Assassination Classroom Volume 1

***This is not a sponsored post. No one at Viz Media knows me, nor have they contributed to this post in any way minus the selling of their books for me to purchase.***

assassination classroom 1 cover

 

 

I know you’re looking at the title of the manga, and that smiling face on the cover of the first volume. It’s such a bright, welcoming yellow color; how could such a sunny looking book possibly have the name “Assassination Classroom”?

I don’t know, but it does. And the funny thing about it is that it works when you get into the story, and find what’s going on.

Class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Junior High School is a class for the worst students. Students whose grades are below average, especially for an elite school. Students who have little to no motivation to improve.

Little to no motivation until they are enlisted as assassins who are hired to kill their teacher. If they can, they’ll receive ten billion dollars.

You’re now interested, aren’t you? Well, before you get too excited or worried about the premise, let me tell you a little something about their teacher.

He’s a bright yellow alien with a permanent smile on his face who has blown 70% of the moon and is now threatening to blow up the earth in one year, unless this class of (probably) thirteen to fourteen years olds can kill him first. Yup, you read that right. He’s playing a game with a bunch of teenagers in order to save or destroy their world (technically his as well, as he states he was born and raised on earth).

Opening the book and reading the first two pages shows you this is no ordinary manga. It starts with the alien teacher, who is later dubbed Koro-sensei as a play on the Japanese word korosenai, which means “can’t be killed”, calling everyone to attention to say the school pledge. Instead, the students whip out handguns and rifles, aiming at Koro-sensei and shooting as he flies about the room at Mach 20, taking attendance before his students run out of the BB pellets made specifically to kill him.

The first chapter is entertaining, but a bit slow. It gives a number or laughs, with the usual exaggerated facial expressions when something goes wrong or a student is shocked out of their mind at something, but AC also shows that Koro-sensei, despite being an alien that is planning to blow up the earth, actually cares about his students.

Especially when Nagisa Shiota, the quiet child in the class, goes along with a plan to kill Koro-sensei, which ends with Nagisa himself nearly being injured in the attempt. Koro-sensei has the student writing poetry, and Nagisa is the first to finish. As he approaches their sensei, he’s cleverly hiding a knife (made of the same material as the BB pellets) behind his poetry. The moment he tries to take down Koro-sensei, he’s stopped, but makes another move by jumping onto Koto-sensei, a grenade filled with BB pellets tied around his neck. Another student sets off the grenade, nearly killing Koro-sensei and injuring Nagisa badly, but, because their sensei sheds his skin once a month (kind of like a snake!) he was able to cover Nagisa in a slimy film, protecting him from the explosion.

So, Koro-sensei does care about his students, enough that when a new student arrives, he takes the chance to “improve” each of the students as their attempt to kill him, whether that be painting their nails or fixing their hair.

Chapter four is when a student, Karma Akabane, joins Class 3-E, having return from a long term suspension he received for beating up a student, the class valedictorian. Karma is… interesting, to say the least. His first appearance is at the end of chapter three, where he says he’s been itching to kill a teacher for a while now, and is finally able to take the chance (likely without being labeled as a murderer like normal).

Chapters four through six involved Karma and his attempts to kill Koro-sensei, each one failing as their teacher plays a game with him, fixing up his student’s hair as each attempt comes up short, leaving Karma as his wit’s end during chapter six, where he gives Koro-sensei an ultimatum, nearly killing himself in the process before resigning to the fact that it would take a while before he could actually kill their sensei, but he would keep trying, to Koro-sensei’s delight.

Chapters two, three, and seven include some of the other students in the spotlight (chapters two and seven) and show off some of Koro-sensei’s weaknesses (chapter three), which Nagisa is quietly watching and waiting for to write down on his notepad, keeping them safe as he observes, hoping these weaknesses will come in handy one day as they get closer to killing their weird alien teacher thing.

Honestly, from my point of view, it’s a great book with fun characters and an interesting story. I don’t expect everyone to pick this up and be intrigued enough to start reading it. In fact, I expect the title to turn people off immediately, if the rating itself doesn’t do that!

But, it would be great, no matter what genre of manga you read or absolutely won’t touch, if people would, at the very least, try out the first chapter, just to test the waters with their series.

Because it’s funny, quirky, ridiculous, and weirdly interesting, with characters who are, surprisingly, being properly taught by their alien teacher and are actually interesting themselves, not one dimensional, cardboard cutouts you can find in every series on the shelf at a bookstore. It’s such a strange series I can’t help but love it and wait for the books to release every two months, just to see what happens and if these would-be assassins can actually kill this “un-killable” teacher.

For that I’ll stick around.

Now here’s the million dollar (or, ahem, ten billion) question: What on EARTH are they going to be calling Irina Jelavić in the official translation of volume two?

********

Overall view: Funny, weird, slow start, but picks up at the end of the first chapter. Makes you want to stick around and see if these junior high students can actually complete their mission.

Publisher: Viz Media

Book rating: T+ for older teens, teenagers sixteen and up.

Reader rating: 4.5 of 5

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Assassination Classroom Episode 1 Summary & Review | Christian Otaku Reviews

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