「修学旅行の時間・1時間目」 (Shuugakuryokou no Jikan· Ichi-Jikan-Me)
“School Trip Time/1st Period”
Koro-sensei thinks of everything, except his pillow.
School Setting For A Reason
If you’ll allow me to pull out a bit before we really begin, one of the things I like about Ansatsu Kyoushitsu is that the school setting actually has a purpose. In most anime, it’s a simple outgrowth of the Japanese cultural nostalgia for school—high school, especially—which, while not exactly a bad reason—if it doesn’t matter what age the characters are, junior/high school age can work fine—gets bloody old after a while. Here, everything is wrapped up in the idea of teacher and student, even when it’s also about killing and being killed. It’s all about education, where assassination is a tool to get the job done, so the school setting fits like a glove. A tentacle-shaped glove.
Suspension of Disbelief
Suspension of disbelief has always fascinated me, because to a certain kind of personality, it’s totally bonkers. This show is a great example. Koro-sensei, the moon-shattering, earth-destruction-capable, lovable-teacher artificial alien squid monster? No problems there. Even the fact that the destroyed moon should have left the earth twelve kinds of fucked was easily swallowed by readers. But in this episode, a bunch of thugs capture two girls, and they … wait for their photographer pals to get there while they goof off. That was what violated my suspension of disbelief.
Crazy, right? But it makes a certain kind of sense. If you can make the leap to Koro-sensei and ignore some science, the rest is, if not strictly logical, at least logically consistent. Here, I couldn’t help thinking two things: 1) This is 2015, and everyone has cameras on their phones. If they were going to do a “photo shoot”, they would have used those. 2) If they grabbed two girls, they’re probably planning to rape them, and if so, they would have started that by then as well. Rapists are not, I feel, big on patience.
Not pleasant thoughts, that, and I’m glad they didn’t go down that road, because rape is horrifying and Ansatsu Kyoushitsu has enough horrifying human behavior as is. And I do realize that it sounded more like they were trying to drag the girls down, to make them implicit in their own descent through some light blackmailing (unwilling risque pictures), until the girls hung out with these thugs out of something like their own will. But when you put us in a situation where it seems so rape-y, and something like that doesn’t happen because (it feels like) the author doesn’t want to go that way and/or wants to give the other characters time to ride to the rescue … well, it clashes. Like I said, it’s funny, right? The world-destroying affable squid monster is okay, but not this. No wonder some people just can’t get into sci-fi/fantasy. We’re all clearly bonkers.
Side note: That’s not really a criticism of Ansatsu Kyoushitsu. As far as authors tweaking suspension of disbelief to make the plot work, that’s pretty minor, and the entire episode was as reliably enjoyable as every one before it. ‘Tis merely an example of something I found interesting, nothing more.
The Fish Who Swim Forward
The new (fully introduced) character this week is Kanzaki Yukiko (Sato Satomi), the class’s soft-spoken madonna whose seiyuu should surprise no one. When they were talking about new sides early on, my immediate reaction: “Yandere incoming!?” (Bonus: Sugino-kun seems to have a crush on her.) The reality led to another wonderful lesson from the school of Koro-sensei.
Under pressure from her parents, Kanzaki-san cracked, and played around enough to end up in E-Class. The problem was expectations of getting good grades and a good title (social standing), which are problems the bullies have as well. Instead of folding under it like Kanzaki did, they have another way—violent rebellion.
But for my money, Koro-sensei’s way is the best. He tacitly agrees that prestigious schools or titles don’t matter. What matters instead is doing your best and not dragging others down with you. This echoes one of my own long-held beliefs about how an adult ought to act: Take care of your shit without hurting anyone else. Kanzaki is most of the way there, she just needed one more push to get that smile at the end:
“Be they in a clear stream of a muddy river, the fish who swim forward turn out the finest.”
Just try your best earnestly, without hurting others, and you’ll get what you’re looking for in time.
Either way, one of those thugs was going to use a bottle of
Jack Daniels Jac Danas as a weapon, so they deserved what they got. That’s for drinking, you stupid kid, not hitting. Fuckin’ amateurs.
By the way, I never mentioned—the reason Zanibas isn’t here this week is because his computer is bricked, which makes it a little hard to write a post. He should be back next week, unless his computer is still broken, in which case you might be stuck with me or someone else again. Until then, have a tenta-cool weekend!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The field trip to Kyoto begins w/ a kidnapping, followed by more hard lessons from the school of Koro-sensei #ansatsu_anime 07
- Karma’s gentle voice doesn’t fit his violent, sociopathic tendencies in the least. Which is perfect.
- Bitchi-sensei is my favorite character, without a doubt. Goofy sexy Shizuka Itou is a goddess … as long as she lays off the terrible engrish.
- Related: I-I may have to start shipping Karasuma x Bitchi-sensei. He knows how to deal with her.
- “When a group member has been abducted.” Plus a map! Koro-sensei, you really think of everything.
- It really doesn’t seem like Koro-sensei wants to destroy the earth. He’s having too much fun. It’s very strange … but then again, can they risk trying to sway him instead of killing him? No, not really. Especially when he’s so affable about them trying to kill him. Better to give it their all, and if they can’t kill him, hope he was bluffing/can be swayed by his kawaii students at the end.
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Your best work is behind you, Wasted work, Vemödalen, My lost job, and the beginning of my travels, and Feedback from family.