Anime Reporter returns to school for Volume 02 (chapters 08-16) of Assassination Classroom. If you’re not too familiar with this series, you can find my take on Volume 01 right here. It’s still early days for this series so there’s not a huge amount of spoilers here that could ruin the plot, but I’m still going to have to give the following warning: Following on from the last volume, we saw that a new player was being brought into the mix; a professional assassin. She, Irina, makes her appearance pretty early on in the volume and sets about doing everything she can to charm Korosensei to get close enough to destroy him. Her methods are effective, her plans are elaborate and she is utterly ruthless. Needless to say, she doesn’t stand a chance. Irina becomes an aggressive and permanent part of the classroom, with a continued eye on taking down our favourite tentacle-teacher. We also get to see more of an in-depth look at exactly how Class E is mistreated by the rest of the school when a monthly schoolwide assembly is held. Not only the other students, but the teachers and school directors openly mock and berate Class E as an example to motivate the students of other classes. Well, if you’ve been paying attention to Korosensei, you probably know that he won’t be too happy about this. He sets his students a pretty intense challenge with the promise that if any of them fail to meet his standards, he’ll disappear from their class and they’ll lose their chance to kill him and save the world. The effect of their mistreatment by the other students has a pretty profound effect on Class E and Korosensei’s reaction is to give them the opportunity to prove their own worth. He pushes himself to new extremes, even developing new abilities in the process. While it would be easy for this theme to come off as very heavy-handed, the actual result is quite well delivered and doesn’t drag the plot back in the slightest. The school’s director also makes his debut and… this guy is scary. His plan for keeping Class E in line is pretty diabolical and, while Volume 01 hinted at some (fairly shadowy) motivation for Korosensei’s position at Class E, it seems that the director is all too aware of Korosensei’s true origin. The volume finishes up with the class taking off on a school trip to Kyoto, with Korosensei watching out for them as always. It remains to be seen how much he can protect them when some delinquent high school students take an interest in our poor mistreated Class E students. While the plot veers into more serious topics, there’s still an abundance of humour to be found here. In a rather Reborn-like move, Korosensei seems to have a love for costumes to disguise his alien nature and the jokes are both abundant and original. Assassination Classroom is a truly refreshing piece of comedy manga, over the top and unpredictable. Assassination Classroom Volume 02 is currently available in English from Viz Media. Plot Development: 8.5 Humour: 8.5 Character Development: 8 World Building: 7.5 Assassination Attempts: 7.5 80% – “Hits the Mark!”– Assassination Classroom Volume 02 is a step towards a more elaborate plot, darker character development and a lot of hints at revelations to come. Volume 01 won me over as a great piece of entertainment, now Volume 02 draws me in with the promise of a richer story in progress.