Can you believe it’s summer already? I mean it was snowing last week and might snow again next week but that’s just how summers work here. It seems like the year is just flying by. Maybe it’s because I have all these great posts to read and as always my OWLS companions are contributing their fair share of those.

For June, it was decided that the topic would be:

In honor of “Pride Month,” we will be discussing the word, “Pride” and its meaning. We will be exploring pop culture characters’ most satisfying and joyful achievements or skills that they possessed and whether or not these qualities could be seen as a positive or negative aspect in their personal lives and/or society.

Fullmetal Alchemist
Death Note
Nanatsu no Taizai

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I will be your professor for today

I’ll be honest with you guys, I really struggled with this month’s theme. To the point that I had to ask the help and guidance of the rest of the OWLS members. The topic is great, truly inspiring as usual but it’s also very delicate.

You see Pride in the context of Pride month already means something very specific. Something important and powerful to my community that deserves respect and careful consideration. A lot of people have and continue to suffer in a very real way for something that is completely beyond their control, not to mention not a fault in any way, and to them this Pride might as well be Hope. A safe harbour in an often unfair and scary world.

Of course that’s not all Pride means. Animes and really tales of all kinds usually concern themselves with the dangers of an overabundance of pride. There are certainly downside, it is a deadly sin after all. But I didn’t want to linger on the negatives, not this month, not in this context.

Image result for assassination classroom karma

Besides, I had the perfect show in mind: Assassination Classroom.

Auri wrote a fantastic post about the manga for last month’s tour, please go read it if you haven’t had the chance yet. At the time I hadn’t yet seen the series but it got me curious. I have now and I realized that the trials of the class 3E students are a perfect metaphor for what I want to say.

You see, in Assassination Classroom, a child’s entire future can be decided for them based on some rather flimsy data that’s usually way beyond that child’s control. If a kid at Kunugigaoka Junior High School let’s their grades slip in the lower percentile they see themselves placed in remedial class 3E. But beyond a stilted curriculum, these students are now segregated, swept away to the old school building where no one can see them so and they don’t bother the “normal” students.

They are stripped of their privileges, and comforts while given no tools to better their situation. They are treated as inferior and mild bullying towards them is not only accepted, it’s pretty much expected. They are understood by all to be  lesser.

Image result for assassination classroom bullying
your definition of mild may vary

The rub here is that this is through no fault of their own. Most of these students are shown to be courteous and hard working. They may in fact excel in certain fields but have difficulties in others due to personal issues. Some of them are visibly and demonstrably smart children that simply do not do well in standardized testing. And let’s not forget that the grades are on a curve. Even an objectively good showing, for instance an 80% on a test, can land you at the bottom of the class if you happen to be unlucky enough to be surrounded by prodigies or cheaters.

And so, a somewhat arbitrary assortment of students, finds themselves ushered together and constantly put down for reasons completely beyond their control.

And I’m not even at the worst part yet. The worst part is that there always needs to be a class 3E. They are effigies and sacrificial lambs meant to serve as both warning and motivation to the rest of the students. Fear of ending up in class 3E is what makes everyone work so desperately hard. And having worked so hard, they believed to have earned the right to impose their superiority and mistreat those unfortunate students as a matter of course.

However, for any threat to work, it has to be properly frightening. Those students can’t be enjoying themselves and they shouldn’t be able to simply shrug off their oppressions and rejoin the “proper” students after a few lucky tests. It has to be a truly daunting fate, one from which you do not return.

Image result for assassination classroom hopeless
what did I just say!

The entire institution in which they exist has a vested interest in keeping the students of class 3E exactly where they are, miserable and hopeless. For the status quo to be maintained, while some rise to the top others must be held firmly at the bottom. It’s not even personal you see. And that’s what really hurts.

After years of this practice, it’s seeped into the general consciousness as a natural state. This is how it should be and too bad for those students that didn’t make it. It’s so ingrained that the class of 3E themselves believes this. That is until someone tells them otherwise.

