The Badger On: Assassination Classroom (Anime)

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I watched the first season of Assassination Classroom when it was first arrived on AnimeLab in Japanese and loved it. When it became dubbed I watched the first episode again and didn’t really like the voice work done so I let it go. I decided that I would try again a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed the dubbed version this time. Maybe because I had given it a bit of a gap between the watches that voice work didn’t bother me as much and this time I watched the whole first season again and then continued on with the second.

I am really having trouble trying to put down in words what this show is which is odd because it really shouldn’t be that hard. It is a classroom comedy I guess at its core but it has a lot of heart and is strange at that same time. I guess I should go over the set up.

The moon is destroyed so it now only a crescent moon. It is said to have been destroyed by an octopus like creature who  is not an alien and claims that he will destroy the earth within a year. He, during this time, wants to teach class 3E at Kunugigaoka Junior High School where he will not only teach them the usual school subjects he will also teach them the art of assassination. The Japanese Government put a reward of 10 billion Yen if the kids kill their teacher whom they name Koro-Sensei. This is virtually impossible though as Koro-Sensei has many superpowers and can travel at Mach 20. He is however a really good teacher, the best teacher any of these students have ever had, as they are lowest class in the school and are looked down upon but the student population and faculty, so much so that they are separated from the main campus and are only allowed to go to the main campus for assemblies.

The story is told through the point of view of Nagisa Shiota one of the students though you get to see the motivations and perspectives of the rest of the class though admittedly the focus, student wise, is on Nagisa and his two closest classmates  Karma Akabane and Kaede Kayano, who gave Koro-Sensei his name. Koro Sensei is also a main focal point but then the show is just as much about him as it is about the students.

Other characters of note are Kaede sister Aguri Yukimura who was their original teacher, Tadaomi Karasuma who is a government worker for the Ministry of Defence, assistant teacher and PE instructor, Irina Jelavic an assassin who had come to kill Koro-Sensei but couldn’t and ends up being their foreign-language instructor. The students call her Professor Bitch.

There are other aspects of the show that I could go on about but I don’t want this to be an overly long or wordy post so I will just mention one other thing and that it the music and in particular the opening theme songs. I believe that really good anime usually has a really good theme song and that it is one of the reason that you will watch the show. Cowboy Bebop, which is my favourite of all time had it with the Seatbelts Tank!  Assassination Classroom has 4 themes over the two seasons with all of them being performed by 3-E Utatan but in my opinion the first theme The Theory of Savage Youth is the best of them all.

If you have any interest in anime at all please give this a go. It is fun, funny, it will bring all the feels and by the end it will make you cry, well I did any way.

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Opening Sequence

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The Badger On: Cowboy Bebop (Anime)

cowboy-bebop-anime-review

In my other blog, Pop Goes the Badger, I have mentioned that Cowboy Bebop is my favourite anime of all time. Since it is so, I thought that I would do a bit of a review of the show as I do a re-watch of this show once a year, usually during State of Origin time.

For those of you who have never head of the show before it was made in 1998 and is set in the year 2071 and follows the lives of a space bounty hunters (Cowboys) on their ship the Bebop. The crew of the Bebop are

Jet Black – Owner of the ship and ex Inter Solar System Police officer who is now a bounty hunter. He has a mechanical arm.

Spike Spiegal – His partner and former hitman for the Red Dragon Syndicate. His right eye is fake and he is a devotee of martial arts.

Faye Valentine – A con artist with amnesia and severe gambling problem. She was cryogenically frozen after a space shuttle accident. Looks like she is in her early 20’s but is actually in her 70’s.

Edward Wong or Ed – An androgynous teenage girl who is the one of the galaxies best hackers. She is odd, funny and never walks properly or with shoes on.

Ein – a Welsh Corgi he is known as a data dog and is very intelligent and shows that he is very aware of what is going on around him as he was able to hack into a gaming system when Ed wasn’t. Ein and Ed provide the comic relief.

Most of the episodes are one shot stories of the team trying to get a bounty but there are episodes that are part of the plot of the show. These episodes are usually in regards to Spike or Faye and deal with their pasts. Spike, with his time in the Syndicate and rivalry with Vicious, his former partner, and Julia the woman he loves and who he is searching for. Faye’s story is about trying to find out who she is and where she is from.

It is not just the story or the characters that made this anime wonderful it is also the music which is composed by Yoko Kanno.  It blues and jazz inspired with the character of Jet being a fan of the genres and why the ship is called the Bebop. All the episodes or sessions as they are named after a genre of music or particular song with the Rolling Stones having three ‘sessions’ named after their songs (Honky Tonk Woman, Sympathy for the Devil and Wild Horses).

The show is funny, entertaining and charming. You will fall in love with crew of space misfits and will be left with wanting more, especially an answer to the final scene in the show. It was rumoured at one time to be made into a live action movie with Keanu Reeves to play Spike, not good casting in my opinion. There is a anime movie called Cowboy Bebop: Knocking on Heaven’s Door which is also great and should be checked out.

SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY!!!

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P.S Instead of a trailer I have included a bit of a music video with one of my favourites songs from the show.