Assassination Classroom: Episode 2 – “Baseball Time”

Assassination Classroom focuses on the students in class E-3 at Kunugigaoka Junior High School, who are being taught by a powerful alien octopus creature who destroyed 70% of the moon. It’s the mission of these students to assassinate their teacher before graduation, and they are offered a reward of 10 billion yen from the Japanese government. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds, since the alien can move at Mach 20. Also, as part of the agreement, the teacher is unable to harm the students in any way. At the end of the first episode, the teacher is given the name of “Koro Sensei” by his students.

Episode Two adapts the second and third chapters of the Assassination Classroom manga, and each chapter takes up roughly half of the episode. During the first half, we see a student named Sugino try to assassinate Koro Sensei with a baseball loaded with BB pellets that are safe for humans but harmful to the alien. This attempt fails, because Koro Sensei can use his speed to get to the supply closet, get a baseball glove, catch the ball, and come up behind his unsuspecting students.

Koro Sensei takes a trip to New York to watch a baseball game, and brings back what he learns to give Sugino some encouragement and advice. I remember when I read this part of the manga I was caught off-guard by it. Considering the circumstances, I didn’t expect Koro Sensei would be giving advice to his students on how to come up with better ways to try to assassinate him. Sure, it’s been established that Koro Sensei doesn’t believe they can pull it off, but it was still unexpected. With this scene, as well as a scene he has with Nagisa shortly afterward, it made me think that perhaps Koro Sensei isn’t as bad of a monster as he’s been portrayed to be. It also makes me wonder if, later in the series, the students have enough of these kinds of interactions with Koro Sensei and develop a relationship with him that they end up havng a harder time trying to kill him. Of course, it could also turn out that Koro Sensei is being nice as a ploy in order to make sure that this result happens. Personally, I’d prefer the former scenario over the latter.

The second half of Episode Two sees the class making another assassination attempt on Koro Sensei, but he replaces the knives in their hands with flowers that they’ve been growing. The students are upset over the flowers, and Koro Sensei gets new bulbs and begins replanting the flowers. Later, he holds an assassination tournament with a handicap for the students to make up for ruining their flower bed; of course, no one succeeds. If they could succeed at this point, it would bring the series to an end.

We also see Mr. Karasuma from the Ministry of Defense becoming a new P.E. teacher for class E-3 in order to provide technical and emotional support for the students. When he arrives, the audience learns why class E-3 is so separated from the rest of the school, and part of the explanation is provided by the mascot of the school during some kind of television broadcast or something. I had to admit that including some of the exposition in that manner made it feel much less boring and dry. And knowing that the kids in class E-3 are seen as the losers of the school for their bad grades, it really gives an incentive to these students to want to take down Koro Sensei and get the reward right at the beginning of the series. These kids who are seen as losers by their peers want to be seen as heroes. But like I mentioned above, could Koro Sensei forge enough relationships with these students that it lessens their resolve?

Right at the end of the episode, we see that a student in class E-3 has been out on suspension and is being briefed about the mission the class has been given. From his reaction, it’s easy to tell that he has no qualms with trying to kill a teacher. I know more about him from reading the first volume of the manga, but I will refrain from saying anything further in order to not inadvertently provide spoilers to readers who are watching the anime before reading the manga.

I’ve been enjoying Assassination Classroom so far and I want to see more, but sadly, real world events could prevent this from happening. News came out earlier today that the third episode of Assassination Classroom did not air in Japan, and it’s believed the episode’s cancellation is due to the two Japanese men who are being held hostage by ISIS. About 20 minutes before FUNimation Entertainment would have posted the stream of the third episode for their paid members, the company announced that their stream is being delayed to a time to be determined due to the episode not airing in Japan. It appears that the Australian company that’s streaming Assassination Classroom streamed the episode anyway, and a rip of that stream has made its way onto the Internet. Since I only watch anime through legal channels, I’m not going to be chasing down that rip.

But depending on what happens with this hostage situation, there’s always the potential for the next couple of episodes to also not air. The worst case scenario could also happen, and the broadcaster decides to pull Assassination Classroom from its schedule entirely. I’m watching for any news on both the ISIS hostage situation and the future of Assassination Classroom, and I’m hoping for the best on both counts.

Since FUNimation didn’t stream Episode Three this week, I’m anticipating not having a write-up for Assassination Classroom next week. Hopefully I’ll be able to return to watching and posting write-ups for this series sooner rather than later.

Additional posts about Assassination Classroom:

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