Anime Reporter returns to the school where “term” is short for “terminal” with Assassination Classroom Volume 04 (chapters 26-34). Anyone entirely unfamiliar with the series can find my review of the first volume here and can find a picture of two very cute anime penguins and an octopus here.
Everyone not up to date with Volume 03 should tread carefully for fear of spoilers.
Okay, we’re good? We’re stepping forward without fear or concern of spoilers? Okay, if you say so.
Well, last volume we learned that Tyrion Lannister was the true lord of the rings, sent back in time to marry Sarah Connor and preserve the Triforce. No? I’m pretty sure it was something like that… You’re sure? Okay… Well, in any case, last volume certainly ended with Irina getting a visit from her master, who’s sure that she has no business continuing her assignment now that her identity has been revealed. Korosensei sets up a contest to prove who’s best suited to assassinate him; Irina or her master. Their target for this challenge? None other than Karasuma, the agent overseeing the entire operation. Things get creative for this arc and we see that there’s more to Irina’s skill set than perhaps even she realised.
Following this, there’s a short story covering little more than Korosensei taking two students to a film, but which provides some more insight into the depths of his characters and his ever growing relationship with each of his students. A short, simple story, and very well told.
The remainder of the volume is split into two stories, one of which I refuse to spoil because the details are so very worth discovering for yourself. I will only reveal that this storyline involves the appearance of the second of the two new assassins we were promised in the previous volume and that there are some pretty exciting revelations about Korosensei and his true origins.
The final arc of the volume sees the annual sports tournament take place. Every year, Classes A-D compete in a schoolwide tournament with the boys competing in baseball and the girls doing likewise in basketball. As with every other year, Class E is not allowed to take part in the tournament but instead plays an exhibition game against the very best of the other classes so that their humiliating defeat can bolster the other students. Well, not this year, because Korosensei will be doing his very best impersonation of an inspirational coach from every sports movie where the coach was a superhuman octopus-like creature. He’ll be training them and honing their assassination skill set until they’re ready to give the hierarchical structure of their school a well-deserved kick. Expect action, humour and a heaping helping of the most likeable monster to ever run a classroom.
Assassination Classroom Volume 04 is currently available in English from the wonderful folks at Viz Media. I advise you to read it, and read it slowly because Volume 05 won’t be released in English until early August.
Character Development: 8
81% – “Brutal!” – Assassination Classroom Volume 04 maintains its excellent blend of humour and personality, but turns up the dials on its action and more serious plot points, making for a truly enjoyable and engrossing piece of manga. A delight to read.