Monday, 2 February 2015

[Anime] Assassination Classroom -- Quick Look

Assassination Classroom
has quite the unique premise going for it. In an almost reverse Battle Royale-like scenario, Assassination Classroom takes a group of social outcasts and misfits, puts them together into one class and gives them one assignment. They must kill their teacher before the end of the year. The first person to kill their teacher wins 10 billion yen. Sounds bizarre, right?

But what if I told you the teacher in question was a yellow Octopus-like creature (known as Koro-Sensei) intent on destroying the world unless his students manage to succeed? Still intrigued? Than Assassination Classroom just might be right up your alley.

With three episodes already under its belt, the show takes a decidedly comedic approach to its subject matter. The task at hand sounds easy enough, but there is just one minor problem. The creature-teacher can move at Mach-20 speeds. Making it almost impossible for the students (or the military for that matter) to kill him.

Seemingly episodic in structure, the show centers on each of the students and their feeble attempts to kill their teacher. Koro Sensei is a brash individual. Knowing full well that he is unkillable, his entire scheme almost seems as if devised out of boredom.

Despite his brash and cocky demeanor, he is not without traces of malice. Given his malevolent end goal of wiping out humanity, in contrast it must be said that Koro Sensei also turns out to be a pretty good teacher. Imparting his wealth of knowledge upon this gaggle of misfits. Koro Sensei's multi-faceted personality allows for the right blend of comedy and darkness.

As for the misfits themselves, the show seems to be switching its focus between students week to week. Each student has a unique backstory and motivations for wanting the prize money in question.

By far, the most amusing thing about the show is the paradox presented in Koro Sensei's motivations. In spite the fact that Koro Sensei aims to wipe out humanity, he seemingly takes some measure of affection to this group of misfits by imparting his wealth of knowledge with them. Knowing full well that they aim to kill him in the long-run.

For instance, take the second episode as Koro Sensei helps one of the boys in the class to become a better baseball pitcher. Never mind the fact that the boy in question had deviated a plan to use a ball to kill his sensei.

At the heart of it all is Nagisa. A blue-haired protagonist with a keen observing eye recording all of Koro Sensei's flaws in the hope of finding Koro Sensei's weakness. Personality wise, he's a little on the generic side for now. But hopefully he should evolve over the course of the season.

Despite the gloriously absurd premise fuelling it, it's not without its warts. In the animation department, it's a little on the cheap side. With the exception of Koro Sensei, the character designs are all a bit too generic. With lifeless-static backdrops, the characters look a little too obviously superimposed into their surroundings. Also, despite the tongue-in-cheek premise, there is potentially a chance that it could wear a little thin by the end of its 22 episode run.

Still, at this point, Assassination Classroom has enough going for it to warrant a recommendation. It's a fun and quirky little spin on the "dog-eat-dog" survival genre that could prove thoroughly entertaining for its 22 episode run. If you're into light-hearted high school related hi-jinks than Assassination Classroom is worth a look.

Assassination Classroom is now simulcast streaming over at Anime Lab. Subbed Only.

--Daniel M



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