High school is more of a bittersweet experience for almost everyone and the worst of it comes out when a teacher tries to make your life a living hell. On the other side, the best days of school are the ones where you come across an extraordinarily amazing teacher who changes your whole perception of a certain subject. ‘Assassination Classroom‘, on the surface, is about a teacher whose students try to kill him using all kinds of deadly weapons. The main attraction of the series is its perfect balance of comedy along with its extremely emotional moments. The character designs, especially that of the main character, play a major role here. The protagonist, who is an octopus-like human, has the best expressions that perfectly encapsulate his personality.
What makes this show a lot more interesting is the way it slightly blurs the line between fiction and reality and tries to explore human morality. But because of its uncanny “assassination trope”, the series can easily be a hit or miss for viewers. It is certainly the kind of show that I would recommend to all anime viewers, but I cannot guarantee that its level of craziness will be suitable for everyone. With all that said, here’s the list of best anime similar to ‘Assassination Classroom’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these anime like ‘Assassination Classroom’ on Netflix, Crunchyroll or Hulu.
9. Pandora Hearts (2009)
Oz Vessalius, the protagonist, is the heir to one of the duke houses and has just turned 15. He lives a luxurious life where he does not care about anything at all and the only thing that bothers him is that he does not have a father. But his carefree life is abruptly ended when he is thrown into the “Abyss” for no reason and is only saved much later by a chain known as Alice, a bloodstained black rabbit. But no one really knows why he was imprisoned in the Abyss and what does “Pandora” want from him. Just like ‘Assassination Classroom’, ‘Pandora Hearts‘ seems to be a little lighthearted in the beginning but as its deep plot slowly starts to unfold, it takes a darker turn. The main protagonists of both shows have gone through a lot in the past and their present coldness to the world around them is an outcome of that.
8. Ultimate Otaku Teacher (2015-)
‘Ultimate Otaku Teacher’, as the name suggests, centers around a character named Junichiro who is a typical Otaku. He has an undying love for manga, anime and gaming. But apart from that, he was also a young genius and was able to publish several papers in science at a very young age. But right after graduating from college, he gave up on the idea of achieving anything great in life. Instead of further polishing his brilliant mind, he just wastes all of his days as a NEET. His sister soon gets concerned and unable to watch him throw away his talents, she forces him to work at the Icho Academy. Considering how brilliant he is, the head of the school’s board unanimously agrees to give him the job. With nearly no motivation to teach kids, Juchirou sets out on a journey that teaches him a lot more than he could’ve asked for.
The major similarity between ‘Assassination Classroom’ and ‘Ultimate Otaku Teacher’ is that both of them revolve around the life of a school teacher. Both of these characters are funny, likable and their personality fits with their character designs. Comparatively, ‘Ultimate Otaku Teacher’ has a lighter tone to it and it solely relies on its comedy to drive its plot.
7. GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka (1999-2000)
Onizuka is one badass biker gang leader who suddenly “reforms” and instead of living the rest of his life as an outlaw, he decides to become a school teacher. But with a class full of delinquents who are determined to get him fired, reaching his new goal may not be as easy as it seems. But after seeing it all during the worst days of his life, Onizuka rarely cares about what’s legal and adopts teaching methods that have never been heard of before.
Again, the two shows center around a teacher who does not really fit the stereotype around the profession. Despite being hated by their own students, both Koro-sensei and Onizuka just keep doing their thing without being too concerned about what their students think of them. Eventually, the unconventional methods of teaching allow them to become one of the best teachers out there and even their rebellious students learn to appreciate them. Along with all of its comedy and slice of life elements, ‘GTO‘ also ends with a moral message that can easily bring tears to your eyes. If you’re looking for an anime that can make you go through a roller coaster of emotions, I would highly recommend ‘GTO’.
6. Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (2010-)
Fumizuki Academy is unlike any other school in Japan as it follows a very unique system of grading its students. An annual test is used for dividing all the students into several different groups, where the smartest ones get to be in section A-class and the ones who follow get to be in the other sections. The lowest-ranked section is Section F and unfortunately for Akihisa Yoshii, he’s not only stuck in the F section but is also at the bottom of his class. Along with him, even his best friend, Yuuji, is in the same section. With dirty mats and broken down furniture, section F might have the lowest scorers of the school but to everyone’s surprise, even the genius girl Mizuki ends up being there. What follows is the story of these kids who are all crushed by their grades. But all of them are determined to prove that they deserve to be in a better place and will do anything to prove that they can do a lot more than what is expected from them.
