Critic’s Log - Earthdate: August 17, 2013. Review #55: Baka and Test: Summon The Beasts II
If there is an anime that I end up not liking while I’m in the middle of it. It’s not a chore for me to watch the rest of it. It’s a test. A test to see if I can last long while I’m watching an anime I don’t like before I drop it. I just finished an anime that was quite a test. That anime is Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts II.
Yoshii Akihisa is now in his third year in Highschool, and his misadventures continue with his best friend Yūji, his childhood friend Mizuki, and his other friends in Highschool. Akihisa, however, is enrolled in a rather unique highschool. In Fumizuki Academy, all of the students are given avatars with fighting abilities whose power reflects the student's academic success. With their avatars by their side, our characters explore deeper into what it means to be a friend and how they treat each other and why. While Shoko, the school's #1 student, endlessly tries to woo Yūji. Minami and Mizuki try to capture the romantic attention of the oblivious Akihisa.
To be technical, this is a Silver Link production and the animation is okay in this show, but this show uses a lot of animation shortcuts, either it’s recycled animation or cheap animation effects. This might have been in the first season of Baka and Test and I might have overlooked it at that time. Sue me. But the point is that I do have something to gripe when it comes to the animation. My big complaint with the animation is the over-usage of a “polka-dot” effect. I remembered when I reviewed Ef: A Tale of Memories and there was a visual gimmick that was thrown in quite often in the show. Well, Shin Oonuma directed both seasons of Baka and Test and maybe these “visual gimmicks” are part of his style I guess.
Dear Shin Oonuma,
I know you’re trying to be unique, but you should not overuse certain visual gimmicks because it gets tiresome to watch after a while.
The animation isn’t perfect and I didn’t expect it to be, but it looks alright I guess.
As far as Music goes, Nijine composes the music for the second season of Baka and Test and the music is decent, but nothing too special. I really don’t have much to say about it. The opening is ok, and the closing theme isn't special. That's all I can say about the music.
When it comes to voice acting, It’s pretty much the same from Season 1, so I won’t go into much detail about it. The Japanese cast is alright in this show, but I listened to bits and pieces of the English Dub of Season 2 and all I can say is that the dub could have been better. It may be extremely fitting to watch this Subbed because of the settings, but if you want to watch this Dubbed, be my guest. Just go with what you prefer.
As far as characters go, this was a slight disappointment. The characters did make the show funny at times in the first season, what is a slight disappointment is that they are not funny at all in this second season, and they also didn’t develop as much.
The biggest lowpoint for me is the plot. Katsuhiko Takayama is responsible for the composition in the writing department. He also was involved in Ef: A Tale of Memories and Ef: A Tale of Melodies which the story to both seasons of that show could have been better. But Season 2 of Baka and Test suffers from being too different than the first Season. It is also slow to begin with as well. I will give the show some credit that there are a couple episodes that were nice to see. But what made Baka and Test a decent viewing is that it was a comedy with a little Slice of Life in it. In this second season, There's more Slice of Life in it and rarely is it funny. When it tries to be funny. Certain gags are overdone and it just isn't funny after a while. Some of the jokes from Season 1 remain and this season was just hard to get a good laugh from. The show picks up a little halfway, but it is boring half the time. It also all leads down to an ending that is kinda stupid. If you liked Baka and Test, Feel free to give this second season a try. But I can tell you that it is quite a test to watch.
Baka and Test - Summon The Beasts II is available from Funimation.
With all that said, Baka and Test Season 2 is not as funny as Season 1, but there are a couple of nice episodes that involve interesting backstories, but Season 2 suffers from lack of comedy, animation shortcuts, and a lack of character development that would have been needed (save for the ones that did get backstories). This should only be viewed for those that like Baka and Test or for those that are viewer completionists that have seen the first season of Baka and Test.
I give Baka and Test - Summon The Beasts II a 4.9 out of 10. it is NOT REALLY GOOD!
Feel free to leave a comment.
Also, this will be on the test.