Ah, school. The inescapable part of our lives where we spend minimum 12 years of our lives learning a wide array of subjects, facts, and topics that we most likely will never use the majority of in our professional lives. So, with another school anime, what kind of anime would we get from something about a bunch of middle school students? Well...how about one where the middle school students try and kill their teacher?
Story (8.08/10): E class, also known as the end class in the prep school of Kunugigaoka Junior high is a place fabled in the school to be the worst class, housing the worst students in the school, grade-wise. Here, the students of this fabled "failure" are tasked with a rather...unique task, killing this yellow octopus-like...thing who according to him, has turned the moon into a permanent crescent and this coming March, will blow up the earth as well. Oh boy...that's a situation to be in.
Assassination classroom, or AssClass as a shorthanded was of calling the show, follows the story of the end class as they try and kill their teacher during their first semester in 9th grade. With every few episodes or so, one or more people in the classroom attempt to assassinate their teacher known as Koro-sensei (literally unkillable teacher in translation), usually ending in failure because this teacher can fly at Mach 20, is resistant towards conventional weapons, and only a particular set of weaknesses that you learn over time. (Basically the story of "teacher too OP, GG, plz nerf)
While the show focuses pretty heavily on the aspect of killing an alien creature so to say, a lot of the show as well talks about the idea of teaching and comparing that to the idea of assassination. Because the show is centered around these academically challenged students, the show also emphasizes on their growth as students and a person's learning potential, which actually puts in some pretty good themes. But don't worry, this show is plenty about trying to kill an octopus, so you don't have to worry about the actually school learning taking over the story.
Comedy as well is well done for AssClass as well. Much of it is done in this style where you get immediate comebacks from various characters as well as that brief, awkward moment to take in what just happened, which I think makes the show relatively fresh me never boring to watch. Mostly, I think it's in part of Lerche doing the production of this show, but the manga itself is still pretty damn funny, which brings me to my next point.
In terms of differences to the manga, AssClass the anime focuses its runtime on the events that for the most part, don't focus on one character. There're a lot of chapters within AssClass that are devoted solely on one student, chapters that give more life to class E. On account of time constraints, not all of the students that were focused on those chapters are focused in the anime, which is a slight bother that I will bring up later.
Overall though, this adaptation was no bad in the slightest. The manga was perfectly encapsulated in this anime and I found myself to be laughing just as much as I did when I read it. As usual with comedy anime, depending on your taste in comedy, this show may or may not suit your liking.
+ Original story
+ Has some nice themes about learning (using assassination)
+ Good comedy (this can be bad depending on your taste in comedy)
- Not all students got a featured episode
Characters (8.33/10): Whenever you're making any comedy anime, the most important part of making memorable comedy is to have memorable characters that you can remember the personalities of to deliver those sweet, sweet jokes that make comedy so good. Luckily, AssClass succeeds in doing this.
Up first, is our main protagonist of the story, the hero among heroes, the one who will bust our funny bones, Koro-sensei. You thought it was one of the E class kids?! No, it's the thing that wants to destroy the earth that's the real hero here. (Ok, that was a bit contradictory). As I have stated before, Koro-sensei is for the most part, the pathway for the show's comedy. Being a bit of a silly creature that sometimes makes absolutely no sense, Koro-sensei is the most memorable character of this show not only because the show revolves around trying to kill him but because you won't forget him. Like seriously, it's going to be very hard to forget a yellow, pervy octopus that flies around at Mach 20 speed going Nufufufufu everywhere with a big toothy grin.
And then we have class E. I grouped these characters up together for a few reasons. One, there're 30+ of them. I'm not making 30 paragraphs to talk about them, it's too much work. Two, it's easier to talk about these characters' purpose. Throughout the show, you do get to know more about class E. Their names, personalities, and for a couple, how they got put into the end class. A lot of these characters, namely Nagisa, Kayano, Karma, and a few others are talked about a lot and for the audience, are more well known. Inversely though, many of the class E characters don't get as well as an introduction as others do. As a result, many are otherwise unknown or mentioned for a brief second. Because there're 30+ students, it becomes a challenge to really know the individual characters very well mostly because for the most part, the show treats them all as one unit.
As for side characters, the most noticeable ones are the other teachers of the E class, Karasuma and Irina, or, as everyone loves to call her, "bitch-sensei". (If I was lying, these parentheses would be saying something else.). As far as side characters go, these two are the most used and most recognizable, being blessed with roles that have them appear much more often than a standard side character, which makes them better characters overall. The other side characters for this show serve similar purposes in the memorable department, but mostly only serve to be an obstacle for our class E to overcome.
+ Best teacher. (Nufufufufufu =w=)
+ Great side cast
+ Memorable characters
- Class E was treated as a whole unit rather than 30 some odd characters
Art and sound (8.00/10 and 7.44/10) the art for AssClass was a very brightly done style using a very light gradient that made everything sort of pop. As well as doing some standard comedic faces for characters and good animation fluidity, the art was rather stable and standard fare. But...what really stood out for the art for me was being able to pull off the more dark and menacing scenes in the same style. It gave a sense of eerie feeling when things went dark for a second which I thought was a nice design flourish.
Also, Lerche managed to squeeze in the symbolism for various characters from the manga into the anime itself, so good on you.
In terms of sound, I didn't really find the soundtrack to be all that memorable. I would describe it as fun more than anything else, not really a masterpiece. As a show with 2 OP tracks that had a similar feel to both of them, I wouldn't say I didn't enjoy them, but I didn't think they'd were completely stellar by any stretch of the imagination. Ed song was tranquil but didn't stick in my head. Though I will give props for that creepy track whenever a realization happens. That was a nice touch.
+ Bright art
+ Menacing scenes looked great in the artstyle
+ Decent soundtrack
- Soundtrack to me wasn't memorable
Personal Enjoyment (9.09/10): While I did have some issues with various parts of the show, I'll be honest, it didn't matter, cause this was a fun watch. I was skeptical of the AssClass series when this started airing, but after checking out the manga (and marathon read that for 6 weeks), I can't say I wasn't pleased to read/watch this series.
Did I like this anime?
Yes. I think this anime was a great adaptation of the AssClass manga. There were no shortcuts aside from the student chapters, and everything was told just how it was without any unnecessary changes. It was great to see some of my favorite scenes in animated form.
What didn't I like about this anime?
While the manga itself didn't make note of all the kids by the period of time where the anime ends, there were still some kids that had hi lighted chapters for them, which inversely, wasn't transported to the anime. It made the students more individual and it felt unfair to see only some not all got animated, because some character jokes and gags don't really make much sense unless you actually know the whole character.
Would I recommend this anime?
In terms of comedy, I would say it is one of the better ones to come out in recent times. It has a fun, 22 episode runtime, there're great and memorable characters in there, and there is a method behind the madness. The only major issue I have is that the jokes pertaining to a certain character don't always get translated well, so some things might be hit or miss. But apart from that little bug, I give this show. Solid...B+, for effort
Overall Score: 8.05/10