The main focus of ‘Baka and Test‘ is not on a high school teacher, but instead, it sheds light on the lives of students who struggle under the pressures of a unique educational system. But just like ‘Assassination Classroom’, ‘Baka and Test’ also merges the whole high school genre with elements of fantasy. Along with that, it also involves deeper themes that question the present educational system. Overall, this anime is mostly driven by its huge cast and what makes it really enjoyable is its silly yet refreshing comedy.
5. Shinryaku! Ika Musume (2010-)
Unlike all the other shows on this list, ‘Shinryaku Ira Musume’ does not have a school setting and it certainly is not about a teacher. What makes it similar to ‘Assassination Classroom’ is its “squid girl” protagonist who, just like Koro-sensei, is determined to invade Earth. But before she can actually go ahead with her mission, she decides to give humans a chance and sets out on a journey to understand them. Only time will tell if she’ll punish humans for polluting her waters or she’ll just leave the past behind and finally understand the true motives of air-breathers.
‘Shiryaku! Ika Musume’ might seem a bit too generic at times, but it has some really well-executed visual gags that will actually make you laugh. But before you give this one a try, just remember that comedy is a highly subjective anime genre that requires far more investment from you as a viewer. So unless you’re willing to understand the context of all the jokes that it throws at you, you really won’t be able to enjoy it.
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4. Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei! (2007-)
‘Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei’ is another show that revolves around a teacher but instead of featuring a protagonist who is an overpowered Octopus, this one portrays a teacher who is just extremely pessimistic. Nozomu Itoshiki just despises everything about his life and even the smallest of misfortunes are enough to trigger his suicidal tendencies. Unfortunately for him, even dying isn’t an option as every time he tries to kill himself, something goes wrong and he ends up surviving. ‘Zetsubou Sensei‘ takes a rather refreshing approach towards the comedy genre by bringing in an interesting satirical slice-of-life story.
What really makes this one worth watching is its unpredictability. Most comedy shows follow similar formats where you know what to expect from their gags. But in this case, even some really serious real-life matters can be seen as the most hilarious moments. Even when it comes to fanservice, this show does it in a way that it almost looks like it’s dissing it. ‘Sayonara, Zetsubo Sensei’ is certainly not perfect but I can assure you that if you had a good time watching ‘Assassination Classroom’, you’ll surely love this one.
3. One Punch Man (2015-)
Being one of the most popular modern anime titles, ‘One Punch Man‘ needs no introduction. It follows the story of Saitama, who has trained intensely for years to become a hero known as the “One Punch Man”. Apart from all the crazy action that this one packs, ‘One Punch Man‘ also has some unique hilarious gags that will be appealing to almost all viewers. Unlike ‘Assassination Classroom’, it does not really have much of a story, but it has an entertaining tone that makes for a great viewing experience.
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2. Danganronpa (2013-)
Adapted from a video game franchise, ‘Danganronpa‘ is set in an elite high school known as Hope’s Peak Academy. Only the most talented students are able to get in and receive their own unique titles based on their skills. Makoto Naegi is one of the 15 students who makes it through the selection process and he holds the title of “Super High School Level Luck”. Being the luckiest student in his school, Naegi feels overly ecstatic, but this feeling soon fades away when he realizes that he has been trapped in the school with all the other students. Their bear-like principal announces a game where they have to kill each of their fellow students without being noticed by anyone and only the last one who survives will eventually escape the school.
‘Danganronpa’ is more of a psychological thriller, but just like ‘Assassination Classroom’, it features an overpowered animal-like creature who leads the school students. If you’ve already played the original game of the series, you’ll probably be a little disappointed by this anime adaptation. But for others, this high school mystery will keep you at the edge of your seat all the time.
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1. My Hero Academia (2016-)
‘My Hero Academia‘ is like an optimistic version of ‘Assassination Classroom‘ where, instead of trying to kill their homeroom teacher, the students of an Elite Academy learn to save the world. This anime takes a comic book style approach by portraying a whole class of young superheroes who aspire to fight all the evildoers who trouble the innocents around them. With its fourth season just around the corner, now would be the best time to give it a shot.