An unnamed person speaks to the reader of the novel, asking them to think about the state of society. Asking about the existence of equality and the uncertainty of the future. They state that they did not understand what it meant that they had a future. That the only feeling they had was joy in being released from their past duties as they left compulsory education, not understanding what it meant to go to school in the first place.
Chapter 1 Edit
An old woman had boarded a crowded bus and did not have an available seat. A businesswoman noticed this and asked a high school student who was sitting in the priority seating section whether he would be willing to give the old woman his spot. He pompously rejected the request and started to banter with the businesswoman. After the atmosphere in the bus had gotten more intense, a female high school student attempted to help convince the boy to give up his seat. After being rejected again, she asked all the passengers if anyone would be willing to give up their own seat for the old woman.
Sitting in another section of the bus, Kiyotaka Ayanokōji thinks about his stance on the event that just occurred before him. Not wanting to get involved with troubling matters and partially agreeing with the reasons that the boy gave for not giving the woman his seat, he decides against it. He noticed that the girl next to him had come to the same conclusion. Eventually, a woman gives up her seat and the bus ride proceeds normally. The bus arrives at Advanced Nurturing High School and as Kiyotaka is departing from the bus stop, he is stopped by the girl he sat next to during the ride. She asked him why he was looking at her, and the two discuss the event that happened on the bus.
Later on Kiyotaka gets to his classroom and, after failing to make connections with anyone, discovers that he sits beside the girl that he had met on the bus. The two speak for a bit and watch as various other students come in, including the boy from the bus. The homeroom teacher arrives shortly afterwards and introduces herself as Sae Chabashira. She gives some handouts and speaks a bit about the rules and policy that the school has, afterwards proceeding to give out student ID cards. She explains that these cards contain points that are used as the currency across campus, and the distribution of these points is done monthly in quantities of 100,000.
Sae speaks a bit more to the class and ends homeroom, telling the students to attend the opening ceremony in one hour. The students begin speaking among themselves and prepare to leave. One student, Yōsuke Hirata, speaks up to the class and proposes that everyone do introductions, while also introducing himself to the class. Kokoro Inogashira, Haruki Yamauchi, and Kikyō Kushida all introduce themselves to the class. Yōsuke prompts the next student to introduce himself, and receives some backlash against the idea due to his aggressive nature. This conflict spurns many like-minded students get up and leave the classroom, including Suzune. Despite this, introductions continued and Kanji Ike and Rokusuke Kōenji introduce themselves next, followed shortly after by an awkward introduction by Kiyotaka.
After the opening ceremony concludes, Kiyotaka decides to stop by the convenience store. He runs into Suzune and the two talk for a while about the peculiarity of the school and the rule system. After talking for a bit they notice the red-haired boy from earlier arguing with the sales clerk due to having forgotten his card. Kiyotaka helps him pay for his goods and introduces himself. The three of them talk for a little bit until Ken and Suzune get into an argument which causes Suzune to lose interest and leave. Kiyotaka and Ken stay out front of the store to eat their meals until a group of older students come by to hassle them away from where they are eating. There is a small argument, but the older students leave after taking pity on them after learning that the two of them are students from class 1-D, much to their confusion.
Chapter 2 Edit
The following day, the students of class 1-D start slacking off, and surprisingly, Sae does not attempt to stop them from doing so. Kiyotaka laments about his inability to make strong connections with anybody in the classroom so far and is chided by Suzune about it. Class ends and Kiyotaka is pulled aside by Kikyō Kushida. Kikyō explains that she is looking to learn more about Suzune, who had been refusing to become acquainted with her. Kiyotaka states that he was only barely acquainted with Suzune himself and wouldn't be of any help.
