No Anime Review Today!

Hey there!

There won’t be an anime review today. Want to spend the day with personal things, especially since New Year’s is coming up tomorrow, and who knows what will be going on then!

I’ll be back next Tuesday with a wrap-up post of my performance in 2016, and then on Friday will be my next review! It’ll probably be of the show Orange. … Or maybe New Game. … Or maybe something else, I dunno!

Also, I think I’ll be trying to do a Funimation February, where it’s all about Funimation-licensed shows! We’ll see if I actually do decide to do that, but that is on the table!

Anyway, until next time, if you haven’t checked out the new translation video I did, take a look! It’s REOL’s latest song, RE:, with English subtitles.

Otherwise, have a happy new year!

Jayke (AnimeBird)

P.S. That image above is from Orange, episode 9. I put it there because I felt like it lol.

Additional Thoughts: Attack on Titan Season 2

Attack on Titan Season 2. It’s happening.

I didn’t really mention “Season 2” at all in my Attack on Titan review. There are a few reasons:

  1. Season 2 obviously hasn’t happened yet (as I write this). I wouldn’t exactly have much to say about something I haven’t seen (unless I wanted to write speculations or what I want to see).
  2. My Attack on Titan review, I felt, was pretty long, and I didn’t want to make it any longer.
  3. If I were to write speculation about it, I feel it would involve spoilers for the first season. And I keep my reviews spoiler-free.
  4. Honestly, you probably already knew it was happening.

So, let’s talk about it a bit now.

Today, the day after I posted my review, Funimation actually translated a Japanese promo video and posted it on their YouTube channel. That’s a weird coincidence… The video clocks in a bit under 2 minutes, so if you have a free moment, go take a look!

The first thing, of course, that will probably grab your attention is that weird-looking giant-eyed Titan (fish-eyed?) walking among the crowd of Titans. I’m not really going to be doing a second-by-second overview of the entire video, but I just wanted to point it out. It’s weird looking, and not even in the same way the Moe Titan was. It’s just… weird.

Anyway, now that I spent a paragraph on that…

From what we can tell with this video, there seems to be more of a focus on Titan-vs-Titan fighting. I’m not surprised, as this seems to be the next logical level, especially after the two last major battles in the first season incorporating a lot of Titan-vs-Titan fighting. There does still seem to be some human-vs-Titan fighting still, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that isn’t as prevalent.

It seems the second season may also talk a bit more about the squabbling military factions, about the three walls (which will be rather intriguing, actually), and about Titans themselves. I wonder how much the series will bog itself down from its main staple of high-intensity action.

The visuals seem to be on par with the first season. The coloration seems to be just a tad darker from the first season, but not drastically different. It seems the character outlines aren’t quite as thick this time around though. The background music piece sounds really cool, of course, and still fits right in the style of the first season’s soundtrack (I actually first thought they just reused an OST track from the first season). It’s nice to see a lot of the same staff returning for this second season too.

All in all, I’ll be interested to see what this second season will have in store for us. Of course, not too much can be figured out from a two-minute promo video, but it’s probably safe to say that the show won’t be veering off in an completely weird direction (at least, not at first).

Finally, I should also note that I’ve never read the manga. I honestly very, very rarely even look at the manga for a show. I can’t exactly pin down one specific reason as to why that is, but a big contender is probably the fact that I’d rather spend my time on other things other than just reading.

Switching gears to another topic… April 2017 is 4 years since the first season aired. That’s kind of a long time between two seasons, I feel. I know a notable part of the reason for the long wait is because they wanted the manga to advance further, but I do wonder how this second season will do, sales and viewings-wise, in comparison to the first.

Between the end of the first season and now, we’ve seen a number of other shows, including action shows like Tokyo Ghoul, One Punch Man, and My Hero Academia, more than satisfy fans. I know there is still quite a fanbase for Attack on Titan, and something as big as it was certainly doesn’t have to worry about its name disappearing that quickly; however, I feel it’s more than possible that some people have lost interest in the show since that time.

This being said, there’s also been the show Attack on Titan Junior High, two anime films and two live-action films, and a crapton of manga and light novels, to try to keep the public interested in the show. It’s not like fans have been completely dry of new material while they wait.

But still, I just don’t hear people talking about Attack on Titan so excitedly anymore. When the first season aired, you would hear conversations about it all of the time. People would constantly talk about how cool Mikasa or Armin was, or about Titans themselves, or about Marco’s death (to be honest, I enjoyed the puns that came out of that though). While I still see people in cosplay for the show at conventions, and I see merchandise still moving for it, it’s not as… everywhere now as it was then. The first opening song isn’t being blasted all over the place anymore. Like I said, the excitement seems to have worn off.

Only time will tell how this second season will go, I suppose. I just hope that the show creators haven’t shot themselves in the foot with such a long pause between the first season and now.

I’m curious to hear other peoples’ thoughts about the second season, about what it might contain, and about how much excitement there really still is for this show. If you wish to share, I welcome you to write a comment below. Do give a spoiler warning if you’re going to be talking about something from the manga that we haven’t seen in the first season.

Review: Attack on Titan

Oh, come on, you’ve heard of this show, right? Even some friends who’ve never touched anime before at least knew about this show, if not even watched a few episodes themselves.

That being said… I was late to the party. I actually didn’t watch Attack on Titan in full until the January after the show came out (Jan. 2014). The biggest reason: I was actually going to watch it with a former college roommate, but… that ended up not happening. That’s part of a bigger story that’s too long to put here.

Second biggest reason: I’m lazy.

An Introduction

In an alternate-universe-type dealio, the history of humanity goes in a very different direction. Although at one point they lived around the entire world the same way we do here today, the human race in this universe found themselves being trapped by a bigger menace: the larger, humanoid-looking creatures called Titans. Titans have one purpose, and that only purpose alone, in life: to eat humans. And they’re pretty darn good at it.

Thus, all of humanity… well, what’s left of it, find themselves holed up within a giant, 150-foot-tall circular wall (with two more also-giant walls within it) to separate themselves from the monstrous Titans outside. It is in one of the cities on the outer edge of this wall where we meet our young main character, Eren… and, well, today’s not a good day for him.

After an argument with his parents, an even-more-giant Titan appears, looks over the wall, and then destroys it, letting Titans into the previously-protected city. Mass panic ensues! Caught up in the turmoil, Eren finds his mom under his now-collapsed house, but the small kid is too weak to lift the wreckage. Thus, he can do nothing but watch helplessly as a Titan comes by and eats his own mother.

On this day, humanity has learned a lesson. And on this day, Eren made a decision: all Titans must be killed!

The Plot and Characters

A decent amount of the first few episodes are focused on Eren and his two friends, Mikasa and Armin (I’ll describe them in a bit), joining the military and their training experiences. These episodes, although important for character development and introductions and such, feel a bit like a bore, and drag the show a little bit until we see them become late teenagers and begin to move beyond the training camp location at the end of episode 4. After this, the pace picks up and it becomes genuinely exciting… at least for a little while.

You see, Attack on Titan really is at its best when it’s doing its action sequences, or at least on the verge of action happening. You can almost feel the show relish in creating these large (and varying) battles between humans and Titans, and a lot of the plot twists and turns happen during these action-heavy episodes. Humans fly around with their super-cool omni-directional maneuver gear, and even though you see Titan after Titan be killed (or do the killing), every battle still does well to keep you enthralled.

On the few episodes that aren’t focused on that (such as episodes 1 through 4, and also episodes 14 through 16), that’s where Attack on Titan feels like it slogs down a bit. It’s not that these episodes are actually bad, and they’re still fairly important to the story. It just feels like the show itself is out of its element in these episodes though, and the pacing drags just a tad bit. (To be honest, though, once episode 14 rolls around, you’re already hooked.)

Speaking of plot twists, there’s some pretty big ones. For those of you going through Attack on Titan its first time, the twists and revelations that you’ll learn will really catch you off-guard throughout the whole show.

