Over 70% of the moon has been the destroyed, and the perpetrator has threatened to destroy the Earth. He says that he will do it in March after the class he teaches at graduates. That is if he is not killed by his class and 5 Billion Yen bounty on his head is claimed. Did I mention that he is a big yellow octopus that can move at a top speed of Mach 20? That is Assassination Classroom. Adapted from manga by Yūsei Matsui in Weekly Shonen Jump between July 2012 to March 2016, this first home release of the series’ first 11 episodes. Everything begins with us being introduced to the situation of Class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Junior High School being told about their new teacher. This is done by an agent of the Japanese Ministry of Defence, who also gives them their mission to kill their teacher by their graduation in March. 3-E are the class with the lowest grades in the school and that’s why they are in that class. Also he gives them motivation in the form of 5 Billion Yen reward. They give their monster teacher the name Koro Sensei (coming from “korosenai”, meaning unkillable).
This series reminds me a bit of another Shonen Jump comedy staple; Gintama. Both series have fast out there humour and an out there premise (although Assassination Classroom is arguable a little more grounded). However, they also share a common trait in that the comedy is balanced out with a lot of heart. It’s effective because of what you learn about the characters and situation as the series goes on. It wouldn’t be as effective with one dimensional characters that are there for catchphrases and gags. This really shows in the relationship that Koro Sensei has with Class 3-E. Early on it is shown that he cares about the class despite they are trying to kill him. His priority seems to be their welfare and education, as well as keeping a promise to someone who is only shown briefly in flashback. This contrasts the comical side to his nature and the way he uses his speed to go places and do certain things. This really comes through when it’s shown how E class are treated by the rest of the student body and the staff of the school. They are sent to a rundown campus on a mountain away from the rest of the school and are humiliated during the few times that they are allowed into the main campus. It’s also apparent that the faculty are self-serving, and are only interested in keeping the school’s reputation up at the expense of the failing E-class.
While there are a quite a few students in E Class here is a core group that is focused on and given alo of time. First of there is Nagisa Shiota, who acts the viewpoint character for the series providing narration. He lacks confidence at first but grows much like the rest of the class. Karma Akabane returns to 3-E after being suspended for violent conduct. He is a very cunning character, enjoying the idea of being able to kill a teacher. Also introduced are other teachers and students brought in by the government because they getting increasingly impatient. All of course eligible for the bounty placed on Koro Sensei’s head. The foreign language teacher, Irina Jelavić, is a standout as she tries to seduce Koro Sensei and initially gets on the bad side of the class. This ends up giving her the nickname ‘Ms Bitch’ (or ‘Bitch Sensei’), as well as the Japanese accent issues with the letters ‘b’ and ‘v’.
Assassination Classroom so far is very entertaining series that’s capable of balancing the comedy and drama. It doesn’t feel swamped by its large cast that increases with time. It’s definitely a series worth watching. I am looking forward to the release of Part 2.
Assassination Classroom Season 1 Part 1 is out now on Blu-Ray and on DVD 13th June.
Cover image from the Anime Limited Facebook page.
Trailer embedded from the All the Anime YouTube channel.