Assassination Classroom Vol. 20 Review

Title: Assassination Classroom Vol. 20
Author: Yusei Matsui
Publisher: Viz Media
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
Genre: Shonen, Battle, Comedy
Publication Date: February 6, 2018

The Story

With one volume to go, the final battle has been laid before us. Yanigasawa and Grim Reaper show up right as the satellite laser is nearing its charging completion. Yanigasawa has modified Grim Reaper into the next “Koro-sensei” and his modifications are definitely on display. He can achieve a top speed of Mach 40, twice that of Koro-sensei and his tentacles strike twice as fast. Yanigasawa even injects himself with tentacle DNA and modifies his body to fight as well. Kayano ends up getting caught up in the battle and is impaled by Grim Reaper. This sends Koro-sensei’s emotions into overdrive which allows him to blast both Yanigasawa and Grim Reaper with a brilliant white light, ending the battle.

After the battle, Koro-sensei collapses from exhaustion and the students are now forced into a decision. Either assassinate their target or let the satellite laser do the job for them. They all take a vote and I’ll leave the outcome for the readers to discover. In the final volume, we will explore the aftermath of their decision.

I felt the action was amazing. Yusei Matsui certainly went all-out in this volume and all of the action scenes were drawn in a way where you could feel the battle happening. With a battle between two extremely fast opponents that would, normally, be invisible to the naked eye, Matsu-san makes great use of motion lines and stills to not only capture the fight but still accentuate just how fast the action really is. The fact that every clash produced a sonic boom is staggering to imagine and the out of focus drawings of some of the characters highlighted the vibrations of the air as Koro-sensei and Grim Reaper struck each other with power and force.

Sometimes final battles are quick, some are a letdown, but this one has met or even exceeded all expectations! There wasn’t much “story” here outside of a few flashbacks to when Koro-sensei was Grim Reaper’s teacher, but at this point, that’s merely just recap material since we’ve already learned about this backstory in previous volumes. Still, it enhanced the battle in the parts that needed it and did a good job conveying those emotions and memories.

Characters

None of the characters really received any development as I wouldn’t expect any at such a pivotal point in the series. The flashbacks with the Grim Reaper could be counted as development, but as I mentioned, it was merely a recap of backstory that was already told. Yanigasawa didn’t have any regrets at the end of the battle nor did his character even change in any facet.

Nagisa had a bittersweet moment as well, but it has to deal with the volume’s ending and therefore, I will refrain from saying much as I don’t wish to spoil it for those who may be reading the series for the first time. I will say that he gets an important lesson in acceptance.

Final Thoughts

I absolutely loved this volume of Assassination Classroom. The final battle did not disappoint and the aftermath was emotionally charged. The students coming to their decision was filled with a duality of emotions that was captured perfectly. In all honesty, the manga could have ended with this volume with the way things have wrapped up, but we know that volume twenty-one will serve as the series’ epilogue.

It has been an amazing journey and I’m sad to see that this series is coming to an end. I will be sure to give my overall final thoughts when volume twenty-one comes around because I felt that while this series had a lot of high points there were some low ones as well. Needless to say, volume twenty was definitely one of those high points and much like the students’ decision about Koro-sensei’s fate, next volume is going to be bittersweet for me to read.

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This item was provided for review by Viz Media

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.