This week brings us the next volume of Assassination Classroom, a series about a bunch of students trying to kill their teacher before he blows up the planet, which has been slowly getting better and better as time goes on.
Can it keep this upward trend going into the third volume? Is it good?
Assassination Classroom Vol. 3 (Viz Media)
Written and Drawn by: Yusei Matsui
Translated By: Tetsuichiro Miyaki
English Adaptation By: Bryant Turnage
Even on a class trip to Kyoto, Class 3-E can’t relax. They’ve still got to find time in their fun to figure out ways to assassinate Koro-Sensei. Even then, they still have other problems of their own, like some students getting kidnapped by a couple of punks. However, when they get back to school, there are still plenty of surprises awaiting them: like new transfer students!
Assassination Classroom Vol. 3 feels like a small step forward with the story. The first volume was good for laying things out and setting up the situation, while the second volume introduced some new characters and shed light on the whole school situation. While there weren’t huge leaps forward made with this outing, the manga continued to build off the foundation from the past two volumes, bringing in a brand new and rather unique character to possibly shake things up and shedding some light on characters’ personalities and backstories (not a whole lot, but just enough to spark your interest). Even then, this was still a pretty fun and enjoyable read regardless.
I’m more concerned about how that bathtub is just full of slime and mucus. That’s got to be a pain to cleanup.
We do learn an interesting new point about Koro-Sensei. It’s minor, but it’s an interesting development and opens up a few theories about the character (it also leads to a great ending joke, but that’s not the point). From there, we introduce a brand new student/assassin character in a mini-arc, a computer AI designed for assassination and war. It’s an interesting character to say the least, especially with how it develops and changes in the short arc, though it feels limited at what it can do at this point (mostly because it is a stationary computer). The rest of the volume deals with a two parter that develops another side character in the class and another small chapter that’s focusing on Irina, one that looks like it will be shedding light on her backstory.
Although there’s solid, continued development for the class and the new student — Koro-Sensei continues to be the real star and high point of the series. He’s still very likeable, funny, and even sweet at points (the scenes where he interacts with the sniper and new student are great examples); but you still never forget how much of a dangerous force he is. He’s constantly become one of my favorite manga characters with just how unique, interesting, and memorable he is, as he easily steals most of the scenes he is in. The only weak point in this entire cast is Nagisa, who barely has done anything in the series other than be the person we see the story through. I hear there is going to be some interesting developments with him in the future, but I hope that comes soon.
Hey, if the food is hot, it’s hot! Not all of us are tough like you dude.
The writing in the manga is still very strong and well-done, even besides the great characterization. The pacing is excellent, always keeping the story going and never having a slow or dull moment. The story structure is solid, with no poor transitions at all. The dialogue and narration are good as well, with plenty of great lines and exchanges going on between the characters. Again, one of the better examples goes to the scene between Koro and the sniper where they just talk. Still incredibly strong here is the sense of humor in Assassination Classroom; it’s able to the balance the underlying dark and morbid tone with the very bright and colorful sense of humor and comes together perfectlyi. The only real weak point with the writing in the opening chapter for the book where the manga swings way too much to the dark side of things: (abuse and talking about attempted rape was a bit too much in a series like this). It just felt really unneeded and uncomfortable, taking me out of the book early on for a little bit.
The artwork remains great in Assassination Classroom. The characters are drawn well and distinct enough to tell apart from one another, especially Koro-Sensei, who still has a surprisingly great range with his facial expressions (for a smiley face creature). The layouts are fine, if nothing to really write home about, but they do help setup a lot of the execution for the humor and jokes. Speaking of which, the manga does a solid job at bringing a lot of humor and action to life really well with the timing and just imagery (like Koro bringing back a taped up missile to a navy captain that shot him with it, while in a delivery man’s outfit). It’s just wonderful work overall and I’m glad to keep seeing it.
Yeah! Tell me about your love affairs! How many octopi have you hooked up with?
Is It Good?
Assassination Classroom Vol. 3 is another hit for the series, continuing to deliver a very fun and enjoyable time from beginning to end. If you were hoping for some big developments with the series and story, you won’t find them here this time around. Instead, you’ll still find some good continued growth with the cast, solid writing, a great sense of humor, and good artwork to wrap it all up in. This book still comes highly recommended, so give it a shot soon if you haven’t already.
Assassination Classroom is available from Viz Media. Volumes one through three are currently available for purchase, with the fourth volume isset for release in June 2015. An anime adaption of the series is currently going on and a live action film will supposedly arrive in the near future. There’s a poster out for it and everything, with Koro-Sensei looking very creepy as a CGI creature.