"A group of junior high students are joyfully discussing an assassination. If you look at it normally, this is the pinnacle of madness."
Every morning, the students of Kunugigaoka Middle School's Class 3-E greet their sensei (aptly nicknamed Koro-sensei), a bizarre, octopus-like alien that can move at a top speed of mach 20, with a massive firing squad.This super creature was responsible for the destruction of the moon, rendering it forever into a crescent shape, and has announced that he plans do the same thing to the earth in exactly one year. Koro-sensei has grown bored of the world governments’ futileattemptsat killing him, so he strikes them an odd deal: permit him to be Class 3-E’s homeroom teacher, and he’ll allow its students to try and kill him however they’d like to. Can the students successfully take Koro-sensei down and save the world despite the fact that he’s very cunning, nearly invincible, and definitely the best teacher they've ever had?Despite the outlandish and somewhat foreboding premise, Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (lit. "Assassination Classroom") is a lighthearted, action-packed comedy with several realistic, slice-of-life elements weaved into its story. Imagine a less explicit Great Teacher Onizuka mixed with sci-fi and espionage to get an idea of what you're in for. The author, Yuusei Matsui, is also the creator of Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, which deals with similar ideas, mainly a supernatural creature with Blue and Orange Morality who's ultimately bettering the people it comes across. The difference is where Neuro was protecting his food source, Koro-sensei is trying to better his students by working in the killing arts as a teaching tool. And it works. Of course, there is the slight problem of him planning to destroy the world...Ansatsu Kyoushitsu is currently serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump and has been licensed for English release by Viz, starting in December 2014. An OVA premiered in 2013 during the Jump Super Anime Tour, and a TV anime adaptation has been announced for January 2015, along with a live-action movie.The character page is in the development stages.
Action Bomb: Deconstructed in the very first chapter, when Nagisa tries to blow up Koro-sensei at point-blank range using a makeshift pellet grenade hidden around his neck. This makes Koro-sensei absolutely furious, even though he (and Nagisa, for that matter) escapes unscathed. Surprisingly, he isn't outraged over the fact that he was almost duped by a mere student—in fact, he praises the plan for its ingenuity and Nagisa in particular for flawlessly executing it. What disgusted Koro-sensei was that Terasaka, the student who came up with the plan, coerced Nagisa into doing it for him because he knew that the explosion was strong enough to severely injure whoever carried it out.
"There isn't a single student stronger than him in this school." speaking with regards to the Chairman's son.
*cut to a yawning Karma*
Arc Symbol: The crescent moon on Koro-sensei's tie. It's often used as a reminder of just how powerful Koro-sensei is.
Applied Phlebotinum: The guns, grenades, knives, bullets, etc. used by the students are made of a specially made substance harmless to humans, but on contact will cause Koro-sensei's cells to break down.
Assassin Outclassin': Naturally, or the series would be over before hitting the third page of the first chapter.
A-Team Firing: The opening of the story begins with the entire class trying to gun Koro-sensei down. Not only does this fail, but Koro-sensei continues as if nothing were happening, taking attendance as the class continues shooting. The only notice he takes is when he asks a student to speak up, since he can't hear well over the gunfire.
Axes at School: They're rubber knives and pellet guns that are only harmful to Koro-sensei, but they're still rather alarming.
Beach Episode: In chapter 43, Koro-sensei builds a pool for the students so they can find relief from the summer heat. This manages to tie in to the main plot when it leads to them discovering that Koro-sensei can't swim.
Beauty Equals Goodness: If you're attractive (or at least ordinary) without looking downright creepy, then you're likely a member of Class-E in one way or another. The only exception to this seems to be Koro-sensei and the four Class-E delinquents (not counting Karma). It's even lampshaded when two girls in a higher-ranking class note that Class-E's phys ed teacher, the young government agent Karasuma, is rather attractive, and that all of the guys and teachers in their class are ugly and mean.
