Manga Review: Assassination Classroom Volume Two

The main character of Assassination Classroom is Koro Sensei, a powerful alien octopus creature who 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. A government official named Tadaomi Karasuma becomes important to the story when he becomes Class 3-E’s P.E. instructor.

Assassination Classroom Volume Two
Written by: Yusei Matsui
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 3, 2015

Volume Two introduces a new character named Irina Jelavich, an assassin posing as a foreign language teacher for Class 3-E. She’s a voluptuous woman who discovers that Koro Sensei has a weakness for breasts, which she tries to use to her advantage. She also kisses Nagisa and pushes his face into her breasts in order to get her hands on the notes that he’s been taking on Koro Sensei since Volume One. Irina sets up what she thinks is the perfect assassination attempt, but it fails because she didn’t believe that regular bullets wouldn’t harm Koro Sensei.

At this point, between what I described above and what I saw of Irina later in the volume, I have to say that I don’t really like her much right now. She comes across as rather arrogant and seems to believe that she’s above everyone else. Honestly, she feels like she’s here, in part, to be a female that can have her body be used to titillate males that are reading the series. Since I’m not in the particular demographic, that doesn’t really do anything for me. I really hope that as the series progresses, Irina will find a way to redeem herself and become a more likable character.

We then see chapters devoted to how the others students and the administrators at Kunugigaoka Junior High School treat the members of Class 3-E. The administrators and students keep trying to humiliate them, including a prank of not getting handouts for the student council events. However, Koro Sensei manages to rectify this situation and save his students from embarrassment.

Afterward, the reader is introduced to Gakuho Asano, the principal of Kunugigaoka Private Academy. He quickly reveals himself to be a despicable person since he’s the one who came up with the system that allows the other students to bully Class 3-E and look down on them as what they don’t want to become. Gakuho also makes it clear to Koro Sensei that he can’t be raising these kids’ self-esteem because it would ruin the system that he has so carefully developed. As we see later in the volume, he and other administrators conspire to make sure that the members of Class 3-E cannot pass their midterms and return to regular classrooms. If there’s a character I can’t stand in the series more than Irina, it would have to be Gakuho due to his being such an asshole.

But before the midterms, Koro Sensei is determined to work with his students so they can all make it into the top 50 for the midterms, especially after he sees their attitude of not needing to do well because grades won’t matter after they assassinate him and get the money. There’s an amusing scene in here where Koro Sensei has divided into several clones of himself, each wearing a headband with a particular subject and working one-on-one with each student on the subjects they need help with. But one of the clones has a Leaf Village headband on instead and is assigned to one of the students. When I saw this gag in the volume, I couldn’t help but chuckle a little.

At the end of Volume Two, we see the school heading out on a school trip to Kyoto. Tadaomi makes it clear that while they’re on the trip, they still need to find a way to assassinate Koro Sensei. While the group is on the train, one of the girls loses her notebook with the school trip schedule and it ends up in the hands of a group of high school boys. The volume ends with two of the students of Class 3-E being kidnapped by these high schoolers.

I have to admit that I’ve been enjoying Assassination Classroom a lot more than I had originally anticipated, even with the two characters who were introduced in this volume that annoy me. While watching the anime recently, I’d wondered if maybe Koro Sensei’s concern for his students might be an act in order to get them to like him so much that they won’t try to kill him. However, after reading Volume Two of the manga, I’m becoming more convinced that his concern for this students is legitimate, especially after Koro Sensei is ordered by Gakuho to remind his students of their station at the school. I appreciated Koro Sensei’s attempts at trying to help his students be able to get better grades on the midterms, and it was frustrating to see the school’s administration manipulate the test in order to make sure that Class 3-E remains “at their station.”

I thought Volume Two had a good cliffhanger ending, because I really want to know what’s going to happen to the girls who were kidnapped and how they’ll end up being saved. I have a sneaking suspicion that Koro Sensei will be the one to rescue them, but I don’t know how exactly he would accomplish that at this point

Now that I’ve read Volume Two of Assassination Classroom, I have to say that I’m enjoying the series even more than I did after reading the first volume. I’m actually looking forward to reading Volume Three in order to find out what happens.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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