Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Assassination Classroom

This is a review of Assassination Classroom volume 1 by Yusei Matsui.
I gave this book ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5 stars, I loved it.

"We are assassins and our target is our teacher."

I have to admit when I first saw this manga it didn't look that appealing to me.  I read the synopsis and it still looked strange to me, but I decided to pick it up and give it a try anyway.  I am very glad I did.  Despite appearances this manga is great.  It is equal parts hilarious and heartwarming.

Koro-sensei is not your average teacher.  The most obvious difference is the tentacles.  And then there is his ability to fly at mach 20.  And what normal teacher wants their students to kill them?  The students of class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High are the losers and rejects of the school.  They climb a mountain and attend classes by themselves in the old run down school building.  They aren't allowed to enter main campus and the students of classes A-D would rather die than be sent to class E.  The remote classroom makes it the ideal place for training would be assassins.  Koro-sensei destroyed the moon and he vowed to destroy the earth in one year.  If the kids of class 3-E can assassinate him before they graduate the world will be saved.  No military in the world can kill him so how can 30 kids the world has given up get the job done?  And why did he choose to spend a year as a teacher if he is just going to destroy the world?

As he deflects assassination attempt after assassination attempt Koro-sensei is making real connections with his students.  He is slowly rebuilding their self-confidence and teaching them valuable life lessons.  This manga has a lot of gags, Koro-sensei can move at mach 20 so why eat reheated leftovers for lunch when you could just fly to China for fresh mapo tofu or to Italy for fresh gelato?

Despite the silliness this manga has a great plot.  Koro-sensei is reaching out to kids that feel like everyone has abandoned them and helping them to find their own value.  He always finds clever ways to boost their self-confidence.  There have been allusions to deeper reasons that he wants to teach this class.  He was very specific about which school and class he wanted to teach during his year between destructions.  I find myself not wanting to wait to read what happens next to this diverse class!

I honestly can't think of a manga that this is similar too, it has slice of life elements, school manga elements and supernatural elements.  I highly recommend it.  And once you have read the manga you should check out the anime!

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