You know that insane math problem showdown between Karma and Asano in that semester final episode? Yeah, I didn’t get it either. I had difficulty understanding it as a college educated adult–there was no way I would have been able to understand it as a middle school student. What is Japan feeding their students?

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Mathematics aside, if you had told me a year ago that an anime would take a test-taking experience and actually make it fun to watch, I would have laughed in your face. Yet this was the first high-stakes confrontation we had in the second season of Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoshitsu, or affectionately known as AssClass), which starts off at a surprisingly sedate pace before rushing full head at Koro-sensei levels of mach speed for a literally explosive ending. And what a confrontation it was!

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It was immensely rewarding to see how much Karma has grown throughout the series; how his arrogance has now been tempered by a sense of humility and ease of self-expression. He’s always affected this closed off air of nonchalance, that “too cool” vibe which is backed up by the fact that he really is too good at everything. However, he’s also one of the more emotionally fragile students in the class. His overconfidence from last season cost him a less than perfect performance, which just goes to show that there’s nothing quite like defeat to kick your butt into gear and put a whole-hearted effort to do your best. What’s particularly telling is how Karma approaches the math problem. A shifted perspective in his place in the world in relation to his classmates and his teacher enables him to easily unmask the math problem for what it truly is: something that is made to be complicated but in reality, is quite simple.

 

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