Assassination Classroom: Episode 12 – “Ball Game Tournament 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 12 sees the annual school baseball tournament taking place between classes. As expected, E Class is treated like crap. Instead of being part of the main brackets, they only get to play in an exhibition game against the Baseball Club. The objective is to humiliate the E Class and have a quick game. Sugino, who used to be a member of the Baseball Club before being transferred to E Class, is determined to win the game. Koro Sensei agrees to work with the students and train them.

But instead of seeing the training they go through, the story jumps straight to the exhibition game, which disappointed me at first. We then see the E Class employing a strategy that the Baseball Club hadn’t anticipated, which allows them to throw off the club enough to actually get somewhere. It’s at this point where we see a flashback of Koro Sensei’s training, and I realized that this scene wouldn’t have worked as well if the viewer had known ahead of time about the exact training they had received.

Of course, the principal is unhappy with how the E Class is doing, so he makes the Baseball Club’s coach leave and takes over. At this point, the competition becomes more than a baseball tournament – it’s now a battle between Koro Sensei and the principal’s teaching styles. The principal is as much of a jerk as ever, and it was a little frustrating when it looked like the Baseball Club would end up winning the game. But fortunately, Koro Sensei was smart enough to plant a particular seed earlier in the game that the E Class is able to cultivate and use to their advantage. It made me so happy to see the principal’s tactics work against him in the end.

While this episode may have been about the crappy treatment that the E Class receives at school, it ends up being an important episode due to the focus it has on the obvious differences between Koro Sensei and the principal. And with Koro Sensei’s comment about upcoming final exams, it’s obvious that these differences will be focused on again later. At this point, if you keep score on their competition, the principal has one point for the midterms, while Koro Sensei has one point for the baseball tournament. I’m guessing that the final exams will be the deciding factor as to who “wins” their competition.

Now that we’ve had an episode that focused on groups of students facing off against each other, I’m expecting that the next episode will more than likely return to the students in the E Class trying to assassinate Koro Sensei in some way.

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