Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu Review (Nosebleed FTW)
Initially, I wanted to put off posting this as much as possible because I was lazy to get screenshots but seeing the amount of stuff posted by Cyborg and Slacker, I decided that I couldn’t lose out. So here’s a review of one of my favorite animes:
Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu means idiots, tests and summoned beings. The title of this slice of school life anime is extremely apt. The huge idiot and main character is Akihisa Yoshii. Not only is he hopeless in all subjects, he is also completely ignorant of the implications of his actions unless it’s blindingly obvious. Strangely he is very likable, maybe because he keeps landing himself in idiotic and funny situation and gets beaten senseless every single episode, but more on that later.
Most of the main characters are in the worst class; class F. Classroom facilities are directly related to the class standard. Class F is very run down with broken tables and no chairs. The best class, class A, looks like a hotel lobby with a mini bar and everything. The whole story takes place in a special school where students can summon beings, which are just small avatars of the users, to battle students from other classes. If the worse class wins, they can swap classrooms with the better class, giving them better facilities. The being’s strength in combat is dependent on the student’s test scores in a particular subject, so it gives students an incentive to study.
Akihisa’s (Aki from now on cuz I’m lazy) main mission is to help the 2nd highest scorer in school, Himeji Mizuki, get out of class F and into class A. She was ill during the entrance exam and left halfway through, scoring zero. He is helped by Sakamato Yuji, a lazy genius, Shimada Minami, a tomboy who excels at math and fails everything else, Ninja Pervert/Vouyer(it sounds like moose-ooh-leany), a ninja pervert (yet another apt title), and Kinoshita Hideyoshi, a feminine boy that is always mistaken for a girl. In order to help Himeji, class F must defeat class A in a summoned being battle, which is as crazy as it sounds.
Aki is the love interest of both Minami and Himeji who both act like his girlfriends as they will (turn nasty and) confront him if they believe he is interested in another girl. He is completely oblivious to their feelings which causes him to suffer a painful beating over and over but seems to like both of them to some degree.
Minami is more outgoing and tries to make subtle advances on Aki like making a bento for him but is always unsuccessful, mostly due to the intervention of her lesbian, male hating lover; Miharu.
Himeji tries to advance as well but her shy nature hinders her progress. The love triangle still isn’t the least bit resolved at the end of the second season (thanks a lot slice of life writers) , which is one of the reasons I’m eagerly waiting for the third season. Although I think I’ll be disappointed.
Also, the top scorer in the school, Shouko Kirishima, is hopelessly infatuated with Yuji to the point that she will resort to any (mostly violent) measure to get him to marry her all because he saved her from a group of bullies when they were younger. Like Aki, Yuji’s feelings are not revealed but he considers getting married to Shouko to be the same as death.
With all that going on, a moderate amount of fanservice ensues and every time Aki and Ninja Pervert are caught up in it, they have a huge nosebleed. Surprisingly most of the fanservice isn’t annoying or even subtle, instead it’s delivered in brief scenes, followed by blood loss.
Ok, moving on. I like that the show cuts to high quality still images when presenting a new outfit or when characters are shocked. It really shows off the artist’s work and makes conversations more vivid, although it has a weird colour scheme.
The series is very lighthearted and innocent(with some fanservice). So much so that I immediately watched some after finishing Neon Genesis Evangelion (not for the faint hearted). Though not every episode will have you laughing out loud, one or two will have you watching it over and over again, making you chuckle every time. Even though this series has some very corny moments, they are a minority, or at least it feels that way. I’d be lying if I said this series had any depth but its so heartwarming that it doesn’t matter. The main characters are all lovable, distinct and simple.
On my list of simple goofy animes this comes in second ,after K-On. But if K-On didn’t have music then I’d have a pretty tough choice.
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Here’s a funny random image for those who bothered to read to the bottom: