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Manga / Alyosha!

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Fulfilling her final mission to the best of her ability.
Alyosha! is a seinen manga by Rururu Kondou, which was serialized in Young King OURS from 2010 to 2013 and compiled into five volumes.

Foreign exchange student Alyosha Stalina has been attending a Japanese high school for 3 months. She comes from the nation of Solessia but she is yet to fit in with the other students because of her unfriendly demeanor and cold personality. Rightfully so because Alyosha is a trained assassin that has been murdering people since she was 5 years old. Officials in Estolakia, a country devastated by the attacks from Solessia, found the orphaned Alyosha and trained her as a top notch assassin to work against Solessia.

Her most recent and soon to be last mission is to murder the president of Solessia who is to attend the high school she has infiltrated for 3 months. However, the mission is aborted and she is ordered to remain a student. The only thing Alyosha knows how to do is to be an assassin and has never learned how to be a normal teenage girl. Will Alyosha be able to complete her most difficult mission yet?

Compare to the yonkoma Kill Me Baby and the original "Tyke Bomb in High School" series, Full Metal Panic!.

Alyosha! provides examples of the following:

  • A Million Is a Statistic: 500 passengers on a plane died because Katie was supposed to be on it if she didn't get distracted by her hobby, but as far as the main cast (and by extension the readers) are concerned, the fact that she wasn't on it is all that matters. Also, Alyosha is a trained assassin who has killed 283 people, but the whole story is about her trying to live a normal life.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Alyosha's... whatever it is. Has been shown to cut through glass and through a person's head (skull and all) without meeting any resistance.
  • Academy of Adventure: The amount of assassins, foreign operatives and spies enrolled or getting hired in Shiyoh is astounding, considering it is a high-brow High School for elites.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Well resistance anyway, for Alyosha. A result of the assassin training program she had to undergo.
  • And Another Thing...: Just after telling Katie she's Kortik, Alyosha leaves the room saying that she's just the second Kortik, and there are a Kortik-1 and Kortik-3
  • Artistic Age: Katie, Alyosha and Miru are sixteen years old. Katie might pass for a woman in her mid-twenties, and Miru looks barely as a tween. Sarah McLaren is thirty six, yet she looks in her late teens.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Miru, Katie and Alyosha.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Part of Katie's design.
  • Bland-Name Product: Little Katie watched Magical Girl Sewing 5 in Gartoon Channel.
  • Blank Slate: Alyosha doesn't really have likes, dislikes or opinions at the beginning of the series. In short, she's an Extreme Doormat that just does as she is told. But if anything, she's adaptable.
  • The Bully: Both Miru and Katie have had problems with bullies, Katie because of her intelligence, Miru because of her red hair and being a Shrinking Violet.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Miru. Because of her grandmother, she's 1/4th Irish.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Poor, poor Katie. Showcased when her plan to get Alyosha drunk (to loosen her tongue) backfired spectacularly on her.
  • Cat Fight: Breaks out over anime, of all things. Specifically between Katie and Sarah over whether or not anime from 2000 onwards are merely aping the ideas of earlier shows, or distilling their intristic themes.
  • Childhood Friends: Miru and Ryuunosuke. Subverted in that neither of them make much of it.
  • Child Prodigy: Alyosha and Katie, respectively. Alyosha made her first successful assassination when she was barely seven, while Katie was able to read and write at middle-school level at two.
  • Child Soldiers: Alyosha obviously, overlapping with Tyke Bomb. By extension, her clones, the Kortik 3 series.
  • Cloak and Dagger: The Karamazov Group.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: The impression her classmates have of Alyosha. To be fair Alyosha does act strange at times, but this is because of her upbringing as an assassin and as well as being born in a different country with different social practices.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Alyosha. Bodies tend to pile up afterwards.
  • Compliment Backfire: Alyosha is trying very hard not to stand out, so she gets depressed when Ryuunosuke tells her she is outstanding.
  • Conflicting Loyalties: Katie is torn between her job as a law-enforcer and her friendship with Alyosha, an assassin.
  • Contract on the Hitman: The main source of conflict in this series is the endless stream of assassins sent to kill Kortik-2.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Katie, obviously.
  • Crazy Cultural Comparison: In Solessia, kissing in the lips is common among close friends and family as a greeting or to show gratitude. Miru and Katie, not being Solessians, find it... odd.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Miru's tutor Okada Shigeru. Looks like a reedy and bespectacled geek, really a member of a clan of ninjas and an expert in security devices.
