「集会の時間」 (Shuukai no Jikan)
The brand name behind Kunugigaoka must be strong, because going through class 3-E is absolute hell. If class 3-E was already this discriminated against during the series, it’s unimaginable to think what life was like before Koro-sensei came into the fray. The school must’ve sent only the lowest tier of teachers to instruct class 3-E, because who in their right minds wants to navigate through to a path full of snakes, bees, and other natural disasters just to go through an assembly? Granted, all these troubles have hardened them and made class 3-E better assassins in the process, but having to study under such contempt and blatant discrimination is disgusting.
The whole premise is pretty straightforward, meant to rile one up against the plight of 3-E, but at times I feel the whole concept of using one class as bait goes too far. The students of the main campus are flat-out different, from their personality to even their physical conception. There is little room for empathy of the other side when the rest of the school is explicitly painted in this manner, much less for the so called logical and utilitarian thinking of their chairman. At the same time though, I can imagine that this sort of discrimination, though caricatured, strikes very close to a lot of Japanese students as well as classrooms worldwide. Perhaps this easily hated school isn’t so far from reality in some places, despite how depressing that is.
Thus, it is clear that the real antagonist of this show is not Koro-sensei, but rather the institutionalized class-based discrimination of Kunugigaoka. Even Bitch-sensei and Karasuma are disgusted by the school’s various practices, where Koro-sensei himself cannot stand by and let his students be so unfairly treated. The show seems to be heading in an arc that will emphasize this conflict of interest between the mountaintop and the campus, as the school’s chairman seems to have a nasty plan up his sleeve to be revealed next episode. In essence, this seems like a better focus for the show in terms of creating conflict–these short improvement stories are far too shallow to have any sort of meaningful emotional depth, but with the addition of a true antagonist who wishes only harm on 3-E, perhaps we will see some more meaningful developments along the way.
Before that, we should address the character development that happened today, with Okuda Manami (Yahagi Sayuri), whose direct assassinations are…interesting? Her ultimate lesson in being well-rounded was straightforward, but it was humorous to see more of Koro-sensei’s potential weaknesses. Other than his weakness for snacks (which they should get around to poisoning sometime soon), Koro-sensei is casually open to experimentation from students, presumably to help them hone their skills in a low-pressure environment. As the snack theme has been repeating for a few episodes now–Koro-sensei is a real snack artist–the final piece of the puzzle for a potential suicide has completed itself with Manami’s chemistry skills.
The show is shaping up slowly, a bit slow than necessary, but with a new focus of antagonist, perhaps the real ride starts now.