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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Reader's Diary #1768- Yusei Matsui: Assassination Classroom

The first volume of Yusei Matsui's Assassination Classroom is the most fun I've had with manga in quite some time.

This came as a pleasant surprise when I wasn't entirely sure of the premise. A story built around a class of kids trying to kill their teacher? In the wake of all of the school shootings in the U.S., it sounded distasteful to say the least. Fortunately, this isn't real world violence at all.

The teacher, it turns out, is some sort of ultra-powerful supernatural being who has already destroyed most of the moon and plans to do the same to the Earth by the end of the school year. However, first he (or she? or something else?) has decided to be the teacher for a low performing class of kids. He's given them the assignment to assassination him by the end of the year. The world's governments and military have thus far been powerless to stop him and thus they not only give into the bizarre demands to become a teacher but to also offer an additional reward: 100 Million to any student that can pull it off.

Its quirky, somewhat dark sense and occasionally self-aware humour, is prevalent throughout as students try and fail to take this teacher down. But more than just fun murder attempts, there is a surprising amount of character building in the book, not the least of which involves the enigmatic teacher who bizarrely seems to care for his students and their learning, despite his promise to destroy their entire planet. Who is he and what is his motivation?

I also quite enjoyed the art. You'd not know it from the teacher who is essentially a smiley face with tentacles, but the scenes are often finely detailed.

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