Review: Assassination Classroom – Ep. 1-3

Having never read the manga version of Assassination Classroom, I found this selection to be the most curious. I refrained from reading the manga (mostly because I knew I’d never have the time) and waited for the anime. I was instantly disappointed.

I know that’s a strong statement to lead with, but I was and I don’t want to sugar coat it. The problem I have with Assassination Classroom is that its concept is cooler than its execution.

I love the idea of a classroom of assassins that can’t tell about their mission and their mission is to kill their teacher. Why? Because he’s a weird octopus (not an alien, but totally looks like one) that destroyed the moon and has promised to destroy earth if his students are unable to kill him within a year. Meanwhile he wants to teach them…

Crazy right?

I mean I’m onboard with this. I think it would be better if it was students from all over the world and they had some training, but hey the bottom of the barrel at a super school that downgrades your classroom based on performance will just have to do.

Here’s where it loses me… they already have the means to kill the teacher. They have plastic knives that can harm him, but not people. They have BB pellets that harm him, but not people. They have the means, but they can’t use them because he can move at Mach 20.

So how the fuck did they develop the means to kill him?

I’ve mostly just accepted this because thinking about it too much would force me to turn it off. Its fantasy and I accept that, but I hate that they try to bring up the science of him moving at Mach 20 with no residual side effects of this. It’s just a weird thing to point out when you’re going to ignore everything else like say what happens when you move at Mach 20 and say the air space around you when you do. But its fantasy so I really, really try not to think about it.

Assassination Classroom (2)So you’d think this would be a show in which each week the kids think of new and evil ways to kill their teacher (oh and get rich because they get paid if they succeed) which it kind of is. But then the teacher has this incredible amount of heart and he actually cares about the students. Each episode so far has focused on one student and the teacher and the student go blows until ultimately the teacher wins and the student learns a lesson and starts thinking of a new way to kill the teacher.

It’s sadly the same each episode and I began to wonder why?

We see in a flashback that the teacher (I really don’t feel like typing his name, it just means unkillable teacher) had some sort of connection with a human teacher that died and basically he promised to teach students… so why the fuck is he going to destroy the planet? What good does destroying the planet do? I’m sure his reasoning involves the nature in which the teacher died, but I’m really not that curious any more.

Because here’s the catch, he says he doesn’t lie to them so if they don’t kill him then he will do it. This instantly removes the possibility of him tricking the government into letting him teach a class that he would otherwise never be allowed to do… and yet that’s what it comes off as. He’s really focused on teaching the students and it almost seems pointless to add in the killing part. That’s where the concept comes in. It’s as if the thought was, “how do I make an alien teacher with super speed interesting? Oh I know the kids are trying to kill him!”

With that I have to point out that I haven’t liked any of the characters other than the newest member of the class that was introduced in the third episode. I won’t say anymore in case you haven’t watched it, but the problem is that they neutered his character by the end of the episode. Which seems to be the norm. Introduce an interesting aspect of a character and then have the teacher fix it by the end of the episode thus changing them and making them no longer interesting. It’s a shame because I saw the new character’s presence fixing a lot of the problems the first two episodes had.

Quickly I’ll say that I get that this is supposed to be a dark comedy. It fails at that too and I have a hard time even calling it that. The comedy is just comedy and only occasionally comes across as dark. Painting someone’s nails is just comedy and the show is mostly like that with the exception of dark moments. They don’t overlap enough making it feel like two shows in it’s tone.

The animation is good, not great, but good and really do you expect it not to be? No.

I’m not really sold on this show. Its concept is great, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. I might give it a few more episodes, but I already know there’s something up with the headmaster and I really just don’t care about an evil headmaster playing some role in this entire story. Overall it’s a lot of hype and could have been a lot better.

Score: 2/5

Studio: Lerche Distributor: Funimation