Last year, I discovered a fun, albeit dumb, little series called Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu. While not a grand masterpiece, it was highly entertaining and easy to watch, so when series two was released I was looking forward to more of the same idiotic fun, battles and nosebleeds. Sadly, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni became little more than another example of when sequels suck.
In no uncertain terms, the plotline’s quality has dropped since series one – and considering its predecessor wasn’t exactly epic, that’s saying something. The “Exam Summoning Battle” system forms the core and central hook of Baka Test’s first season, yet instead of serving as the anime’s linchpin, it can barely be found here. Much to its detriment, Ni has demoted the ESB to little more than a background gimmick to facilitate cheap laughs. By removing any competitive aspect the show’s various “battles” lose all purpose, and with no particular overarching plot, this season feels like thirteen episodes of filler. Where the first season creates a solid narrative around the system – having the idiotic underdogs of Class 2-F attempting to best the genius students of 2-A – Ni decides to see how many ridiculous and perverted situations it can get its hapless protagonists into and relegates the battles to mere facilitators in the boys’ many dubious antics.
Unfortunately, Ni also plummets into the trap which ruins many other series: it relies on the same tired gags to get laughs. This season depends more on its characters than any attempt at plotline, but when the cast remains static the small scope of jokes fails to make up for missing narrative. Elements such as Hideyoshi’s effeminate nature, Mizuki’s toxic cooking and Shouko’s sinister stalker-like obsession with Yuuji were previously amusing, but have restricted mileage, and they rapidly wear themselves out in this time around. So while the boys’ idiotic capers can still raise a smile (particularly when coupled with a smack down from Tetsujin), certain jokes get far too repetitive. For example, episodes five to seven make up a short arc where Akihisa et al attempt to unmask a blackmailer, which they must do by tying to peek into the girls’ bath. Though it still has odd amusing moments, after three episodes of the exact same joke, the novelty wears a bit thin, something that unfortunately spills over into the other ten installments.
Baka Test’s visuals are by far its strongest element. The dynamic nosebleeds and various battle stages remain as impressive as ever, as do the odd changes in colour palette and style for comedic effect. The pencil sketch-like shots of the various protagonists giving “serious advice” look gorgeous (even if they’ve been overused and now don’t quite have the same impact as before). Meanwhile psychedelic edge effects to denote a frenzied scream prove just as humorous as the standard blue wibbly lines of GLOOOOM!
With the same seiyuu reprising their roles for series two, Ni’s vocal cast performs just as admirably as they did during the first season. Muttsurini’s nasal inflections remain as creepy as ever, while Akihisa’s cheerfully dumb voice continues to make him endearing rather than just plain irritating or moronic. For me, however, the star of the vocal show is Kenjiro Tsuda’s deadpan narration. Certainly, the straight-laced delivery (which almost borders on the disinterested) of his lines adds a decent serving of humour to proceedings, or at the very least will make you grin.
If you’re going to build a series around characters then you need to do something worthwhile with them, not let them stagnate in a fetid pool of their own overused quirks and hope that a bit of nostalgia will save the day. This season relies on its cast to drive the show, and as such Ni needed to bring something impressive to the table; sadly, it didn’t. The characters personalities are the same as they were in the prequel, and they don’t develop in any way during the course of this series. Every individual has their designated oddities and they stick to them like a barnacle on a fifty-year-old fishing boat. That being said, the series does place more focus on depicting the characters’ pasts and the “love triangle” between Akihisa, Mizuki and Minami. Sadly, this has little impact on their behaviour, doesn’t move the story forward and in the case of Yuuji and Shouko’s flashback episode, blatantly refuses to even attempt to make you laugh.
While not a ground-breaking anime, season one of Baka Test managed to strike the right balance between its central themes and entertaining humour. Sadly, while it does still have its moments, Ni decides that pervier = funnier and instead of a well-rounded comedy series, it’s all idiots, no tests and only a handful of summoned beings.
Baka to Test returns with another catchy intro song :D
More craziness is expressed in this second part. My favourite scene involved the main male characters cross dressing in a beauty pagent. The romance side of it is not addressed as much as the first part which was sort of a let down.
Animation did not change much from the first series and is still very good and easy to view.
Characters were not developed much in this second series but still kept their quirkiness from the first part:
>Akihisa - the butt of all jokes and yet still draws everyone to him
>Mizuki - intelligent and is in F class because all her friends are there
>Minami - struggles with Japanese and is a very likeable character
>Kouta - perverted and his main weapon is the camera
Overall if you enjoyed the first Baka to Test series, this second season is for you!