After having had everything taken away from them. After being treated as worthless and ignored as hopeless, having someone acknowledge you, someone who believes that you are worth their time, can be a life saver. What KuroSensei really gave his students isn’t mysterious secret knowledge that will help them overcome all principles,. it isn’t even some deep discipline that will serve them for the rest of their lives. All he did was return something that had been unfairly ripped away from them, their basic human pride.

You see, before it goes all haywire and out of control, pride is simply that peculiar happiness you feel at not being ashamed of yourself. At believing that you have the right to enjoy the most basic pleasure such as sunshine or a good meal or love. It’s the simple notion that you matter. And that my friends, isn’t a privilege, it’s a right.

being proud of others is great too

So in a month where Pride means love and acceptance, let me share with you a simple lesson I learned from Assassination Classroom. Figure out what good means to you, and try to be that. Celebrate your strengths and be forgiving of your weaknesses. Fail and then try again. Everyday strive to be someone you wouldn’t mind having a drink with or setting up your best friend with. And be proud of yourself, because you deserve it. Because who you are is what matters, not what you look like. And who you love matters, not what they look like. Don’t let anybody take that pride away – it’s yours to keep. And if they try to take it, send them my way, there are a few other lessons I learned from Assassination Classroom I would like to teach them.

Let me say again thank you to Marth Aurion for all the precious help with this post. Those notes were perfect and very appreciated.

And do me a big favor, go read all the OWLS posts this month. They’re good people and their posts will make you happy. Karandi just published a beautiful post on Pride & Protagonists yesterday which you can read HERE

Follow the rest of the tour:

19: Naja B. (Nice Job Breaking It, Hero)

20: Marth (Marth’s Anime Blog)

21: Dylan (DynamicDylan)

22: Gloria (The Nerdy Girl News)

23: Marina (Anime B&B)

24: Dale (That Baka Blog)

25: Gigi (Animepalooza)

26: Takuto (Takuto’s Anime Cafe)

27: Scott (Mechanical Anime Reviews)

28: Crimson (Crimson is Blogging)

29: Carla (PopCultureLiterary)

30: Matt (MattDoyleMedia)

I hope you come enjoy the rest of the tour with me!

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49 thoughts

  1. I don’t always read the OWLS posts because I usually haven’t seen the show people are talking about but I’ve seen this one! Great choice and it was fun to see you take the Pride them in a different direction given it is Pride month (not that having focused on Pride in that way would have been bad). Assassination Classroom also isn’t the most obvious show to discuss for Pride so that was great too.

    Don’t really have anything to add that others haven’t. Great post 🙂

  2. I always felt that to really drive in its commentary of social structures- the show needed to actually have someone ‘drop’ to E-class. The threat was almost all ‘tell’ and no ‘show’, so the jerks in the other classes were rarely ever more than that- jerks. (Who were also cowards)
    I think there’s something dangerous about people equating power and selfishness with oppression- especially with this little nuance.
    I really like Assassination Classroom! It just wasn’t deft or subtle enough to make me really care about that aspect of the story.
    And being prideful as a right… ehhhhh. People can make really bad choices… shame is a super necessary part of recognizing your own mistakes- so both should really be moderated and balanced! Understanding goes a long way to achieving that balance!

    1. I get what your saying although I believe you’re going with the traditional definition of pride rather than the pride month one.
      The idea that you need to earn your pride – or that you are not allowed basic human respect unless you fall within specific parameters is not ine I share.
      Yes you can (and occasionally should) be ashamed of your actions ad even thoughts but of your fundamental self – your right to exist? Once someone else can dictate that, then what’s the point in trying?
      Great comment btw – I love actua discussions

      1. Pride as a human should be included as a starting point. The right to live and think what you want is pretty necessary from my standpoint.
        But feeling pride in one’s ‘fundamental self’ seems terribly full of blind spots for me. Descartes believed that people should only trust knowledge and values that they can find through introspection-
        But my god, was I a messed up kid when I acted like that! More often than not people are self centered, so telling them to err on the side of tolerance usually makes them a healthier citizen- but I’m a freak who thought self sacrifice was the only legitimate thing of value in this world!
        Deep in my heart, I believed that! That’s so messed up, and it hurts so god damn much, I don’t ever want another teen to go through what I went through, just because they are told that it’s okay because it’s ‘who they are’. I had to actively change my core values so that I could even enjoy life after that! It sucked! And it still sucks, like walking around without a limb. But that is so much better than being a slave to self destroying values. At least, after all these years, I can find joy in simply living again.
        No one can tell you who you should be, but there are definitely people you should not be. Other people just often lack the perspective to make that decision- so we err on the side of acceptance, rather than be responsible for making such difficult and impactful distinctions.

        1. Damn throwing Descartes out at me! Now that’s just mean – if you start quoting Sartre I will need to go hide under my desk for a while.
          Joking aside – you know I think there may be a discordance in perceptions here. I grew up a very short visible minority refugee girl. The notion of having the right to exist on your own terms, choosing your own career or husband or even what food you like, weren’t exactly a given. You had to earn those things, prove that you had the right to be considered a human on the same level as the local men. The idea of ucking convention as far as not being straight or not wanting to set everything aside and have children, was simply not acceptable no matter what. (For the record I’m not completely ancient but I did grow up in 3rd world countries where metalities are still rather, let’s say, traditional). So when I approach questions of freedom, identity and basic rights v/s privileges, I naturally go at them from that point of vue.
          This said, I can pick up that your experience is very different and as such my own moral imperatives no longer apply since all the variables have changed.
          I’m going to stand by my view but I get where you’re coming from and the contrast really is fascinating. Also, let me throw it out there, I love that you had enough confidence (cough pride cough) to share an opposing pov.

          1. Hey! In my mind, it’s great to have pride when you think you’re on the right path! (As long as you’re open to criticism so you don’t end up making massive mistakes)
            Yep, I’ve grown up in a firmly liberal democracy in the richest nation in the world. I can see why we’d have a massive difference in our assumed values. The internet, especially in niches like anime blogging, is highly democratized by the very nature of free access to information.
            I’m assuming that there’s virtually no one here who is really going to argue against the things that I perceive as common egalitarian values. Through that assumption, I’m trying to think of answers to existential problems, since humanist problems have a bit more of an intellectual consensus. ‘Killing is bad’, ‘Oppression is bad’, all that stuff is repeated through almost every piece of media I’ll ever consume. No reason to argue against them, I just want to add what I perceive as an important asterisk moving forward.

            1. That may be a bit optimistic what you percieve as oppression may not be considered bad by everyone
              I have had the occasional email warning me to not talk about certain anime cause I couldn’t possibly understand only in much more coulorful terms and Im super wonderbread so I assume some have had it much worse…

            2. Oppression is a pretty vague topic that people can apply completely differently. I’d say that at least 95+ percent of people would say they hate oppression without thinking, but then look the current state of politics. Communism, an uprising claiming to be for equality, was one of the most oppressive and disastrous regimes in history. The way people can twist words and concepts from their original form to fit their narrative is kinda scary! (Thus I will play devils advocate to good-natured idealists who I agree with on principle)

          2. It’s about the word “pride”, I suspect. I have problems with it, too. If I were proud of being myself, what would I even be proud of? Most of my experience with minority pride comes either from university, or from online. And there’s one thing I noticed: “pride” often has a social aspect, and there’s often a supportive background group that gives you assurance. People need that, and it’s good that communities like this exist. But where there are support groups, there alway invariably also come in-group norms, and often out-group expectations (see gender language). In the case of cultural minorities, the children of refugees, or of “mixed marriages” often find themselves confronted with two sets of restrictive norms, while another, politically liberal trend would like people to accept themselves for what they are, but that, too, is culturally bound. So when you’re proud of what you are, you stake out a place in a society with what’s available to you. Part of the language here is “pride”, but especially with ethnic groupings that can be a danger: if you’re proud of your heritage, how much of that heritage do you have to accept? If part of heritage would invalidate your now more liberal life-style, what then?

            It’s easy to say be proud of yourself as an individual – but that is difficult in itself, because western individualism might not fit your personality very well. You might find yourself forced into decisions you can’t embrace (I’ve seen the very surface of something like this online – I won’t talk about it, because I don’t feel I have that right). There’s a sense of being unrooted and looking for meaning, anything that you can hold onto. The notion of “be yourself” is in itself contentious, in some ways. So being pressured into being proud of what you are can leave you confused as to what it is you’re supposed to be proud of in the first place. I’ve seen sporadic, less happy-sounding posts, a lot of frustration, and now an extended silence, and now I’m worried, and I’m not even sure if it’s just me being my usual worrying self, because – maybe – some people are better off off-line?

            But I don’t think the “pride” header and what baggage comes with it is unilaterally good – it’s a life-saver for some, but a source of anxiety for others (and it can be both either at different times or as a messy beundle for yet others).

            One way or another, you have to work with what you’re dealt, and it’s my philosophy to try and not make it harder for others, and to always help when it’s easy, with the frequency decreasing with difficulty. I’m not naturally confrontational, but I’m also not the most accomodating guy. It’s a strange mix, and most things that people feel is very important doesn’t feel that important to me. The result, though, is that I “give in” too much and “end up” with too little. I also have a really bad sense of what it is that I want out of life, so I just sort of amble along until it ends. People think that’s more problematic than it actually is, but it’s not entirely unproblematic either. I can’t even begin to imagine why I should be proud of such a mess, but I’m not really looking to change all that drastically either. The world isn’t perfect, life isn’t perfect, I’m not perfect, and everyone’s in the same boat. We could do with a good deal less pride in the world (if I’m in selfish mode), because that’s mostly why people insist on enforcing nonsense in the first place. Be a good X, and do x1, x2, x3… Being proud of yourself just plants a seed for future generations, because that’s how people work. (Oh look, I slipped into rant mode.)

            I think Edgy’s criticism of the show, though, is a very interesting one: we never got one of the “snobs” fall down into their class, and at the same time all we met from above classes were portrayed as antagonists. The heart’s in the right place, but they simplified life by quite a lot. Based on Edgy’s criticism, I’d probably want to explore a friendship between one person in the E class and one in any other class. That would be an interesting story.

            Personally, I quite liked the show. I especially like the character designs that makes the kids look both special and ordinary at the same time – quite a feat, and perfectly in line with the message.

            1. well there was Karma. He fell quite spectacularly. He was pretty elite and although he acts above it all, we are give clues that he deals with is own frustration about the situation.

              But isn’t part of institutionalized discrimination the fact that the *snobs*/*elite* cannot fall?

              Now I do think there’s a question of semantics. Some people seem to take pride as considering yourself exceptional, worthy of more than your neighbor, in some way *better*. From my understanding of Pride as in Pride Month, it’s more of a question of accepting your right to strive for equality. To believe yourself worthy of anything, not necessarily more.
              I am the first to admit, and even wrote that there are inherent dangers in an overabundance of pride. Personally I do not see the trait as either good or bad, like most things in life.
              However, if you do not believe that you are worthy of the considerable resources required to keep a human alive then I got a feeling that’s going to hamper your contributions to society. If you do not believe your thoughts and voice have any value then you won’t share them. At that point you’re a very resource intensive paperweight, in my opinion.

            2. I’ve watched the show as it aired, but Karma isn’t really a good example, because he never internalised the system. He was one of the few who couldn’t accept the system, so his solution was to isolate himself from people who did interalise it, which is both class E and everyone else. He just didn’t come to class. The frustration was never with loss of status in a system he felt integrated in. His personality made him a self-perceived outsider in both classes he was part of.

              And no, the entire point of the system is not to become a bottom-feeder. I took this to mean that none of them started out in class E, and while misfits are more likely to fall out of motivational reasons, lack of academic success should achieve the same thing. We didn’t see that sort of system shock: oh know, I’m such a failure! How can you live with this? How will you integrate? After getting to know the director, I didn’t get the impression that he was treating people “unfairly” in that respect: if you lack the motivation (even through systematic side-linging) that’s on you. But if you don’t and still don’t get results… well, sucks. This is, I think, an aspect they didn’t address.

              As for “pride”. Yes, a lot of it is semantics. But that’s not all, really. If you define “pride” as accepting your right to strive for equality, then you’re probably having a certain range of behaviour in mind. How useful, for example, is the concept of “pride” to a paedophile who doesn’t think he should strive for living his sexuality, but does think he shouldn’t be shamed for an orientiation he can’t help. This is an extreme case, but it shows a difficulty with the pride-concept in the first place: it favours a progressive-liberal political mindset (which I actually share), and if you don’t fit that, you might feel assaulted from both bigots and people who use “pride” (even if that’s a genral sense). It’s fine to use the word “pride” in such contexts; it helps a lot of people (and we have examples in this very comment section). But people should be aware that there are downsides.

              I’m not fond of “contributing to society”, either, as a term. People really shouldn’t need to feel like they have to do that for fear of being considered a paper weight. If you don’t work change, you don’t. You still pay your taxes and talk to your friends (if you have any). If you do work change, be aware that life almost never works out as envisage it, and be prepared to say “I had good intentions,” a lot. I’m not saying things like this a lot, though, because I’ve learned that people turn this around to make it harder to escape the status quo for people who need to. As with everything, it’s a balancing act. Push this way, then that, and hope it doesn’t crumble.

              I agree, whatever pride may be, that it’s not all good and not all bad. Life would be a lot easier to handle, if it were. (But also less interesting, perhaps.)

            3. I figured you guys wouldn’t accept Karma, it’s why I didn’t mention it at first. Fne Karma is not a suitable representative of the group.

              Yeah I guess my thesis does presuppose some general agreed upon morality that isn’t fair or entirely realistic. Fair point, some people make the world worse. I doubt I’m qualified to judge who those people are and I’m grateful I don’t have to.

              I’m not sure I understand the paragraph about contribution. The word society may have been ill chosen mind you. My point was that if you don’t contribute anything intellectual or physical to the system around you (whether it’s societal or environmental) then that’s a lot of chemical energy for fertilizer. Of course, this is a thought experiment – I’m not sure anyone can contribute nothing at all.

            4. Well, the paragraph about “contribution to society” isn’t perhaps the best presented one, but then it’s something I find hard to explain, harder than the pride-stuff, even, I think I messed up there as well. I think so because you say “some people make the world worse”, but that wasn’t my point at all. I cut a reference to paedophilia in my first post, because I didn’t know I could explain this properly. Let me try again:

              Paedophiles don’t make the world worse; people who abuse children do – some, but not all of those, are paedphiles, and certainly not all paedophiles attempt to live their sexuality. Paedophiles certainly should be able to fight against discrimination on account of their orientation, especially if they don’t actually do anything that breaks a given moral code. How far they might go with attempting to change public perception is something they have to decide for themselves. I, on the other hand, can then decide that I’m not that fond of, say, NAMBLA. This, though, is based on my morals, and I’m a relativist, so I think I’ve acquired the morals during my life, and it’s one of the areas where I’m definitely fine with the mainstream.

