Anime and Manga have been two things over the years that has allowed me to truly embrace the Japanese culture from afar. Growing up in a public school setting it was always refreshing to watch or read some kid being picked on or bullied from way across the globe as surely the stories that develop from these are found in the outcast of us all. Eiichirô Hasumi’s live action adaptation of ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM is a culmination of all things great with this sub culture. I’m literally kicking myself in the ass for missing out on the actual animation series but ecstatic that the film is playing at this year’s’ FANTASTIC FEST. ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM involves a group of students who are looked at as failures to society. If that’s not bad enough their new teachers is an octopus alien monster who has vowed to blow up the planet if the students don’t kill him by the end of the year. He will be the ones teaching them to be assassins but as we find out he is not the only threat that exists in this scenario.
ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM was phenomenal and crosses too many genres to name. It’s everything you want out of a live action film that still allows enough fun to still seem like an anime. It’s hard not to root for the students and enjoy the interactions with the teacher. There is one moment where the kids go through roll call while firing bullets at their unhittable target. The length maybe the only hinderance for some but since it encompasses a full season of a series it’s to be expected. The teacher and his students including the smart and cunning Kamara and unassuming Nagisa are truly rewarding to watch as the bond they create is truly heartfelt. Even though the goal is to kill the creature he really becomes a father figure/ mentor to each and everyone of them. Most of us know what it’s like to be the misfits of society and the kids in 3-E remind us that even the weakest of us all have the ability to save the world.
It makes complete sense that ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM was a box office success. This feature mixed with the series truly has a chance to continue on among the greats of anime. While I would never want to see anymore Japanese films given an American makeover hopefully when it’s released here in the states there will be dubbed versions. ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM is truly something special and deserves to be seen by those familiar and unfamiliar with the anime / manga scene. It just kicks all types of ass and better than expected from a fan who has loved this culture for some time.
4.5 / 5
ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM is directed by Eiichirô Hasumi and stars Ryôsuke Yamada, Okuma Anmi, Wakana Aoi and Shôta Arai.