Friday, September 9, 2016

Ansatsu Kyoshitsu, vol. 13 comments

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Ansatsu Kyoshitsu vol. 13, by Yusei Matsui, Grade B+

(Shinagami shows his true face.)

Karasuma is relentless, catching daggers in his teeth, so Shinagami pauses to let Irina catch up, and fakes a pincer move before triggering a bomb that collapses the ceiling on both teachers. Karasuma is fine, catching a huge slab of concrete on his back, but Irina gets trapped under the rubble and knocked unconscious. Karasuma wants to continue after the killer, but the kids are watching what's going on via the monitors, and they use Koro's communicator to tell Karasuma to be nicer to Irina, cause she's only 20, and still just a kid. He caves in and helps pull her from the rubble, then wraps up her injured arm, as the class implements their plan. Shinagami reaches the water pump control room, then uses his smartphone to check on his prisoners, and the room is empty again. He blows up some of the bomb collars to identify where the kids went, but they detonated harmlessly in the cell. Since there's no point in flooding everything if the prison cell is abandoned, he gives up and heads back to see what's going on. In fact, Koro and Itona used Irina's discarded bomb collar to determine how they're made, and Koro simply broken them off of all the kids, before removing the handcuffs. The gang then painted themselves white and stood on each other's shoulders with their faces against the wall. The security camera has a fish-eye lens, and the distortion made it impossible for Shinagami to detect the ruse.

(Karasuma debates flooding the cell with water to kill everyone, or to let Koro-sensei free.)

We get a flashback of Irina as a child, being discovered in her old village as the only survivor, by Lovro and a beautiful partner named Olga. Lovro asked if she'd mind waking with cold sweats and thinking of blood, and if not, he'd turn her into an assassin. She'd agreed. She wakes up, and gets overly aroused by the sight of Karasuma's bare chest. Shinagami arrives, and Irina acts as bait for him, allowing Karasuma to grab him from behind and throw both of them into the basement. They land with no problems, and the enclosed space works to Karasuma's benefit. However, Shinagami's mask falls off, revealing a skull face (he'd stripped his own skin off to make it easier to master disguises. He wants to use Karasuma's face for his own next.) Shinagami has weapons everywhere (in his sleeves, shoes and mouth) but none of them touch his opponent. Eventually, he says that he'd lied to Irina. He'd been born into a rich family, and one night, when he was studying in his room, he'd looked out the window and saw his father get assassinated. The killer was so smooth, and so practiced, that he'd vowed then and there to become the world's greatest assassin. He throws a flower in the air, and when Karasuma pauses to watch it, Shinagami points his finger at his enemy. Blood starts pumping from Karasuma's chest and he collapses to the ground. Actually, Shinagami had his right index finger surgically altered to contain a one-shot pistol. Shinagami gloats, then notices something weird about the "corpse." Koro had extended a tentacle through the bars of the cell, across the floor and over Karasuma's back. What looks like blood is actually the tomato juice Koro is drinking (Lovro had warned Karasuma about this attack over the phone, and Koro had stopped at a store to buy the juice on their way to the warehouse). He'd said that he'd try this trick if he and Karasuma were in the same room together. Karasuma punches Shinagami in the groin, and smashes him in the face for a KO. Karasuma is torn over having to release Koro from the prison cell, along with the kids, since this might be his best chance to kill the monster. But, he relents. The kids give Irina a hard time about betraying them, then everything returns to normal, except that Irina takes a longer-term view in her plan to seduce Karasuma. Shortly after, Karasuma's boss says that Shiro has taken Shinagami and is going to give him tentacles, like he did with Itona. But it will take 3-4 months for the plan to finish, making this a back-up contingency if the kids can't kill Koro first.

(Nagisa's mom has anger issues.)

It's now time for the third-year students to decide what they want to do for their careers (Karuma wants to become a politician; Isogai will go into sports; Okuda will become a housewife; etc. Some of the kids can't decide and will hold off until later.) Irina enters the room wearing an inexpensive skirt and sweater, and the "M" size sticker is still on the back. While a couple of the other students wonder if they should tell her or not, Nagisa walks up, removes the sticker and walks away without Irina noticing. This scares Karuma and Kayano because it happens so fast and fluidly. Nagisa is the last one to talk to Koro, and he says that he apparently has all the skills for becoming an assassin (being able to hear people's heartbeats, sense their emotions and so on). He thinks he should follow this path. Koro is intrigued, but he replies back that Nagisa needs to find a reason for killing people like this first. After that, they can talk more. When he gets home, his mother, Hiromi, is waiting to "talk." Nagisa's grades on the last test weren't that bad, so she wants him to be promoted to class 3-D. When Nagisa objects, Hiromi explodes in a blind rage, screaming at the boy about how she hates everything about him. She wanted a girl, and she still insists on dressing him up in skirts, and ribbons for his long hair. When she calms down, she says that Nagisa is still a child and that she'll make all the decisions for him. The next day, Hiromi goes to the school, where Koro is "disguised" to look like Karasuma. After listening to her talk about her plans for the boy, Koro removes the disguise, and Hiromi explodes again, revealing to the entire class that she's a "monster mother," and showing why she's now divorced and her ex-husband is living elsewhere (one of her complaints is that Nagisa's father isn't giving her much for alimony and child-support. If Nagisa did better in school, she'd be able to claim more support money.)

(Nagisa beats the attacker, but her mother no longer recognizes him as her child. Koro tells the boy that his secret attack still needs work - the assassin wasn't fully 100% paralyzed.)

That night, Nagisa wakes up in the grass outside the school. He realizes that his mother had drugged him during dinner, and drove him to the classroom. She's holding a torch and standing by a couple tanks of gasoline. She demands that Nagisa burn down the classroom building by himself in order to be ostracized from the school, and he can then move to a newer, better school. But, they're interrupted by a whip-wielding assassin who's waiting for his chance to attack Koro. The assassin complains that the two interlopers are too noisy and are disrupting his plans, so he's going to kill them both. Nagisa tells his mother that he's going to stay in 3-E, he's going to graduate from this school, and when he does, he's going to cut his hair short. He will then repay her for all the money she'd spent on raising him. He intends to graduate from her as well. The other assassin has no idea what hits him. Koro arrives to put out the flames, and he backs up Nagisa's decision. Hiromi passes out from the shock and Koro drives them home in her car. Nagisa states that he wants to use his skills to be his own man, and doesn't want to be a professional assassin when he grows up after all. The next day, Nagisa is the one making breakfast for the both of them, and his mother gives up in disgust, saying "whatever."

In the last chapter, the school is going to have its annual cooking contest. Asano has found several food distributors to sponsor him, with free food and drink, pretty much ensuring that the 3-A "gang of 5" will win the popularity contest. The rules are that customers have to buy food tokens, and use those to get food at the various tables at the school during the 2-day event. The table with the most customers wins. Since 3-E's table will be in their classroom a kilometer away at the top of the hill, everyone expects that they're going to lose, because "who's going to walk that far for food you have to pay for?" But, Koro offers some suggestions for ingredients, such as collecting acorns to make flour for ramen noodles, mountain potatoes for dumplings, etc. The kids get into the spirit of things, scouring the woods surrounding the hill for berries, fish and fruit. Karuma brings back a large pail of mushrooms, hoping that some of them are poisonous enough to kill Koro. But Koro-sensei describes what each mushroom is and what to use it for, finishing with the surprise kicker - Karuma found a matsutake, the most prized mushroom in Japan. The one in the basket is worth $30 on the open market, and there are more where that came from. The class starts cooking. It's November. 4 months left to the end of the world.

Inside cover quote:
"This peach color is a new expression related to his appetite.
When his manga is made into a movie, he hopes that there will be some
kind of promotional convenience store snack food or candy tie-in. He calls
this expression "Konbini Peach.""

Back inside cover quote:
"I think tentacles are good.
- Ikari Koroji"

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