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Anime Review: Assassination Classroom Season 2: Part 1 (Lights, Camera, Action!)By Sasari At 15.06.2017 21:42

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Assassination Classroom Season 2: Part 1 (UK Rating: 15)

The students of Class E are running out of time to assassinate their teacher, and the fate of the world is on the line. Now, as their final term looms, they are going to have to overcome the world's deadliest assassin, infighting between themselves, oh and the super-powered Octopod educator who can move at Mach 5 that they have to kill somehow. It's been a long time coming since September for this latest instalment to reach fans in the UK but it is available now courtesy of Anime Limited.

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Splitting anime series in half is risky business; often there is a midpoint finale that feels like a natural end to the current part of the story, but just as often it ends up suddenly ending midway through a story arc or even finishing on a random small story that ends up leaving the finale feeling completely flat. That's definitely the case here and, in fact, this whole first part of the season ends up feeling lacklustre because of the numerous little story arcs instead of notable multiple episode arcs. Despite this, the first part of Assassination Classroom Season 2 sets up some very important developments for both the overarching plot and characters.

The short story arcs that make up the season include a solution for Itona's "situation," some major character development for Gakuho and Gakushu, and even Bitch-sensei. Outside of these small one or two episode stories, there are one of two arcs of great importance. With the end of the year coming, the class has some major exams to take on once again. Midterms and finals looming over them in both their battle for dominance over Class A and because Koro-sensei has promised them handicaps in an assassination attempt based upon their results, oh, and the little matter of their futures, of course. Once again, the series re-imagines the students' struggles against the questions as physical combat in a gladiatorial arena. It didn't work in the first season and is even worse here. What does work in this season is a short story that sees the previously hinted at master assassin, The Reaper, pay a visit to the school. It's only a handful of episodes, once again, but the definite highlight along with an episode that shows Gakuho's history as a teacher.

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This anime adaptation was produced by the same studio that produced the first season - Madmen Entertainment. Ultimately it has done a decent job, as the series looks good and is a faithful adaptation to the art style of the manga; the thick black outlines give a signature look for the series but there are few real standout elements other than the occasional creepy moment from Principal Gakuho, or the scenes that show off Koro-sensei's abilities and mood-dependant forms. The English dub is not good, though. There are some familiar English voice actors who have delivered good performances in the past here, but whether it's the direction they are receiving or their lack of effort is unclear, only that the performance feel phoned in.

Assassination Classroom was one of the best new series in recent memory for Shonen Jump; however, like many other breakout titles from the king of weekly manga, its anime adaptation does not do justice to the source material. World Trigger went the same way. Assassination Classroom Season 2 is still a very enjoyable show, however, and the best is yet to come in Season Two Part 2, the finale to the story with some massive revelations and great stories all the way through.

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