Played With in Takaoka: his cartoony (well, more cartoony) smiley face masks a vicious streak a mile wide.
Also Koro-sensei if anyone tries to hurt his children. Usually though he just 'beautifies' them, calling it 'maintenance'. Then again, he also called it performance when he beat up several wannabe-kidnappers...
When he saw Itona's Hirobe tentacles, his face goes Pitch Black, Extreme Anger.
Black Comedy Rape: Implied in Chapter 9, when Koro-sensei decides to retaliate against Irina's failed assassination attempt with some "maintenance". It turned out to be nothing but a high-speed massage, a swift change into a more conservative outfit, and something else...
Combat Tentacles: Koro-sensei has them, of course. The cells that comprise of the tentacles can be transplanted onto a human, but they require an insane amount of energy to maintain and limit the recipient's human capabilities.
Cool Guns: Every gun shown in the series is real, and rendered with exquisite attention to detail. The guns the students use are said to be airgun versions of the genuine articles, but looking at them, you can't tell the difference.
The student's standard armaments are the M1911 pistol and the M4 MOE carbine. Rarely, they are also seen using SPAS 12 shotguns and MP5K submachine guns.
Red Eye's rifle is an Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Suppressed. The AWS is a variant of the Arctic Warfare series visually distinguished by its lack of a muzzle break, and meant to fire subsonic ammunition. This fits Karasuma's description of the anti-sensei rifle bullets. They cannot be fired at supersonic velocities.
Crippling Overspecialization: One of the major challenges that every student (and assassin) must overcome is the penalty for failing to kill Koro-sensei: he will remember each plan, learn from it, and never fall for the same trick again. Fortunately, Koro-sensei has a hard time overcoming his weaknesses, which the students utilize to their advantage repeatedly.
Crossover: In a one-shot chapter, Koro-sensei and Kusuo Saiki (from Saiki Kusuo No Sainan) visit Iruma and compete over the last piece of "Irumanjuu", a local delicacy. Saiki eventually splits it in half and shares it with Koro-sensei.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Akira Takaoka, elite soldier and special forces instructor, versus Nagisa Shiota, 14 year old middle school student with three months of assassin training. Nagisa wins in under 10 seconds.
Deus Exit Machina: During the Assassination Island arc, the students force Koro-sensei into his ultimate defense mode, in which he is also immobile for 24 hours. When Takaoka and his hitmen assault the class, the remaining 15 students and the other two teachers have to handle the situation for themselves.
Detonation Moon: Koro-sensei's first major demonstration of power: he basically reduced it to a permanent crescent by destroying 70 percent of its volume.
Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Not flipping him off, but scolding him, which is in line with the spirit of the trope. Kataoka, Yada and Okano give Koro-sensei a pretty good telling off when he pulls up Class E's flower bed as part of an attempt to look cool. They make him replant the whole thing at regular speed as punishment. Afterwards, the class holds an assassination rally with a handicap: Koro-sensei gets tied up and dangled from a tree branch like a pinata while the class tries to hit him with anti-sensei knives taped to long poles.
Doorstopper: What Koro-sensei produces every time he comes up with a "guidebook" for class excursions. One octopode's guide is another man's industrialized carbon-capture method—with indices, cross-references, info-panels, bullet points and plot-significance.
Dutch Angle: The panel where Nagisa's visible killing intent goes from 0 to 100 in an instant is drawn like this.
Dynamic Entry: In chapter 86 Karma pulls off a two footed version against Shiro's goons while Maehara takes out another in the background of the same panel with a one footed version.
Easter Egg: On the newspaper page with the baseball player being attacked by Koro-sensei's tentacles, there's a side article captioned by the quote "My wife is slut".
Elevator School: Kunugigaoka is one, but if you're in class E at the end of second term, you don't get to advance.
Festival Episode: The day before the start of the second semester, Koro-sensei and some of the members of Class-E visit a festival to commemorate the end of summer. The kids, thanks to their assassination training, turn out to be far too skilled at the game booths. Hayami and Chiba in particular end up banned from the shooting range after practically robbing the stand of its prizes.
