Assassination Classroom Review – Episodes 10 – 14 Catch-Up Special! (Anime)on April 29, 2015 by Oscar TK
It’s been a while since I wrote about Assassination Classroom, which is a shame as it’s an anime I keep coming back to, and is one of the few currently airing that I’m diligently watching. I thought it was long past time I weighed in with my thoughts on the last few episodes!
Episode 10: LR Time
This episode focuses on Irina, the assassin who has acted as Class 3-E’s language teacher since Episode 4. This is great as, while she’s had her moments in past episodes, she’s always felt fairly undeveloped in the past. Her old mentor arrives at the school, Lovro, who has come out of retirement to assassinate Koro-sensei, as he deems Irina unable to accomplish her goal of killing him. In doing this he humiliates her. Koro-sensei challenges them to mock-assassinate Karasuma. As Irina both proves herself to Lovro, she is also proving herself to herself, and also to the viewers. It’s really nice to see an episode that focuses on her, and the mock-assassination challenges provides plenty of fun moments, especially through Karasuma and Koro-sensei’s reactions.
There’s a short second story in the episode that revolves around Koro-sensei taking Nagisa, Karma, and Ritsu (who installed herself on everyone’s phones) to a superhero movie premiere in Hawaii, flying them there at mach-speed. There’s not much to this story as it’s pretty short, but it does provide some interesting insight in Koro-sensei’s perspective and his character. In addition, it’s nice to Ritsu interacting with the main cast, as she was noticeably absent in the larger part of this episode.
Episode 11: Transfer Student Time – 2nd Period
Things get interesting as Class 3-E take on a second transfer student after Ritsu, who were both originally meant to arrive together. Shiro, a mysterious man in a white robe, arrives with the student, Itona Horibe, who claims to be Koro-sensei’s brother. Itona seems to possess incredible strength, and only wants to fight those who could be stronger than him, disregarding the other students. The mystery surrounding Itona’s claim to be Koro-sensei’s brother is the subject of much humour, and is one of the best aspects of the episode.
Things also get refreshingly serious when the two actually fight, though this is eventually lamp-shaded by joking about how serious it got. This episode really does strike a nice balance between the two, managing to be both very funny in places and also move the plot forward quite a lot. In that respect, it’s a very satisfying episode.
Episode 12: Ball Game Tournament Time
Yep, it’s the Sports Episode. Every anime worth its salt has one. Even Sonic X. This episode brings back a plot point from Episode 2 about Sugino’s baseball talents. Every year the school has a tournament where the boys play baseball and the girls play basketball. Due to the odd number of classes (A through to E), Class 3-E never gets to take part in the tournaments themselves, and instead have to play an exhibition match afterwards against the school’s club for that sport, which is of course hugely unfair.
But, with Koro-sensei able to coach them this year, giving Sugino a chance to outshine his old friends from the baseball club who turned their backs on him once he was relegated to Class 3-E. Things get even more interesting when Asano, the school’s chillingly evil headmaster, takes over coaching the baseball club, to try and match Koro-sensei’s strategies for Class 3-E. It actually gets pretty interesting, even for someone who doesn’t like baseball very much (such as myself). There are even some great laugh out load moments, and it’s always nice to cheer for an underdog in a sport.
It is a bit of a shame there’s barely anything about the girls’ basketball tournament. But, maybe that’s just because I personally prefer basketball to baseball. Perhaps this is something that was elaborated on in the manga, as I can see how it’d be hard to juggle the two in one episode of an anime. The key image we see of the tournament is, however, pretty badass:
Episode 13: Talent Time
This is definitely my favourite episode of Assassination Classroom yet, but it’s also the one that makes me the most uncomfortable. Koro-sensei doesn’t feature too much in the story, as it’s mainly about the Class 3-E children and their PE teacher. Previously this has been Karasuma, but Akira Takaoka has been sent to take over, someone Karasuma trained with when he was younger (though it doesn’t seem they really knew one another well). This episode deals with abuse of several types: abuse of power; physical abuse; mental abuse. Takaoka seems goofy and nice at first, but it quickly becomes apparent to everyone that he’s actually a bad man and not a nice drill instructor — though he gets results at the academy.
I actually thought it was handled quite well in general. There are some light moments in this episode but it’s not actually very funny at all considering Assassination Classroom is primarily a comedy anime. It’s interesting to have an episode that not only gets quite serious, but is also pretty serious topically. It worked very well I thought. The animation and design are also particularly good, though I like it most of the time. Takaoka’s unassuming design is a little cutesy at first, but becomes uncanny as it goes on, his animation itself being just a little bit different to everyone else, feeling a little bit off, not right. It’s really very good. Top marks from me.
Episode 14: Vision Time
Koro-sensei builds Class 3-E a special pool because it’s so hot, making everyone very happy. Except for one person. He’s not very happy at all. It’s the class’ bully-type character, Ryōma Terasaka. He doesn’t like Koro-sensei at all, and resent how much they class has taken to his top tier teaching, even finding it creepy.
It’s an interesting perspective to delve into, though it does almost feel a little late in the series, his dissatisfaction never really being obvious before (though he has only really been a bit of a minor character until this episode). The relationship between Koro-sensei and his students is of course unusual, and a bit weird. It’s a nice perspective, but coming off Episode 13 it did feel a little bit weaker and by the numbers. Shiro and Itona from Episode 11 return, and the story surrounding them is furthered a little bit.