A while ago, I was watching a "Top 10 ___ Anime" video to find something to watch. This certain video focused on Comedies and Baka to Test was #3 on the list. The concept revolves on the idea that one's school grades determines the quality of their school equipment and are split up into classes based on them. The higher the grades, the better the stuff. Classes go to war with each other using Summoned Avatars, whose powers are also determined by their grades, in order to take the losers' equipment.
There's nothing really deep and dramatic here. The story is about Akihisa Yoshi, the biggest idiot in the school. Along with his friends and others they make up class 2-F, the worst class of the school and shoot to take over Class A's facility. In Season 1, that's more focused upon than here in season 2. It's more focused the relations of the characters than them trying to climb the academic ladder. Although it did stray away from the main point, it was still pretty entertaining.
I loved it. The summoning battles looked amazing. The nosebleeds were epic. The colors worked very well together. One of the funniest things about the show is the epic nosebloods. May be cliche but still pretty funny done correctly.
All the characters are given good appropriate voices. Everyone's voice gives you a certain mood and I really enjoyed it. Music wasn't really memorable though.
There's the stereotypical set of characters you find in a school life anime. There's the idiot lead (Yoshi), the badass (Yuuji), the flat chestest tsundere tomboy (Minami), the busty princess (Mizuki), the king pervert (Muttsulini). The only one I don't think is common is Hideyoshi, a boy who gets mistaken as a girl 99% of the time. Even though they're archetypes they're all still really memorable. The way they all interact with each other is what makes this ridiclous show into something loveable.
The comedy may not be for everyone. It's usually Akihisa being stupid, people thinking that Hideyoshi is a girl, and slapstick. It's basic humor for kids and although I'm 21, I still find it funny. This show is nothing too serious and doesn't get you to invest your feelings into. It's for pure basic entertainment purposes. If that's what you're looking for then this is what you should get into.
A lot of times, the second season is not really as good as the first one but not here. Everything is just the same fun as the first season and it doesn’t really get old at all. Some jokes are played off but they put it a little different so it feels new. Some of it actually becomes even funnier because of Yoshii’s sister playing more of a role in it.
Again, the show follows the characters and actually doesn’t really have much of the avatar battles that I would have liked to see more of. I feel that they sort of skipped out a bit on the battles again. If the name has summon the beasts in it, wouldn’t you think that they would have more of the beasts in it instead of a romantic comedy?
The episodes do have a lot more about romance and what the characters are feeling to one another to a point you think it would end up having an explosive ending that would shock you. I can’t tell you if it does because of spoilers but it’s what I felt around the 5th episode. Other then that, pretty much the same as the first season with every once in a while having battles. I guess the one thing that seems different is that there is a lack of main story that the first had with them trying to help Mizuki by getting better items. This one has more of a by episode comedy skit sort of style to the story that can get from really strange to just a average day in the park.
There is one character that does make a bit more of an appearance in this sequel then in the first, Aiko Kudou. Surprisingly I like her being brought in and being sort of the rival of Kouta in a sense. She teases him so much that I have a small feeling that she likes him a bit more then she lets on to prove even a pervert can be loveable if stupid enough. Ok… so I’m making a small exaggeration but it gives us another romance train to look at. Before this, the only romance trains we had going was Yoshii’s triangle with Mizuki and Minami and then Yuuji’s problems with Shouko. To have a bit of different love train going on does keep the show refreshing.
Now if only we could get an actual girl for Hideyoshi… of course I know that probably will never happen because the writers are having way to much fun with the idea that Hideyoshi being mistaken for a girl all the time. If this was real life I would feel very sorry for him but as its not, the yoai lover in me screams for that idea.
Now do you have to watch the OVA before the second series? No but you will miss so many things if you don’t they do occasionally talk about what happened during them.
The Animation is the same as before though they do a lot more pastel scenes then before. It doesn’t bother me much since the comedy kept me laughing. I am also not really happy about how Hideyoshi keeps talking in a Shakespearian tone. I liked the way he spoke in the English version instead. The ‘thou’ and ‘aren’t’ just bother me and make me feel like I’m reading Romeo and Juliet, not watching a Japanese comedy.
The music is just as good as the first again, a rather good beat although I don’t know if I would put it on a ipod. It can get a little annoying to listen to it over and over again. The ending song isn’t really that special, pretty much blends together with all the other pop songs that are used in anime. This isn’t dubbed so the voices kind of made me cringe a little. Some of the girls voices just felt a little two high pitched.
Had no real expectations going in when I started watching this anime however within the first few episodes I began to love it, although it may not be the most unique concept ever it was defiantly a change from what I normally watch and was exactly what I was looking for - A funny anime which a alright story line with fun/unique characters. Really enjoy this anime and to all the people hesitant on whether to watch this or not I would defiantly recommend if the kind of anime you're looking for the fun-comedy type. (Does have other genres to it however the comedy of it appealed to me more then the rest)