However, for those of you who are going through your second or so time around, I wouldn’t be surprised if you feel a little bit bored. You already know what the big twists are, and there’s little to no foreshadowing for them (although the show does foreshadow other things)… Not to say Attack on Titan isn’t worth multiple viewings, but it may not be quite as engrossing the second time around.

People like to say that Attack on Titan has a tendency to kill off characters, and so “you shouldn’t get attached to any of them”. To be honest, I don’t personally find that to be true. Most of the characters you meet by episode 4, you still see around on episode 25. That being said, you do see a lot of side characters dying (and sometimes the main characters, or the show, will get really caught up in them dying), but they’re more expendable, from a story-writing perspective.

When it comes to the show’s characters, I wouldn’t say they’re the most rounded. Although there are moments where they talk about things other than Titan killing, those scenes feel a bit more like an obligation to put in there, rather than the show actually trying to flesh out its cast. Like I said, Attack on Titan is best when it’s doing action, and with the cast we’re the most involved with, the Titans are definitely the biggest, if not only, thing on their minds. This doesn’t necessarily ruin the show for me, though, especially since I can’t say there isn’t any character development here, but more on their lives outside of being Titan-killing military soldiers would’ve been nice.

The cast members you’ll see the most include: headstrong Eren, who’s nothing if not a big bundle of passion; Mikasa, the “quiet but deadly” type who focuses almost all of her time on making sure Eren is okay; blonde-kid Armin, who actually grows a bit in his own right; and gruff Jean, who always looks angry and doesn’t hold back, but he is a man of respect.

All in all, Attack on Titan really is a fun show, and although I feel kind of bad for not jumping on the bandwagon and watching the show while it was airing, I am glad I was able to still experience it. Even if the other parts don’t shine quite as well, the amazing action makes this show worth the watch… but given its popularity, I feel it’s likely you’ve already seen it.

The Atmosphere

The look of the characters really stood out to me the first time I watched this series. With a second watch, I realized what it was that made them stick out: they used thick lines for the outlines. I really liked this move, actually; it’s a small change that makes this visual design distinct, and it just… feels right for this show. I don’t know why or how, but it does. Other than that, the character designs are really clean and nice, and relatively not-complex. I honestly really like how the characters are drawn and animated in this show.

Separate from the characters, there are also the Titans. The Titans look properly creepy, fleshy, and weird, but their appearance is most effective only when looking at them from a low camera (from about human eye level). Otherwise, they can sometimes come off as weirdly-shaped babies teetering around. That being said, I only find the design of the Colossal Titan okay; just a personal preference. The Titans with the weird face designs, like the oft-ridiculed “Moe Titan”, can really push you back out of the show, though; it’s funny, I guess, but I more think it feels out of place in this world.

The background designs are pretty good. The giant walls and the designs of the towns immediately give this anime a distinct look in its backgrounds as well. If we move away from those, though, the anime becomes a bit more standard in its look. This show is at its weakest when displaying large grass fields, as the fields just look so uninteresting. Obviously, the focus is on the Titans and characters moving around, but I feel that well-done backgrounds really helps with the visuals overall.

The music for this show, composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, is pretty darn awesome, I must say. There’s the standard orchestral instruments you’ll tend to hear, like the strings and the occasional brass, but the soundtrack also brings out the vocal choir quite a bit for those really dramatic moments. There’s also the more-than-occasional touch of electronic sounds too, which somehow just fits right for the scenes where they’re used. Although this was far from the first show Sawano composed for, I feel this show is what put him on the map for many Western fans.

You simply couldn’t not hear the first opening song for the show, even if you aren’t an action fan, while this show was airing; it was a pretty dang good song though. In comparison, the second opening sounded more like a national anthem, and while I was able to get used to it after a decent while, I still never liked it nearly as much as the first opening. Both ending songs, though, are fantastic in their own right, in my opinion.

I watched the show in Japanese, as there wasn’t even any news as to which company was doing the English dub at the time I watched the show. I would’ve half-expected Funimation to have picked up this show before it aired, but I suppose its popularity took them by surprise too. I feel the Japanese voice cast serviced the show pretty well, as well as Funimation’s English dub (or at least, what I’ve seen of it). You’ll be able to enjoy the show, regardless of the option you choose. However, one more note: in Funimation’s DVDs, the text during the cut-to-commercial frames weren’t translated, unfortunately, although Crunchyroll translated them for its streaming service. It’s disappointing, as there is some rather cool worldbuilding info in that text.

Final Remarks / TL;DR

Attack on Titan was the uber-popular action anime of 2013. There really was no escaping at least hearing about this show. Honestly, though, it’s pretty good; it has some rather interesting plot twists that you wouldn’t see coming (unless this isn’t your first time seeing it), and the action scenes really are super cool. It’s good that the action was as plentiful as it was in this series, too, because this show felt a tad out of its element in the episodes where that wasn’t the focus.

Watching this show is a no-brainer for anyone who like action, and frankly, if you’re an action anime fan, you’ve already seen this show. In fact, most everyone reading this review around the time its published probably already decided if this show was worth their time… I just wanna talk about it a bit though, okay? D: It’ll be interesting, though, to see the landscape 10 years from now, when new anime fans jump on and have never seen this show, and how they will perceive this show. (Honestly, it’ll probably be a similar situation to today’s anime fans’ relationship to Cowboy Bebop, the uber-popular sci-fi/action anime of 1998).

Rating: Great
Recommendation: Watch It
+++ action (this show lives and breathes it), distinct visuals in character designs and background art, soundtrack and ending themes
— show doesn’t perform as well on non-action episodes, characters are all focused on Titans and that’s it, may be a bit more boring during second viewing

Review: Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions

Known as “Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai” in Japan, this show marks a turning point for Kyoto Animation. Prior to this, KyoAni was like most other anime studios, vying for contracts to animate a show from a publisher. This led them to creating shows like “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” for Kadokawa, “K-On!” for TBS, and “Clannad” for Visual Arts. However, when it decided to publish its own light novel, and then turn it into this very anime adaptation, we knew something different was happening. Kyoto Animation was now going to start making its own shows, about the stories the company itself wanted to animate.

So Chu2koi (as this show is often abbreviated to) had a lot to live up to. If this show did well, it meant KyoAni could continue making its own light novels and anime, not having to deal with publishers and some of the other pains of anime production. If this show tanked, though, it would’ve been a big waste of Kyoto Animation’s time and money, and the company itself would have to pay for it.

All the better that this show did fairly well in Japan, then.

An Introduction

Do you remember when you were a little kid, and you thought you were the coolest kid out there? Maybe you thought you had superpowers, and you were destined to save the world. Maybe you were a magician, your abilities leaving everyone else around you in awe. No matter what you thought as a kid, you thought it was all real, and that you were involved in some pretty cool things.

Or at least, I had memories like these. And, if you were like me, you look back on these moments with embarrassment. Thinking I really had superpowers that could defeat the strongest of foes? Yeah, no. No way I really possessed such things. Or anyone did, for that matter. Having delusions of such grandeur is called “chuunibyou” in Japanese (“middle schooler disease”). These are some of the same experiences the main character of this show, Yuuta, has to deal with.

Yuuta moves into a new high school, wanting to get away from all the middle school kids he previously knew (and told that he was some gothic swordsmaster named Dark Flame Master). Ready to put his embarrassing past behind him, he wanted to start off a normal high school life, hanging out with normal high school friends, and having crushes on normal high school girls.

Of course, that doesn’t start to go well when he gets himself intertwined with a girl in his class named Rikka. Like Yuuta, Rikka has believed herself to be some gothic superpowered being who must wear an eyepatch at all time (lest the power of her Wicked Eye Shingan be fully unleashed, should the eyepatch be removed!). Unlike Yuuta though, she still is head-over-heels deep into this chuunibyou delusion of hers, and she decided to get Yuuta roped into her random activities.

From there, we follow the start of a cute but awkward friendship, leading into a romantic story, as Yuuta and Rikka explore more about each other, about high school, and about chuunibyou.

The Plot and Characters

One of the biggest things that sets this show apart from others in its genre is the whole dealing with “chuunibyou” and the weird words and explanations Rikka gives to what’s going on around her. The stuff she says can be a bit confusing (going on about her powerful eye, and looking for invisible boundary lines), but once you think about it a bit, you can tell she’s just seeing the world through an imaginative mind. It ranges from annoying to endearing, depending upon the context, but never to the point that it made me dislike her character; if anything, it made me feel for her.

We see Yuuta go from trying to push her away, as she reminds him of his embarrassing middle school experiences, to slowly beginning to accept her. A lot happens to get these characters to the end of the last episode though, and it’s a bit of a ride. Rikka and Yuuta, of course, are right in the middle of it, and there are twists and topics in the latter half that you wouldn’t have expected going in. I won’t say this anime has the most dramatic twists or reveals out there, though, but it does have some teeth to it.

The show’s supporting cast includes Shinka Nibutani, a girl who’s popular, pretty, and smart; Sanae Dekomori, Rikka’s faithful and energetic assistant; Kumin Tsuyuri, an airhead upperclassmen who loves to sleep; Makoto Isshiki, a guy trying to do all he can to get a date; and Toka Takanashi, Rikka’s older sister that just wants Rikka to be rational about what’s going on around her.

The characters in this show are relatively well developed, with Rikka being the most rounded. However, that being said, Yuuta seems mostly defined by just his embarrassing middle school days, and little else. He ended up being the character I liked the least in this series, and I do wish he got a bit more time to come into his own. It’s obvious the show wanted to put more attention on Rikka and her chuunibyou. Even saying that, though, I didn’t dislike Yuuta at all, and he had his fun times too; I just wish there was a bit more complexity to him.

The supporting cast doesn’t receive much development until near the end of the series, when we see them respond to all the drama going on. However, the supporting cast was what really made this show for me. The interactions with all of them, especially Dekomori, Shinka, and Makoto, are what really help to keep this show entertaining and fun, even when we’re waist-deep in emotional scenes in the latter half of the series. The various anime references that Dekomori and Rikka make are fun to pick up on too, when you can pick up on them.

In regards to the pacing, it starts off relatively slow, and continues at a rather relaxed pace for the majority of the series, only picking up speed during dramatic moments and scenes.

The Atmosphere

Chu2koi, being animated by Kyoto Animation, of course already meets a certain level of quality, so you can be sure you’ll be watching a good-looking show. I wouldn’t call this Kyoto Animation’s finest work in recent times, but it still looks great regardless.

The character designs are akin to the Kyoto Animation standard that’s been used since K-On! (if not earlier), and I like them. I particularly like the designs of Rikka, Toka, and Dekomori. Oppositely, Yuuta’s design comes off as a bit too bland to me, which probably helped make him the one I liked the least. The backgrounds in general look pretty great, but there’s certain scenes, including one in episode 8 with Rikka and Yuuta sitting near a river admiring the city lights, where the backgrounds are particularly gorgeous.

Watching the show as it aired, I of course could only see it in Japanese. I think there was a lot of great vocal performances in this show on the Japanese side. I’ve not seen it in English.

When it comes to the music, it stays relatively subtle, really only peaking up during the dramatic battle scenes (because, yes, there are dramatic chuunibyou battle scenes the characters take place in) and during the really emotional parts of the series. The music tends to be pretty good, but there’s not really any tracks that are that defining or memorable; even the themes during the battles aren’t all that noteworthy. The music is just… there, and that’s about it.

