Assassination Classroom is a Japanese comic science fiction manga series written and illustrated by Yūsei Matsui. The series was serialized on Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from July 2012 to March 2016 and is licensed in English by Viz Media. The series follows the daily lives of an extremely powerful octopus-like creature who also works as a junior high homeroom teacher, and his students dedicated to the task of assassinating him to prevent Earth from being destroyed. The students are considered “misfits” in their school and are taught in a separate building, the class he teaches is called 3-E. As of July 2016, twenty-one tankōbon volumes have been released in Japan with a circulation of 20 million copies.
The series began serialisation in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine on July 2, 2012. The first collected tankōbon volume was published on November 2, 2012. The initial print run for the first volume was 300,000, but after several reprints over 1 million copies were printed. Volume 20 was released on June 3, 2016. 10 million copies are in circulation. A VOMIC (voiced comic) version, which added voice clips to the manga pages, was featured on the Sakiyomi Jan Bang! variety show between January and June 2013. The series has been licensed in English by Viz Media, who began releasing the series in physical and digital editions from December 2014. The series ended on March 16, 2016 with 180 chapters.
A spin-off manga, titled Koro Sensei Quest, is being written and illustrated by Kizuku Watanabe and Jō Aoto, and began serialization in Shueisha’s Saikyō Jump magazine on October 2, 2015.
Over one million copies of volume 1 have been printed, and individual volumes frequently appeared on the lists of best-selling manga in Japan. Volumes 2, 3, 4, 1, 5, and 6 placed 26th, 32nd, 36th, 37th, 41st, and 50th respectively on the list of the best-selling manga volumes of 2013, making it the seventh best-selling manga series in Japan of 2013 with 4.5 million copies sold. It was ranked second in Zenkoku Shotenin ga Eranda Osusume Comic 2013, a 2013 ranking of the top 15 manga recommended by Japanese bookstores. It was nominated for the 6th Manga Taishō. It placed second in male-oriented comics category on the list of “Book of the Year” by Media Factory and manga news magazine Da Vinci. Nippon Shuppan Hanbai elected it the best work of 2013 in their “Recommended Comic Books Across the Country Clerk’s Choice”. It was number one on the 2014 Kono Manga ga Sugoi! Top 20 Manga for Male Readers survey by Takarajimasha.
In February 2015, Asahi Shimbun announced that Assassination Classroom was one of nine nominees for the nineteenth annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize.
Earth is threatened by an enormously powerful monster who apparently destroyed 70% of the Moon, leaving it permanently shaped like a crescent. The monster claims that within a year he will destroy the planet, but he offers mankind a chance to avert this fate. In class 3-E, the End Class of Kunugigaoka Junior High School, he starts working as a homeroom teacher where he teaches his students regular subjects, as well as the ways of assassination. The Japanese government promises a reward of ¥10 billion (i.e. 100 million USD) to whoever among the students succeeds in killing the monster, whom they have named “Koro-sensei” Korosensē, a pun on korosenai (unkillable) and sensei (teacher)). However, this proves to be an almost impossible task, as not only does he have several superpowers at his disposal, including the capacity of moving at Mach 20, but he is also the best teacher they’ve ever had, helping them to improve their grades, individual skills, and prospects for the future.
As the series goes on, the entire situation gets even more complicated as other assassins come after Koro-sensei’s life, some coveting the reward, others for personal reasons. The students eventually learn the secrets involving him, the Moon’s destruction and his ties with their previous homeroom teacher, including the true reason why he must be killed before the end of the school year. The series is narrated by Nagisa Shiota, one of the pupils in the class whose main strategy in killing Koro-sensei is making a list of all his weaknesses. At first, Nagisa appears to be one of the weaker members of Class 3-E, but he later emerges as one of the most skillful assassins in the class.