Manga Review: Assassination Classroom Volume Four

Assassination Classroom Volume 4 focuses on Koro Sensei, a powerful octopus creature that destroyed 70% of the moon. He plans to destroy the Earth within a year, but offers mankind a chance to avoid this. Koro Sensei becomes the instructor for Class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High School, and the Japanese government offers a 10 billion yen reward to the student who can kill him before the year is up. But Koro Sensei can move at Mach 20, so trying to assassinate him is anything but simple.

Assassination Classroom Volume 4
Written by: Yusei Matsui
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 2, 2015

Volume 4 concludes the storyline with Irina needing to prove to her mentor that she is the right assassin for the job of taking down Koro Sensei. This storyline is handled with the same humor and tone that the other stories in the series are known for, and Irina manages to have several comedic moments. But even with the humor, Irina is still able to grow as a character and ultimately prove herself.

The next chapter sees Koro Sensei taking Nagisa, Karma, and Ritsu to a movie in Hawaii. While this chapter may not have done much to advance the overarching story, it allowed these students and the reader to get a little better understanding of Koro Sensei’s ability to move at Mach 20. It was also really amusing to see Koro Sensei conducting science lessons for his students while they’re zooming along in the sky. The most important part of this chapter is at the end, when Nagisa comments that they got to see the world from Koro Sensei’s point of view, and how it’s starting to become a little harder to kill him. I have a strong feeling that this sentiment will be playing a bigger role later on in the series and could have a dramatic impact on how the series ultimately ends.

The next four chapters introduce a new transfer student named Itona and his handler, Shiro. It turns out Itona is no ordinary student and that he has a connection with Koro Sensei. Itona’s arrival also reveals that Koro Sensei actually isn’t an alien and that he’s something else. These chapters are very action oriented, especially after Itona challenges Koro Sensei to a fight. It was fascinating to see Koro Sensei going up against someone who has very similar abilities to him. Unfortunately for Itona, though, his intelligence just doesn’t quite measure up to Koro Sensei, which allows the teacher to prevail in the end.

The final two chapters of Assassination Classroom Volume 4 begin a storyline where the boys of Class 3-E have to go up against the school’s baseball team in an exhibition game during the school’s annual intramural tournament. The idea, of course, is to humiliate Class 3-E in a swift defeat. But Sugino, who used to be a member of the baseball team before being sent to Class 3-E, wants to win. Koro Sensei is so impressed by Sugino’s determination that he volunteers to coach them. We see the results of Koro Sensei’s training early on in the game, and Class 3-E is actually scoring points. But something happens right at the end of the volume that has the potential to change the course of the game.

I continue to appreciate the art style that Matsui uses for the Assassination Classroom series. It has a distinct feel, and I can’t look at it and think that it reminds me of art from another manga. Matsui has also been deliberate in making sure that each character has a unique look, which helps the reader to tell them apart. In Volume 4, I was especially impressed with some of the art in the battle between Koro Sensei and Itona.

I think readers who have been following the series will enjoy Assassination Classroom Volume 4 because it includes the humor and character interactions that readers have come to expect from the series, as well as action and a new revelation about Koro Sensei. Personally, I’m still really enjoying Assassination Classroom, and I didn’t want to put Volume 4 down at all after I started reading it.

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