In the blink of an eye, the night sky is forever changed when, with a great explosion, the moon is blasted into a permanent crescent. Confronting the governments of the world, a yellow tentacled monster boasts that it was the one responsible for the catastrophe, and in a year's time, it will do the same to Earth. Zooming around at Mach 20, the creature makes a peculiar demand: a teaching position at the prestigious Kunugigaoka Junior High School. Desperate to keep the creature in one place, the government agrees, and so the students of Class 3-E find themselves faced with an impossible task—assassinate the creature responsible for destroying the moon.
Although the fate of the world now rests on their shoulders, the class has more personal issues to deal with. Trapped at the bottom of Kunugigaoka's hierarchical education system, they face harsh discrimination from both teachers and students alike. Defeatism abound, they don't believe themselves capable of success in daily life, let alone against a monster that surpasses the abilities of any human. But as the enigmatic creature—whom they dub Koro-sensei—educates them in both assassination and academia, the children slowly find the courage to rise up and take aim at their target: the greatest teacher the world has ever seen.
Ansatsu Kyoushitsu ranked 1st in the 2014 Kono Manga ga Sugoi! ranking in the male readers category, was named by Nippon Shuppan Hanbai as the best work of 2013 on the list "Book of the Year," and was nominated for the 2013 Manga Taishou Award, ranking 6th place, and the 19th Tezuka Osamu Annual Prize in 2015. The series has sold over 20 million copies as of 2016.
A VOMIC version was broadcast in Sakiyomi Jan Bang! from January to June 2013; the series has received a fanbook, databook, spin-off manga, and an illustrated English language guidebook called Koro-tan; and a live-action film of the series was released in Japan on March 21, 2015, which opened at number 1 on the box office; a second film was released on March 25, 2016.
The series has been published in English as Assassination Classroom by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint since December 2, 2014; in Italian by Panini Comics under the Planet Manga imprint since May 10, 2014; in Portuguese since July 2014 by Panini Comics and in Spanish by Panini Comics since October 2014.
Assassination Classroom was a manga I didn't really like when I read the first volume. Was it the odd premise? Or the somewhat bland characters? I couldn't tell you, but I decided to come back to it after I heard it would end in five weeks. I'm glad I did, because I found a very well done manga that has a somewhat rough start.
Assassination Classroom's premise is very odd to say the least. Class E3, the worst of the worst, have been given a special assignment: Kill their new teacher, punnily named Korosensei by one of the students, before their graduation in March.
A somewhat odd plot, I know, but there is so much more as the story begins to expand after the first volume. The story, initially, takes a backseat to another component of the manga(more on that later). The story really does start to get interesting around the 7th volume, and only heightens throughout the story. If there is one problem with the story of the manga, it's that it didn't seem to know when to end. Without going into details, I felt it could have ended earlier than it initially did, but then Matsui decides to make 4 other 'side chapters' that, yes, may not be connected to the story, but honestly left an undesirable taste in my mouth. I didn't read them initially, because I felt that they didn't serve a purpose. Despite that, the story is one that I feel everyone should read. (9/10)
I have not read Matsui's previous work(namely Neuro), so I can't comment on how Matsui's art has evolved from his previous endeavors, but when the series first started, the art wasn't particularly great. I felt that it had lacked it's own identity, but was passable. However, as the series went on, it seemed to get it's own identity, and this is expressed most through it's character designs. (9/10)
If this manga did one thing perfectly, it was its characters. We do have a main character, but Matsui takes a route less taken with the initial storytelling: Focusing on the class as a group of characters. Instead of focusing on a only a group of characters, all of the classmates have distinctive characteristics that make them unique. Remember earlier when I said that the story initially takes a backseat in it's first 7 volumes? You rarely notice it because of how wonderful the small stories are that focus on one of the classmates. There aren't any annoying characters in the class. When it comes to antagonists, the series has them covered as well. To a power-mad principal to a master assassin, there are many great antagonists in the series. The great thing about them is that they all have their own justifications for what they are doing. (10/10)
I enjoyed this manga quite a lot. There are many great small arcs that are not only funny, but help develop our favorite class of underdogs, and some of the arcs that have massive revelations can be exciting and heart-wrenching, sometimes both at the same time. I had a great time reading this manga(9/10)
I felt this was a great manga. The characters were great, the story was great, and I found myself reading the entire manga in the span of 5 weeks, something I had only done for Jojo's bizarre adventure before. I feel this is a great manga, and I'd recommend this manga. I can't wait for Matsui's next work. (9/10)
Truly the best manga ever created.This is by far the most enjoyable manga of all time. If you are a school student, this series has got to be the most relatable for your time. If you are not a school student, then you may be able to relive your moments as a school student. The length of the manga is appropriate to the complex storyline that in encompasses. It is really a nice way to enjoy the introduction of characters and see how they are developed before moving on to the core elements of the plot.
