Special A

Special A
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LoveHurts4Me's avatar
Jan 6, 2020

 Story: 9/10

Ok, so it's basically about Hikari who wants nothing more than to beat Takashima (Kei, ) and become No. 1. But, she just can't seem to. Then, as she continues her struggle the backstory of the other members of SA are revealed making you root for the couple s that emerge. Oh, and to top it off Takashima loves Hikari and she doesn't notice which causes many of the problems that occur. But, the ending is cute.

animation: 9.5/10

The animation is really cute and detailed. I would give it full but, there's the problem with their legs. They are extremely long!

Sound: 10/10 for subbed 6/10 dubbed

So, the sound affects are really good. The voices in the sun match the characters personalities greatly and are ready amazing. But, for the dub they don't match the characters at all and the pronounce the names slightly different. Honestly, I could of matched the pitches of the sub and made the dub much better. Also, the original pronunciation of the names are much better and I prefer them that way.

characters: 9/10

None of the characters seem too much of copies from other animes. They all have an interesting backstory and great personalities!

9/10 story
9.5/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
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iLive4Anime's avatar
Jan 13, 2019

This review is on only 4 episodes in since I dropped this anime. What can I say I dropped this anime because I did not like how they excuted the plot. Example the guy likes the girl, but they have like a rivalry thing going on. I just wished like they could of just excuted the romance in  different way because the male lead kind of just seems like a jerk tbh. I just did not like it so that is why I dropped it. I would go through pain if I watched all 24 episodes.

6/10 story
5/10 animation
10/10 sound
5/10 characters
7/10 overall
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DuskFey's avatar
Jul 26, 2018

Anime in 200 Words: Special A

Premise: Hikari and Kei have been rivals in everything for years, from academics to fighting skills, and Hikari always comes in second, earning the nickname “Two-san.” Determined to win, she takes every opportunity to challenge Kei, and over time, Hikari realizes that her feelings toward her rival have changed.

Audience: Fans of shoujo and tsundere, girls with a fiery streak through them. ;)

Romance: It was cute, and I really enjoyed watching the complications after the conversation Hikari overheard in the bathroom. That realism really caught my attention, and despite the fact that I think Kei should have confessed, it was enjoyable.

Humor: Hikari is insane. Man. The zeal that she gathers for a simple task and the rigors that she puts her body through, just to come in first, they make me laugh. :)

Drama: The politics involved in being a wealthy heir really surprised me. These issues really added to the depth of Special A and offset the romance a bit.

Overall: I really enjoyed Special A, because I related to Hikari’s determination and energy, and because I kind of hoped that there would be an awesome guy like Kei who cared for me.

10/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
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PenguinOverlordLevi's avatar
Aug 18, 2017

This anime is pretty special. The storyline is cute and fun, and every character is endearing.

My only real issue how that some of the characters weren't developed as much as they could be. I loved Ryuu, Jun and Megumi and they did get their own episodes, but I felt like we could have seen more of their backgrounds and their character development.

I also kind of wish that we got more Hikari x Kei. The kiss scene wasn't all that good as it was really just a silhouette and I felt like we could have seen more of them as a couple, but at the same time, I realise that it wouldn't have suited their relationship. I can't see them being especially lovey-dovey. There are a lot of fluffy scenes throughout the anime to satisfy the viewer.

Apart from that, I'd say that this anime is pretty much perfect.

I really loved watching Special A and I'm sad to have finished it... Even if I did spend half the time frustrated with how oblivious Hikari is ^^;;

9/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
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raniok's avatar
Apr 20, 2016

i loved this series. it was full of laughs and about 4 different romances that you had to enjoy! the characters were all different which made the story very fun. and there was a romance that you wouldn't expect, but that one was my fav. the only thing I don't like is that we didn't get to see what happened after they got togethr. plus the kiss scene was not exactly the best... (in front of a dark clock tower) 

this anime was one of my favs though.

if you want o more more like it I would reccomned:

maid-sama

blue spring ride 

and .... wolf girl and the black prince

9/10 story
9/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
delolmo's avatar
Dec 20, 2015

I very much enjoyed this anime. The character's personalities are great and the plot was fun to watch. The only things I disliked were the fact that there were only 24 episodes to the anime and my belief that the story could have touched in more depth regarding the stories of each character. Sometimes it appeared like there will be plot twist and that the anime could take a different direction, but then the anime '"rushed" through the plot twist and that was it. This happened several times and I just didn't feel like it made sense, it just seemed too rushed.  

