GR Anime Review: Assassination Classroom
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GR Anime Review: Assassination Classroom

Assassination Classroom is an action anime
released in 2015 by Lerche. This production company is famous for School-Live, a show where students are fighting in a zombie
apocalypse while still trying to be students, and Danganronpa, a show where students are
desperately trying to kill one another. Seeing a pattern here? I am. Lasting for two full seasons, with 53 episodes
total, Assassination Classroom covers not only what
it means to be an assassin, but also a model student, all wrapped in a
premise that borderlines the absurd. What do I mean by that? Well, ladies, gentlemen
and others, today on Glass Reflection we are going to
be looking at the story of E-Class’s journey out of failure, as well as the
yellow octopus who makes it all happen: ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM. Let’s jam. Welcome to Kunugigaoka Junior High, a school
with a very interesting history and tradition. Following the doctrine of the school’s principal,
under-performing or otherwise delinquent students are sent up a nearby mountain
to the school’s old campus as a punishment of sorts. Isolated from the rest
of the school, these delinquents face a trial-by-fire where
they are expected to either shape up or come to terms with their lot in life. Enter Koro-Sensei. This is where things get weird. A mysterious octopus-looking alien being,
Koro-Sensei, claims responsibility for the recent destruction of Earth’s moon.
He also informs the world that in a year’s time he plans to do the same to Earth. Their only hope is to assassinate him before
this happens. But unfortunately for them, he is a super-powered
cheat code of a being, able to travel at Mach 20. Thankfully though, he also laid the condition
that during the Earth’s final year he plans to take up the mantle of teacher to the aforementioned
dead-end class of delinquents with the goal of nurturing them not only into
better students, but also better people. The students are now tasked twofold: graduate
from junior high in one year, and also kill the octopus before Earth is
destroyed. You might have realised that this sounds kind
of absurd. Why would an alien both want to destroy Earth,
and also decide to teach some random class of junior high kids? an act which would be
nullified at the end of the year regardless, unless they successfully kill him. The crux of the whole show is actually trying
to unravel the premise into something that makes a lick of sense. But in the end, the
premise is almost brilliant in how it achieves Koro-Sensei’s actual
goal of nurturing the students. These kids all have problems that got them
to where they are, and honestly the biggest obstacle for any of them to improve would just
be getting the motivation to do it. Hell, I sometimes have a hard time motivating
myself in the morning just to get out of bed, so I understand. But the end of the world
is a hell of a motivator. At the same time though, the show likes to
put a lot of emphasis on its comedy. It uses the absurdity of the situation to
make light of things, from the backstories of the students, to introducing
a super advanced AI as a virtual student, to having a language teacher called Bitch-Sensei
due to her developed looks and snarky attitude. But the comedy is not the show’s strong
suit, which might confuse you if you look at it too briefly. See, you could view the harsh contrast between
the show’s attempt at comedy and its more dramatic attempts at teaching
the students life lessons as a negative. You might be tempted to think that the show
is unfocused and doesn’t know if it wants to be a comedy or an action drama. But I look
at it slightly differently. The comedy of the show is more like a mask,
a front, or more like the armor of the show. It’s something put into place to cover and
protect the more serious heart of the narrative. It helps that not much of the comedy lands
like it’s supposed to, which only adds to the nature of the front. As “LOL, random!” or obvious as some of
the jokes tend to get, the increased levity is an overall boon to the series as it attempts
to build these characters into greater versions of themselves. Well, as best
as it can anyway. One of the slight downsides to this is that
the cast is rather large. It’s a full classroom with almost thirty
students, not accounting for the three teachers, groups of students from other classes, and
the myriad antagonists over the course of the show. It’s not an easy task to try and develop
this many characters effectively. This leads to the majority of the students
having only a few notes to them, while a decent amount of development is instead
spent on the big three, or the RGB characters if we go by their hair
colors: Karma, Kaede, and Nagisa. Outside of the RGB crew, the most we get is
about half an episode’s worth of development per student. It’s enough to individually showcase who
most of the students are and the quick minor adjustments that Koro-Sensei can make to massively
improve either their lives or their outlook for the future. Some of these work
very well with little effort. Isogai, the class president with a poor financial
background, landed himself in E-Class after being caught working part-time outside
of school to support his family. Others, like the aforementioned AI Ritsu,
gets almost instantly back-burnered after her introduction unless the class needs
