WHAT-IS: "Assassination Classroom (Japanese: 暗殺教室 Hepburn: Ansatsu Kyōshitsu?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yūsei Matsui. The series began serialization Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from July 2012 and is licensed in English by Viz Media. The series follows the daily lives of an extremely powerful octopus-like alien teacher and his students dedicated to the task of assassinating him to prevent Earth from being destroyed. As of July 2015, fifteen tankōbon volumes have been released in Japan with a circulation of ten million copies.
A single original video animation adaptation by Brain's Base based on the series was screened at the Jump Super Anime Tour on October to November 2013. This was followed by a television anime adaptation by Lerche, which began airing on Fuji TV in January 2015. This adaptation has been licensed by Funimation for release in North America. The series was obtained by Madman Entertainment for digital distribution in Australia and New Zealand. A live action film adaptation was released on March 21, 2015."
"A live-action film was released in Japan on March 21, 2015. It opened at number one on the Japanese box office with $3.42 million and as of April 5, 2015, has grossed over $20 million. A second film, titled Assassination Classroom: Sotsugyō-hen, will be released in 2016. In English, the title of the sequel is Assassination Classroom: Graduation." (Wiki)
And mind you this is not some cheap knock-off-CGI-farce capitalizing on a yet-another-manga, not to me anyways! It is competently FUN, without turning too much into OTT nonsense, while keeping a certain level of believability … and not having read the manga or related medias, I've nothing to compare to, so this worked wonders to keep me entertained.
As per usual outings like this, the cast is populated with J-pop stars including Ryosuke Yamada of idol group Hey! Say! JUMP playing "Nagisa Shiota", while Kang Ji-young (former member of the K-pop unit KARA) plays as pseudo-Caucasian "Irina Jelavić" (which is fine, as she is "hot" lol - btw, this is her debut for acting a film). The voice of the alien "Korosensei" is by Ninomiya Kazunari of idol group Arashi (Read more here on ansatsukyoshitsu.wikia and here on asianwiki).
Alien "teacher" trains a class of students the education has given up on, to become assassins to kill said=teacher, all the while equipping them with knowledge and self-confidence = I've always enjoyed the J-way of "education", from GTO to Gokusen, and this film keeps the "never-give-up" attitude alive and kicking, with multiple tentacles!
The positivity and fun I'd experience helps looking past small negatives of the film, for which there are many but none too severe, and thusly not worth mentioning haha
Highly recommended watch. Not world-changing, but a slice of rah-rah to perhaps inspire you to become a better teacher… or not LOL. Catch it however you can. I'll wait till the sequel comes out to determine if both films are worth keeping in DVD :)
A hearty 3 and a half boxes of warm yummy popcorn out of 5 boxes, with melted butter FTW!