Anime Review: Assassination Classroom
A comedy that will move you to tears?
At Kunigigaoka Academy, the E class is the lowest of the low. Forced to take classes up on a mountain top away from the main school campus in a dilapidated shack, the students in this class are convinced that their academic lives are over. Other students sneer and bully them constantly and its rumored that teachers fear for their lives because only the rejects and behaviorally challenged students get sent there.
This all starts to change one day however when a giant yellow octopus type creature shows up and declares himself to be the new homeroom teacher. The government fills the students in; this creature has the power to destroy the planet and plans to do so by the end of the school year. However, he has made a deal with the government... in exchange for getting to teach E class for a year, he'll allow himself to become a target. Thus the students start training to become assassins with the overall goal being to kill their teacher.
The Good and the Bad
I've been wanting to write a review of this series for a very long time and I've hesitated for months. The primary reason for this is because I have to openly admit that I love this show. I have loved it since the first time I started watching it (yes, I said first time as in to imply that there have been multiple complete viewings of this show) and don't know if I will ever stop enjoying it. Yes, it is really that good.
The overall concept behind the series is an interesting one. I know it's not exactly elegant these days to say that you want to kill your teacher but as a kid, it's hard for any of us to deny that thinking just once about offing that troublesome teacher who never seemed to give you a fair break. Now, imagine how hard that would be if you were to have a teacher that you absolutely loved and gave you the time and attention that you so sorely were lacking in your life. That would be the main character of this series, Koro-sensei.
In Assassination Classroom, a group of 30 junior high school students who were never given a fair shake at life for whatever reason are given this task and their reward is an enormous pile of cash that would put them on easy street for the rest of their lives. At first the students think that this is going to be an easy way to make a quick dollar. As the series progresses however, the students learn that their teacher isn't that easy to kill and the further into the series the students (and the audience for that matter gets), the more conflicted they become about their mission all the way up until the closing moments.
Assassination Classroom is more than a school comedy. This is a series that reaches deep into the hearts of those watching and connects them to an authority figure that we all wished we had growing up. Koro-sensei speaks to all of us who didn't fit in while growing up. Those of us who never found our groove in school and gave up on life early. If you have ever fit this mold at one point in your life, you'll find a character in this series that you can relate to.
With a cast of over thirty characters, the series does a great job of creating differing and dynamic personalities for everyone. Everyone in this class took a different route to get to E class but that doesn't particularly matter because their end result is the same; everyone who plays a role in this series ends as a completely different person from when they started and that's commendable to say the least.
This is a series that did more than just entertain me. This is a series that made me think back to years of my life that I had tried my best to forget about and made me think about how my life would've been changed had I had a teacher who cared about me as much as Koro-sensei does about these kids. It takes a powerful series to create that level of bond and honestly it led to a personal catharsis that left me shaken to the core (your results may vary upon viewing).
Assassination Classroom is a moving coming of age story that will leave you gasping for air as the tears flow during the final episodes. I'm not going to give away anything regarding the final season but this is a series that ends exactly as it should and leaves absolutely zero room for complaint.
This is a series that I could speak volumes on (and already have in at least one essay published online shortly after the series concluded) and will actively talk up to anyone who asks me what series they should watch next. While the forty plus episode time commitment might scare off some people, those who do decide to venture into this series are going to find that the time is well worth the investment.
Everyone likes to throw around buzz terms like 'best ever'. Well I'm not going to do that, I will say though that this is one of those special series. This is a series that comes along once in a blue moon. It's very rare that you come across a comedy of all things that will move you to tears and then turn around on a dime to make you fall over laughing.
This isn't a series that shouldn't stay on anyone's 'to be watched' list for very long; instead it should be bumped to the top of your queue and viewed post haste.