura|