Even though School Trip Time was sort of a two-part episode, it had a lot of different stories over that period. End-of-Term Time and School’s Out is the first time Assassination Classroom has really taken on the true two-parter. Multi-part anime can be tough — it can either emphasise what really makes an anime work, or reveal it for the bloated and slow moving beast that it is. So how did Assassination Classroom fair?
Pretty good, actually. Lerche uses the extra time to really explore some of the more interesting themes of Assassination Classroom. At its heart Assassination Classroom is a comedy series about a group of neglected “bottom class” students who have to assassinate their superhuman octopus-like teacher, who is actually a really good, loving beneficial figure in their lives. Yes, it’s absurd, but there’s also a tremendous about of conflict inherent in the situation itself, ideal for any situation based comedy. When the series is exploring the elements of the school children’s education and mixing it with their internal conflict about Koro-sensei, Assassination Classroom seems to be at its best.
In these episodes we’re interested to Gakushu, the demonic headteacher Asano’s son, who is just as cold and manipulative. The two play off of each other quite well, sharing a strange, unusual warmth in their shared coldness. Gakushu is the leader of a group of Class 3-A students called the “Big Five”, who are specialists in certain subjects and get the best grades in school. The Big Five end up making a bet with Class 3-E, with the loser having to submit to a request by the winner.
The “test questions being monsters” visual metaphor is used again, and I will say it’s starting to get a bit old at this point. With that said, it doesn’t really take up too much time. There was a previous test-based episode, Test Time (episode 6), but this one actually isn’t too similar (besides the visual metaphor). This story is less about the school’s education system being really unfair, and more about how the students can overcome it and what drives them.
There’s a lot of really great character moments in this that reference back to earlier episodes, and some good comedy to boot. As usual, Assassination Classroom needs both the comedy and the emotional connection to truly work, and this is an two-parter that understands this very well. More Assassination Classroom episodes should be like this.