Later that day, after hearing about the upcoming club fair for first-year students, Kiyotaka decides to invite Suzune to go and look at the clubs with him. After bantering back and forth for a while, she inevitably decides to join him and take a look with the excuse of watching him fail at making friends. In the gym, the duo listen to various club representatives give out introductions to their clubs to try and entice the students into joining. This carries on for a while until only a single student had yet to present. The student takes control of the stage and intimidates the first year students into silence before introducing himself as Manabu Horikita, the president of the student counsel. He states that the student counsel is looking for new students to fill the openings from the new school year and that only exceptional students will be considered for the spots.
After Manabu leaves the stage, Suzune is left unable to speak. Ken Sudō, Kanji Ike, and Haruki Yamauchi show up and start to talk with Kiyotaka. They talk for a little bit about clubs and invite Kiyotaka to a group chat that they had started. He gladly shares his contact information with them as Suzune quietly leaves the club fair without saying anything.
Chapter 3 Edit
About a week later, Kiyotaka listens in on a group of boys in the classroom. Kanji and Haruki had arrived early and are excited to begin swimming later that day in order to see the girls in their swimsuits. Kanji and Haruki talk about a plan that they've set up in conjunction with another student Hideo Sotomura to record and rank the cup sizes of the breasts of the girls in the class. Kanji suddenly invites Kiyotaka to join them in placing bets on who has the largest breasts in the class. He decides to join in with them in order to get closer to his classmates and attempt to make friends
After lunch, the swimming class is beginning and some of the girls of the class foil Kanji and Haruki's plan to rank their breast sizes because they are nervous around aggressive boys. Suzune shows up and banters with Kiyotaka for a bit. She notices Kiyotaka's fit body and asks if he works out at all, to which he denies stating that its due to genetics. Kikyō shows up and tries to start speaking with Suzune, which is coldly rejected. The teacher starts the swimming class and eventually instructs the class to compete with each other in a 50m freestyle separated by gender.
The girls raced first over two races. Suzune came in second overall and Kikyō came in fourth, with a girl named Kayano Onodera taking first place. After they were done Suzune went and chided Kiyotaka. Kiyotaka expressed his interest to just not be last place. The boys had 3 races that would be decided with a final, with Kiyotaka taking 10th place, Ken taking 2nd place, Rokusuke taking first, and Yōsuke taking 3rd. After the conclusion of the races, Kikyō went up to Kiyotaka to compliment Kiyotaka on his fit body, to which he denies having just as he denied to Suzune.
Chapter 4 Edit
Kikyō and her friend invite Suzune to go with them to the cafe after school. After a swift refusal, Suzune includes to say that she should stop inviting her out. Kiyotaka witnessed the event and chided her for it. As he is leaving the classroom, he is pulled aside by Yōsuke who is concerned due to Suzune's loner attitude. Kiyotaka redirects him to tell her this straight to her face. Kiyotaka left the classroom and found Kikyō waiting for him on his way back to the dorms. She vocalized her desire to become friends with Suzune, and was looking for help from the only person who appeared to be close to her. After attempting to resist, Kikyō's begging surpassed his resistance and he reluctantly agreed.
Kikyō proposed the idea of having Kiyotaka invite Suzune to Pallet, a very popular cafe on campus, where they would then unexpectedly run into Kikyō. Kiyotaka suggests that they enlist the help of Kikyō's various friends to make the encounter more believable, to which she agrees. He accepts the overall idea and invites Suzune to go to Pallet with him after school, and after a bit she accepts to go with him.
After heading to the cafe, they order food and sit down at a recently vacated table. Shortly afterwards the table next to them opens up as well and Kikyō sits down and acts as if she just noticed the two. After saying hello, Suzune immediately notices their scheme and confronts them on it. Kiyotaka realizes he's been caught and admits the scheme while Kikyō states her desire to become friends with Suzune. Suzune bluntly states for her to stop trying and that she will be angry if she continues to do this, adding on that friends are unneeded. Kiyotaka states that he shares in her sentiment with the idea that friends are unneeded, as he states that he had never had a friend before coming to high school.