9/10 story
9/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
mahius's avatar
Aug 18, 2015

Special A is a 24 episode high-school (slice-of-life style) comedy romance anime. Considering the story, this is something that I’ve seen before in Kaichou wa Maid-Sama!, which I found funny and enjoyed. It’s a sensible romance, suitable for most, but leans more towards shoujo. However, ‘high-school’ and ‘romance’ are two thing that don’t do well together, that’s just my opinion. Usually these types of anime don’t have a satisfying end.

Animation

The animation quality is pretty decent. The best quality it exists in seems to be 480p. But even for an anime limited by its resolution, the quality is decent. It’s not above average, but it’s acceptable for a 2008 anime. A pleasant surprise after the last anime I watched, where even a higher resolution didn’t help too much.

The animation style however was certainly… interesting. It’s fairly original, though the faces of the characters seem familiar the most noticeably different facet of style are the bodies. When we first got a full body shot of the protagonist, I thought: wow, she’s very tall and skinny, how is she not falling over. It’s a big different to other anime which have tried the tall and thin character style, like Code Geass where it was much more stylised and done better. Two of the characters are supposed to be skilled in pro-wrestling and they work out for it. As a skinny person myself, I can assure you that such a training regimen should at least put on a little weight/bodymass. It’s kinda inconsistent, since other times it looks normal. They also make good use of facial expression and comic effects. There’s even a lightly shaded hand-drawn style used to good effect. I guess I should commend this rare type of character design though. It’s anime like this that reminds me of those who are uncomfortable watching anime as the style is off-putting. The eyes seem too big and unnatural or something like that. I guess I understand their perspective a bit better now. But after all that, this style of animation doesn’t affect the enjoy-ability of this anime that much. I can still like an anime that looks like this, even if it looks a bit strange and most importantly I just got used to it.

There is no fan-service or ecchi I’m happy to say. This in combination with the almost bishounen, pretty boy-like designs of some of the male characters makes me think this is a shoujo anime. But ignore that, my recommendations for this anime are irrespective of gender.

Sound

The intro to this anime wasn’t there in the first episode. Seeing it in the second episode, I personally don’t like it. But that’s personal taste. It just doesn’t seem very accommodating. The outro was better though, but not amazingly so. The second set of intro and outro were much better. One major issue, during a fight scene in the first episode, they play a pop track, complete with high-pitched female vocalist. That was just wrong and some pretty bad sound design. The music was very unsuited to the scene portrayed. They make use of quite a few sound effects for things like the character introductions. But there are a few that felt off, like the sparkly sound effects during some bits. The rest of the music is okay, used better than that pop track in the first episode. It’s just that towards the beginning, the sound and music weren’t that great, it does improve to the usual standard later though. It did feel cliché and cheesy at times though.

The anime is available in both English and Japanese (contrary to what this site says, I think it was dubbed in 2013). And the cast of voice actors includes a bunch of well-known people, who’ve done roles in some of my favourite anime. However at the very start the English version felt a bit wrong. Some of the characters had voices that didn’t suit the character and there were a lot of recycled voices. I.e. the same voice actors voiced a multitude of minor characters, even those slightly significant. I did try out the Japanese version and it felt a bit better but then I got used to the English voices. I will say the Japanese voice of Hikari is preferred over the English one, no hate on the voice actor or anything.

