「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.

Looking Ahead

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

Random thoughts:

  • 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.

Full-length images: 26, 27.

End Card

26 Comments

  1. Much as I hate to say it, I was not aware that this show was a two-cour! This show is just perfect for relaxing as hearing Jun Fukuyama’s voice like this is certainly refreshing.

    On the other hand, I love how this show, despite the MAJOR cast, tries to get each and individual characters and let them shine. As far as I know, increased cast usually means less fleshing on the characterization. Hopefully this show keeps up its trend.

    Phantom
  2. It’s really easy to sympathize with Kanzaki – especially when you live in Asian countries. I, for one, is still under pressure from the people around in regards to my social behavior and grades that I should achieve.

    People desire cheerful and sociable people, so when you are gloomy, they are most likely to leave you out. You are expected to conform and behave in way everyone likes you to behave. To be honest, Kanzaki and Karma are the two characters most similar to me. Given that I grew up in a quite conservative place, I do not go around playing even after I cracked under pressure. Instead, I behave in a way similar to Karma where I just don’t give a crap about social interactions.

    I find it disgusting to see teachers not help students out when they have the capability to do so. I excel in self-studying so how a teacher teaches doesn’t affect me (unless Koro-sensei teaches me hahaha – need to get my mind back to reality). I generally achieve high grades, either the #1 or any place in Top 5 if I want to (just like Karma can). However, I really dislike teachers praising you when you do well and abandon you the moment you don’t. Instead of actually trying to motivate you into learning, they are so concerned with grades that they just keep blaming you.

    “You could have gotten higher”, “I am disappointed in you”, “You need to study harder”. The fact they forgot that we are humans and not robots really disappoint me. I have proven again and again that there teaching methods have no effect on me, yet they believe that I need their help. Constant pressure forced me to simply give up on homework and practices. I work in my own pace and disregard the teacher’s teaching. However, I still achieve high grades whenever I want to so it frustrates teachers. Given that they still have the mentality that I’m not smart enough to study by myself, most of them think that my grades are due to how great they teach.

    I dropped A Levels and simply don’t care about highschool anymore. Yet, being different from the rest also garners me unwanted attention. People either view me as arrogant or a loser who can’t do what others do. This led to me having sociopathic tendencies such as blatantly stating that I want to kill someone or enjoying the thought of enacting violence upon others. Despite that, I find it really important to protect the relationships I have now and tend to suppress the Karma side of me (seriously, this post makes me sound so delusional), turning me into someone Kanzaki. Unfortunately, I’m not someone that everybody enjoys being with. I play the role of a mood maker where I try to redirect hateful conversations to a more peaceful. Having to constantly be cheerful and try to avoid conflict really contradicts my other feelings. I would rather just give everything up and stop caring.

    I do have to say that my grades did drop whenever I crack under pressure like Kanzaki did. Behaving in the way society wants you to is very difficult, but if you don’t do that, then you are regarded as an arrogant person. In fact, I remember seeing someone said that only arrogant people say “Try and be yourself”. Conformity is norm in this society and defying society is a crime. A lot of the people believe that I am pure trouble so I have to become someone like Kanzaki.

    I intend to study Sociology in order to explore the depths of our society. If others do not understand you, then you can try to understand others. .< I know a lot of people are going to find this too irrelevant to the Anime! Another behavior of humans is that no one likes people that share intimate information on the internet. However, I still would like for others to get to know the experiences of others in the world.

    Cheerfulk
    1. i know someone that was Born and raised in a small Village, he gone to the school there where they only teched the Basics, like read, Write, Math 1+1,1-1,1*1,1:1. So the Basics that farmers needs to make their living. Then his Parents found a Job in a different country in a (compare to the small Village) Big City. First he had his problems with the language, but as a Kid he learned good the new one, and was the translator for the parents. But in school he found the new stuff boring, why should he learn higher stuff, that are not used in his daily life? What would A square + B square = C square help in the Daily life? he just has the experience of his daily life, and was happy with that. So his Grades went down, not care of Homework stuff and anything. Just having Fun with his new found friends and such. But someday he earned what he reaped, his Friends went on in the school, and he stuck in class. Since them School was no fun anymore, he began not to understand anymore the “school language”, as if the teachers are speaking in a Alien Math Language. But he was Lucky, he found a new friend that lived nearby to him. He could visit him nearly all day after school. the new friend took him in in how he was, and that was the point where he began to try to understand this Alien Math Language again. His grads gone up a bit to moderate. It goes on, until his personal “Koro Sensei” entered his School and was made his Classroom Teacher. This new Teacher began to take everyone, even the week ones in class, as important beings. He cared for them. For the weaker ones he organized after school teachings, or like in the Anime. he build some self-teaching groups in class, where some “aces” began to help the moderate and weeker ones. in the end, my friends grades went up above moderate. And someday he said to me, this Alien Math Language disappeared and he began to own it. His grades became better, and he could stay with his new best friend. And the Classroom teacher walked with the class until they graduate.
      Well, even now with his nearly 40+ Years old. He is very best friend with the one of the school. And both said that if they do not known the new Classroom teacher, their life would not have changed to better

      So, it was the lack of showing him the gain in learning this New higher Stuff. He already know the Basics for daily Life as a farmer. But the teacher showed them a World behind their own Sea, yes he showed them a World filled with Oceans

      WorldwideDepp
      1. sorry, Hit Enter by Accident.

        And the teacher told them how to Swim in these Oceans, “If you keep up have an Open Mind you will do fine. Just do not stop learning new Stuff. because Life is a daily fight of new Stuff you experience”

        WorldwideDepp
      2. Well, i can remember, when we was on a School trip wandering in the Woods, some members got blow on the foots because they was not used to march this long trip. The Teacher put together their Money and called for an Bus to bring us back to the shelter. Or later on we climb a little mountain, and wanted to use a chairlift to get back, but someones was afraid of heights, 1 teacher volunteered to guide them down on foot, past over small waters and tight paths. it felled like an adventure, in the destination he said how proud he was walking with us, because we behave ourselves

        WorldwideDepp
    2. Don’t try to do well in school for other people’s sake, do it for your own sake. For the sake of the people you care about, who you want to be able to help out later–in other words, to satisfy that selfish desire. “Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.”

      Player
      1. in the pages, where he explain in how they are now, accuse some random “Elite” Men of sexual harassment and even “Office Ladies”, and then “Where just taken to Karaoke bars!” and then when he mentioned “Back in Tokyo!”, i knew what real intension’s this Pictures had.

        Besides from having just now their “Fun”, they could use this Pictures to continue blackmail them for their fun in Tokyo. So their torture would not end today, they would also go on in the Future

        Yes, Dark Side powers. This Show surly embedded them with taste, i give them credits for that

        WorldwideDepp
    1. Considering his psychotic tendencies and Nagisa’s personality, I’m surprised they get on really well. I like their interactions together, they make a good team.

      Glutton
  3. Can’t help but I’m so addicted over this series, both manga and anime, Korosensei, if one ask me can I ever kill him if I had a chance as his student, even with the bounty of his head prized billion yen? I hardly can say yes, he just way too fabulous, wondrous teacher to behold, and I don’t think he will ever want to blow the earth up, the truth of his appearance has yet unknown, at the moment tho.

    But hey, having Korosensei guide you with all his mighty wisdom, you will most likely to be one of the most successful human in the world. XD

    Frost
  4. My, everytime the episode reaches ending, somehow it always makes me smile. So very heartwarming (not to mention also funny!).

    Koro-sensei : Not at all. (laugh) (I like Fukuyama’s laugh here!) Shall we carry on with our school trip, then?

    *cut to the group heading back, with Karma and Koro-sensei doing their -comedy- routine (lol!). Then they discuss about their assasination plan. Karma reassures them that they will just kill Koro-sensei tomorrow. Then Koro-sensei laugh again (chuckle!)*

    Koro-sensei : I do hope you can!

    Nagisa : Inconveniently enough, our target is our ever-dependable teacher. (This line too!)

    (´▽`)

    NoBadassesHere

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