Book Review: “Assassination Classroom, Volume 1” by Yusei Matsui

Cover of "Assassination Classroom, Vol. 1" by Yusei Matsui
Cover of “Assassination Classroom, Vol. 1” by Yusei Matsui

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing the manga”Assassination Classroom, Volume 1″ by Yusei Matsui! I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series, so I thought it was about time to pick up the first volume and read it. Here is a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“The students of class 3-E have a mission: kill their teacher before graduation. He has already destroyed the moon, and has promised to destroy the Earth if he can not be killed within a year. But how can this class of misfits kill a tentacled monster, capable of reaching Mach 20 speed, who may be the best teacher any of them have ever had?”

Content Warning:

There are many attempted murder schemes throughout the entire story. If you’re not comfortable with reading excessive violence and/or murder attempts and seeing somewhat graphic imagery of injuries, you might want to avoid reading this one.

Plot Development: 4 out of 5 stars

The concept of the story is hilarious. The plotline of this series somewhat falls into the slice-of-life genre with Koro-sensei learning to teach students properly while the students try devising ways to kill him. However, there is an actual main plotline in the midst of this. This volume ended on a cliffhanger, with government agents starting to send in other assassins outside of the class to try to take out Koro. I can’t write much else about how fun it was to read the story, as I would risk giving major spoilers for the many assassination attempts otherwise. However, it is very entertaining to read so far.

Character Development: 4 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading Koro-Sensei (the name the students gave the alien?/creature they must assassinate by the end of the year). Even though he is virtually unkillable right now (though some students had close attempts), he is also an incredibly supportive teacher. He opposes the Class E students being unable to access extracurriculars, he’s observant enough to know his student’s strengths and weaknesses, and he is particularly encouraging to his students with both their education and their murder attempts.

I also enjoyed reading the students including Nagisa, as well as their constant attempts to kill Koro. From trying to stab him at roll call to blatantly gifting him poison to eat, it’s fun to watch them attempt to kill Koro. It is also just as entertaining to read their developing sentiments about him threatening the world and also being their teacher.

I noticed that this volume introduced many characters at once. Will this series eventually narrow its focus on particular students as the main characters? Or will it continue focusing on the class as a whole? Each student could be further fleshed out in later volumes, but the series will definitely rely on how entertaining their development is, along with Koro’s own development.

Worldbuilding Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The concept enough is amusingly well-executed overall, but I want to read more details about Class E and how it is virtually looked down as the class with no future or any hope in contributing to society. I also am curious to learn more about Koro-sensei’s origins. Also, why does he wants to destroy the world by the end of the class’ graduation? Those questions likely will be further answered in later volumes, and I look forward to learning more.

Overall, I’m rating this book 4 out of 5 stars!

This first volume is a fun start to the “Assassination Classroom” series. I look forward to reading more of it whenever I get my hands on the next volumes!


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2 thoughts on “Book Review: “Assassination Classroom, Volume 1” by Yusei Matsui

  1. I love this series so much, I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of it too! I think the story has some weaker volumes, but then it really picks up and the end is great.

    Anyways, I recently saw this post that explained about the E class system as a satire of real life in Japan, and I thought it was really interesting and really added another dimension to the story, so I just wanted to share it here. If you don’t want to read the whole post (there might be some spoilers) here’s the key points:
    (So this is all from this post by Ansatsu Database https://ansatsu-database.tumblr.com/post/117414628805/the-class-e-system-a-satire-of-real-life )

    “See, while Kunugigaoka Middle School and its Class E system is indeed a bit exaggerated, it is actually satiring the way real life Japan’s education system works. The predicament that Class E faces is real (but on a higher scale). The issues they face are very real. In Japan, many schools operate on a one-size-fits-all basis, and grade test rankings are everything. Results are published for all to see. Asian schools in the past, and some today, will group students together based on their aptitude, their academic abilities. Smart ones in one class, dumb ones in another. According to my mother, in her time at Hong Kong, there was once a Class G.”

    And also this (cause high school entrance exam’s will be a big deal for them, and it just felt kind of ridiculous, why is it so important?)
    “To top it off, Japanese employment is largely determinant on what Universities you attend, and in turn those are determined by what High Schools, and in turn those by Middle School. Parents are pressured into planning everything out in advance, and many kids are pressured to attend cram schools to improve their odds of getting into the school/university of their choice.”

    1. Thank you for sharing the article! I appreciate having more insight into Class E and the school’s class system. It definitely makes a lot of sense. I look forward to reading and reviewing the other volumes in this series as well!

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