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Ansatsu Kyoshitsu vol. 10, by Yusei Matsui, Grade B+
The kids are watching a news report on TV about egg farmers having to dump surplus eggs because of a drop in demand. This gives Kayano an idea for their next big assassination plan - buying up all the eggs to make the world's largest custard pudding. She's put a lot of time and research into this plan, and the final result is the biggest, most beautiful pudding you can imagine. Takebayashi puts a bomb at the bottom, surrounded by anti-Koro pellets. Kayano tells Koro the pudding is all his, and he weeps with joy as he digs in. But, as he gets closer to the bottom, Kayano can no longer bear the thought of the remaining pudding going to waste, and she yells for Takebayashi to not push the trigger. Doesn't really matter though, because Koro could smell the plastic explosive, and he'd already disarmed the bomb (which he then eats). He congratulates Kayano on the work that went into this plot, and suggests that Takebayashi develop something that smells less. The class then gets to share in the remaining pudding.
(Itona's final death match.)
This is followed by Karasuma teaching the kids about Free Running (similar to parkour, but in the woods). Koro turns the lesson into a game of cops and robbers, with him and Karasuma being the cops. The kids are to remain out of "jail" for 1 hour. If they win, Karasuma has to buy everyone snacks. If they lose, they get double the homework. Karasuma has to try to capture everyone within the first 59 minutes, and Koro will go mach 20 to get the rest of them in the last minute. Karasuma isn't happy about being roped into the game like this, so he gets serious about tapping everyone on the shoulders as fast as he can. Koro makes for a bad guard, however, and keeps letting the "prisoners" escape. In the end, Karasuma is led away from the pool at the top of the hill on the school grounds, and Koro is unable to get to Nagisa and Karuma at the last minute because they're hiding at the bottom of the pool, holding knives. The kids did eventually learn how to hide their tracks (footprints, broken branches) and Karasuma is impressed at how well they'd done.
(Itona's tentacles are showing their roots.)
Next, someone is stealing women's bras and making it look like Koro is the culprit. Eventually, the villain turns out to be one of Karasuma's henchmen, who has been enlisted by Shiro to lead Koro into a trap. The trap is a tall, enclosed tarp area surrounded with anti-Koro chemical, and Itona stays at the top of the trap, shooting down with his hair tentacles (turned into sectional blades this time) to keep Koro from escaping. Shiro claims that this plan is based on the class' Okinawa hotel attack with the fly boards. Initially, Koro looks like he's being whittled to pieces, but when Itona attempts his killing blow, he misses. Koro says that while Itona is stronger and faster than before, he keeps following a predictable pattern that is easy to evade. Koro then uses some of his tentacle energy to blast Itona out of the sky. The boy goes into another berserker rage, and this time, Shiro doesn't care. Itona has lost for the last time, and is no longer of use to him. Shiro leaves, and Koro tries to make the boy join the rest of the class, but Itona also escapes. Over the next couple days, there are news reports of someone destroying cellphone shops, and one of the other girls, Fuwa, discovers that there used to be a small mom-and-pop shop that made specialized circuit boards for cellphones, owned by Itona's father. The five employees working for the company sold the technology to an overseas firm, and then quit. Itona's parents went bankrupt, and Itona himself was forced to live as a homeless street urchin. He'd been bullied by other kids and adults before being discovered by Shiro and having the tentacle weapons surgically implanted in his brain. The tentacles are currently killing him, and the pain is making him lash out reflexively at his family's "enemy." The group intercepts Itona at the next cellphone shop, which is what Shiro was waiting for. Shiro captures Itona in an anti-Koro net and drags him by the back of a truck to a spot where Shiro's minions are acting as snipers in the trees, with anti-Koro pellet guns aimed at Itona. Koro desperately tries to free the boy while also protecting him, until the 3-E class arrives to use their free running skills against the snipers. Shiro admits defeat, and drives off with his men, promising to leave Itona alone now.
(Return of the rare Japanese mountain otter.)
Itona still has lots of problems, from the messed up tentacles to having no clear goal anymore. Ryouma attempts to enlist him in his gang, and the others try to help getting him to focus on something else. Takuya Muramatsu takes the boy to his father's ramen shop, and Itona complains about how bad the food is. Taisei Yoshida tries to show off his father's motorcycles, but he drives badly and throws Itona into the bushes. Kirara Hazama tries to get the boy to read all 7 volumes, 2,500 pages, of the Count of Monte Cristo, and Itona explodes in rage. Fortunately, the boy's tentacles are weakened, and Ryouma can stop him, saying that rather than thinking about his failures, he should be trying to get stronger to kill Koro, and restart his father's factory. Koro steps in and volunteers to remove the tentacles for good, and Itona lets him. Once the tentacles are gone, Itona is thinking more clearly, and he starts using the electronics training he'd gotten from his father to make a nearly soundless remote-controlled battle tank. It has flaws, but some of the other kids in the class offer suggestions for improvements, such as with the camera optics and weapons control systems. Then, they get wrapped up trying to use the tank to spy on the girls' locker room, until the rare mountain otter shows up and destroys the tank. Itona is philosophical, and starts working on "tank #2." Elsewhere, Karasuma's boss is talking to Shiro about teaming up. Shiro, who is letting a small lab mouse run around in his robes and on his face, says that he's found an even bigger monster than Itona had been, implying that he has his sights on Nagisa (this is misdirection).
One of the things that I really like about this manga is how Koro-sensei constantly acts so weak and easily distracted. He has character flaws all over, from an interest in etchi magazines, to a massive sweet tooth, to being overly sensitive to embarrassing situations. Then, he'll suddenly get serious and he then becomes invulnerable. Most of this is an act, as part of his training to get the kids in class 3-E to level up to where they can indeed assassinate him. Conversely, the Japanese language introduces two meanings to the words "assassinate" and "kill." There's the obvious, literal translation of killing someone, but most of the time everyone in the manga uses the second meaning of "to simply defeat an opponent so that he stops wanting to fight anymore." So, when Koro tells his students to "kill" him, it's hard to tell if this is supposed to be literal, or just hyperbole. Regardless, all of the other adults do actually have a history of really killing people prior to when they show up in the story.
Fun stuff, and therefore recommended.
Inside cover quote:
"When you see the rainbow, he's feeling everything. All human emotions, good
and evil, past and future, and the memorial for reaching volume 10 in the
series. This is for you."
Back inside cover quote:
"There are tentacles.
There are tentacles.
Sigh, there are tentacles.
(This is probably another parody, but I don't know what the original is.)