Lesley Aeschliman

Manga Review: Assassination Classroom Volume 3

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Assassination Classroom Volume 3 focuses on Koro Sensei, a powerful alien octopus creature that destroyed 70% of the moon. He claims that within a year he will destroy Earth, but he offers a chance for mankind to avoid this fate. He declares that he wants to be the teacher for Class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High School, and the Japanese government offers the class a 10 billion yen reward to the student who can kill the Koro Sensei before the year is up. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds, since the alien can move at Mach 20. Also, as part of the agreement, Koro Sensei is unable to harm the students in any way.

Assassination Classroom Volume 3

Assassination Classroom Volume 3

Written by: Yusei Matsui
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Get it for $9.18

Volume 3 continues the storyline of the school trip, right after Kayano and Kanzaki are kidnapped by a group of high school delinquents that is also on a school trip. We get a little bit of character development for Kanzaki, which helps her to stand out a little more from the many of the other students in the classroom who still have yet to be named.

In the previous volume, Koro Sensei had given the class an extremely large handbook on surviving the school trip. At the time it was introduced, the guide just seemed to be there as a gag. But in Volume 3, the reader sees that it actually has a purpose. It’s convenient, yet also comical, that this large guide would provide directions on how to rescue classmates who are kidnapped on the school trip. It’s amusing enough when Nagisa and the others in the group use the handbook to track down and surprise the abductors, bur the humor is kicked up a notch when Koro Sensei suddenly appears on the scene and is easily able to take down the delinquents with his tentacles. This is one of those times in Assassination Classroom where Koro Sensei is shown caring about his students, which almost makes the reader forget that he’s threatened to destroy the Earth.

Two more chapters are devoted to the school trip. The first one focuses on a professional assassin who goes by “Red Eye.” He’s hired by Mr. Karasuma, a government official who is also serving as the gym teacher for Class 3-E. The students have researched potential assassination locations, and they try to create situations for “Red Eye” to be able to get Koro Sensei. Unfortunately, Koro Sensei has figured out that “Red Eye” is around, and uses his abilities, such as moving at Mach 20, to avoid being hit by a bullet. But near the end of the chapter, there’s a great scene where Koro Sensei approaches “Red Eye,” gives him a gift, and treats him to a meal. They have an eye-opening conversation, with Koro Sensei being grateful to “Red Eye” for making the trip more enjoyable and for how much more his students learned about the locations in order to help “Red Eye” stage the assassination attempts. This is another one of those cases where Koro Sensei shows that he’s willing to help out more people than just his students. In the end, “Red Eye” reconsiders his line of work due to the conversation he had with Koro Sensei.

The final chapter about the school trip is much more light-hearted in nature for the most part and has more of an emphasis on gags. But the most interesting part of this chapter comes right near the end, when Karasuma makes a comment to Koro Sensei that almost makes it sounds like Koro Sensei hasn’t always been an alien. Hopefully this hint will be followed up on later in the series.

When the students return to school, Class 3-E discovers they have a new transfer student: a computer known as “Autonomous Intelligence Fixed Artillery” designed to assassinate Koro Sensei. Since the computer is designated as a student, Koro Sensei is unable to harm her. Unfortunately, the computer’s attempts are so disruptive that the other students tape down her guns and treat her coldly. The computer gets some unexpected help from Koro Sensei, who makes upgrades to her hardware and software. As he makes the upgrades, he gives her advice on how she can get along better with her classmates. It’s pretty impressive to see Koro Sensei treating the computer just like he would one of his human students. The other students warm up to the computer and give her the name of Ritsu. Her creators don’t like Koro Sensei’s changes and they think they’ve set her back to her default settings. But it seems Ritsu has hit a rebellious teenage stage, because she hides some of what she learned away deep into her memory.

Two chapters are devoted to Maehara, and how he’s treated by a girl from another class that he seems to be interested in. She gangs up on Maehara along with a popular boy, and they make fun of him for being in the “end class” for losers. Koro Sensei and the kids in Class 3-E work together to help Maehara get revenge. For the most part, these chapters didn’t seem to add all that much to the overarching story. The reader is already aware from the previous two volumes how the school is structured to encourage the student body to ridicule and belittle the students in the E class, so this felt a little extraneous.

The final chapter provides some background on Irina, the professional assassin who is also the English teacher for Class 3-E. The reader is introduced to her mentor, Lovro, who tells Irina that she’s not fit for assassinating Koro Sensei. Right at the end of the chapter, Koro Sensei gives Irina and Lovro a challenge to see which one is the better assassin. There’s not much to say about this story, since it’s just getting started as the volume ends.

When it comes to the art in Assassination Classroom, Koro Sensei has a very distinct look that makes him stand out in comparison to the human characters that he interacts with. There are also very unique designs for all of the students in Class 3-E, which makes it easier to identify the students as their names and personalities are revealed to the reader.

The premise for Assassination Classroom sounds strange at first, but it’s actually a very humorous and enjoyable series. Koro Sensei is a fascinating character, and some of the students in the classroom have become interesting characters in their own right. Assassination Classroom should appeal to manga readers who enjoy light-hearted stories set to a backdrop of an assassination plot. And for readers who have already read the first two volumes of the series, Volume 3 includes much of the comedy and character development that made the first two volumes such fun and compelling reads.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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