Comic Picks By The Glick

Assassination Classroom vol. 4

June 29, 2015

I was hoping that the assassination duel between Ms. Jelavitch and her teacher was going to have the end result of making her into a worthwhile character.  I was wrong.  If anyone comes out of this looking better, it’s Karasuma.  Not only does he take down the senior assassin, his capitulation to his fellow teacher shows that he has a soft side after all.  Then again, the fact that Ms. Jelavitch had to beg him to win…  It does not reflect well on her at all here.  Fortunately the next arc kicks off after a fun Hawaiian interlude and we’re introduced to Koro-sensei’s brother.  Yes, brother.  He’s a new student at Kunugigaoka -- Itona Horibe -- and not only is he super-strong, and super-fast, but he also has his own set of tentacles as well.  That particular fact causes Koro-sensei to become visibly angry for only the second time in this series.  As to why that’s the case and how he’s going to avoid being assassinated by this kid, only one will be successfully answered in this volume.

It’s that personal connection which gives the brief battle between the two tentacled combatants some real drama, and Itona’s smug handler Shiro -- who has all the answers -- makes for an enjoyably despicable addition to the cast.  I was somewhat disappointed to learn one tidbit about Koro-sensei’s origin, as that kind of puts a wrench in my theory of this series as an analogy for a “Superman” story.  Then again, I guess that makes it a metaphor now!  (Is that how those things work?  I forget…)  The volume ends with a transition into the  next arc, a sports battle between Kunugigaoka’s varsity men’s baseball and women’s basketball teams against Class E’s.  As far as good news goes:  Class E has a genuine desire to win and Koro-sensei on their side.  The bad news is that Principal Asano -- Kunugigaoka’s very own “Lex Luthor” -- decides to get in on the action to make sure Class E remains at the bottom of the school’s pecking order.  Asano is a character I’ve wanted to see more of since he was introduced as while his administrative methods are undoubtedly cruel, they still achieve their desired results.  Better to see if his potential is realized in the next volume than to hope that Ms. Jelavitch finally becomes a character worth reading about.

jason@glickscomicpicks.com

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