Fictional Sport: The students play "assassination badminton" in PE class, which is actually more like volleyball in almost every way. The main differences are that they can only touch the ball with the blade of a knife, and they use a tennis net instead of a badminton or volleyball net.
Foreshadowing: Nagisa is being built up to have a lot of hidden talent.
Confirmed in Chapter 41 which reveals that Nagisa has an exceptional talent for assassination. To be specific, his ability to hide such bloodlust that it scares trained soldiers.
In chapter 28, Koro-sensei takes several students to see an American superhero movie, wherein the major Plot Twist involves the Big Bad being revealed to be the heroine's brother. At the end of the chapter we meet Itona, Koro-sensei's Ax-Crazy "younger brother".
In chapter 67, Karasuma vaguely recognizes two of the mastermind's minions because he had seen them before in Takaoka's photographs of the soldiers he had previously trained, foreshadowing the mastermind's identity.
Gratuitous IPA English: On the cover page of chapter 55, the word assassination is rendered as əsˈæsənˌeɪʃən, which would actually be assassanation, with the first "ass" as its own syllable. The correct rendering would be əˈsæs.ɪnˌeɪ.ʃən. Let this stand forever as the most pedantic entry on the page.
The Guards Must Be Crazy: Those two guards on the top floor of the hotel in the Island arc are trained agents, yet both of them immediately left their spot to chase after a kid just because he insulted them. Not to mention they got outrun by a kid (a kid trained in assassinating and the fastest runner, but still...).
Possibly intended as a reminder that there is a deadline for how long the students have left to kill Koro-sensei.
May also be interpreted as a class "period" (a loose synonym for "time"). Some chapters even have the exact same title as a previous chapter with the phrase "2nd Hour" added to the end of it. It meshes nicely with the series' classroom theme.
Invisible Parents: Though they may be briefly mentioned on occasion, not a single parent of any student appeared until dozens of chapters later.
Chiba and Hayami's parents are shown in a flashback, respectively.
Nagisa's father, who is often absent due to his work, appears in chapter 76. He seems to be nice, and it's mentioned that Nagisa's mother is strict.
Kimura's parents and Kirara's mom are shown in a flashback in chpater 89.
Japanese Ranguage: Invoked by Irina, who as the language teacher spends an entire lesson trying to get the students to avert this.
During her introductory arc, Class-E makes a half-baked attempt at shortening "Jelavic-Oneesama" to "Vic-Neesan". Their inability to pronounce the "v" properly, compounded by Irina's unpleasant personality, earns her the nickname "Bitch-Neesan" (later "Bitch-Sensei", when she wins their favor) for the rest of the series.
Jerk Ass: Almost EVERYONE who isn't in Class E, and a few students who are until Character Development. The school's chairman gets special mention, because he specially designed the school to encourage its students and teachers to be this way to everyone associated with Class E. Seriously, if this weren't a manga, a good half of this school's faculty would have been canned long ago in any country with a reasonable education system.
Laser-Guided Karma: Whenever the higher-ranked students are shown to look down upon or make fun off Class E students, Koro-sensei helps them to get their revenge or something eventually happens to make them regret it, unless the Chairman appears to intervene.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Throughout the first day of the island vacation, the students wear casual street clothes instead of their typical school uniforms. In Chapter 73, the following day, they're already back in their P.E. jerseys.
Kimura: "Well there aren't any other guests, and these are comfortable."
Fuwa: "And it would be cruel to have to think up clothes for a second day."note For the mangaka, at least.
Masquerade: Aside from the Chairman, the rest of the school (and the world) has no idea that Class 3-E is harboring the culprit who blew up the moon and the ongoing attempt at his assassination. It's been stated that the government is willing to wipe the memories of anyone unable to uphold this secret.