              The key difference here is moral alignment with or against the mainstream. I’m definitely for people living the life they’d enjoy, as long as they understand that the joy ends when they systematically run over other people. Now, it’s difficult to separate the person from the topic, especially when there’s momentum from a movement is behind the language you use to encourage people. That goes for “pride”, as well as for “contribute to society”, and a couple of other words. I’m fine with some of those. “Priviledge”, I think, is a good word that could make people understand that there are problems we don’t have. To change the machinery is difficult, so that might be a hard pill to swallow, especially for the good natured. But it encourages people to see things from another perspective.

              Now, that I don’t like words and phrases like “pride” and “contribute to society” tells you more about myself and my immediate emotional reactions than about the concepts themselves. I’m way more undecided – politically, which is why I hardly ever speak out against them. They undeniably have good effects on lots of people. If I had a blog, I wouldn’t be part of OWLS myself, but I’d definitely link to posts I like – that’s pretty much where I stand. I certainly support the spirit of the venture, but I’m too much of a cynic to embrace any such thing. I take thing on a case-by-case basis, and sometimes I even use words don’t normally like. It’s confusing even for me.

            5. Oh I know you’re a cynic – It’s why I enjoy your comments so much.

              We probably won’t agree on this but there’s also a language barrier. I realize as I’m desperately trying to translate my thoughts in my head that I’m using the word pride as a synonym for *rights* maybe. The way I see it either you think people are born with a set of basic human rights (as such they have a base value = pride in my head) which they can then go on to loose, or only certain people are and the rest of us have to prove our worth and earn them.
              In a way you could argue that they both amount to the same thing but I disagree. I’m of the former naive optimist type. Until you prove yourself harmful or counterproductive to the world around you, you should have the same set of basic minimum rights as everyone else and from there have a chance to gain or loose. This ideology is flawed and risky. But I find the alternative stiffening and just less enjoyable.
              And I’m sure your paragraph was fine, I just don’t really know what “work change” means. And you mentioned paying taxes so that’s a clear contribution as is talking with friends, so I wasn’t entirely sure we weren’t agreeing..
              In any case, the post is naive but I still like it. If for nothing else than the great conversation it brought about.

            6. Actually, practically we’re on the same page, that is, I think we’re both highly compatible when it comes to how people should treat other people. The key difference is very likely the words, but I don’t think it’s only semantics (that, too). There may, for example, be a difference in how we relate to words. I’m not sure. My “work change” was… a not very fortunate choice. Paying taxes is not working change, in the sense that you have to contribute yourself. But doing anything you can only do because you’re you is, even if it means re-affirming the status quo, because you like it. Encouragement tends to come with pressures of their own: there’s a turnaround, here: “contribute to society” is a phrase I’m used to hearing from conservatives. The idea is often to play your assigned role. I clearly didn’t read it like that. But if you phrase “being yourself” as “contributing to society” then that can easily be read as “be someone who makes a difference”. To which I say, why? What if you don’t want to?

              As for human rights, I consider them something between a convention I support and a useful fiction. If nobody respects them they might as well not exist. I do attempt to treat everyone as if they exist, but in the end we live in a world where we have to see how we get by.

              Oh, and I like your post, too. I’m not sure what I would have said about it, had I not replied under Edgy’s reply. Different timeline, I suppose. I’m pretty sure I would have commented. My problems with the word “pride” are not something I usually bring up; there’d be far too many opportunities, and I’d be wasting my energy on stuff that’s comparatively unimportant (It’s not like I agree with you when it comes to the practicalities of treating people, I think – which is what I think is really important).

  3. Great post. Assassination Classroom does have some interesting ideas about social structures and puts a lot of these ideas against each other at times. It makes for some interesting food for thought while watching a pretty cool show.

  4. This post gave me the chills. This anime was so amazing and I loved watching the students slowly build up their belief in themselves. It always sucks that a test determines how “smart” you are so the system in a lot of schools fake and real are already broken. I love how their teacher not only helped them do well on the silly tests but showed them all that they were more than the number on the test.

