Assassination Classroom focuses on the students in class 3-E 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 Four marks the first major departure from the original manga source material. Instead of moving on to the final chapter in Volume One, when Okuda tries to poison Koro Sensei, the story moves ahead to the beginning of Volume Two for the introduction of new character Irina Jelavic. While it was a little disappointing to lose the poisoning story, I can understand why this change was made. The poisoning story shows how Koro Sensei works with his students, even if they’re out to assassinate him; but there have already been other examples of this that have appeared earlier in the series, so having another story to emphasize that same point isn’t necessary. Also, it helps the story of the anime to flow better by moving on to Irina’s introduction.
Irina is 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. When she makes what she thinks is the perfect assassination attempt on Koro Sensei and fails, she vows revenge. She also talks down to the students and treats them with contempt; in addition, she refuses to act like a teacher when Koro Sensei isn’t around.
From what I know of Irina from reading the manga, I really don’t like her much as a character at this point. Her arrogant nature annoys me a lot, and there’s not much to redeem her as a character. As we see in Episode Four, the students don’t like her for most of it as well. I can only hope that as Assassination Classroom progresses, she’ll find a way to redeem herself and become a more likable character. At this point, Irina seems to be here more for the titillation factor than anything else.
One of my favorite parts of Episode Four is when Karasuma ends up “schooling” Irina on the dynamic between Koro Sensei and his students, and how they each play two different roles. For Koro Sensei, he’s both the teacher and the target. For the students, they’re both students and assassins. Irina really needed to hear from Karasuma that if she’s not willing to take on two roles, then she should just forget about trying to assassinate Koro Sensei again. She really deserved this lecture from Karasuma. I enjoyed it when I read this scene in the manga, and I enjoyed it even more when I saw it played out in the anime.
Even though Irina may get on my nerves, I still enjoy watching the anime adaptation of Assassination Classroom. From looking through Volume Two of the manga, it looks like the next episode will focus on Class 3-E’s interactions with the other students at the school and the crap they have to put up with from the school’s administration. It’s a storyline I enjoyed reading in the manga, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this portion of the story is depicted in the anime adaptation.
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