Sunday, 15 March 2015
FIRST IMPRESSIONS - ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM
10 Billion Yen for murdering my teacher? Heck, I'd do it for free!
So, after four episodes (out of 22), I think it's a good measure of what to expect from the rest of the season. The plot for this piece is about as ridiculous as it is enjoyable to watch: A yellow octopus like creature (voiced by Sonny Strait) blows up 75% of the moon and threatens to do the same to Earth if he isn't killed within one year. The problem? This guy clocks in at Mach-20, regenerates and his IQ makes Einstein's look like a joke. Since no government can take him out, a group of delinquent scholars are recruited to kill this SOB in class because one of the last things Koro-Sensei wants to do is teach.
"Every morning, we start off the day not with a pray, but with a group assassination attempt. Ahem."
As wacky as the above summation sounds, this show also clocks in at Mach-20 when it comes to humor. It has an interesting storyline that within the first few minutes sets how low your suspension of disbelief needs to be to fully enjoy everything that's happening while at the same time throwing a variety of comical and sadistic hijinks your way.
The star of this anime is Koro-Sensei and his unorthodox teaching methods and even more his contradicting motives. On the one hand, he's trying to get these group of kids through the next educational year and on the other hand, he plans to blow up the planet once they pass the grade. That is an interesting dynamic that just screams for more attention which I'm sure we'll see more of.
"Yup, it's my job to eventually kill our teacher. Question is: How?"
The audience surrogate for this anime is Nagisa Shiota (voiced by Lindsey Seidel) who often acts as a liason between Koro-Sensei and the student being schooled in every episode. A nice enough character, albeit one I first thought was a girl. Not just because of the voice though, but seriously, look at that picture and tell me that without the uniform, you wouldn't make my mistake as well. Go on, try!
"Education in the right hand, murder in the left."
But the octopus and Nagisa aren't the only attraction here. This show features some fantastic character development for each of the students, spending an episode focusing on one in particular, telling us their drives and short-comings and helping them past all that which is nice.
Somehow, this is one of those shows that can perfectly balance helping people (see right side of picture) with killing people (see left side) and make it funny as hell. It draws on that thought every kid has had at some point in their life. We've all had that one awful teacher we wished we could just tie to a train track and wait for the locomotive to speed by. This show takes that murderous thought and turns it into something funny.
"The classroom's group WTF expression."
Assassination Classroom is part of FUNimation's new broadcast dub and so far, it works. This creation of theirs, while at first might seem like a hasty way of getting new anime out to the dub fans still manages to keep that we've-been-working-on-this-for-18-months feel even though it's only been about 8 weeks. The cast is brilliant and the acting maintains that usual high standard that we see from FUNimation. It's not hard to imagine FUNimation eventually turning all their acquisitions into Broadcast Dubs and doing away with the wait-18-months-to-get-this-title-dubbed method of releasing anime.
Rating this first impression: 8/10. The kind of program that manages to make you laugh almost the whole way through.