Hey everybody! Well, the holiday season keeps rolling along and so does our homage to all things that bring joy. Last week it was brotherly love via Mob Psycho 100 (here’s the link if you missed it). This week, we are going to look at mentorship.
Mentorship is sort of an appropriate topic for me. I am about to graduate college and I would not have made it without solid mentors. It doesn’t matter how old you are, a little guidance can push you in the right direction. Furthermore, that mentorship can come from the strangest places. I think the best way to illustrate this point is with Assassination Classroom. Spoilers ahead!
I remember reading the synopsis for this show. How can I pass up a show where the kids are trying to kill their teacher…and their teacher is okay with it? But as the show progressed, it became less about killing the teacher, and more about Koro-sensei teaching the children to be better people, better than the adults in their lives. The show is based on a manga by Yūsei Matsui, and the anime is on both Crunchyroll and Funimation.
Let’s talk about the master mentor himself, Koro-sensei. I have seen some funny looking teachers in my day, but Koro-sensei takes the cake. The best way to describe him is that he has an octopus body with an emoji-like head. But don’t let that goofy appearance fool you, he is virtually indestructible. He’s also fast (he can fly at the rate of Mach 20), super smart, and kind of a perv.
Appearance and quirks aside, he plans on blowing up the world in one year. The government can stop this if they allow him to teach. Within this year, the students can try to assassinate octopus-emoji head. The student that succeeds in killing Koro-sensei gets 10 billion yen. But, like I said, he is virtually indestructible. So while these kids figure it out, he becomes their greatest teacher.
Nagisa the Underdog
All of the students are positively affected by Koro-sensei’s tutelage, but it is the most apparent in Nagisa Shiota. Perhaps it is because he is the narrator, or because he is the principal character. Though both of these reasons are certainly factors, I think it has more to do with Nagisa’s potential.
You see, a good mentor recognizes potential and puts forth the effort to nurture it so that the student becomes the best version of themselves. That is what Koro-sensei did for Nagisa. I mean he nurtured the crap out of Nagisa’s potential! That kid went from a practically invisible punching bag with an awful mother, to a deadly, yet very mature killing machine with an awful mother.
Here is what is amazing about Koro-sensei’s influence. Nagisa could have been the most successful and deadliest assassin in the world. Instead, he decides to go into teaching. I think I would have been okay with him becoming an assassin, but Nagisa deciding to follow in his mentor’s footsteps is truly inspiring. Kuro-sensei gave him all the tools he needed to choose his path in life and then left him to make the choice for himself. This is yet another mark of a great mentor, knowing when to step back and let their protege’ shine.
Assassination Classroom is a fun look at a strange, but a fantastic teacher. Kuro-sensei believed in those children when no one else would take the time to be a mentor. He shows the positive impact a great mentor can have in someone’s life. We should appreciate those who provide outstanding mentorship, whether it is a parent, a friend, or an octopus-emoji face teacher.