  5. I love Nagisa so much. It’s funny how making the list with you on otokonokos a few months ago was what finally convinced me to finish Assassination Classroom all the way, and not just the few episodes I saw as on the TV back then.

    And yeah, I absolutely love how despite the colorful diversity of the class, and the insanity, and the murder, there’s also this overwhelming sense of unity. Not unity like the forced uniformity that the Principal wants, but a mutual unity between a bunch of misfits who had nowhere else to go and nobody but each other to look out for them.

    1. It’s a fantastic show. This said if the narrative didn’t insist on it I would have assumed Nagisa is just a normal guy… He never seemed that girlish to me

    2. Well said! It’s one of my favorite anime, and Nagisa is one of my favorite characters (and well, it inspired that piece on the character a few weeks bad.) I’m just really excited other folks have noticed how good the show actually is, and all the thought-provoking ideas and themes that exist along with a really well-developed cast. It’s cool!

  6. When I watched that show I kept expecting the girly boy to reveal he was a girl after all. Over and over again. We’ve had that in sort of reveal in other shows, and in some he stays firmly ish. Totsuka in SNAFU really was a girlish boy, but still a boy. It has become a trope. I also kept comparing this show to the one it copied: Great Teacher Onizuka. Its got more wildly improbable characters, and lacks the genius psychopath girl from GTO, but that is largely what this show is based on.
    re: weather. I watched the Formula 1 race in Montreal last weekend and saw no indications of snow. It looked like Spring or Summer was happening there from all the various shots of TV coverage of the event. Are you saying it snowed later that day?

    1. You mentioned this before but I honestly don’t see that much of a resemblance between GTO and Assassination Classroom beyond the base premise. I found them quite different in tone, genre, presentation and themes. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend one to fans of the other.

      This is probably just me but I didn’t find Nagisa that girly. I realize it’s a plot point but it never occurred to me that it was anything beyond a running gag nicely dovetailed into a symptom of emotional abuse.

      It actually snowed in the night of the 5th I believe – I write these posts in advance.

      1. The yellow monster is clearly Onizuka, complete with his struggles, joys, and challenges, only getting over a different but similar background. Onizuka was a bosuzoku and possibly a low-level Yakuza who quit and went straight to become a school teacher with a similar class of abandoned rejects. Ansatz Kyokai are just a more humorous extreme version, dialled up to 11. I thought the tone was the same or at least very similar. Even the overarching plot of restoring pride and humanity to school outcasts and that overwhelming joy of teaching these underdogs is the same.

        1. See I found one to be a more slice of life sarcastic commentary with a classical set up, dénouement, resolution structure and an emphasis on comedy and character development while the other struck me as primarily an action series with surreal comedy and sci fi elements, dipping into occasional drama, with emphasis on action and relational rather than individual growth.
          I’m not saying there aren’t similarities – there certainly are a lot. You could also draw comparisons to Zetsubou and Prison school. But accusing the author of plagiarism seems a bit far.
          Maybe I’m completely wrong but I still don’t necessarily think you would love Assassination Classroom just because you loved GTO and vice versa.

          1. We’d probably find people who dislike GTO because its both more realistic and the triumphs are thus smaller. Less is at stake in GTO. The world won’t explode. AnKyo is way more over the top, so much louder. And yes, I’d agree with Zetsubou Sensei being another remake of GTO, only more parodied with funnier social commentary. So perhaps you’re right that GTO aged poorly and its better to compare it with ZS, since AK is so loud in every way. I kept comparing them when I watched it, but hell, Cromartie High School compares too.

            1. oh man I forgot about Cromartie – I love that show.
              I think we may just have different definitions of the word copy.

  7. Very neat post! This is a nice look into the injustices of Kunugigaoka Junior High’s caste system, for lack of a better term, and the mental challenges that by virtue of being put in Class 3-E the students face. But more importantly, it’s a good use of your theme, and also points to the deeper themes that Assassination Classroom has (it’s really a very reflective series the more I contemplate on it.)

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