Assassination Classroom Volume 10 : Time For Robbery, collecting chapters 80-88. Story and art by Yusei Matsui.
Last time, Nagisa fought for us all, as he took on the all-too-familiar psychopath Akira "Daddy" Takaoka, for (hopefully) the last time. Through a combination of being a badass, and a little help from his friends, he was able to beat the monster, and everyone was cured from the deadly... food poisoning? Back home from their eventful trip, a member of Class 3-E decided to rejoin the real school, but decided at the last moment that school sucks, so you might as well be where your friends are. But now, everyone is back in class, and it's time for lessons to start once more!
Chapter one, "Time for Kayano," sees perennial support member Kayano stepping up to lead an assassination attempt. Easily one of the most bizarre that the class has attempted yet... but could this odd plan be the key to delicious victory?
Chapter two, "Time to play cops and robbers," find the students of Class 3-E taking on a new lesson: Parkour! Karasuma thinks that learning to freerun, and make the best of the environments and maximise their maneuverability is the key to success. And of course, Koro Sensei turns it all into a big game!
Chapter three, "Time for Robbery," sees the friendly game of Cops and Robbers get serious! As time runs out and Koro Sensei repeatedly fails at the simplest of tasks, do the teachers have any chance of claiming victory?
Chapter four, "Time for robbery - 2nd period," Koro Sensei is accused of being a huge pervert. Which, being as it's true, everyone immediately believes. But this time, he's actually NOT responsible. So, the question becomes, who is setting him up, and why?
Chapter five, "Take it to the limit, one more time," reveals the true identity of the panty pincher, and sees Koro Sensei once more fighting for his life. But, with so much stacked against him, can Koro Sensei really survive this perfect trap?
Chapter six, "Time to sacrifice the pawns," seeing Itona, abandoned by the mysterious Shiro, beginming to lose control of his tentacles. Can Koro Sensei and Class 3-E find him in time, and is Shiro really done with Itona?
In chapter seven, "Time to obsess," with Shiro's plan revealed, things are looking grim once more for Itona and Koro Sensei. While his future seems uncertain, we get a glimpse into Itona's past, to finally reveal why he's such a big old bag of crazy.
Chapter eight, "Time to puke," is a gross name. Class 3-E does their best to snap Itona out of his obsession with power, and we learn more about his actually-not-THAT-tragic backstory.
Chapter nine, "Time to spin," finds Itona settling in to his new place in Class 3-E, where a tech project brings him many new friends, and a new purpose. But, while Shiro may be done with Itona, he's FAR from done with Koro Sensei, and Class 3-E.
And that's where this volume wraps up! Equal parts sweet, funny, intriguing, and disgusting, I have a feeling that despite seeming to be fairly self-contained, this volume is going to become increasingly more important as time goes by.
This volume starts off fluffy as anything. A supporting character gets a chance to shine, and decides the best way to take out Koro Sensei once and for all is with... an exploding Flan. Honestly, as strange as it sounds, I think this is one of the best ideas they've come up with yet! Operation Pudding Popper may not have been successful, but it absolutely WAY delicious, and it left me craving Flan, so... mission success, I guess?
But that's where the sweet fluffiness stops. It's also the only totally self-contained plot this volume, as from here until the end is all one vaguely continuous plot.
It starts off simply enough; Karasuma wants to improve the agility abilities of the students, so he decides to teach them Parkour. And if James Bond and Jason Bourne have taught us anything, it's that you can't be a master spy or assassin without some Parkour knowledge, so this seems like a solid plan.
But, of course, Koro Sensei turns everything into a game, especially when it means he gets to wear a costume, so the class begin a high stakes game of Cops and Robbers! There's only one problem...
Of course, much like with everything he does Koro Sensei doesn't really take the game seriously, and is either distracted by porn, or too busy crying over the students' (obviously made up) sob stories to actually keep them in "jail." But that's when his true plan emerges...
Because, as he tries to track down the students, after their repeated jailbreaks, Karasuma notices that as the game goes on, they're getting progressively better, and at an extremely rapid pace! Almost as if someone was giving them hints about how to improve their stealth and parkour skills.
Yup, Koro Sensei takes NOTHING seriously. Except teaching his students, which is at the core of everything he does. It's the standard funny and then suddenly wholesome arc that this series does so well. The combination of Karasuma's excellence and military precision, combined with Koro Sensei's seemingly lackadaisical attitude and subtle teaching style take Class 3-E from Parkour novices to master freerunners, in no time at all! I wonder if their new skills will be needed, in the near future...
