Natsu Reviews: Assassination Classroom

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Click to watch on FUNimation.

Click to watch on FUNimation.

After a sweet and cute drama I decided to switch things up with a comedic series about a teacher that will soon destroy the world, and a classroom full of students trying to kill him. Many of you are probably familiar with this series in either the anime, the manga, or both. But for the purposes of this review I will only be covering the anime. The good news is that season 2 will begin airing in January! If you want to read the manga though, you can always check it out on the weekly shonen jump online manga site/app over at vizmanga.com

Synopsis: A classroom of kids at one of the most prestigious Jr. High Schools is Japan is in for one weird year. When their new teacher, a crazy tentacled octopus creature capable of speeds up to mach 20, is introduced as their new teacher until he blows up the world in March, things get pretty crazy. On top of that the government has charged them with eliminating him before he can end everything. If they manage to kill him they receive enough money to be set for life, but if they fail the earth will be destroyed. As if Japanese classes didn’t already have enough pressure.

Even though it is predominantly a comedy series there is plenty of action and drama to go around. Korosensei and the students all have varied personalities, and while not every character in the class is as fleshed out as others, they do all get a chance to step into the spotlight with their own side stories and their is enough individuality there to definitely have a few favorites.

Story: A classroom of kids trying to kill their wacky teacher before he blows up the world and also survive being the outcast class of the most prestigious Jr High School in Japan. That alone is a story that can stand on it’s own, but as the story keeps going and the class does things you would also expect of a typical Japanese middle school (field trips, summer vacation, etc.) things get more interesting when you have to combine assassination and state secrets with it all. The story flows well and allows the characters to develop not only their personalities, but also to show growth in both their skills as an assassin and as a student. The pacing works well and I never feel like the story is being rushed or forgotten. The main premise is to save the world, but it’s obvious from the beginning just how tough that is going to be.

Rating: This is a definite 5 out of 5 Fire Dragon’s Roars. The story is so good! It doesn’t matter if you’re watching the anime or reading the manga, the story holds up really well and you are able to relate to the situations and characters well.

Art: The art isn’t the greatest out there, but it’s drawn that way purposefully. Korosensei is supposed to look weird, but all of the humans look really well done. Each of the students has their own unique look. Even the ones who don’t get a lot of screentime and have a rather normal appearance are so few that they actually stand out just for looking normal. With a show about assassinations it is key that the action and the weapons are done well. So much work must have been done to draw everything correctly and it doesn’t end with just hand held items. There is a scene where Korosensei is cleaning a fighter jet and making it look shiny in mid flight, while the `pilot was trying to shoot him down. There was a lot of focus to get the hand to hand and weapon action done well, and it really shows.

Rating: I will give the art quality 4 out of 5 Fire Dragon’s Roars. Again it’s not the best animation I’ve ever seen, but it wasn’t meant to stand up to shows like God Eater or Death Note in terms of animation quality. The animation works for the story and characters it is meant to portray, and the animation quality never drops. Considering all of the crazy situations the class finds themselves in they do a great job of keeping the animation consistent and managing to keep the look and feel of everything engaging.

Sound: The music for this series was really good over all, the dub and sub voices were great, I even liked the opening enough to listen to it all the way through a few times, also the sound effects were well done. Korosensei has a lot of sound effects just by himself for all of the reactions and movements he has. Not to mention all the constant location changes that take place. And yet I never felt like I was truly taken out of the story by anything I heard. I mean, hell, I even went and ordered the soundtrack from Amazon.jp.

Rating: This has to be a 4 and a half out of 5 Fire Dragon’s Roars for me. While I thought the sound effects were well done, and I loved the bg(background)  music and the opening. I just couldn’t get into the closing theme. Almost everything was in place. And even though I am listening to bg music from the show online as I am typing this, I wasn’t blown away by the music like I was with other series.

Characters: There are way too many characters to cover in this series so I will just be talking about a few. Korosensei is just awesome! I wish I had a teacher like him back in school, or hell, college. His personality seems pretty simple, but there is so much more to him and seeing how much he genuinely cares about his students really helps the audience relate to him. Nagisa is your main character type in this series full of so many characters. He’s very smart, looks kinda like a girl (which gets brought up multiple times for great comedic times) and he is the one constantly working to figure out all of Korsensei’s weaknesses. Karma is my favorite, he is the resident badass and he knows it. Bitch sensei (yes I typed that correctly) is your eye candy for the series. She’s fine and she knows it. Trust me they named her that for a reason.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Fire Dragon’s Roars. There are just too many characters for me to try to cover them all in great depth. Lets just say that I haven’t seen an ensemble cast this well done since Negima.

Enjoyment: Whether it’s the assassination attempts, the moments where Korosensei is being a really good teacher, all the random references to other series, or just the general goofiness of the show. There is so much to enjoy about this series. If you don’t come out of watching this with a smile on your face, then we simply cannot be friends. It can go from action packed, to heart warming, to hysterically funny, to deadly serious all in the span of a single episode. This is definitely one to sit down on the weekend and marathon.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Fire Dragon’s Roars. Add this to your collection now! Most of the people I know watch or read this series; I am no exception. I am current with the manga and the only reason it took me this long to get this review out is because I wanted to watch the whole series both subbed and dubbed so I could accurately gauge the difference. I really loved watching this show, even though I knew where things were headed because I have read the manga it was still enjoyable.

Dub/Sub: This was interesting. As I said before I watched the series in full, both in English and Japanese. To be honest there really isn’t a difference between the two. Sure the voices are different and they are speaking 2 different languages, but for the most part it’s the same thing, the references are all still there. I love seeing Sonny Strait’s take on Korosensei, even though I think Tomokazu Seki  did an amazing job as well. I just love hearing Krillan’s voice coming from Korosensei. But honestly, whichever version you choose to watch, I think you will enjoy it! It’s simply a tie in my opinion. Both versions were done exceptionally well.

Overall: My only gripe about the show is that I wish it were longer, but knowing season 2 is just around the corner is keeping me happy. I have to say I really did enjoy watching it, even knowing what was going to happen in each episode from reading the manga beforehand. A lot of times it can be a bad thing when you go into an anime knowing what is happening from already having read the manga, but I was very pleased that it didn’t pull me away from my enjoyment of the series this time. I think it was a very well done anime and matched with the manga perfectly.

If you want to watch it and let me know what you think of it, you can check it out here.

http://www.funimation.com/shows/assassination-classroom

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