The opening theme, though, I think is really great. The first few seconds of the song gets stuck in my head a lot, and I think the whole song is powerful and just sounds good. It’s put alongside a simplistic but mesmerizing opening animation, with it flashing between each of the main characters doing various activities. It’s not something easily described, and when you see it, it’s somewhat entrancing. The ending theme is also pretty good, but I don’t enjoy it quite as much. The ending animation is also pretty awesome, though, and I especially enjoyed the scene featuring Rikka standing outside with the factory in the distance, for some odd reason.

Final Remarks / TL;DR

This show isn’t exceptionally emotional and deep, but it’s not all light-hearted and sunshine either. It’s somewhere in the middle, incorporating a fair amount of both, and I think it does a good job. On top of that, it develops a sweet romantic story, all while being told by a talented and quality animation studio. However, looking back on this show, the funny jokes and scenes stick out more to me than the plot.

I wouldn’t say this is a show for you to go out of your way to watch, but it’s certainly not a waste of time either. I suggest giving it a shot if you were even somewhat interested in it, because it isn’t a bad choice, but don’t feel too ashamed about skipping it either.

Rating: Good
Recommendation: Give It a Shot
+++ emotional latter half with Rikka and Yuuta, funny comedic moments, quality animation
— jokes more memorable than the plot, okay ending song, Yuuta needed more time to develop

Review: Assassination Classroom

I’ll admit, I’m not usually much of an action-show-type person. Like, I don’t dislike action shows; my first ever anime was Fullmetal Alchemist, and I’d say that’s pretty action-heavy. … But I’ve always been more keen towards drama shows or those that just were more about characters and relationships. Probably doesn’t end up surprising why you see me talking about shows like Nagi no Asukara, Tanaka-kun, or Tatami Galaxy.

So when I first heard of this show, I thought it was just going to be another just plain-Jane action show, and didn’t look more into it from that. As the season went on, and I saw friends (and Funimation’s social media) start talking about it, I turned more towards a “maybe I will give this a try someday, it could be something”. That “someday” ended up coming…

An Introduction

Kunugigaoka Junior High School boasts some of the best students in the entire country of Japan. The four classes of their third level, classes 3-A, B, C, and D, have the best grades and enjoy a top-of-the-line education experience. Their motivation: study the best they can to stay out of the dreaded class 3-E. There is nothing worse than ending up in Class E, the End Class. The E class gets stuck in an old, worn down school building, separated from the rest of the school, with bad, if any, school supplies and no resources to help them. They’re the laughing stocks of the rest of the school, and once you end up in the End Class, there’s no getting out for you.

This year is different though. Because the 3-E class of Kunugigaoka has been given a monumental task: to assassinate their teacher. Just days prior, their teacher had successfully blown a giant hole into the moon, and now he threatens to do the exact same to the Earth. … That is, unless this year’s classmates can kill him.

Thus begins the one school year that could mean the end of the world… or the end of Kunugigaoka’s segregated End Class policy.

The Plot and Characters

The difficulty with a show like this – that focuses on an entire class – is that the show tries to make each student (or, at least most of them) a main character, making it hard to become connected to even any of them, especially since it’s hard to keep a track of who’s who. It’s fairly obvious who the actual main character is here, though: Nagisa Shiota. This blue-haired girl… oh wait, I mean, boy, takes up a decent amount of the screen time and conversation, and even gets to go through the major dramatic ending all by himself (which kind of stinks for the remaining characters, honestly).

The only other kids that I can remember off the top of my head are Karma (Nagisa’s old friend, a delinquent who appears to be care-free), Sugino (a baseball whiz who was kicked out of the sport once he ended up in class E), and Terasaka (some tough guy that only made an impact in the latter half of the series). A lot of the names spouted by the various characters become familiar to me (like Isogai, Takebayashi, and Okajima), but I never really end up being able to match a face to a name. It doesn’t particularly keep me from enjoying the show or the hijinks within, but I’ll really only ever be able to know this show as a hijinks show, as I have no bond with any of the characters.

