Assassination Classroom

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Assassination Classroom has been a show that I’ve been aware of for a while, but mostly off of seeing Koro-sensei. Aside from him being in the show, I had no idea what it was about. It’s two seasons long at 47 episodes.

The show starts off with most of the moon being destroyed in an explosion. The being who claims to have caused it is a yellow octopus humanoid… thing. He says that if he’s not killed in a year, the earth will be destroyed. The government then allows him to start teaching a Junior High class who are also being trained to kill the newly named being, Koro-sensei. This class is full of all of the rejects from the rest of the school, either from low grades or bad attitudes. The show focuses on Koro-sensei helping guide the students through their lives while they scheme to kill him.

While certain aspects of this show give the impression that this is an ensemble show with different characters taking the lead every time, it is more standard than that. Of the 28 students in the class, there are three main characters, Nagisa, Karma, and Kayano, about maybe 10 or so characters get any significant amount of screen time, and the rest are mostly used in relation to other characters (often recognizing groups of characters, but not knowing the individuals). That being said, all students are unique visually, even if defining characteristics may be difficult.

Nagisa as the protagonist is great. I spent most of the first episode questioning his gender, and it turns out later that’s not an accident or strange art style, but important to his character. While episode to episode it may be difficult to see his growth as a character, comparing Nagisa from the first episode to Nagisa at the end of the first season is pretty drastic without being a complete shift in character. Many characters in the show go through changes, the amount depending on character relevance, but even so, it’s always clear how these characters change, which is really impressive considering the cast size.

Koro-sensei is also a unique character in that, for most of the series, he seems perfect and unkillable. He can do pretty much anything, and is the best teacher the kids ever had. At the same time, Nagisa keeps making notes about Koro-sensei’s weaknesses, which he has, and they stay pretty consistent throughout the series.

The only major problem I have with this series is a sense of scale in both time and the student’s abilities, and this problem only comes up during the second season. Without spoiling, major events seem to come and go very quickly. While both seasons each seem to take up about half  of a school year, the second season seems much more rushed by comparison. I’m uncertain if another full season would help this, or drag it down too much.

The students during the second season seem change from being normal humans with special training, to almost superhuman, jumping across rooftops for fun. They were even being told at one point to keep their abilities secret. It seems like a strange power upgrade that the students got without any real buildup to that point.

Everything being said, Assassination Classroom is fantastic series, if potentially too short in the middle, with some great characters, and a great ending. Highly recommend

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