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Assassination Classroom Graduation - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Ansatsu Kyoshitsu -Sotsugyou Hen-

Japan 2016

Genre:
Action, Comedy

Director:
Eiichiro Hasumi

Cast:
Ryosuke Yamada
Masaki Suda
Maika Yamamoto
Kippei Shiina
Seishiro Kato
Kang Ji-Young
Mio Yuki
Seika Taketomi
Miku Uehara
Kanna Hashimoto
Masanobu Takashima
Kazunari Ninomiya
Hiroki Narimiya


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Assassination Classroom Graduation

Assassination Classroom Graduation - Film Screenshot 1

Story: The students of class 3-E have only six months left until their teacher, invincible tentacle monster Korosensei (Kazunari Ninomiya), destroys the world. Until then the students need to have killed their teacher. Along with a few other classmates Nagisa (Ryosuke Yamada) wants to find a possibility for Korosensei not to destroy the world. Karma (Masaki Suda) on the other hand wants to honor his teacher's wish and kill him. The class is divided and a dispute between the students follows. At the same time it turns out that female student Kaede (Maika Yamamoto) has some insight into Korosensei's past and wants to kill him for personal revenge. Therefore, the teacher is forced to reveal his past. It involves a secret experiment and the scientist Yanagisawa (Hiroki Narimiya), who now turns up again and gives himself the same abilities as Korosensei in order to dispose of the monster for his very own reasons. Meanwhile, the military is working on its own solution, too, and pulls out all the stops. If the students want to keep their teacher alive they have to come up with something as soon as possible...

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Review: The second installment of the manga adaption picks up exactly where "Assassination Classroom" left off. However, relying on exactly the same elements as in the first part wouldn't have been well advised, even the less since the first installment left us asking for a background story. And we actually get it here, and even earlier than you would expect. The sequel doesn't disappoint, but seems to shift its focus from the action and comedy more towards the drama. Of course, this is only relatively speaking, since you certainly won't be overcome by weltschmerz in a movie like this. But since there is more kitsch on the center stage, which is in fact typical for mangas, although the word "kitsch" shouldn't just be understood in a derogatory sense, there shouldn't be left any doubt that this is a coming-of-age-story, after all.

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And naturally growing up also means having to give up on certain things in life. But the meaning of teaching and learning is put more weight on this time, too. This is also accomplished through a background story, which finally gives Korosensei the layers he lacked in the first installment. We understand his motives and his strange attitude towards himself, his students and the world in general. And in a certain sense this all comes together in a coherent overall picture. Kazunari Ninomiya ("Platinum Data") not only voices the teacher this time. And it's surprising how much time the movie takes with the flashbacks through which we get to know where the almost immortal being comes from. There are certainly no points for originality in order, but you will be content with the answers you get.

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Concerning the rather obstrusive drama Ryosuke Yamada delivers a neat performance, especially during the finale, which turns out quite surprising. Well, at least for someone like me, who isn't familiar with the original. Still, it is a bit annoying that we are continually confronted with monologues that may be necessary in an anime in order to create emotional sympathy, yet are out of place in a live-action adaptation. Here, director Eiichiro Hasumi should learn to differentiate better between different mediums. Apart from that there are a few twists of which some are presented somewhat heavy-handedly. And there are also chance happenings unecessarily prominent in the story. Furthermore, the new villain is drawn with too little love for details, if any, and only manages to serve the purpose of adding some more action during the showdown, which turns out to be surprisingly short, though.

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The finale between the teacher and the villain is mandatory, of course, but being more of a highlight is the students' escape from a military camp. Because of the drama the comedy is also taking more of a backseat. Maybe that wasn't such a bad decision after all, since the jokes merely could have been a rehash of the scenes we saw in the first part. Concerning the drama the film benefits from the fact that we are already familiar with the characters from the first part and thus have a certain emotional attachment to them. Still, this attachment isn't nearly as strong as it could or should have been. Besides the teacher the students aren't shed more light on after all and that's a pity. Thus, they all remain rather colorless and the drama can't unfold its full potential.

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The movie's scope has probably been exhausted with its two hours running time, though. When looking at "Assassination Classroom Graduation" you can tell that it wants to deviate from the source material as little as possible. To some extent this constitutes the film's appeal, but on the other hand it also stands as something to be criticized since you should deliver an adaption of the source material within the movie medium and not a too blatant homage to the manga medium. In the end, this is a coming-of-age-story and the drama as well as the fact that the movie doesn't diverge from its manga roots make the kitsch factor come across even the more obstrusive. Next to that you also have to review the movie as a sequel to the first part and in this respect it stays true to itself, delivers the answers we hoped for and develops the story further without presenting exactly the same as in the first installment. Accordingly, fans of the first part will be satisfied this time as well.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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