Title: Assassination Classroom Vol. 11
Author: Yusei Matsui
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shonen, Battle, Comedy
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Much like the last volume of Assassination Classroom, Volume 11 has two story main story arcs, but rather than being separate stories, they bleed into one another. The first story deals with Isogai and the fact that he works part-time. The school has a policy about doing such a thing and it could lead to expulsion. The “Big Four” from Class A find out about this, but they promise to keep it a secret IF Class E can best them in a sports day-esque competition where each team is guarding a pole from the opposing team. Of course, the opposing team is being led by their arch nemesis and son of the school principal, Gakashu Asano.
The second part of the story is a rehash of an earlier story arc. The students of Class E are battling the students of Class A, along with the Big Four, in the school’s mid-term exams. They even depict the questions as fighting monsters once again. The principal won’t tolerate failure or any of that as well. The only difference this time around is while the Class E students were scouting areas to assassinate Koro-sensei, they inadvertently injure an old man who runs a school as well. The school is run down and in danger of being closed, but the Class E students not only help tutor the children, but they also aid in the reconstruction of the school, saving it.
It seems as if this volume took you aside from the main goal of killing Koro-sensei while sprinkling reminders that it was still the overall goal. They also tried to get you to care about some of the secondary characters, namely Isogai, but I’ll touch upon that in the next section. The volume ends with Karasuma handing the students brand new P.E. uniforms which look like combat gear more than anything. Now that the mid-terms are over, the next volume looks to be shifting back to assassinating Koro-sensei.
Overall, I didn’t really enjoy the story so much, this time, around, but I did not, by any means, hate it. Even with the side-story within in the mid-term arc, it was still just a rehash. I don’t see the point in rehashing previous plot points. I mean, I get why they did It because we needed a reminder that the Principal wants Class E gone and all that, but I’m sure Yusei Matsui could have come up with something better there. As for the rest of the elements… the humor and the over dramatic depictions of the exams were all there in typical Assassination Classroom fashion so the volume does deliver more of what you would normally expect from this series.
Isogai and Karma are the only ones who really get attention, which is kind of special because this would be the second time in this series that Karma has received the spotlight in character development. Isogal, on the other hand, didn’t feel as special.
While the reader could develop pity for Isogai, the reasons behind it don’t make any sense. I have never heard of a school punishing a student for working a part-time job. I had a part-time job during high school and I never once got punished by my school for it. Heck, I was in the drama club at the same time that I was working that part-time job and the two never interfered with each other so when I saw this plot point brought forth, it really baffled me. Maybe it’s a Japanese cultural difference that I simply don’t understand? Sure, it was a nice touch to try and get you to care about Isogai, but after Asano was defeated in the games, what happened to Isogai then?
The same thing that happens to most, if not all, of the Assassination Classroom characters. They just fade back into the background and you stop caring about them. I appreciate the fact that Yusei Matsui wants to give attention to his massive cast of characters, but I think this series suffers from having TOO many characters to the point where you can try to highlight them, but then you run into this problem of what to do with them afterward. This is why I’m never really a fan of big casts, but in all fairness, Matsui didn’t have to highlight anyone. They could all just be plastered into the background and only used for dialogue, but at least Isogai did get a little bit of development.
Karma’s highlight came with his rivalry with Asano. He looked to take him head on during the exams and, well, that’s about the gist of it. I won’t spoil the outcome, but it was a spotlight that seemed kind of forced. Karma had a chip on his shoulder and he got the spotlight because he had something to prove. The overall focus was on Class E coming out on top, but the Karma vs Asano angle did receive a bit more attention. Karma’s demeanor also changed a bit during this and it did give us a look into a different side of him so that is a positive.
Overall, this was a decent volume of Assassination Classroom. They were fun little side stories to distract us from the assassination plotline for a bit, but as aforementioned, the manga looks to be returning to the main focus in volume 12. The revisit to the class rivalries was a nice touch, but I just wish it was on a different ground this time around instead of using the exams as the go-to excuse to continue this rivalry. Thanks to taking care of the dilapidated school, the students learns lessons more valuable than something you’ll find in a textbook and it served as a reminder that there are different ways to teach things in this world.
By no means does this volume take a large step in the series, but it’s a small step that was still rather enjoyable.
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media