Title: Assassination Classroom Vol. 14 Author: Yusei Matsui Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 200 Genre: Shonen, Battle, Comedy Publication Date: February 7 , 2017
Volume fourteen of Assassination Classroom is divided into two different story arcs. One of which is a light-hearted filler arc while the second one takes us back to exams… again, but it’s not going to be the same as Principal Asano takes things into his own hands!
First off, the light-hearted story arc involves Class E competing against Class A in a Food War. In fact, the volume takes a nice 4th wall pot shot at Food Wars (Shougeki no Soma) that I couldn’t help but laugh at. Nagisa and Class E’s outside café is losing horribly due to no one showing up to eat their food, but then we see just about every character from the past thirteen volumes… even ones we thought were dead… show up and help save their efforts. However, Koro-sensei tells them that this competition wasn’t meant to be won, but rather, be used as a lesson about bonds and connections. I did find it hilarious when Yuji showed back up though. Yuji was the character who mistook Nagisa for a girl when they were on summer break and had to infiltrate the hotel to deliver Koro-sensei while he was in his ultimate defense form. They used Nagisa’s “sex appeal” to squeeze almost every last dollar out of Yuji!
Every assassin who tried to kill Koro-sensei showed up and it looks like a mafia gathering more than an outdoor café, but it still provided some nice laughs. It was, probably, one of the more enjoyable filler arcs I’ve read in this series.
The second arc, once again, pitted Class A against Class E… this time in the final exams. The big difference here is that Principal Asano has taken over teaching Class A. We saw some pretty good competitions here and we also got to see a bit more into Gakushu Asano’s character after he was belittled and relieved by his father. When things went sour… again… for Class A, Principal Asano took matters into his own hands and paid a visit to Class E himself. He administered a termination notice to Koro-sensei, but stated that he could keep his job if he could solve some problems in some textbooks. The only catch is that the books are rigged with anti-Koro-sensei grenades that will explode the split second the books are opened. This forces Koro-sensei to have to open the book, look at the problem, solve it and close the book all in under 1 second. Amazingly, Koro-sensei does it and the last book, as part of the deal, is for Principal Asano. This is where the volume ends as Asano has to now partake in his own assassination plot!
On the outside, this would look like a rather dark cliffhanger. There is no way Asano would survive that kind of an explosion so it’s pretty much hinted that Asano will die; however, knowing the way Assassination Classroom has gone, I highly doubt that will happen. The bigger suspenseful moment here is wondering how Asano is going to end up surviving. Then again, when we had dead characters come back and state things such as “it was my youth and stamina that allowed me to live” as reasons as to how they didn’t die… yeah… it probably won’t take much to explain how Asano survives this.
The character development here was focused on Gakushu Asano. We looked into his past and realized the kind of relationship he had with his father. It was one where if he father didn’t have anything to teach him, then he saw no need to speak to his own son. This mean that Gakushu’s entire life has been nothing but one giant classroom from beginning to end. This drives and motivates him to prove himself once again during the final exams. That resolve pushed him forward and it made him into a bit of a likable character. Don’t expect this story to last long, though because Assassination Classroom doesn’t like to continue to develop their characters. This is a one and done series when it comes to that and Gakushu will just fall into the background like the many others that came before him.
Outside of that, we didn’t really get much development out of any of the other characters. Everyone else just continued on in their own merry way. I have a feeling that we will get some background information on Principal Asano in the next volume, though. It seems like it’s his turn for development. How he will end up on the other side of this upcoming development remains to be seen.
Another good entry into the Assassination Classroom series. While I don’t mind these little filler arcs, they seem to be coming more and more frequently. I enjoy the series more when it sticks to the main story, but even still, it seems like it’s repeating stuff over and over again. This is the third time we’ve gotten Class A vs Class E in some sort of exam battle. How many more times can Yusei Matsui do this before it becomes completely meaningless? I feel like it’s already gotten to that point and wish he would just find another direction to go in. In understand that this is one of the major storylines in this series, but at the same time, it’s been done to death. Do something new!
Outside of that qualm, what we were given was a pretty good read. The cliffhanger isn’t as impactful due to the past history of this series, but it should open up an interesting backstory. That means volume fifteen will probably contain an information dump, thus slowing the pace down. With seven volumes left in the series, one would suspect that the final story arc should be kicking in rather soon. I can’t wait to see the conclusion now that we are getting relatively closer to the end!