Monica Rial voices Hikari Hanazono, who was Misuzu Kamio in Air, Mei Misaki in Another, Chanet Laforet in Baccano, Kanae in Elfen Leid, Lyra in FMA, Sayara Yamanobe in Mnemosyne, Tsubaki in Soul Eater, Coopa in Tower of Druaga (last anime I watched), Sakura in Tsubasa Chronicle and Maria in Witchblade. Kei Takashima is voice by Blake Shepard, who’s also voiced Otonashi in Angel Beats, Takabayashi in Another, Michio Hoshino in Ghost Hound and Yumeji Fujiwara in Yumekui (Dream Eater) Merry. Ryu Tsuji is voiced by Chris Patton, the voice of Teshigawara in Angel Beats, Kyousuke Tsutsumi in Ef: a Tale of Memories/Melodies, Greed in FMA, Yuichi Aizawa in Kanon (2006), Keima Katsuragi in The World God Only Knows and Takateru Akiyanagi in Yumekui Merry. Akira Tohdou is voiced by Luci Christian, who voiced Haruko Kamio in Air, Masami Iwasawa in Angel Beats, Nagisa Furukawa in Clannad, Ophelia in Claymore, Miyako Miyamura in Ef: a Tale of Memories/Melodies, Mariko in Elfen Leid, Wrath in FMA, Sanae Oogami in Ghost Hound, Mishiho Maeno in Mnemosyne, Medusa in Soul Eater, Chun Hyang/Kiishimu in Tsubasa Chronicle, Haiji/Hikaru in Tsukuyomi Moon Phase and Yui Kounagi in Yumekui Merry. Tadashi Karino is voiced by Andrew Love, who was Fujimaki in Angel Beats, Akio Furukawa in Clannad and Yuuya Daigo in Tokyo Majin. Brittney Karbowski voices Megumi Yamamoto, having voiced Yuri in Angel Beats, Ryou Fujibayashi in Clannad, Kiko Kayanuma in Darker than Black, Kei Shindou in Ef: a Tale of Memories/Melodies, Miyako Komagusu in Ghost Hound, Ayu Tsukimiya in Kanon (2006), Black Star in Soul Eater, Kanon Nakagawa in The World God Only Knows and Isana Tachibana in Yumekui Merry. Jun Yamamoto is voiced by Kirby Brister, who hasn’t voiced much anime at all. Other voices of secondary characters I recognised included Clint Bickham (Renji Asou in Ef: a Tale of…) as Yahiro Saiga/Kakei Hajime, David Matranga (Tomoya Okazaki in Clannad) as Nakamura and Hilary Haag as Sakura Ushikubo (Yui in Angel Beats, Merry in Yumekui Merry).

So the English cast features a ton of voice actors whose voices I’m fond of (since they were characters in various anime I enjoyed), but some of these roles felt mismatched. I was taken aback by Andrew Love as Tadashi and Monica Rial didn’t feel right as Hikari, her voice just made the character a bit too different. Yuki Goto’s voice seemed more appropriate for Hikari and the other Japanese voices were on point. But the English featured many voices I liked so it was a tough decision between the English and Japanese.

Characters

Hikari Hanazono is a high-school girl in the special A (S.A.) class, the one who always comes 2nd, ranked 2nd in the academy. She is hot-headed, with a competitive nature and has been raised as a strong fighter by her father who is a pro-wrestling fanatic. Both athletic and smart, the only thing she can’t do is cook, sew and a few girly things. She absolutely loves festivals, especially traditional Japanese ones. She is constantly annoyed by Kei beating her to 1st place and is always trying to beat him in various challenges. She only sees him as a rival. In that single respect, she’s a blockhead not being able to figure out that Kei really loves her. She’s that type of character that puts in a lot of effort and doesn’t give up easily. She can be violent and aggressive, and together with her super human strength, she tends to break things a lot. She is the only member of the S.A. class who is from a normal, middle-class family. She reminds me of Misaki in Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

Kei Takishima is a high-school boy in the S.A. class, the one who always comes 1st, ranked 1st at the academy. He is a calm and collected individual who loves to tease Hikari and accepts her challenges with confidence. He is always better at everything than Hikari, being a powerful athletic/smart prodigy himself. Thing is, he has a crush on Hikari, making him very protective of her and springs to her defence if anyone tries to harass her. He doesn’t’ like it if any guy tries to get close to her. He realises how much effort she puts in and appreciates it. His love towards Hikari is unnoticed, thus unrequited. He’s a nice guy, but a bit shy when it comes to his feelings for Hikari. He reminds me of Usui Takumi.