a MacGuffin hacking method to advance the plot, and even then she’s susceptible to being
hacked herself and becoming absolutely useless. While the large cast of characters is nice
for the variety, and while the show does try its best to keep most of them from being
one note, there’s only so much it can do, even with 50+ episodes. But while the spotlight on any one student
outside of the main cast is few and far between, there are plenty of times when the teamwork
of the group as a whole makes up for it. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the stories
of the main cast suffer as well, quite the opposite in fact. Karma, an intelligent but underachieving mastermind,
gets a worldview swap into actually giving a damn about people other than himself,
with a reasonable arc to facilitate that to boot. Nagisa, on the other hand, is almost the complete
opposite. He cares very little for himself to the point
of making a kamikaze strike against Koro-Sensei as one of his first assassination
attempts. The duality of these two characters and how
they slowly journey to a more productive middle ground is the key to their individual arcs and is
cultivated by Koro-sensei’s unique methods. Koro-Sensei himself is the enigma of the series. His personality is primarily portrayed by
a smile very rarely leaves his face, and his mannerisms are shown as varying tentacle
movements. You don’t really know why he is doing what
he is doing or for what purpose, but very rarely are we ever made to believe
that he doesn’t have his students’ best interests at heart, despite their almost constant attempts on
his life. Credit for my enjoyment of his character though
must come down to both of his actors. While I at no point doubted the ability of
Jun Fukuyama to pull off the bizarre idiosyncrasies of Koro-Sensei, I have to fully
admit that the English performance by Sonny Strait caught me off
guard. Honestly, the English dub for the series in
general is probably one of Funimation’s best from the past several years, in part because how easy it could have been
to screw up such an off-the-wall character like Koro-Sensei. But
in full honesty, they nailed it. Now, the title of this series contains two
words: assassination and classroom. While the former is how it started, the latter
is how it ended. Though the assassination aspect of the series
never fades, it doesn’t end up in the forefront as often as one might expect. Largely, I found the series to be a modern version of one of my favourite classic anime, Great Teacher Onizuka.
It’s a series about a less-than-average teacher, finding great success in obscure methods to
teach not only his students, but also the audience, some very important
lessons that they can take with them beyond the end of the series. Assassination Classroom is very similar. It’s not just a show on how we could learn
to teach kids – in fact, I would wholly suggest we do NOT do this to kids because
that could get dangerous real fast – but rather the show ends up having some very
entertaining things to say on how we can teach ourselves for the better, whether
we are students or not. It’s not the easiest show to recommend at
its start, but if you’ve seen it all the way through, I hope you’d agree with me that it was totally
worth watching. Assassination Classroom just has this level of fun to it that’s
hard to describe. It’s art style is sharp and colorful, so even being about trying to kill some alien squid creature, it also feels like it’s like everything I wish school actually was like. Not only did
I enjoy watching this series about a bunch of underdogs learning to accept themselves and
build their personalities for the better, but I feel like to a point I learned a thing
or two about myself as well. And for that, Koro-sensei, I thank you. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that
I rate Assassination Classroom in its entirety as Certified Frosty, a rating for only the
best of the best or those shows too important to ignore. It’s really a fantastic series that I really
had a hard time trying to write about. It’s just one of those levels of…. it’s
very easy to rant about things you don’t like, its harder to find things that you do like
and be able to explain them in a way that people can understand. It’s really just a fantastic series and
I hope that you’ll check it out after watching this video. Which you can do, over on Funimation, and
I’ll put links down in the description for your benefit if you decide to check it out. If you need further watching however, the
aforementioned Great Teacher Onizuka is another fantastic watch if you can look
past the 20-year-old animation. My second recommendation goes to Sayonara
Zetsubou Sensei, which leans far more into the comedic side about a teacher who
keeps considering suicide on a regular basis. Neither of these recommendations is available
on any legal streaming services at the time of writing however, but Onizuka can be picked up from
Discotech on home media, at the very least. Lastly, a very special thank you to my patrons,
without whom I would be unable to do what I do, so I am eternally grateful. Specifically though,
I want to give particular shout-outs to patrons Siri Yamiko, Ryefan Boneapart, Rune Jakobsen,
Calhoonboy, Richard Emil Bradley, and Hector Montemayor for being especially awesome. You guys are
great! And until next time – ladies, gentlemen, and others – watch more anime… and stay frosty.

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

100 thoughts on “GR Anime Review: Assassination Classroom

  1. -First half
    Me: oh man this anime is HILARIOUS, Love the characters.
    -Second half:
    Me: Damn this got real, its great but i kind of miss the comedy and lighthearted tone of before, also really LOVE the characters.
    Me: 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭


    My mind is blown. He plays the sympathetic doomed-to-die character well.

  3. All these comments about the ending making people cry, like that's meant to be a surprise? If you watched every episode and the last episode didn't set off the waterworks, what was the point? And how much did you make by selling your heart?

  4. Finally after all these years, we get a glass reflection! after that first impression, i was worried you'd drop the series!

  5. I picked up assassination classroom by chance, but wow was a glad I did. I had just found out that I had gotten a job as a teacher, and was very surprised at the genuine nature of the show despite its absurd premise.

  6. my title comic book translation:
    thai – ห้องเรียนลอบสังหาร
    中文 – 暗杀教室 (Ansha jiaoshi)
    Korea – 암살 교실 (Amsal gyosil)

  7. Nah I get the premise. If I was a godly tentacle alien with no moral consideration for people I'd totally do shit like this for sport.


    I remember when u watched the first few episodes and talked about it then dropped it, I was so fucking upset

  9. One criticism to the series, the Manga version delves into some characters that were NOT delved into in the Anime or even have episodes dedicated to them.

    That is perhaps one major problem with having a large cast and so few episodes to fit the entire story into it.

    Not even 2 seasons were enough to fit in almost every character's major development.

    So if you want the full story, READ THE MANGA. It is 21 volumes long so it is not DBZ, Naruto or One Piece levels of absurd length.

    21 Manga volumes is quite a short length of a series considering this was a Shounen Jump manga.

  10. Me and my brother binged it. We both cried at the second to last episode and needed a break before watching the final episode and we sat in silence

  11. I clicked on this video because I dropped it at Episode 10 and looking to get back into it. The series is definitely at fault for a meandering plot and failing to land any substantial emotional blows early on. There is also some teacher pandering so if you are into that they I highly recommend you watch.

  12. I love how the various OPs of the series changes as the kids become more attached to their teacher. The first OP is an overwhelming enthusiasm to kill their teacher, and the final OP is a desperate cry to save him.

  13. I just finished watching School-live and HOLY SHIT. They made Danganronpa too. Huh.
    I think this is my new favorite studio.

  14. This is easily one of my absolute favourite anime! A friend recommended it to me, and I kept it on my "plan to watch" list but never really had any interest in watching. Until one day I kinda ran out of anime to watch and out of the remaining ones on my list, I decided to watch Assassination Classroom. I watched the first episode and fell asleep during the second one. To be honest, the supposed "pilot" episode, the first episode that's supposed to draw people into watching the entire anime wasn't very strong. It had too much absurdity and it was such a slow build to the point that I actually felt too sleepy to keep my eyes opened. But I had a feeling that somehow it will get better. After procrastinating for a few weeks, finally I could force myself to continue, and boy that was one of the best decisions I've ever made. When you've watched the whole series, you'll know what I'm talking about. It really is a slow build, and that's why the finale was just absolutely satisfying, in a way. Every aspect of the plot just fell into place and it became such a fantastic experience to watch it in its entirety. 

    I would absolutely recommend this anime! It might be a bit boring at first but please keep watching even after a few episodes cause it will only get better and better!

    (also, imho, the ending just had to happen the way it did or the whole plot would lose it's meaning lol)

  15. 9:11 ew funimation….no thanks i won't support a company that wrongfully fires people based on false rumors, adds in sjw propaganda to their dubbing, allows their va's to harass and dox people and who have a casting couch

  16. AC is my favorite series of all time, whether it be the anime, post-anime parody, manga, or more. The series really did make me wish actual school was as fun as in the series but also taught some life lessons that everyone should learn. The E class, Korosensei, Karasuma, and Professor Bitch will always be in my heart. Hell, I even wrote an essay on Nagisa the other day for class.

  17. Just one of the great things this show does is … have kids take an exam and have it personified in their minds as fighting several bosses in an MMORPG! This show made exams exciting!!!

  18. Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought it has 47 episodes (22 in season 1, 25 in season 2). Unless he is counting the movie and OVAs.

    Regardless, it is one of my favorites to this day.
    Ranks up there with .Hack//SIGN.

  19. Obviously I cried when that ending happened. But anyone else cry towards the end when the class were texting each other and sneaking out to go save Koro Sensei?!

  20. Opening 1: Wacky and fun
    Opening 2: Let’s dance!
    Opening 3: This is getting intense
    Opening 4: Oh god oh fuck it’s ending

  21. As sm1 who has seen his fair share of anime and hollywood series, i will say kpro sensei is the only1 who made me cry

    The series was truly beautiful and unlike anything anyone has ever made

  22. I freakin love this show and that last scene was the first time an anime or any fictional story for that matter made me cry.

  23. Based on reviews I have seen online, the more negative reviews tend to come from those who dropped it after finishing the 1st season (or even after a few first episodes) as they complain about the series being "edgy" or "not consistent" or even dropping because of the metaphors used throughout the series.
    But the more positive reviews mainly come from those who finished the series and care about just how caring and motivating Korosensei comes out to be. They are the ones who see past the whole "assassination or action" aspect and give a damn about the moral meaning and lessons provided from the series.
    As a conclusion, those who finish the series will truly find Assassination Classroom as very rewarding and one of the best hidden gems among many existing anime.

