Assassination Classroom: Episode 5 – “Assembly Time”

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 Five opens with the poisoning story that had been skipped over in Episode Four in order to move Irina’s introduction into the story a little earlier. In this story, a girl named Okuda comes up with three poisons and outright tells Koro Sensei they’re poison when she offers them to him. He drinks all three, but all they do is affect the look of his face. Koro Sensei offers to help her make a poison that will kill him, and Okuda accepts the offer. But we learn that things aren’t what they seem, and Koro Sensei uses this as a teaching opportunity to encourage Okuda to improve her communication skills.

After watching Episode Five, I think it was a good decision to move the poisoning story to after Irina’s arrival, because this story flows a lot better into the next story in comparison to its placement in the manga. While Koro Sensei may have tricked Okuda with what he does here, he still shows that he cares about his students and is trying to help them improve their weaknesses. As Koro Sensei has more of these kinds of interactions with his students, it creates an interesting dilemma for the students as the series continues. Will these interactions make it harder for them to try to assassinate Koro Sensei over time?

After this, the episode moves on to the monthly all-school assembly, where Class 3-E is forced to come all the way down from their classroom and be lined up first before the rest of the school arrives. The anime did something right here by adding a section showing the students of Class 3-E coming down the mountain and all the various obstacles and mishaps they go through to get there. Since animation is an action-oriented medium, it makes sense to show the students making the trek from their classroom out in the boonies down to the main campus. This section also includes the school mascot explaining Class 3-E’s situation in what appears to be a children’s show setting. This is the second time I’ve seen this in Assassination Classroom, and I think this is an effective way of keeping exposition from becoming dry and boring. It also adds a nice moment of comic relief for the series.

At the assembly, we see the systemic ridicule and abuse of Class 3-E in full display. Karasuma and Irina get to see this for themselves since they have come as the teacher representatives for the class. Koro Sensei is supposed to stay in their classroom, but he just can’t stand being abandoned. Donning a disguise, he arrives just in the nick of time to help his students out of an embarrassing situation and the ridicule that it creates. Karasuma, Irina, and Koro Sensei end up providing some good comic relief during this scene, and that made it a much more enjoyable viewing experience for me. Unfortunately, the other students and the administration don’t like what they see, and the administration vows to make Class 3-E miserable again so they can continue to be an example to the other students to encourage them not to fail.

Near the end of the episode, we see a couple of Nagisa’s former classmates giving him a hard time. At one point, the other students mock Nagisa and ask if he plans to kill them. Nagisa gives them one of the most evil looks I’ve ever seen and retorts, “As if you’ve ever tried to kill anyone before.” It’s this scene that shows that what the students in Class 3-E have gone through up to this point have made them both more confident but perhaps a little on the scary side if the right buttons are pushed. I give the credit to the encouragement and training that they’ve received from Koro Sensei and Karasuma. I really don’t think I can give Irina any credit for the growth of the characters in Class 3-E yet, though.

Even with the relatively minor changes that have been made between the manga and the anime adaptation of Assassination Classroom, I’m still enjoying watching the series and look forward to the next episode. But at this point, I’ve almost caught up with where I am in the manga, so the anime may progress beyond that point in a couple of weeks. When that happens, I’ll actually be surprised at what’s happening and I won’t be able to compare the two versions as easily.

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