Spy Classroom: To Forget Is Annette

By Takemachi and Tomari. Released in Japan as “Spy Kyoushitsu” by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Nathaniel Thrasher.

Given that the last book focused on four of our spies, this one is here to focus on the others. Mostly it’s about Thea, who is the designated leader this time around, and the most normal of the group… for good and ill. Her “power” also ties in with her personality, and makes it so that she has the moral dilemma in the book. Monika continues to be the “I don’t work well with others” one, but here we see that she too is not as stoic and uncaring as she appears, and she also gets to do the most badass stuff. Erna… well, look, Erna is probably the weak link of the book, but we got a large chunk of her deal in Book 1, so that’s to be expected. And then there is Annette. The cliche of “lovable but airheaded gadgeteer genius” is not new to Spy Classroom – leaving aside Mei from My Hero Academia, it’s been around for years. I’m not sure they had quite the same impact as Annette, who feels empty to Thea.

As was revealed in the last book, Lily’s quartet is actually a decoy mission – our heroines introduced above will be helping Klaus take out the assassin. We don’t actually see too much of that, and only in flashback. Instead, we get the aftermath, where the girls are relaxing after the mission at a luxury hotel. They then run into a woman who says she’s Annette’s mother… and certainly there’s a resemblance. It’s a bit difficult to ask Annette, as she has amnesia of the time before she became a spy. But Thea, who is perhaps projecting just a little after seeing that Annette’s heart’s desire was “I want to get taller”, wants the two of them to reunite. Which may be harder than it seems, as it becomes apparent that Annette’s mother is an enemy spy.

I feel less guilty giving things away than I did the previous two volumes, probably as there’s no big “a ha!” moment where the narrative is totally flipped like their was in the first two books. The story of Matilda and Annette is not that hard to at least figure out, and I’d argue the real mystery was trying to see when it would be revealed and how. It’s very good for Thea and Monika, who are at odds over what to do here. Both are soft in different ways, and I have a feeling that may come back to bite them in later books, but here it doesn’t, mostly as Annette is anything but soft. Its worth remembering that the other cliche about Japanese gadgeteer geniuses is that they have a tendency to forget about ethics and morals unless it’s brought up to them. Annette fits this to a T… and that’s probably very good given she’s a spy.

But just because the mystery is not as mysterious does not mean this isn’t excellent. Spy Classroom runs on its characters, and this book’s heart is not the titular Annette (who is on the cover – again) but Thea, and I’m interested to see what she does next.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind