Along with the Spring seasons roster of anime, the second and final season of Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (Assassination Classroom, or AssClass) is wrapping up about now, which means saying goodbye to one of the most interesting and vibrant classrooms in anime history. The first season aired from January to June 2015, with the second season spanning the same gap this year, but the Manga was published in Shounen Jump from mid-2012, finishing its run this past April. While it’s not exactly a long run for a publication of this type, it’ll be sorely missed by everyone who became so engrossed by the unique teacher/student relationship.
Here’s a rundown of the show and the characters that made it all so special.
Imagine you attend Kunugigaoka, one of the best Middle Schools in Japan, but you get thrown into the E-class, where everyone is labelled as dunces and delinquents. This causes the rest of the teachers and students to victimise you – treating you like garbage – all to keep the rest of the school striving to be the best it can be. Now imagine half the moon is blown to pieces and a yellow octopus man who claims responsibility for it shows up as one of your new teachers and demands you kill him within a year, otherwise the earth shall meet the same fate. You’ve just imagined what it’s like to be one of the 25 students that belonged to E-class at the beginning of Ansatsu Kyoushitsu.
Why someone who could destroy the world would want to teach is anybody’s guess, but obviously public knowledge of this being would cause mass panic, so outside the E-class, his existence is only made known to world leaders, certain scientists and anyone else who might have even the smallest chance of assassinating the class’s monstrous mentor.
Killing this creature will be no easy feat though, as not only can he only be damaged by a certain material (which the government kindly makes an array of knives and bullets from), but he can also reach speeds up to Mach 20 – which is roughly 15345.4 miles per hour. His camouflage, super senses and multiple limbs also make this super creature nearly impossible to kill; but that won’t stop his students from trying to claim the bounty of 10 billion Yen on his head (65.5 million pounds or 93.5 million dollars).
The E-Class students and teachers are an odd bunch, with some of the kids unfortunately sliding into the background, but some of the names you’ll hear most are outlined below.
Koro-Sensei – The Mach 20 monster who claims responsibility for both the destruction of the moon and the E-classes education. The towering, yellow, octopus-like being wears his teachers outfit (and tentacles) with pride, using his enormous skill set to draw out the best of each student’s abilities. His name is given to him by Shiota Nagisa shortly into the series, with ‘Koro’ stemming from the Japanese word for ‘invincible’.
Karasuma – Sent from Japan’s Ministry of Defence, Karasuma works with the school to keep a close eye on Koro-Sensei, while also setting up external assassination attempts. Eventually, Karasuma starts taking E-Class’s Physical Education lessons, helping them with combat basics, shooting and even parkour.
Irina Yelavic – The Serbian beauty, Irina (affectionately referred to as ‘Bitch-Sensei’) is a specialist in honey-trap assassinations, but is also an experienced multi-linguist. Her years of traveling the world taught her much about foreign interaction and conversation, a skill which is lauded in the Japanese school system, making her the perfect language teacher for a classroom of potential assassins.
Shiota Nagisa – Much of the story of Ansatsu Kyoushitsu is shown from the perspective of Shiota Nagisa, who is easily identifiable by his blue hair and androgynous appearance. Nagisa is the character through who we see the student/teacher relationships develop, and although there may not appear to be much special about him, he proves that with the right guidance anybody can be set on the path greatness.
Kaede Kayano – A support character for much of the story, Kayano is the cheerful backbone of the class. Green-hair, in a similar style to Nagisa’s, stops her from fading too far out of sight, but you would be forgiven for thinking she’s not the assassination type (as disproved by her ‘pudding assassination).
Karma Akabane – Slightly late in joining the E-class, Karma is an absolute genius, with a level of physical strength to match his enormous intellect, who you might think would be better off in one of the top classes of Kunugigaoka. That is, until you realise he is a true delinquent. His aggressive behaviour and sadistic streak, masked by his sometimes charming sometimes mischievous demeanour, make him one of the more likely candidates to kill Koro-Sensei.
Ryoma Terasaka – The class’s dim-witted bully, Terasaka, leads a small group of misfits among misfits. He grows to resent the new cheery E-class that Koro-Sensei creates, and even shows disregard for the lives of his fellow students in his assassination attempts.
I hope you learned something about this rather special classroom. The manga volumes are slowly being released in the West, and if you want to get through it at Mach speeds, episodes are currently being simulcast and streamed on Funimation’s official website.
GS Blogger: Kyle Hutchinson