Ansatsu Kyoushitsu: The Absolute State of Ensemble Casts

Fun fact; I watch everything I watch in order, off of a list. When I started my to-watch list, it wasn't very organized, and I've had to revise it about three times. And sometimes stuff slips through the cracks, and that's why it took me like three years to actually finish this show. I just forgot. Things got mixed up. Et cetera, et cetera. But I did finish it, and I am reviewing it, and... I have fairly neutral feelings about it. It's alright. It's a fun watch. It hits all the notes it set out to hit. I think the author has an otokonoko fetish but that's neither here nor there.

So, basically, Ansatsu Kyoushitsu/Assassination Classroom/Assclass is about murdering a space octopus. And since it's shounen it just has to have a school setting. Hence the title. It nominally has an ensemble cast, with every character in the class receiving at least some focus, but there is a definite shift to focus on the three main characters as it goes along. This does sort of result in my biggest problem with it; it wants a strong character focus, but ends up with a lot of characters feeling flat and underdeveloped besides their one or two standout traits. I also actually watched both Another and the first season of this almost back to back, and that made the flatter characterization stick out like a sore thumb.

At the end of the day, it also is just 100% about the funie exploits of Korosensei, and haha he's a funie octopus who cannot die and looks at hentai. But also, he's a teacher, and he has heartwarming moments, and a tragic backstory, and, you know, all the sentimental junk. I'm not too big on comedy and I felt like the switch over to serious content was kind of stilted and awkward in the second half, because there just had to be an explanation for absolutely everything and it's very in-your-face about that. Like, bless the mangaka's heart, he was really trying. Or I guess don't bless his heart because the way Nagisa is written is really weird. Still don't quite know how I feel about that.

The art isn't much to write home about, and I found it feeling flat, though for the sake of the story, I suppose it could be considered adequate. There isn't much else I can say about that? It's very generic anime feeling. On the note of sound design, the second-to-last opening theme was a favorite, though the rest are also alright. Not songs I would listen to outside of the show on purpose, but they do their job.

Honestly, I feel like with two seasons' worth of content and an OVA, I feel like I should've had more to talk about here, but I don't want to get explicitly spoilery and most of my issues with it are of the 'explicitly spoilery' kind. In particular, I had problems with how Bitch-sensei and Kayano's character arcs were handled; I consider the mishandling of Kayano's character one of the most serious flaws of the show. You can't completely hold off on a main character's arc until the very end of the show. You gotta put other stuff in there.

Haha funie octopus monster assassin joke show.

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