Watching Wednesdays #3 – Watch Out for the Whack
Assassination Classroom: Do ‘Em In + Do Dope
The short of it: Man, this is Freedom Writers in anime form. For a show about middle schoolers murdering a world-destroying monster, it’s pretty basic. Kids forgotten by education system become the most significant people in the universe, and, more importantly, find value in themselves thanks to their ultimate weapon of a teacher.
After destroying 70 percent of the moon, a tentacled monster requests (don’t even try to joke about the premise of Japanese tentacles) to teach a specific class at a prestigious Japanese academy. This class is the bottom of the bottom, in both grades and social standing.
The monster, capable of traveling up to Mach 20 in seconds, will teach the class in both regular subjects and in assassination techniques to kill it. If the class cannot kill him by the end of the school year, he’ll destroy the world. The world governments agree to his terms, concealing his presence and the students’ true goal in exchange for the monster’s cooperation in training these would-be assassins.
Oddly enough, the students find themselves actually learning under the monster’s optimistic tutelage. His efforts, though odd, are the first time they’ve had someone genuinely interested in their well being. He takes prides in their successes, even in their attempts to end his life. This inhuman monster capable of planetary destruction is more than the ultimate weapon– he’s the ultimate unkillable teacher: Korosensei.
With a premise as bizarre as a classroom for monster assassination, the show’s got a pretty standard way of warming the viewer’s heart. Children that have given up on their future despite possessing talent and potential find that there’s more to life than grades and social standing. They find friendship in the schoolmates and role models in their assassination teachers.
It’s hard not to have a smile on your face during the show– Korosensei’s goofy, goodnatured attempts to help his students coupled with his fierce desire to protect and foster their future makes him immediately lovable. The various personalities of the classroom all shine beyond their standard tropes, from the chaotically violent student, Karma, to the lovingly-nicknamed Bitch Sensei, a foreign spy and assassin teaching the students English and killing tactics.
Admittedly, it’s a little unnerving to think about when you realize that the only possible conclusion is the assassination of Korosensei; from the very first episode, he seems to good to lose. But as the show moves forward and the students grow, at least his time in the classroom will have taught the kids more than how to kill. He’ll have taught them how to live.
Shoot it: Crunchyroll