Beyond them, there are the three teachers: Koro Sensei, the alien(-but-yet-born-on-Earth) main teacher that they are set to kill, although every single attempt to assassinate him never seems to work. Karasama is a higher-up of Japan’s Ministry of Defense, who’s tasked to keep a close eye on Koro Sensei and teach the kids to hone their deadly skills. Finally, Irina is a professional assassin that wound up being the class’s English teacher (with a nickname that probably shouldn’t be repeated here).

The show, being a combination of assassins and middle school, switches between the two topics, depending upon the episode. Some episodes, the two get integrated fairly nicely, and part of me would’ve wished this seamless blending was present throughout the entire series. I don’t exactly see “assassination” and “middle school” as two topics that really blend together well, though, so how this show did it is probably one of the best ways it could’ve been done.

Overall, the weird antics and varied situations make this show stand out as relatively unique, and make it a rather enjoyable and fun experience… although I feel that can be said about most good shows. Even so, there are some aspects that make it more noticeable. The weird design and qualities of Koro Sensei (along with the other eccentric characters that appear later on), the various plans the classmates try to execute to assassinate Koro Sensei – with increasing complexity with each one – it makes for a rather entertaining experience. The entire series went with a pretty consistently good pacing too, not too fast nor too slow.

I’m not at a point where I would say “I wish I saw this when it aired”, but I’m happy with this show and what I got out of it. Although I have my issues with its ridiculously large cast and thus the lack of focus on any one particular character, there was a decent amount to enjoy without needing a connection to any of them. I may get to the second season once I have a chance, but I definitely would like to see more of a focus on less characters.

The Atmosphere

The animation and character art of this show is above average for a modern show. To be honest, when it comes to shows made in the past few years, the highly improved visual quality of them have really set the bar high as to what I can really consider exemplary. For this show, the movement and action was really fluid, which is definitely important for this show. It also just felt like there was a certain amount of polish or something behind this show too. To be honest, I don’t think I remember a single episode that actually looked bad. All of them were of a pretty good and consistent quality, which can, in some ways, be considered a feat all into itself.

This all being said, the backgrounds seemed to be about the standard quality for anime nowadays. I’m a huge sucker for beautiful background imagery, and this show unfortunately doesn’t provide that… not that every show has to, though. The backgrounds here are certainly good, especially for what this show needs. The bright colors fit for a good majority of this show, although there was a notable switch to darker colors for the more dramatic ending to the series. The final episode, taking place on a helipad, with all the bright lights though… that felt a bit weird. I feel it probably didn’t have to be so over-the-top.

I really liked the background music for this show though. The electronic-style-filled soundtrack sounded really cool, and a part of me always filled with joy once a background music piece started. There is also the usage of more standard instruments for other portions of the show as well, but the electronic music is what stood out the most for me.

I don’t really have an issue with any of the voices used for this show; all of them sounded fitting enough. Of course, it doesn’t exactly help that I haven’t really been able to distinguish the various characters though. I really liked the voice of Koro Sensei though; big applause to Jun Fukuyuma for his performance. I watched the show in Japanese, so I really have no idea how the English dub is. Knowing Funimation though, it’s probably at least passable.

Final Remarks / TL;DR

Assassination Classroom was an entertaining experience, that rather nicely straddled the line of “assassination” and “classroom”, although the ending certainly leaned more on the former. Having the entire class act as major characters, though, was somewhat detrimental, as not many of them ended out standing out to me, due to the fact that they tried to put all of them under the limelight. Everything about Koro Sensei, his design, his handling by Jun Fukuyuma, everything, was rather enjoyable though.

I’d say this show is probably pretty agreeable to most crowds, whether you’re more of an action type or a drama type. There is obviously more of a lean towards action, as even the big school tests have them fighting monsters that represent math questions in their mind. I’d say there’s enough in this show to keep most anyone entertained, but you can always see how you feel about it after trying a few episodes. A connection with characters may be hard to accomplish though.

Rating: Good
Recommendation: Watch It
+++ Koro Sensei, entertaining antics with the entire class, electronic background music
— too many characters to really focus on one, Nagisa gets the big dramatic ending all to himself, okay background art