The story is amazing. As I have said earlier,
it is about a school, with a slight twist of assassination. The story may seem out of this world initially, with the concept of assassination within a classroom setting preposterous. However, the assassination does not get in the way of the values that lie therein, which strike me deeper than any other manga. Being a student in Singapore, the pressure of school is immense, with the concept of "The Survival Of The Fittest", which is exactly what this series tackles, surprisingly. On top of that, there is an element of strategy; the way you should think in order to outsmart somebody stronger than you. What could be better than all that packed nicely into one comedic comic? Hence, despite the initial plot twist about assassination, which itself is quite appropriate, the plot is nothing more than a school setting with core values that will touch your heart. This is certainly one you will never forget.
I declare myself an expert in art after reading Bakuman and so the following could be accepted fairly well. Personally, I feel that the art matches perfectly to the joyful times of school, and so it is still pretty enjoyable. Also, I am sure that the art is good enough for its time period. Characters are drawn well enough and the action scenes are beautifully created; it is quite clear, and you can feel the actions running through the panels. Hence, the art manages to balance out the serious moments and the hilarious moments.
Interesting character developments as you get to know the characters a lot more, along with the current position that they are facing. Over the course of the manga, you will discover that there is more to it than just assassination, but being a class, united. With the characters in place, the manga tackles issues such as teacher-student relationships, student-peer relationships, and to a lesser extent family relationships. As the class is a big one, it would naturally be true if not all the characters get enough showtime, and that is perfectly fine. By focusing on two of the class members and having the rest as actively supporting them, you can feel that it is exactly like a classroom setting.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this manga, being a student myself. Each chapter covers something new that adds an interesting twist, keeping you engaged with it all the way. With the values taught in this show, as well as the continuously funny scenes which never bore me out, this has got to be the best manga ever created.
As I have said, this is truly a masterpiece, and to all of you students out there, this is something that you have to read. Stunning, just stunning. You have got to read it for yourselves to find out. For those who have read this far, here's a piece of advice: take it slow, you don't want this series to end that quickly.
Assassination Classroom (affectionately referred to as 'AssClass' by some) is probably one of the more notable shōnen manga of the 2010's, and for good reason. With a strong narrative supported by strong character development and a consistent quality of art, Assassination Classroom has made its mark in the market.
[Story - 9]
The premise alone is rather unique: A follow-the-class-through-the-school-year story with a covert-operation-to-kill-the-superhuman twist, the 2 concepts surprisingly blend together well and boost each other up when needed. While the beginning is admittedly slow + the presence of some occasional filler in the first half, the pace is rather consistent, with each arc having some
form of tension/payoff/consequence that is emotionally satisfying in their own way. The ending arc is /extremely/ fulfilling, yet bittersweet, and was worth the investment of time.
The themes are naturally school-related, such as the 'right' way to educate and the bond between classmates, but also have a mix of action themes (the lives of many vs. the lives of one + the impact of a life in violence). There is plenty of shōnen-type comedy (slapstick + ecchi) found in the manga (right up to the end!), but the comedy also serves to frame the melodramatic moments in a fitting light. All, if not almost all, of the questions the reader may have are answered with a satisfying explanation, and have enough foreshadowing to warrant a re-read to see the cleverness.
[Art - 8]
The art may appear rather simplistic at first, but upon further reading, brings out more enjoyment in the story. The various background details (typically tongue-in-cheek) and shading palettes are appealing enough, but character design reigns here.
The design of Korosensei (the protagonist and mascot) alone is enough, but Matsui takes it further by showcasing the various facial expressions, colours, and shapes he can take on (whether for comedy, melodrama, or both). The 3 'star' students (Nagisa, Karma, Kaede), the various other teachers (Karasuma, Irina), the major antagonists, and /some/ of the supporting cast in the classroom all have their own distinctive designs; Unfortunately, the rest do not sport such qualities and are typically adorned in the private school's uniform. The rest of the characters (such as the various assassins) have typically realistic designs, with not much to be said there.
[Character - 7]
While there is one (but noticeable) flaw in some characters, it can be outweighed by the sheer uniqueness of the rest. Korosensei easily takes the cake here, with an endearing 'cheerily intelligent pervert' (for lack of a stronger description) characterization that hides a lot more depth (which is shown at a crucial point). He is easily likeable, between the various antics he is involved in and the heartwarming amount of love he has for his students.
The 3 'star' students each shine in their own way which, to avoid spoilers, can be summed up as this: Nagisa hides a darker self behind a meek-cute mask while searching for purpose, Karma's ambition comes into conflict with his chaotic behaviour, and Kaede's conflict....well, that has to be seen in the manga. Karasuma and Irina contrast each other nicely, and are able to stand alone (though Irina has more of these moments). While they may not be as relevant to the plot as Korosensei and the kids, they are definitely major players and deserve recognition for what they contribute (especially in the 'God of Death/Shinigami' arc).
