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.
Kiyotaka is a 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 has grown taller since his first arrival at the school.
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. Kei before she officially started dating him said he is considered to be in the top 10 of the hottest boys in the entire school. Sato finds him hotter than even Hirata Yosuke despite being rejected by Kiyotaka.
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, to which he adamantly denied. 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 lackadaisical and idle look, which gives off an unconcerned attitude. This can be interpreted as indifference or a relatively passive demeanor to his peers. It is shown in a flashback, that even as a child he possessed a similar unmoving expression that he would keep until adolescence.Many see him as someone who is devoid of emotions as he has never once cried or smiled in their presence calling him abnormal.
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 (on purpose), he possesses a sagacious ability to read the emotions of people around him with pinpoint accuracy and either helps or destroys them.
He is well-versed in 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 actually 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 an 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. That is why some people in his class still finds him to be an enigmatic presence despite having been with him for over a year.
However, he is shown to be capable of sustaining some conversations, though in a somewhat dull and monotonous fashion, as shown in his interactions with Kikyō Kushida and his other classmates. Though he does put more effort in conversing with those he is truly close with and deep down cares for them surreptitiously.
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 pedophiliac stalker. He also promised Suzune that he would get her to get to A-Class even though it was forced. Kiyotaka put his plan into action by assisting Suzune which in turn sheds some of her cold nature and allow her to open up to others, which had partially worked as he helped her get mass popularity after the island survival test.
Kiyotaka has voiced intentions of making friends, but his 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, though he only did so as there might be repercussions to losing a classmate, affecting his chances of getting to Class A. 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 suggested a deeper kind of 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 above everything else. 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. He has an extreme sense of unflappability and is sangfroid during difficult times. He has never shown to be under any distress when faced with threat or danger but once, he was blatantly angry at Ryumen after his deplorable acts against Kei. He is the most astute student in his class, crafting plans even Horikita wouldn’t be able to. Despite his abilities being leagues above others, he has no hubris but is lackadaisical about them.
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 him to use. Still, he is stalwart as he eventually did rescue her and made plans to comfort her after the ordeal as a learning point for her.
He is shown to be cautious of others as he doesn't fully trust Suzune even making plans for her possible betrayal. Despite that 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 behavior 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 him to for expulsion, he gave up trying to advance to that class while ignoring the vehement 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 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.
Kiyotaka's past is showered in enigma, but brief glances has shown him to be extremely intelligent and perceptive since young. 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 organisation in his younger years, though his tenure there and how he left is still unknown.
While Kiyotaka did attempt to make friends when he joined his class, his inexperience in social matters caused him to miss out in forming a group, inadvertently ostracising himself and becoming a loner. While he did find an associate in Suzune Horikita who was also left alone, he was put off by her dislike of friendship and uncaring nature towards others. He was also peeved at her individualistic and prideful nature. Despite his desire to live an ordinary quiet student life, he always finds himself helping people in their desperate 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 as during his encounter with Manabu Horikita a veteran blackbelt. Although Kiyotaka didn't attack, he was able to evade all of Manabu's strikes in the battle with relative ease and managed to deflect a calculated blow forcing Manabu to create distance between them. This action earned praise from Manabu, who inquired as to what fighting arts he practised but instead received an unconvincing answer in return, showcasing Kiyotaka's excellence in martial arts and evasive nature. The best fighters of the school Suzune Horikita, Manabu Horikita, Ichika Amasawa,Kakeru Ryūen and his group, all acknowledges and respects his fighting prowess in turn, they all rather stay in his good grace and not make him an enemy during physical confrontations.
It was also mentioned in the light novels that he possesses incredible speed as he was able to run at an equal speed, probably even faster, as Manabu in a race Kiyotaka only ended up losing the race after unexpectedly changing tracks to avoid one of the other participant that tripped into his lane. Even so, he was not far off from him when he finished and was significantly ahead of the other participants despite the hiccup. Observers deduced that he would had won handily if it was a fair match. Arisu Sakayanagi from class 1-A.
Similar to hiding his true intellect, he prefers to also keep his physical capabilities to himself. When Suzune Horikita 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 just didn’t feel the need to reveal his skills, so the full extent of his physical feat and fighting skills are yet to be seen.
Kiyotaka's proficient martial arts were seen when he completely overwhelmed Kakeru Ryūen, who was a very capable fighter. The latter was easily defeated causing him to end up be completely helpless against the onslaught of Kiyotaka attacks as he mercilessly punched him repeatedly for harming Kei. 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 him having a very large physique, and the other two being very skilful fighters in their own right. These feats were notable as he emerged without earning so much as a scratch in the entire brawl.. His dexterity was shown when he handily defeated Albert, Ishizaki, Ibuki and Ryumen at the same time, a feat no other student is likely to achieve.
He was able to block Albert's full power punch with one hand - a person who was an entirely different weight-class that can knock out people with one blow and cause serious injuries.
Mio challenged Kiyotaka to a rematch and lost while believing Kiyotaka was fighting seriously but was actually not. In volume 11.5, when Kiyotaka was approached by Ryūen and was able to avoid all of his surprise attacks with perfect precision, it made Ryūen call him a "monster", the highest praise that he could describe another person.
Kiyotaka is shown to be extremely intelligent as he intentionally scored exactly 50 out of 100 points for each subject on his entrance exams. He is even more intelligent than Suzune Horikita who holds the highest scores in his class and 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 deceptive nature. 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 assistance, his plan succeeded, earning praise from his teacher.
He is incredibly perceptive and meticulous, 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".
Although Kiyotaka prefers not to draw attention to himself and would much rather fade in the background, he possesses outstanding talents in his academics that can’t be hidden, 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 true talents. 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 ordered Kiyotaka to start aiming to reach 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 be apart of A-Class. Sae was also amazed by his plan quickly pulling one over on the other classes even giving him praise.
In the manga, even with the limited results he allows himself to attain, under the watchful eye of Sae, she hinted that he might even be academically smarter than even Suzune with his suppressed showings, which is notable as she is exceptionally excellent in her academics. Suzune readily agreed with Sae's statement after seeing his entrance exams results, questioning if he got some questions wrong on purpose. He was also able to come up with plans in a shorter amount of time that she would never be able to do so herself, finding herself depending on him for assistance numerous times.
Later, in a conversation with Kei Karuizawa, Kiyotaka states there isn't a single question he can't solve ever since he arrived in the school. This is especially remarkable as the school deliberately added questions from university level and above which the likes of the brightest student's minds such as Honami Ichinose admitted she couldn’t even understand what the question was asking and Arisu Sakayanagi failing to answer the questions in time.
- (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).
- Kiyotaka shares the same birthday with Kakeru Ryūen.
- 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 her class due to him purposefully 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 — Volume 2
- 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 — "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 and Anime — Volume 3, and Episode 11
- You-Zitsu Light Novel and Anime — Volume 2, and Episode 6
- 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|