Assassination Classroom Volume 1 Review: Extraterrestrial Credit
There are plenty of strange and unusual series when it comes to anime and manga. Some more bizarre than others, but Assassination Classroom is a different kind of strange. That said, it is the kind of strange that is both good and draws the reader in. The first volume, as is to be expected of any decent manga, left me wanting to know what would happen next and actually consider following the series.
Assassination Classroom is the story of a class in Japan known as 3-E. In short, 3-E is considered to be the bottom of the barrel. People sent there are considered talentless scum that are unable to get good grades. However, 3-E gains a new purpose when a mysterious alien shows up that is capable of destroying planets. This unusual alien gives Earth one year to eliminate it before it destroys the planet. The military proves incapable of killing it due to the fact that the alien can fly at mach 20 and has remarkable reaction time.
But the alien suddenly decides that he wants to teach class 3-E for reasons known only to him. So, the Japanese Government declares that the students of 3-E are now assassins and must find a way to kill the alien. Things get even stranger when it is discovered that the only thing that can hurt this alien is rubber BB pellets and rubber knives. Now 3-E has a chance at redemption and a shot at 10 billion in cash (not specified if this is in yen, but I’d assume so) if they are able to kill the alien.
The story itself is very unusual, but I assume it is intended to be comedy. While it isn’t the type of comedy that will make you laugh, you may get a chuckle or two from the occasional line or illustration. At the same time, this is also a story about the young students of 3-E trying to improve themselves in their passions and graduate while also trying to assassinate a creature that is seemingly impossible to kill. The only thing that doesn’t make any sense to me is why the alien wants to teach a class and also goes out of his way sometimes to help the students. I don’t know why he bothers given his intent to destroy Earth by the end of the year anyway.
The art style is one of Assassination Classroom’s strongest attributes. Although the alien always has that big smile and dots for eyes, the artist found a way for it to be able to express emotion. This is done through patterns appearing on the alien’s face and at times it will change color, resulting in a brilliant way to have this otherworldly teacher express emotion in a way that can’t be done on Earth. The design of characters and the art style for everything else in this manga are something you’d expect to see. It doesn’t deviate much from typical manga art styles, but the art itself is well drawn and doesn’t get in the way of the story.
Overall, Assassination Classroom is one of the more unusual, yet entertaining manga series that I have read so far this year. It has a way of being both silly yet serious, as it tells the story of a mysterious alien that may have a bigger agenda than what is told in the first volume. Fans of more serious manga series will likely be put off by this out of the ordinary story. However, anyone looking for something more silly will likely appreciate Assassination Classroom.