Our thoughts from the monthly Mangaforum
- http://www.twitch.tv/mangaforum – 2nd June (wow this post is late)
For this month’s manga review, we invited an esteemed GUEST and Legit PRO, to suggest a title to discuss for our live stream, none other than our good friend Nigel from the incredibly cool Mayamda Universe (http://mayamada.com) – And of course, in his infinite wisdom and coolness, he chose to read the hugely successful manga serial, “Assassination Classroom”, written and illustrated by Yusei Matsui; We all read the first 2 volumes, and Lex and I managed to smash though volume 3 too.
With 21 volumes in total, the series follows the daily lives of an octopus-like space creature, who destroyed the moon before deciding to teach a remedial class of scape-goat kids, who are subsequently entrusted to assassinate him in order to prevent Earth from being destroyed at the end of their school year…Yes…”WTF?” is the correct initial response but bear with it.
He becomes known as Koro-sensei, and as well as encouraging the kids to progress in their education, he consistently champions their development both as well rounded people and assassins.
So, What we all thought in a nutshell;
- An absurd plot with a strong cheesy thread of life lessons running through … but in the best kind of way!
- Simple , direct story telling style and simple (albeit wack) concept without being boring, patronising or trope-y
- Adorable, genuinely funny, and with diverse characters.
- Not all “just for kids” which is always a plus in my eyes
What we liked
Over all, I think we agreed that the strikingly simple story, even somewhat repetitively enforced, allows there to be a lot of extra universe and character building, as well as clever extra jokes and detail. It’s a great little technique that I had never really appreciated in other mangas.
I guess it counts as a shonen, but there aren’t outright heros to worship or villains to destroy. It’s more about the team work in the class, addressing their real life insecurities in a comforting way, and being open about emotions.
The characters of the kids are cleverly constructed to make them each individual, simple to identify and follow, but not predictable. The adult characters are certainly fun to read – Miss Vitch being one of the key “Not for Kids” additions, sprinkling inappropriate language, innuendo and out right explicit sexual content here and there, which I am all about.
Lastly, the art work is beautifully clear with simple lines to complement the overall feel. We can’t get away from the insane simplicity of Koro-sensei’s face but just look at the rest of incredible, detailed and graphic art in the manga – I will slap the vitch who suggests its lazy character design. Plus, the absurd look actually provides a lot of comedic scope – One of the bits I openly laughed outloud with, was a moment where his face is morphed into an expressionless version; Hilarious.
What we disliked.
Admittedly, there wasn’t much I disliked but…I have no desire to continue reading.
While Nigel said he would be interested in getting through a few more volumes, Lex and I both admitted that we wouldn’t mind just skipping to the spoilers to find out how it ends, Vampire Knight style.
Nigel, very wisely suggested that perhaps the reason I feel like this, is that the ending is already discussed; Either they defeat him or they don’t, which limits the development, draws out the story (which we know takes place over the year) and ultimately, turns me off. Even the initial hints of a Koro-sensai back story (he was once human, it seems…?) isn’t really enough to keep me reading, and maybe even turns me off further, because I just really like the simplified basic story. Anything more complex might muddle the over all story format.
BUT in light of non of us actually having checked the spoilers yet, we decided to guess our selves, how it ends.
- Nigel; Koro dies; The kids finally defeat him; Humanity is saved!
- Lara; Koro doesn’t die; They don’t kill him but he’s grown to love them and love humanity so much (again, because he was human once but was cursed) that he decides he can’t destroy the world and they live happily ever after?
- Lex; It’s a Star treck like test on Humanity… I didn’t really understand Lexa’s…
Our predictions will definitely say more about us, than they do about the actual story so I definitely encourage everyone to read and, as always, Let me know what YOU thought.
Don’t forget to follow us on twitter and Youtube too, where we’ll posting our thoughts and faces- https://twitter.com/themangaforum.
We look forward to hearing what you think so comment below!
Lara and Lexa