A little while ago, an octopus-like alien took a giant chunk out of the moon. He's sent the world into chaos, and has promised to do the same to the Earth. He can fly and move at Mach 20, and traditional weapons do hardly any damage against him even if they do connect. He's decided to settle on Earth for the time being, and has asked to become the teacher of Class 3-E at a middle school - the class of all the academically struggling, misfit, not-involved students who are critically behind their peers school-wise. Since Koro-Sensei (as the students name him based on a pun meaning "can't be killed) is stationery to the classroom, the government has deputized all of the students in 3-E and given them one mission: kill their teacher before graduation, the date he plans on destroying the Earth. But, Koro-Sensei also cares deeply about each one of his students, as he connects with them personally and tries to beef up their academic skills. Some of the students have reservations about trying to kill one of the most caring teachers they've ever had. That's until another student rejoins the class -- one who's been out on suspension for violence, and who has a disturbing dream of killing a teacher.
While I can see why this series is popular, I don't know how much it is for me, since this story is mainly about school, students, and the student-teacher bond. Koro-Sensei is nearly the perfect teacher who gives his entire heart and soul to his students, As a teacher, it's hard to not read this and feel some sense of guilt, like if you're not flying at Mach 20 to New York to analyze baseball players to better connect with your students, then you're not doing enough as a teacher. Aside from my personal hang ups, Koro-Sensei was endearing and funny at times. The students to which time was dedicated in this volume are well developed, and I appreciated the nuanced reasons for why they all ended up in Class 3-E.
VIZ rates this for older teen. There is quite a bit of violence, which should be obvious given the premise. The last pages of this volume hints at the government calling in an "expert" assassin, and the picture we are left with is a woman in lingerie straddling a man she has just killed. There could definitely be more moments like that throughout the series that would justify this as a title for high school audiences, rather than middle school.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publisher: VIZ Media
Publication Date: December 2, 2014
ISBN: 9781421576077 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Humor, School Age
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