OP Sequence

OP: 「青春サツバツ論」 (Seishun Satsubatsu-ron) by 3年E組うた担 (Sannen E Gumi Utatan)

「暗殺の時間」 (Ansatsu no Jikan)
“Assassination Time”

Angel Beats! is a show often described as an emotional masterpiece–coming to terms with one’s own past life was a powerful and emotional plot device. However, I personally felt a disconnect with the series, despite how good the core story was. My main gripe was that for a series that relied heavily on character exposition, twelve episodes was nowhere close enough time to develop many of the show’s other interesting characters, such as Shiina and T.K.–the series ended without telling anything about their backstory. Now that the visual novel is coming out soon, that should soon be rectified, but that doesn’t fix the core problem of the anime adaptation.

When I heard that Ansatsu Kyoushitsu was getting an adaptation with 22 episodes, I was thrilled.

Before I explain, let me explain what Ankyo (AssClass reminds me too much of Sword Ass Online) is. First, take your stereotypical bottom-tier junior high class, with a diverse cast of characters. Second, equip them with weapons and tell them to save the world, because actual government forces can’t deal with it themselves. Sounds like your typical shounen! Good so far, except when you actually dive into the plot.

First, you have an enemy…thing, the overpowered and intelligent Koro-sensei (Fukuyama Jun), that openly challenges a specific classroom to “assassinate” it. Koro-sensei hides behind nothing except for its own skills. Second, Koro-sensei is a huge cognitive dissonance in every regard–it treats humans with respect (if not sometimes condescending in the process) while simultaneously threatening the end of the world through a looming deadline. Third, even as Koro-sensei provokes these students, it is able to simultaneously teach in a classroom setting, which even the students admit is an effective learning environment. Finally, even Koro-sensei’s appearance is contradictory, with a innocuous smile and non-threatening slime-like form deceptive of Koro-sensei’s destructive capabilities. This adds up to make an unlikely shounen, where the conflicting moods of assassination and honest education merge into one wild ride.

However, this alone does not explain why the series is so popular in Japan–what’s the big deal about a show about a quirky alien? The answer is probably twofold.

As I mentioned earlier, when Ankyo was declared to have 22 episodes already locked in, I was really happy. Of all the types of shows that need a two-cour the most, it is character development-driven shows that feature a large cast; Ankyo is very much a show of this type, which already spells good news for its pacing. One of the primary reasons why Ankyo has seen so much success is that despite its large cast, the story effectively develops this class of the ‘unwanted’ into students who believe in themselves and believe in one another. Cliché at worst, heartwarming at best. In fact, episode one pretty much set the stage for Koro-sensei’s agenda: when Koro-sensei was infuriated that Shiota Nagisa (Fuchigami Mai) was sacrificed, it indicated that its true intentions were not to destroy earth, but rather to convince humanity to not destroy itself. This make sense since during a flashback scene, it is implied that Koro-sensei was developed by a military as a superweapon to be used against humans, but conflicts with that purpose lead to Koro-sensei’s guardian/creator dying. When Koro-sensei challenges these kids to kill him, it is not as a random challenge, but rather as a focal point of unity to bring out the best of humanity against a common enemy. Each character in the show will go through this transformation in some shape or form, which excites me, since stories of personal growth have always been a favourite of mine in storytelling.

However, this “character of the week” sort of setup still isn’t sufficient to explain why people are excited about this show. The kicker is that Ankyo hits really close to home when making a statement on education today. Although I speak as a foreigner, it is clear enough from education stories worldwide at how standards-based and admissions-based education are creating an intense race for children at a very young age. For a country where there is a specific term for the hiring of graduates right out of the gate, Shinsotsu-Ikkatsu-Saiyou, where the battle for a future begins at high school admissions, and where the concept of juku, cram schools, is still gaining popularity among middle schoolers, it is no wonder that a story about uplifting the less-than-ideal is popular in Japan. Ankyo is a story of hope for an entire section of society that can’t keep up with the pack, especially when that consequently leads to less support from the system that’s supposed to help you. I’m not sure about the teacher situation specifically in Japan, but within my own high school, the lowest tiered classes definitely were just scraping by, hoping to get as many people to just pass minimally, without any hope for those students and their future endeavours. I don’t blame the teachers really, because the students have also mainly given up on themselves, creating a vicious cycle that pushes these people into a no-win situation.

