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Assassination Classroom Volume Two – Review

Assassination-Classroom-Volume-Two-Cover-02Yeah, I’ll admit it; I sometimes miss my high school days. I do, I do. I hate saying so though, especially because my Mother would always lecture me on the importance of enjoying my experience there while I could.

It’s funny, she never spoke to me about anything regarding academic excellence. She always pushed me further into the things that I loved but never forced me to do anything I didn’t have even a shred of enjoyment doing. Maybe that’s why I decided early on that I was going to be a comedian, or that I was going to be a writer, or that I was going to be a graphic novelist.

I was never given the spiel about being a doctor or a lawyer because, to her, what is important isn’t money or status but happiness. Amazingly, there were only a few teachers in my time that ever preached the same way of thinking; that doing something you love is ultimately more rewarding than being at the top of your class or on the very last step of the social ladder.

If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have taken a chance with this site. I wouldn’t have taken a chance with anything creative. I wouldn’t be here right now writing about Anime, Manga and Video Games. I wouldn’t be here right now writing about Assassination Classroom. – Written for Assassination Classroom Volume One

A sexy new teacher comes to Class 3-E to do the students’ job for them. When the 3-E students begin exhibiting signs of self-esteem, Principal Asano demands that Koro Sensei crush their spirits so they continue to set a bad example for the rest of the school to rise above. Then a class field trip goes terribly wrong when two 3-E girls are abducted. Who will come to their rescue? – Madman Entertainment

At a very fundamental level, despite the fact that the story of the series has continued moving forward and somewhat evolving, Assassination Classroom is exactly the same in Volume Two as it is in Volume One. All Volume One did over Two was actually introduce us not only to the world of Assassination Classroom but to the students and Koro-sensei himself. Volume two, however, gives us a little more depth into his character and even hints at his past which, without giving too much away, could possibly indicate that he isn’t as much the Earth’s destroyer as he is the Earth’s saviour.

Volume One showed us all different sides of the big yellow tentacle monster, all of which are instantly likeable, but Volume Two starts to make us, the readers, believe that his good intentions and dedication to his students aren’t the only things surprising about the alien who is supposedly going to eviscerate the Earth. It’s not just all about Koro-Sensei though; a couple of the student characters really get their times to shine in Volume Two thanks to the Mid-Term Exams that they’ve been studying for since the start of the series.

Having to head back to the main school and face all the students and teachers who look down at them would be tough had Class E NOT been learning how to kill an intergalactic being. The way in which the young men and women were written to feel embarrassment but not fear was done so in such a subtle way which, when you finally figured it out, is so rewarding for someone emotionally invested in the series. We see Nagisa stand up to two bullies, Koro-Sensei make a spectacle out of another teacher, and the class as a whole do everything they can to make their teacher proud.

I simply love subtle growth of all these characters, even the ones that aren’t always shown. It’s a real treat in this day and age to read a Shonen Manga that doesn’t use exposition to detail to the audience what’s going on. Assassination Classroom has this well-rounded story that explains to you exactly what you need to know without actually doing so directly.

 

Much the same as Volume One, Volume Two features a great deal of art that is, for lack of a better word, boring. Manga volumes with a great deal of talking are a little “touch and go” when it comes to their visuals. An experienced Mangaka will know how to fill a page with engaging illustrations despite there being no action or anything entrancing of that kind. Unfortunatly, and I hate to say it, Yusei Matsui has yet to grasp the true art of sequential art. While there are many great looking panels and pages, most just fall really flat.

Some illustrations look as though they were just the draft but that he decided to put it in anyway simply for the sake of it. Still though, when it comes to drawing action or monsters, this man knows what he’s doing! It’s too bad that Volume Two didn’t feature much of that apart from Koro-Sensei who is in almost every single panel. What Matsui DOES know how to illustrate…is humour. I did laugh a great deal when actually reading a line but I laughed even more at the pictures that quickly followed. While there are things that Yusei Matsui clearly has to learn, there are also things that he’s mastered and that is the art of written comedy.

 

Much too often I find Japanese humour to be a little too dry for my liking and so I avoid comedy series’ like the plague. Just to add onto that; I don’t often get a kick out of reading comedy…Assassination Classroom breaks down both of those walls and makes me laugh while doing so. Assassination Classroom was originally pitched to me as this hardcore story about a group of students trying to kill a disgusting alien.

Volume One detailed to us that this disgusting alien only really wants the best for it students. Volume Two accentuated that but then unveiled a little more about Koro-Sensei’s past that makes me think he’s not only a nice guy…he may be the one to save us all. From what? I have no idea, BUT Koro-Sensei does seem more like a hero than he does a villain for the world to turn against. As mentioned; the cast has been growing and growing, not in size but in maturity.

These kids are learning, they’re become better selves, their not just being taught about Maths or Science, they’re being taught to respect themselves more than the rest of the school. They’re being taught that they’re better than everyone else thinks they are! They’re being taught that they have just as much a right to learn and be loved as the rest of the school. To think; it took an alien to teach them this. THAT’S the appeal of Assassination Classroom and Volume Two really drives that home.

Study up! Buy Assassination Classroom Volume Two at Madman Entertainment’s official site: Click here

Grade: B+

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