The 4 (initially 5, but you shall see why) antagonists are captivating: Chairman Asano demands the best from everyone possible and can stand his own same ground against Karasuma and Korosensei, Shiro is a man cloaked both physically and contextually but always comes prepared, Takaoka is hellbent on revenge after causing his own downfall, and the 'God of Death/Shinigami' is easily the most physically distinctive (and terrifying) of the 4. The 'lost fifth' antagonist appears rather early on, and while does not have much development devoted to them outside of having the lead role in an arc, is rather intriguing to both see and read.
The flaw mentioned at the beginning, however, did hamper some of the experience. It was the extensive cast: with 28 students in the class, 3 full-time teachers, a whole
campus of teachers and students, and various other figures, it was natural for some to be underdeveloped. However, when it comes to some of the classmates in Class-E, it is most noticeable. Outside of an occasional 'character-of-the-week' chapter in the first half of the manga, they tend to just fill in panel space or serve as comedic actors. The main campus teachers and students (save for several in Class-A) are typical 'we-hate-them-because-they-suck-despite-actually-being-talented' types. and the various assassins are edgy goons. This flaw, however, is partially remedied by the collective development of the class as a whole group. This is most noticeable after a schism occurs in the class (and is addressed in a fitting all-out battle), and ties back into the theme of 'classmate bonding'.
[Enjoyment/Overall - 8]
Despite some nitpicking, I found this manga to be rather enjoyable! It had just the right blend of comedy and drama, solid pacing despite a rough beginning, and unique characterization and design to make this a rather fun read. While I wouldn't call this a favourite, it's not because its flaw(s), but rather just a 'personal thing' and I appreciate having fully read it. I highly recommend it if you want a subversive school shōnen with plenty of action and laughs, but with the capacity for rumination and melodrama.
Assassination Classroom is an enjoyable, if overrated, series. It's one that started off merely okay, but it certainly improved as it progressed and I read more and more.
First of all, the premise is certainly unique. A super powerful creature threatens to destroy the world, yet he wants to teach a middle school class? It's a concept that will leave you wondering what's going on, and this is something the series uses to keep you going: What are Koro-sensei's secrets, and when will we discover them? And I can say that while you do have to wait quite a while to find out everything, it's certainly
worth it. There's a drip feed of information that we get throughout the story, and I do think this was the correct way to do it, rather than dump a ton of exposition on us all at once.
Aside from Koro-sensei's backstory, the series mostly focuses on Koro-sensei helping his students overcome various challenges they face in their lives, which helps to develop both the students and Koro-sensei. We get to see Koro-sensei acting like a real teacher, helping the students deal with real problems. Things do change up occasionally to something a bit more serious, such as an elaborate assassination attempt that the students have planned out, or the students having to deal with something the school principal has planned to sabotage them.
Now the story is definitely not perfect. In the beginning, I found myself not enjoying this series as much as I thought I would from the hype it gets. The main problem I feel the series had was consistency -- it would fluctuate between exciting and mundane. In the end, it created the feeling that every time it would start to get really good, it would immediately lose all of its momentum as it drifted back to something much less interesting. This problem is gradually reduced as it goes on, but it was a huge issue that kept me from really getting into the series for a while.
And what is the story without characters? And oh boy, does this series have a lot of them. It's extremely challenging for a series to develop a large supporting cast without making pacing drag or getting formulaic (i.e., a pattern of each character getting a story all in a row). The story calls for an entire classroom of children, their teachers, and more. Unfortunately it just wasn't possible to flesh all of these characters out in any sort of reasonable amount of time while also moving the story forward. Instead, most of the attention is placed on just a few characters: Nagisa, Kaede, Karma, Koro-sensei, Karasuma-sensei, Bitch-sensei, and the school principal. While most of the other characters are at least touched upon, they are mostly relegated to the background. What was nice was that even though most of their development was unseen by us, they would continue to appear and have consistent traits, so clearly the author had personalities for all of them. That all being said, the characters who do receive the most attention are all very interesting and well-developed. They each have different motivations in the situations we find them in, and it's never really unclear why a character is acting a certain way (barring when that mystery is a plot point).
I found the art to be pretty standard. Certainly not bad, but nothing that made me sit back and truly admire a page or panel. Unfortunately the large supporting cast combined with the limited colors available to a mangaka can sometimes make it difficult to figure out who's who, at least for the background characters. The main characters are all visually distinct and you'll never find yourself mistaking them for anyone else, but I often found myself saying, "Wait, who's that again?" when it came to some of the lesser characters.
Overall I think Assassination Classroom is a series that, while flawed, is still an enjoyable ride. The story really gets going toward the end when a lot of things are finally revealed to the reader. It's just that getting there can be a bit tough at first.
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