Mood Whiplash: The series' silly, comedic tone can swerve into a much darker one when you least expect it to.
Chapter 60 changes things up a bit when a fun and interesting day at the beach ends with a couple of students suddenly collapsing onto the floor and coughing up blood.
Chapter 75, which features the class' attempt at shipping Irina with Karasuma, fluctuates between hilarious, tragic, and back again.
Chapter 83 is a comedy chapter about Koro-Sensei being framed as an underwear thief. Then Shiro and Itona spring their trap on the last few pages...
Mundane Made Awesome: The extensive use of visual metaphors do a fine job of making ordinary actions come to life.
Exam questions are depicted as bizarre, gigantic monsters which the students need to conquer or slay. The kids are armed not with writing utensils, but with knives, hammers, swords, and staves. Taking a test has never been so epic.
One chapter manages to visually equate the act of clapping in front of someone's face to ruin their concentration to a nuclear explosion in a city.
Myth Arc: Though the plot's objective (kill Koro-sensei and save the world) is spelled out from the get-go, the story is divided into several short, episodic arcs that can stand alone like the ones found in a typical slice-of-life manga. However, there's enough foreshadowing, continuity, and other little details to tie them all together and consistently hint at a greater, overlying mystery.
Never Recycle Your Schemes: Justified. Once Koro-sensei knows how to defeat a tactic, he's smart enough and aware enough that it will never have a chance of working on him again.
Non-Standard Character Design: Koro-sensei and the Chairman both look quite distinct from any other character. Most characters are your basic anime designs, drawn with rounded lines and uneven hair. It goes without saying that Koro-sensei, being a tentacle monster, has a unique entirely rounded appearance. The Chairman is more subtly strange, but his design also feels off compared to (other) humans. He is incredibly angular and sharp-looking, and his clothes have noticeably fewer creases and wrinkles. The contrast between the two is probably intentional, to match their opposing roles in the story.
Oh Crap: Standard reaction for anyone who is subject to Nagisa's superbly hidden bloodlust and talents for efficient, ruthless assassination. Notable in that two highly skilled government field agents are the ones most prominently displaying massive "Oh Crap" faces after they realize what's happened.
One-Hit Kill: Lovro's "secret killing technique" is designed to turn the tide of a battle between a skilled combatant and an assassin to the latter's favor. It's extremely effective, but only works under very specific conditions. Lovro teaches the skill to Nagisa, who eventually uses it to defeat Takaoka during their rematch at the climax of the Hotel arc.
Refuge in Audacity: The first step is to do something completely insane to get the enemy's attention (like dropping your weapon). The second is to completely ruin the enemy's concentration by clapping. The reasoning is that doing this buys you enough time to change a battle of attrition (soldier) into a surprise attack (assassin).
Overly Long Name: The anime that Takebayashi recommends to Koro-sensei is titled, "Ore No Imouto Ga Totsuzen Hiroshima-Fan Ni Natta No Wa Kareshi No Eikyou Ni Chigai Nai Ken Ni Tsuite".note Regarding The Incident Of How There's No Doubt That My Little Sister Became A Hiroshima Fan Due To Her Boyfriend's Influence
Le Parkour: After all their physical training in the first term, in second term class E starts training in freerunning. They use it in an extreme version of Cops and Robbers against Karasuma and Koro-sensei.
Pun: Tons, most of which incorporate "殺", the kanji for "kill". Of particular note, Koro-sensei's name was chosen for him by the class for sounding similar to "korosenai," the potential-negative form of the verb meaning "to kill," so it means "cannot kill" or "cannot be killed."
Race Against the Clock: At the end of next March, Koro-sensei plans to blow up the Earth. The students, along with the handful of people aware of the threat, only have a year to kill him.
Save Our Students: Koro-sensei is at Kunugigaoka Middle School to help their lowest-performing students excel... through a liberal application of super powers and some rather unusual extracurricular activities. Avoids Glurge by making his successes not a matter of whether he cares or not, but due to the fact that he is just an inhumanly good teacher.
