「カルマの時間」 (Karuma no Jikan)
As stated in the excerpt, Ansatsu Kyoushitsu was delayed last week, presumably due to the hostage situation related to ISIL. However, the show must eventually go on, and so regular coverage ha resumed.
Despite the wait, today’s episode was fairly average as compared to episodes one and two. This week introduced a fairly competent and psychopathic character, Akabane Karma (Okamoto Nobuhiko), a student with smarts and cunning, enough so to be the first to injure Koro-sensei. What makes Karma stand out though is that his psychotic tendencies aren’t directed towards anyone in class 3-E, but rather towards those who break his internal code of ethics. While Karma may come off as a mentally unstable person who is unfriendly towards anyone, his actual persona betrays how moral he actually is. Although his methods may be violent, Karma does what he believes is right, but grows distrustful of anyone who challenges that internal code. This was evidenced by his physical beatdown of a top student bullying a Class E student, earning the ire of the teacher he trusted, leading to today’s assassination attempt on Koro-sensei, and symbolically, all teachers in general. However, come Koro-sensei to save the day, and in one episode, the situation is resolved and Koro-sensei earns the respect of another student.
While I like Ansatsu Kyoushitsu’s efforts to humanize these students who have become disconnected with the current educational system, these single episode formulas aren’t doing the show’s potential emotional depth much service. Just as soon as we’re introduced to a character’s troubles, so soon do we see said troubles resolved by the almighty Koro-sensei. Don’t get me wrong, Koro-sensei is awesome and I like his methods, but the show doesn’t go into enough detail to really sell us on these issues. Oftentimes, the show resorts to cheap characterizations, such as the absolutely rotten main student body or the amazingly heartless teacher, to drive home its point, which offers a quick explanation, but at the cost of quality depth. Perhaps these characterizations hit harder at home in Japan, but one-sided antagonists just don’t offer much in terms of presenting a realistic struggle. It seems unfair to paint the entire main campus as this heartless institution, both in students and teachers–of course that sort of environment is terrible and I can’t imagine anyone who would think otherwise. If this pattern of troubled student affected by an easy prop-up villain of education continues without some proper arcs to give more depth, it’ll be a disappointing next set of episodes. However, I have faith that as more characters continue to trust Koro-sensei, we’ll see more elaborate developments occur over longer periods of time.