Spy Classroom Volume 3 Review

The anime adaptation for Spy Classroom has been slated for 2023! As the buzz for the series continues to rise, Yen Press is continuing to bring the light novels to the English market. Now with Volume 3 in hand, let’s find out what’s in store for this ragtag spy team. 

Readers may remember that back in Volume 2 Klaus decided to split team Lamplight in two and sent Lily, Grete, Sara and Sybilla off to defeat an assassin who was going after a notable politician. Volume 3 follows the other group which is composed of Thea (who gets the coveted position as leader), Monika, Erna and Annette. 

However, instead of taking place at the same time as Volume 2, it skips past the mission the girls were on and instead we join them when they’re on a post-mission vacation. But just before the group are due to return home, they run into a woman who claims to be Annette’s mother Matilda – and she’s in trouble. Annette has no memories of her past, but will this reunion help clear her amnesia and if so, is she willing to turn her back on the spy life to live with her mother?

Annette is the genius inventor in the group and her gadgets have helped the team out of a bad situation more than once, so naturally, Thea and the others don’t want to see her leave their side. Monika is also worried that Matilda isn’t who she claims to be, not helped by the fact a little digging into her story reveals she hasn’t been telling the girls the whole truth about why she’s in town. This creates a rift in the team with Thea and Erna wanting Annette to spend some time reconnecting with her mother and Monika wanting to get out of the area as soon as possible, fearing nothing good can come of all this. 

So on the whole, Volume 3 is less like a spy novel than the first two books. We do get to see the girls in action a few times throughout the story, but it’s fair to say that the focus this time around is on developing Annette and Thea as characters. That’s not a bad thing provided you have some attachment to these two (which will vary, based on how much you cared for them back in Volume 1), or at least a passing interest. I’m not a huge fan of Thea since she’s a bit normal compared to the eccentric and bubbly personalities of the other members of the cast, but I am quite fond of Annette. It’s hard not to grow attached when she comes up with such interesting gadgets and has such a mysterious air to her, thanks to her amnesia. 

What also doesn’t help this time around is that the story is quite predictable, something author Takemachi has managed to avoid up until now. I’m not sure that’s a huge negative for me in the grand scheme of things, but it is a shame when until now readers were left guessing as to how the story was going to play out up until the last chapter or two. 

The good news is that through the course of these three books we’ve managed to get to know all the characters quite well on an individual level, which I hope gets the payoff it deserves in the books to come. At the very least if they get thrown together into one team for a new mission it’ll be easier to keep track of who’s who and what powers they wield. Interestingly Takemachi writes in the afterword that Volume 4 is the end of “Season 1” of Spy Classroom, so I certainly have my hopes up for it to prove an excellent conclusion after all this set-up! 

As previously mentioned, Spy Classroom Volume 3 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and continues to be translated by Nathaniel Thrasher. As with the previous releases, the translation reads well with no issues to note. Volume 4 of the series is currently scheduled for an English release in September. 

Overall, Spy Classroom Volume 3 leans more into being a character drama than it does a spy series this time around. Given the predictable plot doesn’t offer a great hook, your enjoyment of this one is going to depend on how much you like the two leads and the development they receive. 

7 / 10


When she's not watching anime, reading manga or reviewing, Demelza can generally be found exploring some kind of fantasy world and chasing her dreams of being a hero.

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