What would you do if you were offered $1 000 000 to kill your teacher? What if the government told you that killing your teacher would save the world? Would you do it? If you said yes to any of these questions then welcome to Class 3-E: home to the delinquents of Kunugigaoka Junior High School, one of the most prestigious schools in Japan. Assassination Classroom is more than just a comedy about a classroom trying to kill their alien teacher, it also explores and critiques social hierarchy, particularly in Japan.
The plot follows Class 3-E, who are seen as the rejects of the school due to their bad grades. The school allows the class to be ridiculed and discriminated against by other students and teachers. This serves as a reflection of how society treats misfits and delinquents in general; their contribution and worth to society seems little because they do not fit the mold. Even though the class does not fit the mold of hard working and conscientious, they are the ones chosen by the Japanese government to save the world. Coincidentally, their target becomes their teacher.
Meet Koro Sensei (translated loosely as “unkillable teacher”); a quirky yet dangerous character. He looks like an alien with yellow tentacles (I know what you’re thinking and yes there is a joke about it in one of the episodes) and can travel at the speed of mach 20 – he can basically get from one part of the world to the next in less than an hour. Koro Sensei’s decision to teach Class 3-E is unknown at the moment but he wishes for them to assassinate him before he decides to destroy the Earth. He is absolutely hilarious in Assassination Classroom with regards to his jokes, gags and multiple facial expressions.
Assassination Classroom is one of the funniest and original shows that I have watched this year. As mentioned above, Koro Sensei brings in most of the humour in the series but when he sometimes interacts with his students it makes for comedy gold. In one scene he is caught reading porn magazines in the forest and the video is shown to the entire class to make him feel embarrassed (this is to help them assassinate him of course). There are also one or two instances of intertextual references to other anime as well, mainly Naruto.
What is interesting to note is the many contradictions within the show. Although Koro Sensei plans to destroy the Earth, he cares very much for his students and their grades and only wants the best for them. The same goes for the students: although Koro Sensei is their target, he is the best teacher they ever had. Class 3-E seem to not take themselves seriously at times but they are ones with smiles on their faces and enjoying life compared to the other classes, who seem stressed and gloomy all the time. What I think Assassination Classroom is trying to say is that we must not take life seriously. We must still study and get a good education, but enjoy what life has to offer us along the way.
If you’re looking for a show with plenty of laughs but still tries to take itself seriously, then Assassination Classroom is definitely an anime that you should check out. With characters that you can care about as well as a story that is sweet and uplifting, you can be sure that you will wish Koro Sensei was your own school teacher.