Scare 'Em Straight: Parodied. Koro-sensei draws a short comic that is presented as if it were this to Kataoka to warn her that she may grow up to be dangerously codependent if she does not learn to stand up for her own needs more. It's much funnier in the manga than how it is described here.
Shaggy Dog Story: A mysterious person infects Class-E with a virus that will eventually lead to a slow and agonizing death. Instead of handing over the helpless, immobile Koro-sensei in exchange for the antidote, the teachers and students who have not yet succumbed to the virus spend an entire arc infiltrating a dangerous hotel full of bodyguards, assassins, and spoiled brats in order to steal it from the mastermind. The mastermind, who turns out to be a vengeful Takaoka, renders all of their efforts pointless by blowing up the antidote in front of the class.
Fortunately subverted. Unknown to Takaoka, the assassin he charged with infecting the class with the virus served them a seemingly painful yet harmless bacteria instead. Knowing that Takaoka never intended to hand over the antidote, he and the other two assassins decided that their reputations weren't worth perpetrating the mass murder of a bunch of middle school students.
Synthetic Plague: Eleven students of Class E get infected by one at the end of chapter 60. Early symptoms differ between people, so some of them are still on their feet while others are vomiting blood, and Terasaka is able to hide his symptoms for hours. All of a sudden, things just got extremely real.
This Is Reality: During the Cops and Robbers parkour challenge, Sugaya claims that "This isn't some battle manga" as he dismisses his classmates' warnings of Karasuma's overwhelming stealth and agility. A few seconds later, Karasuma appears behind him and catches him in mid-sentence.
Two Lines, No Waiting: The main plot line of training and attempting to assassinate Koro-sensei is interwoven with the students dealing with various problems in their school lives.
The Unreveal: After fighting Itona, Koro-sensei decides he has no choice but to reveal a shocking truth about himself. He is actually an artificially created creature.
Entire class: "Well, duh. And?"
Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The relative success of any assassination attempt on Koro-sensei's life is inversely proportional to how many pages are spent explaining the plan. The most successful attempts, such as Nagisa's suicide attack, most of Shiro's schemes, and the assassination on the vacation island are never fully explained to the reader in advance.
Takaoka's master plan: Humiliate and beat a student into submission during a "fair fight" using cruel physical and psyhcological tactics. The details of this scheme take about two chapters to fully explain. Meanwhile, Nagisa, the intended victim, is forced to wing it. Guess who wins the fight?
Nagisa explains his tactics in exhaustive detail during his second fight with Takaoka. But, the trope is subverted, as his plan proceeds to go off without a hitch.
Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Inverted. The story is set up like this, but while the students' social and academic lives are challenging, they're trivial compared to the task of killing Koro-sensei.
We Need a Distraction: Phase 1 of Class E's revenge plot against the students who bullied Maehara: Nagisa and Kayano, disguised as an elderly couple, distract the bullies at a cafe so that Hayami and Chiba can shoot homemade laxatives into their drinks.
When it seems like Koro-sensei is about to discover Kataoka's plan to assassinate him in the water, Nagisa steps in to take advantage of his weaknesses ("he's very worried about appearances") by taunting him about some fan-letters to a big-breasted actress he found on Koro-sensei's desk.
The Assassination Island arc employed this trope several times. Makes sense, since they need to advance quietly to their goal on the top floor of a hotel. Bitch-sensei uses her skills to distract a group of guards to buy times for her student; Kimura insults two guards to make them chase him.
Your Size May Vary: Used artistically, particularly with Nagisa and Takaoka to emphasize the David Vs Goliath aspect of their fight. Sometimes they would be drawn close to their actual relative proportions, sometimes Takaoka would look twice as tall as Nagisa.
The foreign exchange students participating in the Bo-Taoshi challenge do NOT look the same age as middle schoolers. They seem to grow in size as the match progresses.