Book Review: Assassination Classroom, Vol 5 by Yusei Matsui

Assassination Classroom, Vol 5     

Author: Yusei Matsui

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date:  August 4, 2015

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Action Adventure Manga/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

In the mandatory exhibition matches, the girls of Class 3E have unfortunately lost their basketball game. But they are delighted to discover that the boys are doing well in their baseball game. However, a monkey wrench has been thrown into the works in the form of Principal Asano, who will do whatever it takes to assure his class prevails. Are the boys of 3E up to the challenge?

Despite the fact that Karasuma has intensified his training of the would-be assassins, his lack of immediate results has brought him under scrutiny and the Ministry of Defense has assigned someone else to assist him. His methods are different from Karasuma’s. To make matters worse, Karasuma has been told that Takaoka is now in charge of training the students while Karasuma’s job is to find assassins. Despite his initial kindly appearance, Takaoka’s methods are a terrifying mix of love and fear. He plans to push the students to their limits and doesn’t care about their grades at all, which upsets them greatly. When Karasuma objects, Takaoka offers him a deal – Karasuma can pick one student to attack him with a knife.  If this student succeeds in striking him once, Takaoka will concede that Karasuma is the better teacher and he will leave. However, if the student fails, Karasuma loses the right to criticize Takaoka forever. Karasuma accepts the challenge, and after some deliberation selects the quiet, gentle Nagisa. Does Nagisa have what it takes to bring down this loud-mouth one-time soldier?

Summers are brutal, but the students of Class 3E don’t even have AC in their ramshackle class building. And they can’t use the school pool because it’s located in the main school building, where they aren’t allowed to go. So Koro Sensei does the next best thing – he creates their own pool on top of their mountain. And the students observe that water is a weakness of Koro Sensei. More opportunities for assassination!

I loved the baseball game and seeing the brats on the other team get their comeuppance, and especially Principal Asano, who I can’t stand. I think we are watching Karasuma grow, both as a person and as an instructor, which after all is the goal of writing, to see your characters change and develop. We also see a side of Nagisa you wouldn’t have believed existed before now. Another great volume, looking forward to more!

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