Suzune denies the similarity between them, saying that she was a loner by her own will, whereas Kiyotaka was one due to inability. She states that she had been alone the last nine years, so if she's alone for the next three there is effectively no difference. She gives a final warning to Kikyō to leave her alone and then leaves the cafe. Kikyō expresses her desire to still become friends with everybody and the two discuss the value of friendship a bit more.
Chapter 5 Edit
Three weeks after the start of the school year, behavior in the class has been getting progressively worse, with students being tardy, skipping periods, speaking during lessons, sleeping, and using electronic devices during class-time. Despite the behavior, the teachers pay it no mind and continue their lessons like normal. Due to their poor behavior and academic performance, Ken, Kanji, and Haruki were labelled as "The 3 Idiots of D-Class". Kei Karuizawa apparently begins to date Yōsuke Hirata according to rumors that are spreading among the students.
The next period, Sae Chabashira announces that there will be a surprise mock exam that will not be reflected on the student's report card. Kiyotaka looks over the questions and realizes that there are a few extremely hard questions mixed in with the usual questions and senses something amiss about the test. He doesn't think further about the matter, and takes the exam as he usually does.
During lunch, Kiyotaka joins with Ken, Kanji, and Haruki as they were talking about which girls they liked. They prod Kiyotaka about his relationship with Suzune, to which Kiyotaka denies being in one. They speak about relationships for a while until the conversation turns to their monthly point balances. The majority of the group had already blown through most of their points and were excited to get a refill for the next month. Kiyotaka went to a vending machine and noticed the selection option for a free water, which caused him to recall that the cafeteria had free meal options as well that he saw many upperclassmen partaking in. Once again he thinks that there is something amiss about the school, but is distracted away from thinking further once again.
After school is out for the day, the idiot trio invites Kiyotaka to go out with them for the evening, including that Kikyō would also be coming. She shows up and admits that she had invited Yōsuke Hirata, Kei Karuizawa, Nene Mori, and Chiaki Matsushita to join them. The awkward group leaves to go look around campus. They talk a bit about relationships until the group's conversation turns into one about the monthly point balances. As everyone expresses their opinions about the school's point balances, Kiyotaka begins thinking about how the school determines whether students have merit and why the school would be willing to give out so much money to students who don't produce results like the ones he's out with.
Chapter 6 Edit
A month after the start of the school year, Sae Chabashira arrives and addresses the classroom for homeroom. The students of the class are concerned since they had not received any of the points they were told they would receive at the start of the month. Sae reveals that class 1-D received all of the points they were supposed to get, and goes on to reveal that their constant poor behavior over the last month had decreased their monthly point earnings to zero. Teruhiko and Yōsuke Hirata contest this for a bit, but it is an unchanging fact that they have lost all of their points. Sae proceeds to explain that these points will not be returned even if they stop their bad behaviors, much to the dismay of the students. These points are explained to be called class points and that they are the basis that are used to rank the performance of the classes.
Sae reveals that the students are placed into each of the classes is based on their merits, with the best students being placed into A-class and the defective ones being placed into D-class. She also explains that only students in A-class are guaranteed the 100% post-high school education and employment that Advanced Nurturing High School promises their students. She then displays the scores the class got on the mock exam a week earlier and laughs at the class for their overall poor scores, adding on that seven of the students would have been expelled for their results should the test have been officially recorded on their report cards. It is revealed that students who score poor enough on tests and finals are expelled immediately. She lets the class know that there will be a midterm exam in three weeks and leaves the classroom.
The students begin to quarrel among themselves about the truth of the point system and their status as the leftovers of the school. Kikyō resolves a few conflicts among the students while Kiyotaka and Suzune discuss the events that transpired. After a while of talking, the conversation shifts to stopping the poor behaviors that lost the class points in the first place. The class begins to have a hostile attitude towards Ken Sudō for his behavior and uncooperative attitude since he doesn't agree to change his attitude.
