My winter impressions continue with Assassination Classroom.
Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu)
In Assassination Classroom, aka Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, the earth is threatened by a yellow tentacle creature, who is later named Koro-sensei. Koro-sensei has already destroyed most of the moon, and he promises to destroy earth within a year if he is not killed. However, for some unknown reason, he agrees to teach the students of class 3-E, a class of misfits and troublemakers, and they are given the task to kill Koro-sensei by the end of the school year before he destroys the earth. Of course, Koro-sensei is fully aware of the kids trying to kill him. He almost encourages well thought-out attempts, and since he is so absurdly fast and nearly unlikable, almost every attempt results in complete failure. Also, Koro-sensei is a fantastic teacher as he helps the students not just in academics, but also in life problems, much like Great Teacher Onizuka.
Despite the somewhat serious premise, Assassination Classroom is a comedy, which seems to be a trend this season. It is mostly about Koro-sensei teaching the students, with each episode focusing a specific character, and the students' assassination attempts, which often result in humorous "punishments" by Koro-sensei as he does things like painting a guy's fingernails at superspeed before he realizes it.
Episode 1 sets up the premise effectively and delivers some good laughs. Episode 2 made me think the series would become repetitive with a less than impressive episode; however, the series improved the quality with episodes 3 and 4, which were often very funny and featured some fun new characters.
Nothing about Assassination Classroom is groundbreaking, but it is just a lot of fun to watch. Thus far, the characters are generally interesting, and while the humor is not on Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun levels, the series' story and concept keeps it from becoming boring.
Koro-sensei himself is a very interesting and unique character. Even though the "Great Teacher" aspect is a trope, his other characteristics are something that I have seen in anything else. Also, we have been given glimpses at a tragic past, which is apparently the reason he wants to teach these students, so maybe that will provide strong character development later in the series (or not, since this is a comedy).
On the other hand, the main student character, Nagisa Shiota (left), is a bit of an enigma. The character has a generally feminine name, somewhat of a girlish character design, and is voiced by a woman, yet Nagisa is a guy. He never acts like a girl and the other characters never bring it up, so I assume this was done to make the character somewhat gender neutral. Regardless, as a character, Nagisa is not given a lot to do other than observe, but he is a decent character.
Studio Lerche's animation is simple, yet unique, with pronounced outlines similar to Danganronpa: The Animation, which was by the same studio, so it works and the quality is usually consistent.
With 24 episodes, hopefully Assassination Classroom can keep up the good humor and fun characters throughout the entirety of its run. Of the season's anime, Assassination Classroom is one of the better ones, and while it is not exceptional in any category, it is just all around entertaining to watch.
Watch if you like: Comedy, Great Teacher Onizuka, Shounen,
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