Friday, September 16, 2016

Ansatsu Kyoshitsu, vol. 15 comments

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Ansatsu Kyoshitsu vol. 15, by Yusei Matsui, Grade B+

Gakuhou flashes back to when he was a young teacher just starting out at Kunugigaoka. He only had 3 students, and all he cared about was making sure they would be successful when they got older. He was a master of most of the subjects he taught, and by the end of three years, his first three students had graduated and he'd gotten an almost full classroom of new students. One of the students, Ikeda, called him one night to invite him to dinner to talk about old times. But when he got to Ikeda's home, he discovered that the boy had been bullied by other students in his high school. They'd taken his money, and Ikeda had committed suicide a short time earlier. The distraught adults wanted to know why Ikeda's teachers didn't help the boy grow stronger, and Gakuhou overheard the whining. He started asking himself what "strength" is, and that led him to creating his own school with his own teaching system. But now, the entire school has deserted him. He opens the remaining textbook and the regular grenade goes off. But, Koro protects him from the blast, and Gakuhou realizes that the two of them are pretty similar - they both have their own ideas of what it means to do the best they can for their students. Gakuhou decides to rethink his policies as both a teacher and a parent, and asks if it's ok to come back and try to kill Koro himself. (Koro says, "Of course.") The class has to rebuild their classroom building themselves, but they get Koro to reveal one of his weaknesses, which is that his tentacles aren't that strong. Individually, they are weaker than a single person. However, he's so fast, no one can grab the tentacles to find out if he's telling the truth.

(Gakuhou blows up, remembering his first students. Ikeda is the light-haired kid at the left.)

Next, the classes have to put on entertainments for each other, and dark girl Hazama writes a script for a reworking of the "Peach Boy" story, where the parents that find the peach boy fight over child custody, get divorced and go to court, with the wife winning the dispute. The rest of the school boos the actors off the stage. Later, Shiro is back, talking to someone at the school, saying that one of the students in 3-E had stolen some of his research materials about one year ago, and apparently has injected themselves with the tentacle seeds. Then, Kayano asks Nagisa for help in cleaning up the mess left over from the Peach Boy play special effects, which are now stored in a shed in back. Koro tags along to see what's going on, and as he's cleaning up the floor, Kayano reveals two tentacles at the back of her neck, and she chops a hole in the floor to drop Koro into a pit filled with anti-Koro pellets. Koro blasts his way through the side of the shaft, and digs a hole to the surface. The rest of the class runs up, and Kayano says that she is really Akari, the younger sister of Aguri Yukimura. Koro had killed her older sister and she wants revenge. She uses the tentacles to escape, promising to kill Koro the next day. Koro says that he'll tell everyone about his past later, but right now they need to save Akari before the tentacles destroy her brain.

(Kayano has had extensions added.)

After doing some research, the kids discover that "Kayano" is really Akari Yukimura, a former child actress. Her older sister was class 3-E's last teacher prior to Koro's arrival. They ask what had happened to lead up to the current situation, and Akari herself flashes back a year. Her older sister, Aguri, had worked as a junior high school teacher during the day, and as an assistant at a research lab at night. One day, when she went to visit Aguri at the lab, there was a big explosion. Akari evaded the guards and crawled through gaps in the wreckage to find her sister. She saw a tentacled monster standing over Aguri's mangled corpse, then it disappeared. On the body was a note saying "to whom it may concern, I've escaped. But, you can find me at Kunugigaoka Junior High School, in class 3-E." She grabbed a laptop and some tech from the lab, then went home to read her sister's research notes. After injecting herself with the tentacle seeds, she disguised herself, and transferred to Kunugigaoka. She's the one mentioned in an earlier volume that had destroyed Gakuhou's trophies to be demoted to 3-E. Since then, she's been fighting the pain from the tentacles, and playing the greatest role of her life as a gentle airhead as she waited for her time to strike. When she first met Nagisa, he was wearing his long hair down past his shoulders, and "Kayano" was the one that gave him his current hairstyle.

(When Akari met Koro.)

Koro meets Akari in an open field, while the rest of the class comes out to watch. The fight starts immediately, and Akari is absolutely vicious. However, Itona predicts that with everything she's been through, and the power requirements of the tentacles, Akari will probably die in less than an hour. Koro says that his heart is in his chest behind his crescent moon necktie, and that if Akari spears him there with her tentacles it will kill him, but he'll try to grab and restrain her long enough for someone in the class to figure out what to do. Everyone is in a panic and feeling helpless. When Koro does get speared, Nagisa is checking off every technique he knows, and rejecting them (knife fighting, the sumo clap, pistols, speaking English).

(Nagisa's Kiss of Death.)

As he looks at Irina, he realizes what the answer is. Koro has Akari in a bear hug, so Nagisa walks up to her and gives her Irina's "seduction kiss." The girl receives "15 hits" in 10 seconds and passes out. Koro praises him for getting perfect marks, then removes the tentacles from Akari's brain. (Irina says that she can give anyone 45 hit points with a "deep kiss.") Koro collapses as his heart starts to regenerate, but he still manages to evade the sniper bullet from Shiro's latest leather-masked creation (the former Shinagami). Shiro admits that there's no point in trying to take a second shot, but he removes the hood from his face to show that he is the brilliant researcher Kotaro Yanagisawa. He and the masked sniper leave, and the class reassures "Kayano" that they want the old "Kaeda" back with them. Then, Koro says that up until 2 years ago, he had been the assassin known as "Shinagami - the God of Death."

The artwork for Akari is great, and I love Nagisa's snake attack against Akari's "panicked rabbit." And we're finally getting all of the pieces to the puzzle - Aguri's connection to Koro, who Koro really is, and how Shiro/Yanagisawa fits in with all this. Highly recommended. Note also that on one of the omake (extras) pages, Matsui claims that he'd left hints of Kayano's true nature, with little bits of tentacles in her hair during two scenes, including at the end of the giant pudding attack chapter in volume 10.

Inside cover quote:
He makes this metallic purple face when he's feeling self-satisfied.
He calls this one "the permanent squall of fate purple."
Of all his expressions, this is the one that is most like him.

Back inside cover quote:
The fear of this tentacle is not because it's bad.
That's another tentacle.
- Koro-sensei.

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