Because it seems there are more robbers around! Someone has been sneaking around stealing bras, and other lingerie. And given what they know about Koro Sensei and his obsession with boobs, he seems the obvious perp! Except, it's a little TOO obvious, so the students follow the suspect foul play...
Guess who's back, back again? Itona's back! To kill your friends.
Yup, this whole scam was a setup, for the return of nobody's favourite transfer student/tentacle headed nightmare assassin, Itona, which leads to the third and final arc of the volume: The final showdown!
I'm not going to lie, this all fell a little flat, for me. I'm already bored of Itona as an antagonist, because it was clear from pretty much day one that he was only even an unwitting dupe for the REAL villain, the super-creepy and mysterious Shiro.
Thankfully, this was the final showdown, as Koro Sensei dispatches Itona with fair ease once more and Shiro abandons him... There's only one problem: The tentacles that Itona had implanted, so he could compete with Koro Sensei will drive him mad if he doesn't either get them removed, or get an injection from the now departed Shiro...
Queue a patented Assassination Classroom wholesome montage! Yup, this volume wraps up with some of the wilder members of Class 3-E taking Shiro on the weirdest field trip ever, as he eats terrible Ramen, rides around on a motorbike and learns that sometimes, failure ISN'T the worst thing in the world.
Along the way, we also learn a bit more about Itona's past and why he ended up where he was. Basically, his parents were a bit rubbish at business and got their best people poached by a company that offered to pay them a lot more. Then Itona's parents ditched him. It's sad, sure. I feel for the kid... but is it "Get tentacles surgically implanted into your skull and become a psychotic assassin!" sad? Not really. After all the times he's shown up, been crazy, and all the hints at his dark past, I was expecting something DARK. Like, Mirai Nikki dark. So to find it was a fairly simple "his family life was a bit rubbish, and his parents suck" feels a touch underwhelming.
Thankfully, the rest of the arc was solid, and it's always great to see how even the worst of the students have started to take on Koro Sensei's attitude towards lifting up their peers. So, I guess on balance the arc ends pretty well; Itona gets over his trauma, loses the tentacles, and joins Class 3-E, where he was always meant to be. Free of the tentacles fell influence, his brain starts working properly again, and it's revealed he's a dab hand at the old tech nonsense. And, in true 3-E style, he uses this to create a remote control tank to stare up girls' skirts. Because the cause of, and solution to, every problem in the boys of 3-E's life is pantsu.
Wouldn't it be great, to end there? The creepy assassin has given up his evil mission of assassinating Koro Sensei, and joined 3-E to take up his new mission of assassinating Koro Sensei, but now for the right reasons! That would be a great place to leave it...
But, as much as this series loves unexpectedly wholesome endings, it decided to skip one, this volume... And we get a little glimpse into the world of Shiro... who I'm really starting to suspect isn't human.
Overall, Volume 10 was solid. A fluffy first chapter leads into a fairly strong continuous arc that spans most of the volume, and then wraps it all up with a fluffy outro, showing that even someone as messed up as Itona can find peace and a home in Class 3-E. Can't really hate that! And there was just enough hints towards the greater plot to make me suspect that this volume was a low-key pivotal point in the series. Shiro's abandoning of Itona and setting his sights on Nagisa could prove to be a very bad thing for Class 3-E going forward. As I suspect that we're being lead to believe that Nagisa will be the one to deal the final blow to Koro Sensei... so if he gets corrupted by Shiro, things could go really badly, really fast.
If you want to see just how bad things get, come back next time as we cross the midway point in the series, in Assassination Classroom, Volume 11: Time for Sports Day, containing chapters 89-97. Class 3-E student Isogai breaks the school rules by working part-time to help support his family. When Gakushu and rest of the Big Four students find out, they use his secret as leverage to force 3-E to participate in a bizarre sports-day competition. Soon it’s time for the school’s midterm competition as well, but when some 3-E students accidentally injure the elderly owner of a day care/after-school program, Koro Sensei forbids them from studying and orders them to replace him until he recovers! Assassination is one thing, but babysitting little kids…?! And then, our friends rescue a cat.
If you want to read along with me, you can find every issue on Comixology, collected volumes on Amazon, or read the whole series on the Weekly Shonen Jump App.