Description from FUNi: Forget about homework and pop quizzes. The students of Class 3E have a far more important assignment: kill their teacher before the end of the year! A tentacle-d sensei that moves at Mach 20 is out to conquer the classroom after destroying seventy percent of the moon. In addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic, the murderous monster behind the lectern will teach his students everything he knows about the assassination game. Should some eager beaver prove to be a quick study in killing, he or she will save Earth from extinction – and collect a hefty reward. But they’d better take some serious notes while class is in session because their slaughtering sensei has eight deadly tentacles just waiting to wreak havoc on humanity!
To begin with, I will be the first to admit that when I heard the description of this show…I didn’t know what to think. An octopus alien teacher? Middle school assassins? I didn’t expect to fall so in love with such a weird show. The story is intriguing, to say the least and it’s fairly original which is refreshing. I really enjoyed the specific episodes devoted to learning more about certain students such as Okuda, Sugino, and Karma. The general pacing of the story is nice and I didn’t feel as though it was too slow or too rushed. It felt like it was just about right. The first season of this anime builds up the characters it needs to, introduces those necessary to the plot and moves through many smaller arcs that lead up to the final arc of the season. My only complaint is not learning more about each student but being that there are about thirty of them…that would be difficult to do in one season without bogging down the plot.
As soon as I saw the animation I realized “hey, this looks a lot like Dangan Ronpa!” And probably everyone knows by now but it is the same studio who animated Dangan Ronpa. Lerche never ceases to amaze as they continue to grow and do projects such as Assassination Classroom, Ranpo Kitan, and School-Live! In fact, I prefer the art of the AssClass anime over the manga. It’s very polished but still does a great job in capturing the characters. There were few episodes where things felt “janky” so the quality was very refreshing for something that wasn’t a BluRay release. I generally expect a lot of errors in airing shows but there weren’t many in Assassination Classroom. I also loved the thick lines on the characters and the way the lines weren’t in black ink. This makes the characters stand out from the background but not in a weird way. If you compare the art and animation of the TV release over that of its OVA predecessor, it is clear to see which is more visually appealing.
The music in this show was actually enjoyable. The openings and ending are fantastic and catchy and the background music always sets the mood. There’s one particular track when things get intense that sounds exactly likes the X-files music. I’m not sure if this was on purpose but such a silly thing won me over. And while there are times that the music is repetitive, it isn’t unbearably so. Aside from the music, the voice acting in both the English and Japanese dubs are tremendous!
The last thing to discuss is characters. As stated above, I’d have loved to learn more about the other children in class 3-E, however, I’m sure their times will come. The main characters we are focused on in this show are: Koro-sensei, Nagisa Shiota, Karma Akabane, Ms. Irina Jelavich, Mr. Kurasuma, and the principal – Asano. This cast of characters is colorful and unique. Koro-sensei, Irina, and Karasuma all have their own ways of teaching their classes but in the end, their methods are what they deem best and useful. While Irina and Karasuma work to teach the kids skills that work well for school and assassination, Koro-sensei seems hell bent on making them the best they can be before he destroys the world. And he does a great job at it! Some of my favorite students include: Karma – the psychopathic genius, Nagisa – the calculating but passive student with a good deal of potential, and Ritsu – the fixed artillery with Artificial Intelligence who rebels against her creators to become friends with her fellow students. That’s right, there is a computer operated gun locker in this classroom that can adapt to Koro-sensei’s movements and increases their chance of defeating him. But who would want to defeat a teacher who is so caring and patient? Well…Class 3-E has no choice but I am really hoping that in the end, Koro doesn’t have to die…
My overall enjoyment of this series is almost indescribable. There are few shows I can watch over and over but despite having watched the Broadcast and FUNimation’s Broadcast Dub all the way through once, I am willing to watch it again! Assassination Classroom started early in the year and ran for quite a while. When it was over, I felt a bit sad and unsure as to what to do. For now, I am reading the manga as it is released in English while patiently awaiting the second season scheduled for 2016!