  24. This series will always mean something to me. I watched it with my brother a three or so years ago, and now…he's gone. We had a blast watching, laughing all the way through, and it will always remind me of him. Watching anime with him has now turned into some of my most treasured memories.

  25. The anime is good, but the manga is better in my opinion by one thing, the side story. I know you can't fit it in 50+ episode. So I can understand why. But just give the manga a shot

  26. This show was genius. It is like the writers were playing a game with themselves. Challenge: Set forth the most absurd premise, but still make the audience buy in. And in my opinion, they won.

  27. For a show that at first glance looks silly… the story and characters are really wonderful. People should watch this show at least once to see how great it is.

  28. you spend the first half of this series thinking "I wonder how they're going to kill him? did they get him this time?" and the second half thinking, in tears, "please don't kill him… PLEASE don't kill him… "

  29. i know not everyone can pronounce things right all the time but for the love of god
    Kuro means Black im damn sure you know that by now

  30. An anime reviewer miscalling Koro-sensei as "Kuro-sensei" annoyed me, it's not hard-to-pronounce Japanese words. But not sure if it was mistake from the dub or not.
    My favorites were their assassination attempt at southern island, and in-class survival game battle. The dark-tone Momotarou was good too.

  31. The only thing I hated is that it ended. I genuinely could of gone through one more season and not felt bored of it.

  32. Please review Classroom of the Elite. It's made by the same studio and it's sooo good. Also the main character is probably the most unique and interesting in its genre

  33. Actually, Great Teacher Onizuka can be streamed on Crunchyroll. They have both the subbed and the dubbed version available for your viewing pleasure 🙂

    Do note, it won’t show up if you search “Great Teacher Onizuka” though. It’ll only show up if you search “GTO – The Animation”

  34. This show in its last few episodes was a weapon of mass emotional destruction. I don’t know a single person who watched this show and wasn’t a sobbing mess by the end.

  35. it just my personal opinion but..
    I don't like how the author potray the edgy red hair kid.. his case feels so cringy.. like, what his previous teacher did and what he did is so unnatural and so unlikely to happen in real life.. like the author trying so hard to make the teacher is bad guy, and he's trying so hard to find a justification for bad attitude the edgy kid did..

    this show might have potential but i lost interest after that episode.. sorry, but i just don't like when the writer make the characters too evil or too good, it just doesn't feel like human at all.. it doesn't feel real, just let human be human, everyone have their own problem, making story like this would just make the reader selfish and self-centered..

  36. It just didn't hook me whatsoever. The premise was interesting but it seemed like the show just never capitalized on it in a way I was interested in.

  37. I've watched the 1st season and I have to say, I'm not impressed, not in the slightest.

    3:10–3:25 sums it up very well for me. The show seems to suffer an identity crisis wether it wants to be a comedy or a more serious action/drama and it doesn't do particular well in either. Because of the constant switching between serious moments and comedy, the jokes don't land and the drama has no impact. The only time I found myself chuckling were some more raunchy jokes involving 'bitch-sensei'. Tho I have to say things do kick up in terms of drama and impact once they have that trip towards the end of the season where half of the class gets into real mortal danger. Before that, I thought what the show needed was a decision between either the jokes or the drama and that there needed to be someone dying or at least getting severely injured to make an impact.
    And yes, the big cast is kinda a detriment too. Because most of the characters except for Nagisa and Koro-sensei are pretty flat and only get 15 minutes to flesh them out somewhat. THis leads me to think that a better title would be "The Nagisa and Koro-sensei show". Karma and Kaede are only kinda important because they hang out with Nagisa all the time. THo the character I found myself invested the most was Ritsu, the digital girl.
    All in all, the series didn't leave a good impression with me and if asked, I wouldn't recommend it.
    Thoo that's just my personal opinion and I know there are a good number of people who would contradict me in any of my talkingpoints.

  38. Great Teacher Onizuka is actually streaming on Crunchyroll with the sub and dub. You have to search for GTO and it comes up. Amazing and hilarious anime; I would definitely recommend it.

  39. The manga was better. The anime squeezed too many complicated things into 50 episodes. Like the god of death arc when they turned 10+ chapters into like 3 episodes.

  40. This is a very interesting anime to me. I can't say I loved it because a few plot points and some of the tone rubbed me the wrong way, but it did do some elements amazingly well. I am glad to have seen it, and I will remember parts of it fondly for a very long time.

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