Koro-sensei makes for a powerful symbol as the pep cheerleader that struggling classrooms and students need: a figure of authority that challenges students beyond what is ‘passing’ and giving them the tools to make that goal a reality. While Koro-sensei provokes the students to do what seems ridiculous, it is a way of provoking the class to challenge themselves in a world that has given up on challenging them, all without resorting to the ugly tactics that harm others.

I look forward to seeing just what Japan has been enjoying this entire time. Thank you dear reader for putting up with some of my flowery explanations–it’s hard to put a concept that resonates into a concise set of words. Apologies for the delay as well, but going forward delays like this should not be common–it’s just hard getting back into blogging is all!


ED Sequence

ED: 「Hello, shooting-star」by moumoon

End Card


    1. Not trying to come across as jerky because I have no problem with gay/lesbian themes. But I find it super aggravating when I think a character is a girl but turns out to be a male. Not trying to offend anyone I realize a lot of folks might be into that sort of thing. But I personally am not a big fan of bishie anime

      Rick Anime
      1. The reason for this is brought up in the latest manga chapters. Nagisa’s Show Spoiler ▼

    2. This is definitely played with, there are a few crossdressing related jokes here and there 😛

      as for the spoiler though, Show Spoiler ▼

    1. While some may see it as “meh,” it gets somewhat funny if you noticed the small stuff.
      https://randomc.net/image/Ansatsu%20Kyoushitsu/Ansatsu%20Kyoushitsu%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2022.jpg (the United Nations must officially call Korosensei “slimy octopus” rather than sensei)

      On the side note, from “hearing his voice,” I now understand that Korosensei must have worked in a certain theme park and wore a certain costume.
      And he had fun in his part-time job.

  1. https://randomc.net/image/Ansatsu%20Kyoushitsu/Ansatsu%20Kyoushitsu%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2040.jpghttps://randomc.net/image/Ansatsu%20Kyoushitsu/Ansatsu%20Kyoushitsu%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2030.jpg

    Aww, Koro-Sensei sure loves his Trap, isn’t he?


    I mean, could you say no to that…Frag Grenade? *hhh hhh hhh*

    Well, anyway, Trap + Tentacle is a wonderful combination with great possibilities…

  2. Been following the series ever since it started getting published. I was already happy when the first OVA came out so I was even happier when they announced a full TV series.
    I admit that I was pretty tense about this because of the director/scriptwriter combo that are kind of a hit and miss with their works that they teamed up with. Thankfully the first episode delivered pretty well.

    I like FukuJun as Sensei compared to Tomokazu Seki from the OVA. Though I kind of preferred Suwabe Junichi as Karasuma instead of Sugita but it can’t be helped.
    First episode covered the first chapter pretty well. The part where Sensei raged and turned pitch black was utterly terrifying. From the backgrounds turning dark to the music to the voice acting. Sensei is definitely the central mystery of the show. He wants to destroy the Earth yet he teaches so well and is very kind to the students. The slight flashback we got is just one of the clues we have so far about him. Knowing more about him and his growing relationship with the students is one of the many hooks of the show.
    Definitely looking forward to the next episodes. There’s a reason why it’s one of the top-selling manga in Japan even before it got an anime adaptation.

  3. Eh is Koro-Sensei’s world destruction threat really a ruse? I read the manga up to the latest scanlations and this wasnt really mentioned, though we do know there’s a backstory to him within the early chapters.

    Not saying your take is wrong, it might just be correct, but I just dont remember this ever mentioned in the manga, seems like we’re just guessing into his motives.

  4. However, this alone does not explain why the series is so popular in Japan–what’s the big deal about a show about a quirky alien? The answer is probably twofold.

