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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Assassination Classroom Vol 1 Review The Tentacled Teacher Arrives

Assassination Classroom Vol 1

I always remember how to spell assassination by breaking it down to Ass-ass-in. This manga, long awaited by otakus of the the Americas, brings the ass-ass in with Koro Sensei, translated from Japanese as can't kill teacher. He's a tentacle wonder. As you'll wonder what he and his tentacles will do next. Is he an alien?  A mutant freak created in a secret lab? A magical being from another dimension that's broken into our reality? All we know is he will destroy the Earth after one school year. The mission of his students: kill him and collect 10 Billion Yen ($100 Million US).

The premise for Assassination Classroom might be a highlight for some students. A plot to kill their teachers and get paid for it. Too bad Koro Sensei is too damn likable as a teacher and a friend. That and he can go Mach 20, transform into different states-Eeew, he's goo!- and has an insane amount of powers, but he's still "human." Human in the sense he can get flustered, acts childish when he loses and is a bit perverted. Koro Sensei is a tall yellow squid looking like creature wearing a graduation uniform whose face looks like an emoticon when in a passive state. He might be the worst poker player on Earth (while it's still here) with constant tells on his face, which changes colors over every mood he's in. He's trying he's best to get the grades up and the spirits of his class by being the best darn teacher on the planet, all while his students are trying to kill him.

Created by YĆ«sei Matsui, you'll be reading the exploits of Class E, the worst class at Kunugigaoka Junior High School. This is the class other students in the high school will un-friend you if you do badly enough to enter.  Most of the data about Koro Sensei, I just wrote about, comes from Nagisa Shiota. One of the boys in Class E who catalogs all the weaknesses of the many tentacled teacher. Stories in the first volume follow him and his fellow students and their attempts to take out the Koro Sensei. Nagisa, is the second main character, as Koror Sensei takes top billing for his insane antics of power.

The series flipped the regular mold of a Japanese drama where a teacher takes a bad class in and transforms the students into productive members of society. It is still that sort of story, but with a lot more guns and knives.

Antics and demonstrations of Koro Sensei's powers are shown with one of his amazing abilities, going Mach 20. At Mach 20 he can wax a jet fighter in flight or catch a missile. He'll grade your test in seconds while flying across the Earth, why does he have leave these cheezy doodles on the back though? Koro Sensei also makes frequent trips around the world collecting food from various locations for lunch. In his most amazing feat he destroyed seventy percent of the moon and gave the decree about destroying the Earth after one school year. As no one on Earth can kill him, Japan and world leaders let him teach a class, which is allowed to try assassinate him as much as they can, he can't harm a hair on there heads.

That's a shame, as the have anti-Koro Sensei weaponry. A substance that exists that makes Koro Sensei. It's safe for humans to touch and so weapons that can only kill Koro Sensei are used with a large variety available from bullets to floppy knives. Floppy funny knives that make it look so sad when they are used on anyone else but Sensei.

Other than the jokes about how much Nagisa looks like a girl, he's not, he's a boy, the book wraps around your eyes with tentacles thanks to the looney looks of Koro Sensei. He's odd demeanor, the way he wraps people up in his tentacles, they all make the book a hilarious read through on par with the odd story of attempted murder. You'll be taken in, just like his stidents, by Koro Sensei and the way he teaches while someone tries to stab him in the face.

The first volume has many attempts at stabbing said teacher in the face. With fast, Mach 20, dodging results. You'll see stories features about different students all with their own complicated problems that Koro Sensei will sort out. Many different tactics from "suicide bombing", sounds worse than it is, to a happy bit of poison are attempted in the first chapter.

Let's hope 2015 is a fun year, it's the only amount of time we have left before Koro Sensei destroys the Earth, unless Class E can cash in and kill him. I don't know who to root for!

Assassination Classroom has gained such popularity in such a short time, it's only been out since 2012, that it's getting a anime starting Jan 9 in Japan that will be simulcast with Funimation here in the US. Add to that there's a live action movie in production that will also be out in 2015. Forget Luigi, it's the year of Koro Sensei in 2015.

I wanted to also say how much I love the cover(s) of Assassination Classroom, it looks like Viz will just be copying what happened in the Japan, which was to just put Koro Sensei's mug on each cover in different states of emotion. Collecting them all will be a rainbow of emotion of a creepy smiling creature you can lay out on your coffee table or desk and have a friend stare and wonder what's going on.

Reviewer was given copy by publisher for review purposes