Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoshitsu) Season 1 Part 1 (Blu-ray) (2015)

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Released 8-Jun-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Audio Commentary-x 2
Bonus Episode-Episode 0: “Meeting Time” (10:12)
Interviews-Cast-Interview with the Cast (20:22)
More…-Textless Opening Song
More…-Textless Closing Song
Trailer-Previews
Trailer-US Trailer
Trailer-x 7 for other anime
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 253:42 (Case: 275)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Seiji Kishi
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Jun Fuchigama / Sonny Seidel
Mai Fuchigama / Lindsay Seidel
Aya Suzaki / Monica Rial
Nobuhiko Okamoto / Austin Tindle
Tomokazu Sugita / Chris Ryan
Shizuka Itoh / Martha Harms
Case ?
RPI ? Music Naoki Sato


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Kununigaoka Junior High School is an elite education institution with highly functioning students with exceptional grades. However, to keep the high standards misfits or those with lower grades are siphoned off from the others into Class 3-E and hidden from view in an old dilapidated school building away from the school. Those exiled to Class 3-E are shunned by the other students as failures, made to feel inferior and discriminated against. But the world of the Class 3-E students suddenly changes when a new teacher arrives; a yellow octopod monster three metres tall who can move at a speed of Mach 20, has a myriad of skills within his tentacles and is impervious to normal weapons. This monster (don’t call me an alien, he complains, I was born on Earth) has just destroyed 70% of the moon, leaving only a crescent in the night sky. In a year he will destroy the Earth as well, but for now he wants to teach a class and 3-E is chosen. Class 3-E now has a new assignment; kill their teacher by the end of the year and save the planet! And, as an added incentive, if they succeed they will earn collectively a reward of 10 billion yen.

     Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoshitsu), based on the manga by Yusei Matsui, has a simple and whacky premise. The series is wry and very funny, because, except for the three metre high teacher with tentacles, it is about normal high school concerns; belonging, isolation, discrimination, working as a team and realising your potential. Episodes in this first part of the series could be events from any number of other high school animes, including the class excursion to Kyoto for example! The creature, named Koro Sensei (voiced by Jun Fuchigama / Sonny Seidel) by the students, has promised the government that he will not harm any of the students as they come up with assassination attempts, and indeed he encourages their efforts. In fact, Koro is an excellent teacher, sensitive to the discrimination against the 3-E students and, under his tutelage and with his encouragement, they come to believe in themselves again. This does not go down well with the school principal, however, who needs Class 3-E to be the scapegoats who will encourage the other students to work hard. There are other hidden agendas, of course, and additional assassins are introduced to the class during these episodes.

     Koro is a fabulous, manic and wacky creation. He wants to be a good teacher but he is also very sensitive to criticism and wants to be liked by his students. The assassination attempts are varied and often amusing. Koro cannot be killed by normal weapons but rubber knives and special BB pellets, while harmless to the students, can injure Koro, such as cutting off a tentacle, although it regenerates very quickly. Because of his speed he can be almost everywhere at once, which makes the problem of eliminating him almost impossible. But that does not mean that he does not want to help his class to do it better!

     Perhaps one issue with the series is that there are 26 students in Class 3-E who tend to flit in and out of episodes so it is hard sometimes to recall who is who. The more prominent students include Nagisa (Mai Fuchigama / Lindsay Seidel), Kayano (Aya Suzaki / Monica Rial) and previously suspended bad boy Karma (Nobuhiko Okamoto / Austin Tindle) while the government is represented in the school by Karasuma (Tomokazu Sugita / Chris Ryan), who doubles as a PE teacher teaching the students how to use knives and guns and other assassination techniques, and professional assassin with big boobs Irina Jelavich (Shizuka Itoh / Martha Harms) who tries to be a language teacher, with mixed results.

     Assassination Classroom has completed a second season. This Blu-ray release contains Season 1, Part 1 of 11 episodes on two discs and ends with the introduction of an assassin who may, possibly, be a match for Koro and some hints about his background. This is an unusual and funny anime, twisting the normal concerns of high school students into something quite different; sadly, at this time the Madman site has not listed a release date for Season 1, Part2.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Assassination Classroom is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original broadcast ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The print is what might be expected of a recent anime. It is not super realistic but detail is firm. Colours can be muted but vibrant blues and greens also appear while the colours on the head of Koro, which include yellow, green, purple, red or pink depending on his mood, are rich. Blacks and greys in the flashback scenes are firm and shadow detail is fine. I did not notice any marks or artefacts.

     The English subtitles are in American English in a clear white font. The subtitles are burnt in when the Japanese dub is selected so they cannot be removed for Japanese speakers. I noticed no errors.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Like so many Funimation releases, audio is a choice of the original Japanese in Dolby TrueHD 2.0 while the English dub is Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The audio can only be changed through the menu, not on the go.

     I did listen to a couple of episodes in English. There is nothing wrong with this dub but it was not particularly enveloping and I really do prefer the original Japanese voice acting, especially Jun Fuchigama who makes Koro one of the most funny and endearing monsters in anime for some time! The Japanese audio track is surround encoded and the surrounds featured music, ambient sounds, Koro’s speedy flight and the “squelch, squelch” as Koro walks along. Dialogue is clear and the sub-woofer supported the music, assassination attempts and the rumble of the destruction of the moon.

     The score by Naoki Sato is fine and varied, supporting the tone of the series. The closing song Hello, shooting-star is very catchy.

     It is anime so lip synchronisation is approximate in either audio track.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Disc 1

Start-up Ad (1:01)

     On start-up is an advertisement for the Funimation Now streaming service.

Commentary – Episode 1

     This is one of the best Funimation audio commentaries I have listened to because US ADR directors Joel McDonald and Apphia Yu (also the voices of Mimura and Nakamura) actually talk about the show rather than themselves. They provide information about the US voice cast, working to a tight broadcast schedule to keep up with the series as it is aired in Japan and the influence of the classic 47 Ronin story on Assassination Classroom, including the names of the students.

Commentary – Episode 7

     A more standard Funimation commentary as Monica Rial, Leah Clark and Clifford Chaplin (the voices of Kaede, Kanzaki and Sugino) laugh, make jokes and chat about themselves and voice acting rather than the series.

Disc 2

Start-up Trailer (1:02)

     On start-up is a trailer for Eden of the East. It cannot be selected from the menu.

Episode 0: “Meeting Time” (10:12)

     A short episode covering the first meeting between Karasuma and Koro.

Interview with the Cast (20:22)

     Sonny Strait, Martha Harms, Austin Tindle and Apphia Yu, the voices of Koro Sensei, Irina, Karma and Nakamura, sit together, answer questions and chat about the character, personality and physical characteristics of Koro, assassination attempts, their characters and teachers. Worth a listen.

Textless Opening Song “Seishun Satsubatsuron” (1:32)

     The opening song without the credits.

Textless Closing Song “Hello, shooting-star” (1:32)

     The great closing song without the credits.

Previews (2:50)

     The previews that are usually at the end of each episode. They can be selected individually or there is a play all option.

US Trailer (1:32)

     The US trailer for the Blu-ray and DVD release.

Trailers

     Trailers for Black Butler: Book of Murder (1:08), Tokyo Ghoul (1:18), The Boy and the Beast (1:39), Psycho-Pass (1:40), Yona of the Dawn (1:03), Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie (1:48) and Rage of Bahamut: Genesis (1:29).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Our release is identical to the Region A US Blu-ray including the FBI anti-piracy warning. There are also special editions available both here and in the US which also look identical.

Summary

     Assassination Classroom is wry and funny, looking at the high school class experience though the teaching of an almost indestructible monster, who only wants to help his students and be liked! Something a little different on the themes of alienation, discrimination and working as a team to achieve your potential is always welcome. Please bring on the next part!

     The video and audio are fine. The extras are reasonable and the same as available in the US.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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