Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Spy Classroom

Go To

Spy Classroomnote  (Spy Kyōshitsu) is a spy thriller Light Novel series written by Takemachi and illustrated by Tomari. It began publication in January 2020, and was licensed for translation into English by Yen Press in 2021.

The Great War left millions dead, most of them civilians, and the collateral damage was such that despite the Gilgad Empire having surrendered, nobody could truly claim to be the winner. In the aftermath, the world was forced to conclude that in a post-Industrial Revolution era, conventional warfare is simply too expensive and too destructive to ever be cost effective. The world has been at peace ever since. Officially, at least.

But just because war is over doesn't mean that conflict is. The nature of international confrontations has changed from tanks and planes fighting in broad daylight to spies running missions of reconnaissance, sabotage and assassination in the shadows. And the Din Republic, which has the misfortune of bordering the expansionist Gilgad Empire, is at the forefront of the transition from conventional warfare to espionage.

Lily is a trainee at one of Din's spy academies. Not a very good one, however. Despite having a unique and very useful ability, her natural clumsiness and absentmindedness has caused her to only just barely avoid flunking out of every practical examination she takes, to the point where all her classmates are wondering when she'll finally wash out. Given one last chance to avoid expulsion, she is transferred out of her school into a special unit codenamed Lamplight being trained for a special mission. Upon arriving, she finds several other girls there, and learns that every single one of them is a borderline washout from one of Din's spy academies.

Their teacher, a young man named Klaus, is the last surviving member of the legendary spy unit known as Inferno, and explains that he hand-picked each of them to help him complete the mission in which his former team was destroyed, and he will be training them until they are good enough to do so.

There's just one problem: Klaus may be the greatest spy in the world, but he's also a terrible teacher.

The series has a manga adaptation illustrated by Kaname Seu, which began serialization in Monthly Comic Alive in May 2020. An anime adaptation animated by Studio feel aired in two 12-episode seasons in 2023 with the first season running from January through March and the second series running from July through September.

This work provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Grete, Sibylla, and Annette suffered abuse in their past.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Lily is naturally immune to just about all poisons, which why she was trained in how to make and utilize them.
  • Break the Haughty: Roland/Corpse is a smug bastard who thinks too highly of his skills, that only his "rival", Klaus/Bonfire can offer him an actual challenge. However, when he finally gets to confront Klaus, Klaus doesn't sees Roland as an equal, merely a pushover and effortlessly defeats him and stuffs him inside a luggage bag. When Klaus presents Roland to his lover, he pathetically begs her for her help.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: Set in the aftermath of a Great War with parallels to real WorldWarI while the opening of the anime shows planes out of World War II and the rest of the technology and fashion would be right at home in the 1930s or early 1940s.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Thea kisses Monika during a fight the two are having where Thea reveals Monika has a secret crush on one of Lamplight's members.
  • Catchphrase: For some unexplained reason, spies are often given one that ties into their code name.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The rules Klaus sets down for Lamplight, most notably the one about "living as seven". If you aren't paying close attention, it's easy to miss that there are actually eight girls in Lamplight. This was so that the double agent who wired their HQ would let his guard down after taking out the first seven.
  • Code Name: Every member of Lamplight has one.
    • Klaus: Bonfire
    • Lily: Flower Garden
    • Grete: Daughter Dearest
    • Sybilla: Pandemonium
    • Monika: Glint
    • Sara: Meadow
    • Annette: Forgetter
    • Thea: Dreamspeaker
    • Erna: Fool
    • Many of their opponents have these as well, as they are also spies, though the code name that they refer to them as may not be the ones they are officially assigned.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Promotional material from the series and the openings gives each of the main girls a color they're associated with, those being:
    • Lily: Red.
    • Grete: Chartreuse.
    • Sybilla: Purple.
    • Monika: Blue.
    • Thea: Pink.
    • Sara: Green.
    • Annette: Gray.
    • Erna: Orange.
  • A Day in the Limelight: After the first book, the stories tend to focus on subsets of the girls, with one of them being the primary focus character, rather than trying to divide focus between all of them.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The reason why Annette killed her mother wasn't for being an enemy agent, or using her, or being a child abuser. It was for unintentionally making fun of her height.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Din Republic features German writing and has all the look of a European city in the early 20th Century. Later, the girls travel to the United States of Mouzaia, for a mission in a city very much like New York City.
  • Foil: Klaus and Grete with Roland and Olivia.
    • Klaus and Roland are experts in their craft. However, Klaus is a calm and collected spy while Roland is a murderous and arrogant assassin.
    • Both Grete and Olivia are apprentices who pine for their mentors' love. However, Grete is a sweet and creative young girl, while Olivia is cruel and cynical but unable to adapt when the situation calls for it.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Annette's specialty.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Klaus mastered spycraft intuitively. This is actually the reason why he's such a bad teacher: he's so naturally gifted at what he does that he doesn't know how to explain how he does things to anyone else.
  • Impossible Mission: Any mission that has already been attempted previously by another team and failed is assumed to be one, because the enemy will know for a fact that someone is actively targeting that location and be ready for the follow-on team. Handling these was Inferno's specialty.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The army is rather unhappy about how funding priorities have shifted from conventional military forces to the intelligence services.
  • The Jinx: Erna thinks she's this. What she actually has is a Danger Sense which, when combined with a subconscious desire to punish herself, causes her to continually walk into accidents that would have happened anyway.
  • Loophole Abuse: The most recent treaties on WMD proliferation prohibit the usage of bioweapons, not their development.
  • Master of Disguise: Grete's specialty.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: A young Klaus once beat ten rapists to death with a crowbar. In under sixty seconds.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The transition from war by open combat to war through covert operations happened as the result of a war that ended in one, and the world concluding that given how destructive conventional weapons were becoming, the next conventional war was likely to be even worse.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: All the girls of Lamplight were at the bottom of their respective classes. This was actually part of the reason why Klaus selected them: no enemy spy would bother acquiring or studying information on trainees on the verge of flunking out, making them unknowns that can't be prepared for.
  • Sole Survivor: Klaus is the only surviving member of Inferno, and the only reason he didn't die with the others was because he was sent on a separate solo operation when the rest went on the mission where they were killed.
    • Lily and Erna both are sole survivors from their families. Lily's family were killed in a chemical weapon attack on her village and Erna lost her family in a fire.
  • Spy School: Averted despite the title. The story centers around girls who flunked out of their respective official spy schools, but were then selected for a more hands-on apprenticeship under a master spy.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Klaus eventually settles on a training method of challenging the girls to defeat him, followed by him explaining why they failed when they inevitably do.
  • Theme Naming: Every member of Inferno had a fire-related codename.


Video Example(s):


Lilian the Devil

The Din Republic and the United States of Mouzaia agreed to conceal the Dinnian operation to capture Purple Ant, a Galgad agent operating in Mouzaian soil, as a case of a serial killer who committed suicide to avoid being arrested by police. Lily is not pleased by the fact that the two countries agreed to put her actions as the scapeagoat.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheGreatestStoryNeverTold

Media sources: