Anime Reporter returns to the classroom for Assassination Classroom Volume five (That’s chapters 35-43 in case you were wondering). The action continues on without skipping a beat from the events of Volume 04 (reviewed here). If you’re brand new to the series then you can find my review of the first volume here.
When last we spoke (or I spoke/wrote and you either read my words or didn’t), Class E was in the middle of a bitter competition in defiance of… That reminds me.
…in defiance of the vindictive and villainous school chairperson. In a game of baseball of all things. This plot fairly takes any spotlight away from the female students and their basketball game, choosing instead to focus on the boys trained in baseball by Korosensei. This storyline finishes up after showcasing some of the strategic cunning of our assassins in training and not without a few surprises.
This plot is followed by a neat little standalone story revolving around the use of henna tattoos which wraps up in a single chapter and gives us a nice breather for something just a teensy bit harder hitting.
In the next storyline, the powers that be have decided that Karasuma-sensei may be slightly overstretched in his duties as assassination-supervisor and trainer, so they’ve assigned one of his classmates to take over his training duties. At first glance, the new physical education teacher, Takaoka, seems like a totally nice guy, but some of his colleagues seem to have some info to the contrary…
and they’re right, he’s a major creep. This storyline emphasises the bonds between students and teachers and shines a fresh new light on one of the more seemingly timid students.
The volume wraps up just one chapter into a new storyline revolving around the start of summer proper and some aquatic leisure time which exposes a very interesting flaw in Korosensei’s defences.
All in all, Assassination Classroom Volume 05 maintains its impressive use of humour and its attention to characters. Where it falls behind somewhat is in sidelining so many of its female characters and what could be interpreted as a fairly unfavourable attitude to women in general. It’s also worth noting that while the storylines are interesting and amusing, there’s a noticeable lack of storylines or moments that hint at being defining moments in the series. While the series could easily call my bluff in the future, there’s nothing in the events of this volume that immediately jumps out as being crucial for future storylines.
That said, Assassination Classroom Volume 05 shouldn’t disappoint most fans of the series, even if it lacks the full force of its previous humour.
Assassination Classroom is currently available in English from Viz Media, the wonderful folks who also brought us Katekyo Hitman Reborn, so check out their website for more info on their titles.