    After watching this episode, I went and checked out the manga…
    I ended up marathoning all the manga chapters that can be found in English that night itself, it was just that interesting, funny and never boring for me. XD. (114 chapters in about 8 hours).

    For an analogy; I really liked the Great Teacher Onizuka manga when I finished reading all the chapters.
    The Assasination Classroom manga however, I already like it much much more even though its still ongoing.

    For some reason though, even though the seiyuu isn’t the same, I keep imagining Koro-sensei’s voice as that of Koyomi Araragi’s.

  5. A live-action Assassination Classroom movie is due March 2015; ex-KARA* member Kang Ji-Young will star in it.

    *the K-pop girl group

    The movie also has an original character,Show Spoiler ▼

  6. In regards to Angel Beats, I loved it and was okay with the 12 episodes. I’d be keen to see a brand new cast with more episodes if that were possible. It was so good it could’ve used more eps 🙂

    This show (Assasination Classroom) looks like it will be fun and have an interesting twist. I currently plan to let the episodes build up a little and marathon through it (sorry guys!). But if randomc were to pick it up for a weekly blogging run perhaps I might consider watching it weekly. I’ve been trying to get away from high school setting. Every so often I do make exceptions like Paracyte which is so amazing- I don’t give a fig that the main character is in high school 🙂 So we’ll see…

    Rick Anime
  7. I haven’t read the manga, but this show is far more sentimental than I anticipated, with the cheering for the underdog, some wise advice from the enemy and camaraderie etc. Given the details of the plot, I thought it was supposed to be crazy with a capital C. It may or may not be a good thing, but Koro-sensei is definitely an interesting character.

  8. This season radically ups my interest than the past few combined!! Now I suddenly have like 8 anime shows I wanna watch, and I’m already following 4 and testing out 2 others! I definitely won’t be able to juggle them all. This anime is sadly not one I have planned to check out, but the premise sounds very unique, twisted and hilarious. It’s such a hard decision.

  9. I thought the action and comedy blended together well. I do agree with the politics side of your post even though I hadn’t given much thought to it, but I don’t want to let myself take this anime too seriously as of yet. I think it works better if you view it as “fun with a touch of seriousness” or “fun with thought put into it” at this point.

    This has been my personal favorite first episode of the season.

  10. Freakin’ love the OP, ED, animation style, voice acting and the show itself.

    Whenever I think of Koro-sensei as having Lelouch’s seiyuu, I can’t help but think of him as a costume with Lelouch inside. (Explains his smart personality)

    Also, since Lerche, being the same studio (and animation) as Danganronpa, makes me think of this as a “reverse Danganronpa”. With the students do all the killing instead of being the ones being killed.

    Red HeartGold ZX
  11. I just found my comedy of the season, it seems. 😀

    Koro is so much fun to watch (with the epic Fukuyama Jun you can’t really go wrong), as is the wacky premise of the entire show. The OP was silly, and that’s great for a show like this.

    Not too sure how adding in a dramatic element will work out on the whole for the show, but it feels good at the very least. You can’ take the show too seriously and it feels like the producers are making sure of that by diffusing seemingly volatile situations with a couple of jokes right after.

    This is good. Worth following, and tons of fun. I think I’ll keep with this for a quite a while.

  12. Decided to give this a try and glad I did. Ep. 01 was quite entertaining for me with a number of “LOL” moments. Koro-sensei is great – much better than I expected, and I thought the voice acting for his(?) character spot-on. I haven’t read a single page of the source material so I have no idea where this is headed, but if they can keep the right balance of comedy (i.e. not too serious or too whimsical), this could definitely be a fun, memorable watch. Looking forward to Ep 02.

  13. That was quite the exposition dump for Assassination Classroom, between that and the bizarre premise I hope people stick around for future episodes. If it’s anything like the manga the biggest appeal will be character interaction and development.

  14. So it’s basically GTO with a giant yellow octopus. I like. 😀

    (No, really, this first episode was really quite enjoyable even if it didn’t have all that much new stuff in it. But it was nicely done and most of all: funny. Gonna be keeping an eye on this one.)


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