Assassination Classroom Volume 8
About half the students in class 3E have been afflicted by a biological agent leaving them slowly dying. The perpetrator wants two of the students who are still standing to deliver Koro sensei to him at the top of a luxury hotel at which point he says he will hand over the antidote. However the active students aren’t going to give up their bounty that easily and decide to infiltrate the hotel and launch a counteroffensive instead!
The Good and the Bad
We’re finally almost there! The first major climax of Assassination Classroom! Before we can get to that point however we must deal with just a little bit more build up as the members of class 3E must make their way through the hotel where the antidote that will save their friends is being held hostage by a mad man. Plus there’s the issue of having to deal with three expert assassins who all wish to stop them from reaching the top floor.
What surprised me about this volume is how fast it moved. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, this particular story arc took quite a long while to get through in the anime adaptation but the manga has been breezing through it in only a few chapters spread out over a couple of volumes which is a very nice change of pace from how I originally experienced this story arc.
While I do have some issues with a couple of artwork panels (see below), I also have to admit that I was less than charmed with one of the translation choices made by the editors. At one point in this volume, Karma goes up against a professional assassin who wants to sound like a samurai and peppers his speech with the particle ‘nu’. In this volume that particle is translated as ‘not’ which means he is constantly ending sentences with phrases like ‘is it not’ or ‘should you not’. In a liner note found before the start of chapter 65, the editors explain that they made this decision to reflect the archaic nature of the particle which makes sense.
Now, one could argue that the whole point of doing this is to make the character look foolish because he is a foreigner trying to sound like an old time samurai. However I can’t help but think that there could’ve been a better way to translate this that was less annoying to read. Obviously I’m no expert when it comes to the Japanese language but to read over the character’s lines felt very troublesome and tiresome within only a few pages (thankfully the time that this particular character gets in this volume is very short).
If I had to choose the biggest flaw in this volume it would be the artwork. More specifically I have to say that it is the artwork in a few particular panels in the first half of the book. I have to admit that when I watched this story arc in the anime adaptation, I had no idea who the villain of the story was and was very surprised when the big reveal was finally made. Reading over this same story arc in the manga however the artwork completely ruins the surprise by making it painfully obvious who the villain is. Even if you’re experiencing this story for the first time ever, just looking at one of the art panels near the beginning of chapter 63 makes it very obvious who the students will be facing once they reach the top of the hotel. This was just a very poor decision by the author and really kills the suspense that has been built up over the previous few chapters.
Going beyond this poor artwork choice, the designs in this volume are fun to see. The assassins all have very tough designs which make the audience really feel the tension when the students are up against them (the fight between Karma and the second assassin who fights with his bare hands in particular is very well drawn) and when Nagisa has to dress in drag in order to provide the girls with a distraction his outfit is just adorable.
While the pacing is a little fast and the artwork spoils the audience on what is to come, I’m still looking forward to seeing how the manga handles the big climax between Nagisa and the final boss of the first term. This series has continued to be a regular joy in my life. I always look forward to the day when I will be able to read the next volume and this particular edition did nothing to stop that feeling. There is absolutely no reason for fans of this series to skip this one.
Final Grade: B-