Mar 22, 2019

Deadly Class

Deadly Class (2019), based on the American comic book series, is set in a weird dystopian Reagan-era, gay-free San Francisco.  Marcus (Benjamin Wadsworth) lost his parents in a freak accident, was put in an orphanage, and then went on the lam when he was blamed for blowing it up (with the orphans inside).  Seeing potential in him, the mysterious, brutal Master Lin (Benedict Wong) sponsors him for the King's Dominion, a training school for murderers.

The curriculum is rather brutal: in Poisons class, some of the kids actually get poisoned to demonstrate how they work.

Meanwhile Marcus has the usual "poor kid in a snob school" hijinks, including a snarling enemy, a doofus best friend, romancing the Girl (who, of course, finds him "arrogant"), negotiating between feuding gangs,  and avoiding being murdered as part of another student's final exam.

I don't know which made me more nauseous, the extreme violence or the constant girl-on-boy cruising.  These girls are ludicrously horny.  They act like stars in a porn movie, who pounce on any man who comes within 10 feet.

Or the racism.  The school is stratified into rival gangs: the nerds, the preppies, the losers, and various racial minorities displaying their own stereotyped violence (black, Hispanic, and Asian).  Marcus is half-Hispanic, so he doesn't know where he belongs.

I saw a little bit of reflection of heteronormativity in the outcasts, who don't really want to be killers, but were forced into the academy by their parents.  When I was in high school, just a few years before 1986, boys had to pretend to be girl-crazy.  Forget to stare, drool, and moan at the big breasts bouncing by, or to make a statement suggesting lack of interest, and your friends would simply not believe  you.  Your enemies would attack: "Fairy!  Fag!  Girl!"

But it's only a reflection.  The producers envision a world where gay people do not exist.  Two gay characters from the comic books have been erased.  This series is about violence, cliques, and female horniness

1. Benjamin Wadsworth

2. Benedict Wong (right); I don't know who the boyfriend is)

3. Ryan Robbins as Rory, Marcus' first kill, a homeless guy who preys on other homeless guys.

4. Willie (Luke Tennie), Marcus's sidekick, a member of the First World Order gang. a black guy whose girlfriend is a neo-Nazi white supremacist. I guess she just likes him for one thing.

5. Billy (Liam James, left), son of a punk rocker and aspiring murderer.

6. Chico (Michel Duval), the snarling enemy, leader of the Soto Vatos.  His girlfriend Maria kills him and starts dating Marcus.

7. Viktor (Sean Depner), a celebrity at the academy, the son of Joseph Stalin's top assassin (Stalin died in 1953, and this is 1988, so the dates sort of work out).

8. Juan (Juan Grey), a member of Maria's Soto Vatos.

9. Chester "Fuckface" (Tom Stevens), the Big Bad of a series about Big Bads in training.

10. Shabnam (Isaiah Lehtinen, left), portly, gay-coded, and a rich banker's son, three strikes against him, so he tries too hard to make friends.


  1. They seem to be going for the "high school but everyone's an assassin" genre of anime, with "Liefeldian antihero" tropes of American comics. Lovely.

    They know Liefeld's a punchline now, right?

    1. That's an actual genre of anime. It seems rather specialized.


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