After school, Kiyotaka is summoned to the staff room over loudspeaker by Sae. He heads to the staff room, where he meets Chie Hoshinomiya instead. She flirts with him for a bit before being interrupted by Sae. She requests that the two of them move to the guidance room, but they are followed by her. It is only after Honami Ichinose comes looking for Chie that the two are left alone and arrive at the guidance room. Sae has Kiyotaka stay in the kitchen attached to the guidance room and tells him to stay silent with a threat of expulsion if he doesn't comply.
Sae leaves him in the room and Suzune appears in the next room. Suzune had come to ask Sae about why she was placed in D-class, not believing that she was defective at all. She asserts that it must have been a mistake, and it is revealed that Suzune placed third overall on the entrance exams and had top marks in academics outside of the exams. Sae then proceeds to affirm that the school had not made any mistakes when it came to placing Suzune in D-class, also stating that academics are not the only qualifier as to whether someone has merit or not in the school.
After their talk was concluded, Sae requests for Suzune to stick around, saying that she will give her a hint about how to reach A-class. Sae calls out to Kiyotaka and Suzune realizes that their whole conversation was overheard. She then proceeds to question Kiyotaka about his perfect score of 50 on all of the exams taken so far, as well as his ability to get one of the hardest problems correct on the mock exam while also getting the easiest problem incorrect. Kiyotaka dismisses her accusations as a coincidence, but Suzune remains suspicious about the uncovered information.
After they leave the guidance room, Suzune begins to grill Kiyotaka with questions about his scores, to which Kiyotaka maintains that they are coincidences. They then discuss the issue with the class points and the upcoming midterms. Suzune requests the help of Kiyotaka to solve this issue and doesn't take no for an answer despite being denied several times.
Chapter 7 Edit
Behavior in class 1-D slowly began improving, with the exception of Ken's. Yōsuke Hirata decides to create a study group to help the class prepare for the upcoming midterm exam. He invites everyone, but Ken, Kanji, and Haruki show no interest in joining. Some time later, Suzune invites Kiyotaka to lunch. Using a free meal as bait, she gets him to hear her out. She had noticed that the idiot trio refused to join the study group created by Yōsuke, and wanted Kiyotaka to get them to join a study group created by her instead so that class 1-D could pass the midterm exams and potentially raise their class points. Not taking no for an answer, Kiyotaka dejectedly agrees to get them to join.
Kiyotaka attempts to get the three to join Suzune's study group to no avail due to not taking the situation seriously and the effort that studying would require. Out of options, he gets the idea to ask Kikyō for help with getting the three of them to join the study group. She gladly accepts with the condition that she be allowed to join the group as well. Accepting this, they exchange contact information and not long after, Kikyō lets him know that she was successfully able to convince all three to attend. Kiyotaka tells Suzune that he had to enlist Kikyō in order to convince them to join and after a bit she accepts it.
The next day, Kiyotaka and Suzune go to the library to set up for the study session. Ken, Kanji, Haruki, Kikyō, and Kyosue Okitani arrive to study. Almost immediately, it is apparent that the idiot trio are farther behind in their studies than was initially believed, and Suzune's harsh attitude discourages them from trying further. They begin arguing which leads to the idiot trio losing interest in the study group despite Kikyō's efforts. Everyone other than Kiyotaka, Suzune, and Kikyō leave the study group. Suzune states that she's lost interest in teaching them further as she sees it as a hassle to teach them anything moving forward. Kikyō is distraught about the outcome and leaves shortly after.
Looking to thank Kikyō for the work she put in to help the failed study group, Kiyotaka chases after her. He notices that she was not leaving the library, but was instead heading to the roof so he tails her quietly, curious about what she's doing. He finds her cursing out Suzune which shocks Kiyotaka and he quickly attempts to leave. Making a loud noise with the door, she is alerted of his presence on the roof. She immediately confronts him asking if he heard anything she was saying, which Kiyotaka doesn't deny. She threatens him to stay quiet about what happened, taking his hand and placing it on her breast to use the fingerprints as a form of blackmail. Kiyotaka swears silence, and then questions her on her behavior and why she is so upset with Suzune. She brings up her desire to be friends with everyone, to which Kiyotaka asks if she and Suzune know one another before coming to high school. She shifts the topic away from that quickly and ensures his silence one last time before she goes back to her usual self and leaves.
