Friday, August 5, 2016

Ansatsu Kyoshitsu, vol. 5 comments

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Ansatsu Kyoshitsu vol. 5, by Yusei Matsui, Grade B+

The 3-E girl's basketball team loses their game easily to 3-A, partly because one of the girls was distracted by her opponent's big breasts. Over at the baseball diamond, Gakuhou Asano, the chairman, declares himself as the replacement coach, and he focuses on the "we are special, we are chosen" speech to fire his players up. Koro teams with Karuma to mess with star player Kazutaka Shindo's head (specifically by having Karuma and another player stand inside Shindo's swing range. Tomohito Sugino, the 3-E pitcher throws the ball, Shindo swings, and Karasu and the other guy easily evade the bat. However, Shindo's timing is thrown off and he hits an easy pop fly that the 3-E team turns into a triple play. The game ends, and Gakuhou accepts the outcome. Sugino apologizes to his former teammate, Shindo, for having used underhanded tactics, and hopes that they'll meet again on a more level playing field. Shindo accepts the apology.

In the next chapter, Sosuke Suguya, the class artist, comes into the classroom covered in temporary body art. Koro wants to be painted up, too, and discovers that one tube of paint contains "anti-Koro" chemicals, and the monster almost gets assassinated. Koro recovers, and is sad at not being able to participate in the fun. Suguya relents, and the class spends the hour painting each other. Irina arrives to show off her new revealing outfit, trips and knocks herself out. When she comes to, she's covered in graffiti, and she swears death on the entire class.

(Kazutaka Shindo IS the chosen one.)

The world leaders are angry about the lack of progress in killing Koro, again, so they send a new killer, Akira Takaoka. This one is a former soldier that had been in the same unit Karasuma was in. The guy starts out acting like a friendly father figure, but he's actually an absolute sadist, and he smashes any of the kids in the face if they say that they'd prefer Karasuma as a teacher. Karasuma is prevented from interfering on orders by the school chairman, but Takaoka is looking for an excuse to crush one of the students and to put them under his thumb permanently. He agrees to fight one of the kids selected by Karasuma in hand-to-hand combat (winner decides what happens to the loser.) The kid would get a real knife (a pig sticker) while Takaoka will be barehanded. Takaoka's hopes are that the kid will hesitate when handed the knife, letting him pound the victim into the ground with his fists. Karasuma had identified a few of the students as promising knife fighters, but there had been one boy that had taken him by surprise so badly that he'd thought he'd made a mistake - he gives the knife to Nagisa and tells him to not do anything needless, and that if he doesn't want this task, he can bow out. Nagisa accepts the task and simply walks up to Takaoka with absolutely no hint of aggression at all. The big guy doesn't know what to think about this, and Nagisa springs, slashing at Takaoka's throat with the knife, and turns the attack into a judo throw, following it with a wrestling hold that ends with the blade at Takaoka's throat. Takaoka is paralyzed with fear, then goes into a rampage, demanding a rematch. Gakuhou comes out and ejects the thug from the school, saying that yes, while teachers need to instill fear in their students, it has to be psychological in nature; any mindless bully can rule through brute force. At the end, Karasuma marks Nagisa as the one person in the class that could be considered a "pure" assassin.

(Karasuma senses killing intent just before the strike and blindly protects himself, only to realize that the attacker is the (supposedly) weakest boy in the class.)

The book ends with the beginning of summer, and the 3-E class needing a way to escape the crippling heat. Most of the students refuse to go to the school-approved pool because it's on the other side of a tall hill, and the trail to it is lined with the bones of past 3-E year students. Koro reveals that he'd built a new pool from a wood-lined spring-fed pond at the bottom of a short hill below the class building. While the class is playing in the water, Kayano, who can't swim, gets knocked from her floaty ring. Koro panics, and while he stands helpless at the edge of the water, Meg Kataoka, the masculinely attractive star athlete dives in and rescues Kayano. The class starts wondering if Koro's main weakness is water-based.

(Nagisa successfully springs his trap on the sadist teacher Akira Takaoka.)

Lots of fun sequences this time. I love the artwork on the snake when Nagisa tries to get the drop on Karasuma, and how well Nagisa defeats Takaoka. And we get a better glimpse into Gakuhou's methods for running the school and controlling his students and teachers. Recommended.

Inside cover quote:
White is his serious expression. There's nothing there... Nothing.

Back inside cover quote:
He's stolen your greatest treasure. Your tentacles.
- Det. Koro

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