  • Dark Messiah: One of the theories the FBI has put forward for the intense interest in Alyosha is that Commander Karamazova is setting her up to be a terrorist version of this, even to the point of spreading a suspiciously sounding "prophecy" connected to it.
  • Declaration of Protection: Alyosha to Miru (see Mistaken Identity). Later extends to include Katie and Ryuunosuke.
  • Disney Death: Katie is such an otaku...
    • And later on, Alyosha herself, supposedly getting killed while protecting Commander Grekov from an angry mob.
  • Distant Finale: The final chapter skips eight years into the future, and shows what Miru and Katie, and finally, Alyosha have been doing since then.
  • The Ditz: Miru. She is even described in-series as a "natural airhead".
  • Enfant Terrible: Kortik-3.
  • Evil Twin: Kortik-3, thru cloning.
  • Expy: Miru's Head Maid is named Rokuten Maya, that sounds a lot (say it very fast, and remember the "u" is almost mute) like Heidi, Girl of the Alps meanie governess Rottenmeier, and looks and acts exactly like her.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Many countries in the story are obviously counterparts of real-world countries:
    • The Solessian Union is this setting's version of the Russian Federation.
    • Likewise Katie's home country of Ameria is the counterpart to the USA.
    • Finally Alyosha's home country of Estolakia seems to be based in part on Chechnya.
  • FBI Agent: Special Agent Katie Lindberg, of course.
  • Fiery Redhead: Subverted with Miru. While she has the red hair (a gift from her Irish grandmother), she doesn't have the personality. Indeed, she's more like a Shrinking Violet.
  • Fish out of Water: Alyosha had a hard time adjusting to being a "normal" high school girl, to say the least.
  • Flower Motifs: Shiyoh High School's symbol is a white Four-Leaf Clover on a green field.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Alyosha's initial-turned-permanent cover, and later on, Katie's as well.
  • For the Evulz: One part of why Kortik-3 kills people.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: Run the international underworld or stay with her friends? Alyosha knows what she wants.
  • Friendless Background: Katie, prior to her assignment to Japan. Alyosha and Ryuunosuke also, though for different reasons — the former because she was an assassin; the latter because he focused too much on his studies to even try. Miru, for being a mixed ancestry Shrinking Violet.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Alyosha and Misha are Russian male names. Of course, here they are Solessian names.
  • Girlish Pigtails: The Kortik-3 series of clones have these as standard.
  • Give Him a Normal Life: Colonel Grekov finds a good excuse to let Alyosha live a normal life when the coup d'etat fails.
  • Grand Theft Me: The other theory that the FBI has come up with regarding Karamazova's interest in Alyosha; rather than looking for an heir to run her criminal network, she's literally interested in taking over Alyosha's body for herself.
    • This theory soon proves correct: her ways of artificially extending her life were starting to fail, so she latched on the plan to transfer her consciousness to a compatible "container", and the most compatible one happens to be Alyosha.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: While Alyosha can quickly memorize the lyrics of a song after just a single listen, what she can't do is actually sing the song, as Katie soon found out to her horror.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Colonel Grekov resents having turned Alyosha into an assasssin, but Estolakia needed it.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: One of Katie's secret desires. Finally fulfilled with Miru and Alyosha.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: The news of Katie's death hit hard Alyosha, proving she's Not So Stoic.
  • Improbable Age: Alyosha and Katie, again. The former has been assassinating high-profile targets of her country since she was at least seven. The latter was recruited by the FBI at twelve, and is a fully-trained agent by the time she's sixteen.
  • Instant Expert: Another result of Alyosha's training, so she can easily blend in to the surroundings of her target. Too bad this doesn't extend to singing...
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Katie was simply too bright to fit in during her childhood.
  • Invisible Parents: Miru's mother and father are nowhere to be seen. However it is revealed later on that the two are actually in Singapore, serving in official capacity (as managing director and managing president, respectively) there for their family business at the company HQ there.
  • It's Personal: What happens whenever someone targets any of Alyosha's friends.
    • Played for laughs when Katie wants Alyosha to get rid of Sarah Mclaren for breaking her collector's edition Magical Sewing 5 anime figurine. Serious Business indeed.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rokuten-san is actually pretty fond of Alyosha, even to the point of secretly paying from her own pocket bonuses to her salary.
  • Just in Time: Katie in chapter 18, with a Bait-and-Switch Gunshot on top, when it looks like Alyosha is about to take a bullet for Miru and Ryuunosuke.
  • Killed Offscreen: Alyosha is apparently killed off-panel while trying to protect Grekov from angry rioters. Of course, they Never Found the Body so...
  • King Incognito: The hobby of Miru's grandfather. Owner of a sprawling business conglomerate during weekdays. But during the weekends? Nondescript and scruffy park-sleeping hobo.
  • Lap Pillow: Ryuunosuke comes round in Alyosha's lap after the incident with the false teacher.
  • Legacy Character: Or in this case, Legacy Codename. Alyosha is the second assassin to be awarded the Nom de Guerre "Kortik".
  • Limited Wardrobe: Alyosha has no clothes other than her school uniform and maid outfit.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Miru, to Alyosha's past as an assassin, and everything generally connected to it. She used to be this to Katie's job as a FBI agent, though Katie has already come clean about that one.
  • Love at First Sight: Katie is instantly smitten by Ryunosuke's older brother, mostly because he's a dead-ringer for the character Mysterious Zoro, a Tuxedo Mask-esque hero from her favorite magical girl anime Magical Sewing 5.
  • Meido: What Alyosha becomes, once she gets hired by Miru's family. The family employs a pair of other maids to help with the maintenance of the mansion as well.
    • Ninja Maid: Due to her skills, what Alyosha technically becomes. Hilariously formalized when she is given a "graduation" scroll by the head of the Momochi clan, a family of real ninjas serving the Nayuki family.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Miru is put through this, no thanks to Katie's upgraded boobage.
  • Master of Disguise: M16 agent Sarah Mclaren.
  • Mistaken Identity: As far as the new Karamazov Group knows, Miru is "Kortik-2".
  • Mood Whiplash: The series has always been something of a Genre Buster, but the "Tea Party" arc, that starts with girly tea party preparations, follows with some teen drama and then a bit of knife fighting to the death, to finish with bloody Black Comedy, stands out.
  • Ninja: Miru's family has a whole clan, the Momochis, serving them. The Momochis mostly focus on corporate espionage these days, but each is more than able of defending themselves and their charges.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Solessian president that Alyosha was supposed to assassinate is obviously not based on Vladimir Putin. Really.
  • Not Quite Dead: Kortik-3 barely survived her fight with Alyosha and was rescued by Kortik-1. The body the FBI found was provided by one of the failed Kortik-3.
  • Not So Stoic: Alyosha is not a sociopath, it's just that she didn't know anything else but killing, as proved by her reaction to Katie's not-quite death.
  • Scars are Forever: Commander Karamazova's body is crisscrossed by scars, Captain Harlock-style.
  • Sensei-chan: Candice Hogg, the teacher from England that the Japanese Culture Research Club suddenly gets saddled with as an adviser. Really just a cover for M16 spy Sarah Mclaren.
  • Shout-Out: Not surprising given Katie's hobby, a few manage to sneak in:
  • Show Within a Show: Magical Girl Sewing 5. Katie is a massive fan of it, and Alyosha herself is an instant convert after Miru lets her watch her DVD collection of the show.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Alyosha-as-Kortik's exploits were considered this, to the point that the FBI (prior to Katie) wasn't even sure what gender the mysterious assassin had. Also the exploits of Commander Karamazova, a.k.a. Kortik-1.
  • The Spartan Way: The frankly ridiculous training regime that the Karamazov Group set up to raise assassins for its cause. By the end of it, only Alyosha was left, out of several dozen kids.
  • Start My Own: The Japanese Culture Research Club. Founded by Katie as an excuse to keep a close eye on both Alyosha and Miru, she soon starts to have a little too much fun during its activities.
  • The Stoic: Alyosha's doesn't really emote much. Makes sense, because due to her upbringing as an assassin, she's never been taught anything about emotions, and what little she did have she was conditioned to suppress.
  • Thanatos Gambit:
    • Kortik-3 lied about the bomb being a fake so Alyosha wouldn't rush to deactivate and get forever haunted by her failure.
    • The FBI theorizes that something like this was planned by Commander Grekov all along. By letting himself — one of the final vestiges of the Estolakia's brutal past — be willingly assaulted and killed by anti-military demonstrators, it sped the democratization of the country.
  • There Is Another: Alyosha wasn't the only assassin created by Karamazov. There are also her clones and her still living predecessor.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Defied. Alyosha is both willing and perfectly capable of permanently disposing of the assassins who go after her and her friends. Katie has to clean up for her later on, using her connections with the FBI.
  • Time Skip: Two through the whole series. The first one is a two-month gap as the clues to Commander Kamarazova's movements go cold, while the second one is a eight-year long timeframe, where a grown-up Miru and Katie visit Estolakia, and accidentally rediscover a very-much alive Alyosha.
  • Tyke Bomb: What the Karamazov Assassination Group tried to create, using war orphans left by Solessia's invasion of Estolakia. Alyosha is the only survivor of this program. The Kortik-3 series is a much straighter example of this trope.
  • Visible Silence: It's very common for Alyosha to react to something with a simple "..."