Later on, the group chat that Kiyotaka was involved started discussing the topic of Suzune, with antagonistic feelings towards her being shared among most of its members. Tired of the situation, Kiyotaka ignores his phone and heads down to the lobby of the dorms to get something to drink from a vending machine. He notices on the monitor of the elevator after he's done that Suzune is heading down to lobby as well. He hides and tails her out of the building where he finds her meeting with an older student. After listening for a little, the older student turns out to be Manabu Horikita, who is confirmed to be her older brother.
She tells her brother that she came to this school to catch up to him, as well as saying that she will absolutely reach A-class. Manabu scoffs at her drive and taunts her before pushing her against the wall of the building. He tells her to leave the school and prepares to throw her to the ground. Kiyotaka quickly moves in and holds back his arm to prevent him from hurting his sister. Manabu immediately takes some swings at Kiyotaka, all of which are adeptly dodged. Manabu attempts to fake him out with a handshake, but Kiyotaka sees through this and slaps his hand away.
Manabu realizes that Kiyotaka has real skills and opens a quick dialogue, stating he's shocked to learn that Suzune had made a friend and expressing interest in Kiyotaka. He leaves after saying this, leaving Suzune and Kiyotaka alone. Kiyotaka begins to leave himself, but gets stopped by Suzune, who asks him about his true skills, once again accusing him of getting 50's on the exams on purpose and stating that there is more to him than meets the eye. He continues to deny this, and she then laments at having shown him her weakness. He once again begins to depart until the topic of the study group comes up. Kiyotaka asks her what she intends to do moving forward, to which she states that she has given up on the idiot trio, seeing them as nothing but heavy baggage for her goal of reaching A-class. Kiyotaka brings up that the school bases things off merit and not strictly academic success, and that there might also be punishments that they are unaware of should a student be expelled. He also states that there are things that those three are better at than her. Eventually convincing her to change her mind, they promise between one another to stop them from failing the upcoming midterms.
Chapter 8 Edit
A week until the midterm exams begin, Kiyotaka and Suzune begin to brainstorm how to get the idiot trio to begin studying for the midterms once again. Kiyotaka invites Kikyō to join them for lunch so that the three can discuss things. At Pallet, they once again request for Kikyō's assistance with helping them, to which Kikyō happily agrees once again. She invites the idiot trio to join her at Pallet, and after they arrive, they immediately realize they were tricked into dealing with the study group even further. They exclaim their distaste for Suzune and their disinterest towards studying during their free time. Suzune explains the plan that they made to get them to study while also not using their free time, which consists of spending their time during class to memorize and study questions, and then to use the time in between the periods to personally teach them whatever they had issues understanding. They only agree to the plan after Kiyotaka gets Kikyō to offer the person who gets the highest score the permission to take her out on a date.
The next day, Kikyō invites an idle Kiyotaka to eat lunch together so that she can keep her eye on him. They go to the cafe where after some light hearted chatter, Kikyō directly states her lack of trust in him, and asks who he would prefer to choose as an ally between Suzune and her. He states that he is neutral and doesn't want to choose, to which Kikyō states that she is expecting him to side with her in the future.
After they finish eating, everyone meets up together in the library to get in some study time. The study session gets a bit rowdy, and a passing group of C-Class students call out the study group requesting for them to quiet down. They then realize that they belong to D-Class, and begin to taunt them for it. Ken gets fired up from their provocations and has to restrain his anger to prevent himself from getting physical. A C-Class student mentions that they aren't even studying the correct content for the test and insults them again, to which Ken loses his temper and grabs him by the collar of his uniform. Ken prepares to knock out the student until Honami Ichinose arrives and gets in the middle of the conflict, telling both sides to stop their fighting and threatening to draw over a teacher. C-Class students depart after her threat to get teachers involved and she departs herself shortly afterwards.
The information that the material being studied for the exam isn't even the correct material concerns everyone in the study group. They then decide to go and verify with Sae that the material that they're studying is the correct material. They go to the staff room, where Sae tells them that the material on the test was changed a week earlier, and that she had forgotten to inform them about it.
During lunchtime the next day, Kiyotaka and Kikyō leave for the lunchroom at Kiyotaka's lead. After reaching the lunchroom, he scouts out the older students who are buying lunches, looking for one who was buying the free vegetable meal set. After seeing one buy the set, Kiyotaka goes to sit with him. Kiyotaka asks the student if he still has the problems from his first year's midterms, and after bartering with him a bit, he agrees to sell the older test problems to Kiyotaka for 15,000 points. Kiyotaka also gets him to throw in the answers to the mock exam two years earlier as well. After receiving the problems to the past exam and test, he immediately notices that the mock exam had exactly the same questions as the version given to Class 1-D this year. Kiyotaka asks Kikyō to take credit for the idea to get old test versions and asks her to hand out copies of the old midterm to the class on the day before the midterm, to which she agrees after raising suspicions about Kiyotaka's capabilities.
Chapter 9 Edit
The day before the midterm, Kikyō hands out the old midterm exams to the class, much to everyone's delight. As exams begin the next day, Ken has confidence about his ability to pass all of the tests except the English test, which is his worst subject. The first four tests go well, and the final test is the English test. Ken reveals to everyone that he had fallen asleep early the night before and was unable to get in the required studying. After some last-minute studying, the test is taken and the study group rejoices over the finished task. Despite what happened with the English test, Suzune commends Ken for his efforts and apologizes for some of the harsher things she had said to him previously, causing Ken to establish feelings for her.
Chapter 10 Edit
The next day, Sae arrives in the classroom and presents the scores for all five tests of the midterms. The class begins to rejoice over the amount of perfect scores, and it appears that all students in the class had gotten scores above the red line on the mock test three weeks ago. Cutting their celebration short, Sae draws a new red line on the English score sheet right above Ken's name, who had gotten a 39 on the exam. She states that the passing score for the exam was a 40, which means that Ken will be expelled from the class. Yōsuke, Kanji, and Suzune attempt to back up Ken on the topic, but Sae disregards their attempts by stating that the matter has already been settled.
After she leaves the room, Kiyotaka leaves the room on his own and follows Sae out into the hallway. He asks her about whether or not she believes society is fair, to which she states that she believes that it isn't. Kiyotaka agrees with her, and Sae reveals that she is aware that getting the old test questions was done by Kiyotaka and commends how he went about it. Kiyotaka asserts that not being informed about the change in the material for the midterms was done intentionally to give class 1-D a disadvantage due to their status, which Sae admits to. Kiyotaka requests for her to sell him a point to add to Ken's test score and pulls out his student ID card. Sae realizes that he is aware of how the point system works and agrees to sell the point to him for 100,000 private points. Kiyotaka clearly does not have enough points to cover that sum on his own, but at that offer, Suzune appears stating that she will also contribute her own points to purchase the test point. Sae sells it to them and praises them, stating that the two of them might be capable enough to reach A-class in the future.
After school, a party is hosted inside Kiyotaka's dorm room. The idiot trio gives a sincere thanks to Suzune for her efforts at keeping them from dropping out of school. They ask her how she managed to rescind the expulsion, but she states that it was a secret, showing that Kiyotaka had her take credit for his plan once again. They celebrate among themselves more as Kikyō reveals Kiyotaka and Suzune's goal of reaching A-class to the idiot trio.