「（島／決行／伏魔／カルマ）の時間 」 (Shima/Kekkou/Fukuma/Karuma no Jikan)
“Island/Action/Pandemonium/Karma (2nd Period) Time”
Just how long is this arc going to last? I’m asking that in the most positive way possible. As opposed to one or two-episode arcs, this arc has effectively lasted for four episodes and counting–aside from smoothing out the storytelling into a more cohesive plot, this really is the strongest effort we’ve seen from Class 3-E in vanquishing their rivals, both from friendly ones to those who seriously want them dead. Every episode has lead up to this point and boy, the series is really starting to pay off thanks to all the character development before.
Class 3-E, throughout the series, has gone from a low-ranking group in a high-intensity school to facing off against the very best in half of a school year. No longer do they worry about in-fighting and issues of self-confidence. Worrying for their lives and setting their eyes on the prize occupies their time instead. To think there was a time where the class’ assassination methods were crude and a small-group affair is kind of shocking, especially considering episode 18’s assassination attempt and how well-organized it was. To think there was a time where no one was in serious danger thanks to Koro-sensei, but now that episode 18 and onwards have actually put lives on the line, that seems like a distant memory of the show.
It’s regrettable that the show is ending fairly soon, because even for a two-cour, the show took its time in building up its narrative potential and only recently has it begun to really shine. No longer can I complain about the episodic ‘student of the week’ format, since all future assassinations have now been strict team efforts relying on everyone’s improvements. It’s great seeing such a large cast share the limelight fairly equally as an ensemble cast, where each character doesn’t feel shoehorned into the story for the sake of it; each character has their own unique traits that help these assassinations move forward, even if those roles don’t happen to be on the offensive line. My particular favorites of the group right now happen to be Chiba and Hayami, who are pretty cool not just as the marksmen of the group, but also for their developed professional demeanor that even the show takes note of. Even though they didn’t have much screen time beforehand, their presence as a cog in the assassination machine fits well. With the battle against a crazed gun addict at hand, I’m sure that they’ll get a chance for redemption over their failed assassination soon enough.
In reality, Ansatsu is fully deserving of at least another season, where I am sure that season will shine even more than these first two cours. Without all this work to fit characters into episode blocks, the story’s freedom to actually allow the characters to be on-screen freely has been a welcome change of pace. Karasuma and Irina, whose roles have been strictly defined thus far, have been improving as fleshed-out characters as well, with Karasuma’s inability to defend the students a refreshing pace, as well as Irina inversely showing her ability to assist the team despite her normal nature. With Koro-sensei’s safety net out of the way, the students stand on their own and shine on their own, providing enough suspense to really wonder about the outcome. Now, given the show’s track record, no one is in serious danger of dying (even the enemy), but at least serious hurt is possible for Class 3-E and its allies.
Despite an extended leave of absence due to university commencements, I’m ready to go to cover this series to the end, even if it’s not the most perfect coverage. As I’m out there looking for a job, hopefully these kids aren’t out of a job soon–Koro-sensei has to have a weakness outside of that small ball of his and those kids will figure it out, but right now, finding that antidote is high priority, as well as beating up the ass that happened to release it on a bunch of kids.