Review for Assassination Classroom the Movie: 365 Days' Time
It just goes to show how much time I have to devote to the fine print. I really enjoyed Assassination Classroom the series when I reviewed it, and the idea of a feature film appealed to me. Even given the series conclusion, there’s no reason why they couldn’t tell a story somewhere in the series chronology, the way Trigun: Badlands Rumble and Cowboy Bebop: Knocking on Heaven’s Door did. A feature length story telling of an attempt on Koro-sensei that we never saw in the series with all the added production value and character development that could allow for... Alas, Assassination Classroom: The Movie 365 Days’ Time turns out to be one of those compilation recap features. This is going to be a short review.
Karma’s a civil servant now, Nagisa’s a teacher, and they meet up back at the old school and take some time to reminisce, look back to when they were middle school students with the strangest of teachers, and the most bizarre curriculum.
The moon has been destroyed! Most of it has been blown away, leaving a permanent crescent in the sky and a field of debris. And the one who has destroyed it, an enigmatic figure with a large round yellow head, and tentacles (but definitely not an alien, he claims) has threatened to destroy the Earth the following year, unless he is killed first. But killing him isn’t easy when he can move at Mach 20. And for the year before he destroys the world, he wants to be a teacher. He’s been installed at Kunagigaoka High School, teaching class 3-E. So the government come up with a proposition for this class, kill Koro-Sensei, and get 10 billion Yen in reward money. Education has never been so lethal.
Assassination Classroom: The Movie gets a 1.78:1 widescreen 1080p transfer which is on a par with the TV series, unsurprising given how much footage they share. Most of the new footage is of adult Karma and Nagisa pootling around their old school building, having a chat. It’s a good transfer, detailed and crisp, with strong colours, and no visible digital artefacts.
You have the choice between Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround English and Japanese, with subtitles and signs locked during playback. Despite the surround upgrade to the audio, I didn’t really notice too much of a difference between this and the TV series, although the action having a little more room to breathe certainly helped the presentation. The subtitles are timed accurately and are free of typos.
The disc boots to an animated menu. In terms of extras, you get a video commentary, ADR director Apphia Yu, Sonny Strait (Koro-sensei), and Austin Tindle (Karma), talking over select scenes from the film for 25:32.
You also get 4:32 of Promo Videos.
No! 47 television episodes do not go into a 92 minute movie, not with any form of imaginative compression, or quirky storytelling. It’s just not going to happen. I still fail to see the point of a recap movie. So few of them are watchable, and most of them are tedious highlights packages that lose all that made the original series so entertaining in the first place. It takes a master to get a recap movie to a watchable state, and that is dependent on the source material as well. Once in a blue moon, you might get a Stand Alone Complex: Individual Eleven, but films like that are the rule proving exceptions. Most recap compilations wind up like this,
In this movie, most if not all of the series is left on the cutting room floor. Forget character development and forget being entertained. We get a quick set up, a little bit of Koro-sensei solving Nagisa’s problems with his mother, a little bit of Koro-sensei solving Karma’s trust issues, a little bit with Kayano (as that is essential to the conclusion), and 22 minutes in, the film spills out all of the essential secrets of the story in one big info-dump.
From that point on, we get the end of the story repeated again, with the last two episodes pretty much there frame for frame, including the lengthy death scene which without the 47 episodes of narrative and character development is totally unearned. I was bored into somnolence, which is something I never once experienced with the series. A big problem with the movie for me is that it’s told in past tense, two characters reminiscing about the past, about something that has already happened. That structure drains what drama and intensity there might be in the film, and really does add to the tedium, beyond the savage cuts applied to find a narrative in the series that would work in a movie.
So I once again wind up asking the question, just who is this movie for? If you have the series, you don’t really need it. If you don’t have the series, then if it’s dull knowing the context, it’s absolutely meaningless without it. I can’t see anyone choosing to pay money for a cinema ticket for it. It’s really for the collectors, the hardcore Assassination Classroom fan. You not only have the series on Blu-ray, you have it on DVD, and you get the Collector’s Edition as well as the Standard, and you import other countries’ versions for the different artwork. You have the manga, you have the plushies, you have the toys and the videogames and the collectible cards, and the rest of the merchandising. You have the live action movies, and yes, you have this compilation movie as well. And you never use, never touch any of it, because on another shelf, you have the one copy of the Assassination Classroom series that you’ve taken the cellophane off, because that’s the one that you watch. Assassination Classroom: The Movie 365 Days’ Time is for that person.