Sarah Wiezel

Agent Sarah writes on Tuesdays for Agents of GUARD and covers Arrow, console games, anime, and whatever else sounds appealing at the moment. She has a day job in the software industry and thinks cereal is overrated.

I had scrolled past Assassination Classroom a few times on my Hulu Plus recommendations and decided I was less than intrigued. It sounded like some weird high school anime with tentacles and that’s…usually not down my alley for lots of reasons.

However. One day I got dangerously bored and decided to tempt fate. I must say that Assassination Classroom is not what I thought it would be, in a very good way.

To say that the plot of this show is strange or a little weird… doesn’t do it justice. I can’t emphasize how totally bizarre the premise of this show is, and I’ve seen A LOT of weird anime in my day.

Group

Assassination Classroom is the story of class 3E, the “loser” class at a prestigious high school. Or is it? Maybe that’s more of the setting…the students themselves are not especially unique, but they do have a very unique mission that the school and the government has assigned to them: they must kill their teacher.

The teacher of Class 3E, dubbed “Koro-sensei”, is a bright yellow tentacle monster. He has a big smiley face on his huge round head and looks like an octopus. He is intelligent. Actually, he destroyed the majority of the moon and has threatened to destroy the world if he cannot be defeated within one year, but demanded that in the meantime he teach students, specifically class 3E at this school. He also moves at a speed of Mach 20 and conventional weapons don’t work on him.

guns

So now that you understand the onion-like layers of my trepidation, let me tell you that I don’t think I have ever seen an anime so original, off-the-wall, and fun come from such a crazy plot. This show is so much fun. I am giddy every time a new episode comes out! The first couple of episodes are a little bit confusing to navigate, but they payoff is extremely high.

Character development is key in this show. Koro-sensei himself really shines here, because he’s such a strange character, but not in strange ways. He’s strange because he’s a normal guy that likes ice cream and pretty girls and wants his students to learn and be happy…except that he’s a tentacle monster with superhuman speed. The whole thing about destroying the earth seems to be this aside that’s really out of character for him and only serves to set players and events up for the show (or as far as I can tell right now, anyway.) He grades each student’s homework with care and even writes custom tests for each one, tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. He even flies a couple of students to Hawaii to see a movie with him during one of his many daily trips around the world at Mach 20.

koro

The students, for the most part, are strange because they have really peculiar problems. For example, classmates shooting off guns too much in class, causing a decline in learning and test scores. Oh, but all of the weapons used in the classroom are “anti-Koro” (or “anti-me”, as Koro-sensei refers to them) and have no affect on anyone other than Koro-sensei. Although they don’t usually have an affect on Koro either, given his ability to block and dodge at Mach 20. There’s also a crazy Russian assassin who comes to the school as an English teacher. And she’s not the only crazy Russian assassin…did I mention this show is pretty fun? There’s also an AI in the class. All kinds of stuff going on in this show.

teaching

Another thing that’s kind of crazy about the show is the school itself. Outside of there being something really obviously fishy about the school since the government is basically allowed to run class 3E, the school is basically known for having this giant loser class (3E) which is supposed to motivate the other classes to perform really well. 3E is put into really comically bad situations and is openly made fun of at assemblies and such. While I’ve seen Baka and Test enough times to know that the premise of ranked classes with highlights for the best class is not uncommon, the extent to which this is pushed in Assassination Classroom is…odd. But no more odd than Koro-sensei’s head becoming stripey green from time to time. That’s the thing with this show: there are so many strange things that after a while, unordinary things aren’t really so strange anymore by comparison.

The show is mostly episodic in nature, and usually centers around a specific problem that the class has to overcome together through the episode. There are a few episodes left to air of Assassination Classroom, and I have no clue how it’s going to end but I can definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary to watch.

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