Lesley Aeschliman

Manga Review: Assassination Classroom Volume 5

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Assassination Classroom Volume 5 focuses on Koro Sensei, a powerful octopus creature who intends to destroy Earth within a year. He offers mankind a chance to avoid this fate by letting him serve as the homeroom teacher for Class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High School. The Japanese government offers the class a 10 billion yen reward to the student who can kill Koro Sensei before the year is up.

Assassination Classroom Volume 5

Assassination Classroom Volume 5

Written by: Yusei Matsui
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 4, 2015

Volume 5 opens with a baseball game taking place between the boys in Class 3-E and the school’s baseball club. This storyline focuses on the prejudice that Class 3-E receives and how Principal Asano is determined to try to hold Class 3-E down in order to maintain the system he has established at the school. But I truly enjoyed how Karma was able twist situations into Class 3-E’s favor thanks to decisions that were made to help the baseball club earlier in the game. I also liked how Koro Sensei was able to disguise himself in order to be on the field and to offer his students advice during the game. But one of the most important aspects of this storyline is how it provided character moments for Sugino.

After this, there is a one chapter story where Sugaya reveals his body art made with Indian henna to Koro Sensei and his classmates. To be honest, this was my least favorite chapter in Assassination Classroom Volume 5, because it didn’t seem to truly add much of anything to the overarching story. It also didn’t provide any real character moments like the baseball game story did for Sugino.

The majority of Volume 5 focuses on Karasuma’s doubts about being an effective teacher and the introduction of Akira Takaoka, who is brought in to take over the students’ assassination training so Karasuma can concentrate on finding other assassins to help take down Koro Sensei. Takaoka presents a friendly and fatherly personality when he arrives, but it turns out he isn’t what he seems. But this storyline also shows that one of the students that the reader has gotten to know well over these five volumes of the series also has an appearance that belies their true talents. I was just as taken aback at Karasuma and the other students when I saw what this particular student was capable of. I never would have guessed that this character had this particular trait.

In this story, Takaoka quickly becomes a character that the reader dislikes once his true colors are revealed. And by the end of this storyline, I thought that Takaoka got what he deserved after all of the things he did when he revealed his true nature. This storyline also provided some much needed character development for Karasuma, and I found that I started to like him more. Prior to Volume 5, he came across as being on the aloof side and focusing primarily on his mission to train the students than on truly trying to get to know them.

The final chapter of Assassination Classroom Volume 5 sees Koro Sensei gaining his students’ approval when he creates a special swimming area nearby their classroom so they can avoid the humiliation of having to walk a long way to the main campus in order to use the school pool. But Koro Sensei becomes overly protective of his students and they start to grumble. And right near the end of the volume, a student discovers a new weakness for Koro Sensei. It’s hinted on the last page that one of the students may have come up with an idea to exploit this weakness in order to launch an assassination attempt on their teacher.

Assassination Classroom Volume 5 is an enjoyable read, and shows that at this point, the series is still as strong as it was when it started back in Volume 1. This volume not only helps to progress the overall story forward, there are also several instances of character development included. And even though the storyline with Takaoka was more on the dramatic and serious side, there was still enough humor included in the volume’s other stories to balance out the drama and comedy.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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