Assassination Classroom Vol. 16 Review

Title: Assassination Classroom Vol. 16
Author: Yusei Matsui
Publisher: Viz Media
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 200
Genre: Shonen, Battle, Comedy
Publication Date: June 6, 2017

The Story

Volume sixteen of Assassination Classroom takes a look at Koro-sensei’s past and unveils his true identity. There will be spoilers ahead because his backstory encompasses 95% of the volume and there really is no way to talk about it without spoiling everything.

Koro-sensei was once known as The Grim Reaper. After growing up and knowing nothing but death, he became an assassin and a good one at that. There wasn’t a role or a job he couldn’t complete and it didn’t matter how difficult the task was. After his 100th kill, he was granted the grim reaper title until, one day, he was captured and sent to a scientific lab. Without a birth certificate or anyone that would miss him if he were to die, he became the perfect test subject.

Dr. Yanagisawa was conducting research on how to speed up the generation of anti-matter, a revolutionary energy source. It currently took more energy than an explosion caused by anti-matter to generate it so he decided to begin cultivating it inside of the human body. That was the purpose of the experimentation, but there was a problem in the fact that after a while, the human body would stop cell division and anti-matter would no longer be generated, but that was a miscalculation. Instead, at the end of the cell division, the anti-matter would rapidly expand and grow out of control. The result would be an explosion capable of apocalyptic destruction. This was already proven because it was unveiled that Koro-sensei lied about blowing up the moon. One of Yanagisawa’s experiments, a mere mouse, was located on a lab on the moon as a safety precaution, but the mouse ended up exploding, taking 70% of the moon with it.

That’s right… the moon was wrecked by an exploding mouse.

After news reached Yanagisawa, he determined that he had to kill Koro-sensei to prevent the same thing happening to Earth. During this entire time, Koro-sensei met Aguri, who was Kayano’s mother. She was engaged to Dr. Yanagisawa as part of an arranged marriage. She was charged with looking after Koro-sensei during the overnight hours. Over the course of a year, the two of them bonded and became close friends. During the assassination attempt on Koro-sensei, he learned to manipulate his body and began to sprout tentacles. He went on a rampage until Yanagisawa began specially created tentacles at Koro-sensei. They were made from the same anit-matter, but when they detected an organic life form with the same composition, it would attack them at lightning speed. Aguri was in the path of one of these tentacles and endured a fatal wound.

Koro-sensei made a promise to teach Class 3-E. Aguri died right after the promised was made and this was when Kayano witnessed Koro-sensei hovering over Aguri’s dead body, getting the wrong impression of what happened. After that, Koro-sensei transformed into the form he is now and fulfilled his promise by becoming Class 3-E’s teacher. After hearing his story, there was some deliberation among the students who wanted to find a way to save Koro-sensei, but the only conclusion that they could come to is that it would be better just to kill him. With that, the plans for the final assassination have begun!

Characters

We were introduced to two new characters in Dr. Yanagisawa and Aguri this volume. Aguri was an absolutely loveable character. She was innocent and the previous teacher of Class 3-E. She had a quirkiness about her that she liked awful t-shirts and other horrible designer outfits. She really did have a bad taste in clothes and it was pretty humorous to see Koro-sensei react to her fashion sense. Even though she was only around for the length of one volume, you really felt like you got attached to her character which made her death even more sad.

Dr. Yanagisawa is just your typical evil scientist that didn’t care about anything but results. Even though he was engaged to Aguri, he didn’t care about her one bit. In fact, he often physically abused her when she wouldn’t complete her work fast enough. He really is a disgusting character that you just want to see get his in the end. Whether or not he will remains to be seen, but if you can put two and two together, it’s pretty obvious that we now know who another certain character is. It also explains why this other character has such a vested interest in people with tentacles, like Itona, and why this character continues to keep tabs on Koro-sensei.

Final Thoughts

The last volume of Assassination Classroom was one of the best ones I’ve read in the series.

This one ties it.

Volumes 15 and 16 tell an incredible story that pulls everything together and makes sense of all that has happened so far in the series. Koro-sensei’s past was both shocking and tragic at the same time. It makes you wonder what would have become of him had he not been captured in the first place. It also explains why the other grim reaper from the earlier volumes wanted to capture Koro-sense in the first place. So many questions were answered that if the series ended today, the only thing left unresolved would be Koro-sensei’s death.

It was noble of the students to try and think of a way to save him, but in the end, death really is the only option. With Koro-sensei’s time fast approaching the point where his cell division would stop, it makes you wonder if he’ll really let the Earth be destroyed or if he’ll let the kids kill him. He could have let them do it so many times now, but it was the promise he made to Aguri that kept him going. What’s not to say that he’ll want to say alive until the very end just so his promise could be fulfilled as much as possible? Whatever the case may be, the last couple of volumes of this series is going to get absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to see how it will all play out!

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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.

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