Friday, August 26, 2016

Ansatsu Kyoshitsu, vol. 9 comments

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Ansatsu Kyoshitsu vol. 9, by Yusei Matsui, Grade B+

(How to blow someone's mind. Or, at least, throw off their concentration.)

The rest of the kids think that Nagisa really is going to kill Takaoka. Koro tries to tell Ryouma to cool him down, but the boy has already thrown his stun baton, which hits Nagisa in the back of the head. Ryouma tells him to remember his training, and Nagisa hooks the baton on his belt and attacks with the knife. Takaoka is disappointed, and he kicks the boy around a while. However, Nagisa stands back up with a smile, and recalls Lovro's discussion on special attacks. This one only works as a last resort, and depends solely on the element of surprise. But, Nagisa has fulfilled all three requirements for it - having 2 weapons, there's a way to deceive the enemy, and the enemy knows fear. Nagisa approaches, and drops his knife. Takaoka focuses on the falling blade, and Nagisa leaps forward with "Neko Damashi" (the trick used in sumo of slapping in your opponent's face to confuse him). Takaoka steps back, giving Nagisa time to grab the baton and stun him in the armpit. Takaoka begs the boy not to give the smile, but Nagisa smiles, says, "thank you, Takaoka-sensei" and stuns him in the neck.

(Koro's idea of a haunted house is kind of monologue heavy.)

Takaoka goes down, but before the class can celebrate, Smog, Gastro and Grip show up at the door. However, with their boss defeated, they have no reason to keep fighting. Additionally, Smog thought that Takaoka was a bit too unhinged, so he didn't actually use the virus on his victims. Instead, he just made them sick for a bit. He gives the kids some pills to help the others recover faster, and Gastro tosses his bullets out as souvenirs, and as an invitation to a more serious contest next time. Karasuma radios for a helicopter pick up. The military arrives to arrest the mafia in the hotel, while Grip, Gastro and Smog airlift out themselves. Afterward, Karasuma has Koro embedded in concrete, surrounded by anti-Koro material and sea water. At the end of the 24 hours, Koro recovers his body in a huge explosion, and he easily escapes the trap.

(Irina wants a romantic dinner, but Karasuma just wants to talk about killing Koro.)

There's still one day left to the vacation trip, so Koro tries to set up a haunted house to get the kids to pair off and start forming romantic couples. This plan backfires because most of the kids know Koro's big weaknesses. However, they discover that Irina likes Karasuma, and everyone bands together to get Karasuma to have a moonlit dinner with Irina. Unfortunately, all Karasuma wants to do is talk shop, so the woman reveals the first time she killed someone. She was in Serbia, and she was 12. The military had invaded her village and killed her parents. She took her father's gun and shot the soldier that discovered her. She then spent the night in a closet with the corpse. She apologizes, gives Karasuma an indirect kiss (rubbing her lips with a napkin and then rubbing his) and leaves. Karasuma wonders if that was a new assassination technique. The students complain about her messing up their plan.

("You can assassinate anything, including the parental chains holding you back.")

Nagisa is in a sushi bar, talking to his father about his mother, and his making friends in school, when Koro comes up to announce a summer festival at the school (then eating a couple plates of sushi and putting the food on Nagisa's father's bill). Most of the 3-E class goes to the festival, and completely empty out all the games-of-skill booths. Koro runs several food tables to make enough cash for desserts for the rest of August (his teaching salary is very paltry). The kids enjoy the fireworks, while the international governments decide to triple the bounty on Koro to $300 million. Shiro and Itona prepare for their next attack, with Itona using his hair tentacles to do lifts with a semi-truck. The main shocker, though, is that one of the students wants out of 3-E.

Note that in the middle of setting up the summer festival, Koro calls Lovro to invite him to join in. Lovro begs off because he's in another country on a job. After hanging up, he's surprised by a faceless young man that apparently kills him just by pointing a finger at his head. Lovro seems to be dead, and the guy walks off, saying that his name is "God of Death."

When classes start up again for the second half of the year, Takebayashi, the maid cafe fan, and the one that helped care for the sick kids in Okinawa, gives a speech in front of the entire school (written by Asuma) saying he's happy to escape 3-E and rejoin the ranks of society in 3-A. Turns out that his father and two older brothers are doctors, having graduated from Tokyo Medical University, and his family has pretty much disowned him. He's desperate to get attention from them, and an offer of money from the school (to discredit Koro) was too much to pass up. The chairman has Asano write a second speech, which is supposed to completely humiliate the 3-E class and distance Takebayashi from everyone else, while Asano demonstrates to the other boy that there's no love lost between him and his father. Meanwhile, Koro wants the class to provide what he calls "after care," with groups of kids keeping an eye on Takebayashi at all times to make sure he's ok. Takebayashi, too, is realizing that the 3-A classes are too easy after all the coaching he'd gotten from Koro. He wants to relax at a maid cafe with his new classmates, but they're too terrified of him and of getting bad grades to do anything but run away. Finally, Koro addresses the boy on the street, saying that there's many things you can assassinate, including the chains of fear and expectation from other people.

The next day, Takebayashi decides that he'd rather be in 3-E, and during his second speech he takes a trophy he'd stolen from the chairman's office (for best school in Japan) and "assassinates" it (smashing it with a wooden knife). This guarantees Gakushu's wrath, and ensures he'll be demoted (earlier, we were told that one other student had done the same thing and had been demoted to 3-E, also). The chapter ends with Koro telling 3-E that he wants Karasuma to teach them how to handle explosives (following the incident at the pool with Shiro), and Takebayashi is the only one that picks up the pile of chemistry textbooks that represent the day's reading.

Inside cover quote:
"When his face is black, he's completely sunburned.
He recovers in 2-3 days, but during that time you can't tell if he's crying or angry. It's very confusing."

Back inside cover quote:
"If you put your mind to it, you can wiggle.
If you do not put your mind to it, you can't wiggle.
When you do not put your mind to it, wiggle wiggle WIGgle WIGgle.
- Korozan Uesugi (1751-1822)"
(This is a parody of Harunori Uesugi's famous quote:
"If you put your mind to it, you can do it;
 If you do not, you cannot -- that is true for all things.
 When something cannot be done, you are the one to blame
 For not putting your heart into it.")

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