Your mission, should you choose to accept, work with a group of underachieving junior high school students to learn the tricks of the assassination trade. Then utilize said skills to kill your very own teacher, a mysterious creature that has shown to be indestructible, can regenerate, is incredibly intelligent, and can travel at mach 23 speeds. Should you fail by the end of the school year, you and everyone else on the planet Earth will be killed as your teacher destroys the planet. This is no bluff either, as he’s already destroy 2/3rds of the moon. The stage has been set, and you’re already half-way through the first semester.
This is the story of Assassination Classroom, the students of class 3-E and their teacher Koro-sensei. We’ve already introduced you to the first half of season one here, now follow us into the second half of the first season with this Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack!
The Box Set
Assassination Classroom: Season One, Part Two is a Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack from Funimation that covers episodes 12-22 of the anime of the same name. Inside you’ll receive four total discs, two DVDs, two Blu-Rays, perfect for those of you with Blu-Ray players, and those who haven’t jumped on that band wagon yet. Aside from the native 1080p high-definition quality on the Blu-Ray, they two are nearly identical. Both boast some pretty creative extras, slightly more than your usual collection box set and features the usual choice of English or Japanese audio, and English subtitles. Standard home release affair here. Aside from some cool box cover art and interesting sleeve art, the rest of the box set is your basic anime box set. It’s not a limited edition or special release, so don’t expect to get some free goodies with your purchase.
Touching on some of the extras, you get your common textless opening and closing, so you can appreciate the art and animation style of them. Included is also episode commentaries and trailers. Exclusive to the series, though, is previews for the next episode, something that is left out in the actual anime itself (instead opting for art pieces of Koro-sensei dressed in something that references the episode you just saw). You also get a “top 10 moments,” an eleven minute segment with some of the English voice actors going over what they believe is their top ten moment of these 11 episodes. I do wish that a “marathon mode” was included so that I only had to sit through the opening once and save myself about 11-12 minutes of watching, but you can’t win ’em all. You’re not getting much in the way of extra features, but if you’ve been collecting box sets for your favorite anime in the past, none of this is new or surprising. Keep the paper case housing your Blu-Ray box safe, and you’ll have a great eye candy to add to your shelf.
Assassination Classroom: Season One, Part Two picks up on episode 12 of the anime where we find the students of Class-E will be playing in an exhibition baseball match at their school, Kunugigaoka, against the school’s baseball club. There will be two matches, one featuring the male student of Class-E vs the males baseball squad, and another match but with the female squads. Sugino finds himself determined to win against his former teammate and captain of the baseball club, Shindo. As expected, no one thinks that Class-E will be able to pull out the victory against the baseball club, however Koro-sensei will find his way to help out his students and try to find a way toward victory.
Coincidentally enough, this episode also introduces the new opening theme, Jiriki Hongan Revolution, which will carry through the next 11 episodes. The ending theme, Hello, shooting-star, remains the same. What I’ve ultimately found myself enjoying throughout Assassination Classroom is a focus on the various characters. Each character ends up playing a pivotal role in the anime and they all have their time for get screen time, normally cut up into individual episodes. With a class of 20+ students, you might wonder how they handle each character. It’s done pretty cleverly by breaking up some normal episodes into 15 minute segments. One 15 minute segment might focus on one character, while another focuses on the next character. Though by around this time we’ve been introduced to most characters, there are still some to learn about and love in your own way. For example, episode 14, Vision Time, focuses on Terasaka and the difficulties he faces being a rebellious student in a school where slackers aren’t tolerated.
There’s still more to learn about the students in Class-E, but the second half of this season definitely focuses more on how they plan to utilize their assassination skills and how they’ve got much more to learn. Enter Akira Takaoka, a member of the elite corp of the Ministry of Defense that Karasuma was a part of. Takaoka is here to take Karasuma’s place as PE teacher as Karasuma has been too consumed with paper work to deal with effectively teaching the students. At first the students welcome Takaoka’s friendly demeanor and light-hearted personality, a direct contrast to his counter-party Karasuma. He even wins over the students by bringing a bag of sweets, with the students in love with their new teacher, things take a very dark turn. This is probably one of the darker episodes of the second half and helps set the tone for what you can expect going into further episodes, which is an enjoying change of pace from the constant joy and fun that was present in earlier episodes. It’s a wonderful way of easing you into the change, as near the end it very quickly ramps up.
Without getting into too many spoilers, we find our ragtag band of students enjoying their vacation as the first semester wraps up. Even though school is out for summer, the kids cannot forget their duty of trying to kill Koro-sensei and this follows into the vacation with an incredibly elaborate plan, even impressing the likes of Karasuma and spy extraordinaire Irina Jelavić. Whether or not it succeeds I’m going to leave you, the viewer, to find out. However even I was impressed by the amount of work that went into this plan when compared to prior plans. To give an idea of scale, an entire episode is dedicated to the actual set up, something we haven’t seen before.
To wrap up, the last few episodes take a very serious and more mature turn, something that I appreciate and that differentiates it from other comedic school anime in the past. We also get introduced to whether or not the assassination training has made any actual difference to the students, including our main protagonist and narrator, Nagisa Shiota. I can’t get into much without ruining the ending, as it’s something that I’d want you to enjoy and experience as I did.
All in all, I really found myself enjoying and wanting to finish binge watching the season instead of setting it aside for later like I’ve experienced with other series. The characters are enjoyable, the story is certainly more original than other school anime in the past, and the voice acting is incredible. I indulged in the English dub and found the casting was wonderful, though I will say there is something amusingly ironic about hearing Krillin voice an omnipotent god-like cue ball instead of a weak and defenseless one. Finally, despite my earlier groaning about a lack of “marathon mode,” I ended up finding myself enjoy the opening and ending themes. Both openings I find reminiscent of Hare Hare Yukai from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and the ending theme, Hello, shooting-star is still stuck in my head (“Hello, shooting star. Hello, shooting star again”), so I suppose I can’t complain too much.
In short, if you’re looking for a comedic, action-oriented school anime that takes some serious tones later on, check out Assassination Classroom and if you’re already watching through it, then this combo pack is worth picking up to add to your collection.
You can pick up a copy of the Assassination Classroom: Season One, Part Two DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack here.