Akira Tohdou is a high-school girl in the S.A. class and is ranked 4th at the academy. Though, she has known Kei as a childhood friend, Hikari is her best friend and her admiration for Hikari goes a bit further, she’s over-protective of her and won’t let any boy have her. She’s also a tea fanatic, making different kinds of tea for the S.A. class each day. In addition she is a skilled cook, but is fussy with serving her food. She gets upset when Tadashi goes for her food and she can be hot-headed as a result. She is often hitting him for no reason at all. She doesn’t like Kei, since he’s often teasing Hikari and getting a bit too close for Akira’s comfort. She also has some history with Yahiro Saiga.

Ryuu Tsuji is a high-school boy of the S.A. class and is ranked 7th at the academy. He has a gentle and mellow personality. He loves animals, always getting along with them, being loved by them in return and is always accompanied by one in the S.A. garden. Heck, he has no interest in girls or romance and would rather spend time with his animal friends. He’s very protective and caring of the Yamamoto twins and always has been. Since he lives by himself, he is able cook and do housework. He also been friends with the Yamamoto twins since they were children, who compete with the animals for his attention. He’s very protective of them He’s just an all-round nice guy.

Tadashi Karino is a high-school boy in the S.A. class and is ranked 5th at the academy. He loves food and is quite a boisterous, comic character. His parents run the academy and apparently his mother is scary, he really doesn’t like bungies. He gets along well with Akira, which is to say she always scolds him for eating all the food/having bad table manners. He has a one-track mind, but he does notice other stuff and can be vocal about it, like Kei’s behaviour. Heck, he’s a very sensible and empathic guy, he knows the right thing to do most of the time and is capable of being seriously helpful, especially to Akira. He’s a nice person deep down and loves to ride his motorcycle. He is also the guy who does the preview at the end of every episode, as am adorable puppet.

Jun Yamamoto and Megumi Yamamoto are high-schoolers in the S.A. class and ranked 3<sup>th</sup> and 6<sup>th</sup> respectively at the academy. These two siblings are twins (non-identical because they are different genders, thankfully they got that right) and their parents are renowned musicians. They also have musical talent, Jun plays the violin and Megumi sings. The two enjoy their music, but it their music has destructive power, hence the other members of S.A. don’t want to hear it too much. Jun has a secret that links in with some troubling childhood history. All I can say is: he has a dark side. Megumi doesn’t talk and instead communicates by writing on a small whiteboard, it turns out she chooses to do this to preserve her voice, which is like a powerful shockwave. Both twins adore their childhood friend Ryuu and are a bit clingy with him. They compete with his animals for his attention, therefore they don’t get along well with the animals.

Yahiro Saiga is Kei’s childhood friend and the son of a very wealthy family. Yahiro, Kei and Akira used to play together. He has pierced ears and seems a bit assertive towards Hikari. He can usually handle Hikari’s attacks and is capable of restraining her. He doesn’t see her as a rival to Kei and wishes for her to be more girly and more obedient, his opinions towards women are despicable. He knows that Kei has a crush on her and tries to prove it to Hikari. It seems like he wants help their relationship along. Kei has no problem being vicious towards his friend if he tries anything with Hikari. He seems to be a mean guy, but as we discover more about him, we find out how human he really is.

Kei’s mother seems to be non-existent. His father Satoru Takashima on the other hand is a baby-faced man, who also sounds younger than his son. This is off-putting and I’m annoyed at the unrequired youth this character is given. He behaves childish and his employees tease him, making him dress up as a girl and calling him names. He relies on his older son to help him in meetings as a result. He loves pro-wrestling and is best friends with Hikari’s dad, he enjoys sparring with Hikari too. Kei’s younger brother is a mischievous elementary school student, who is capable of being moody and craves attention from his brother. He likes to annoy Hikari, who calls him mini-Takashima, because he looks like a smaller version of his older brother.

Hikari’s dad Jiro Hanazono is a big fan of pro-wrestling, just like his friend Satoru. He is the one who trained Hikari and introduced him to Kei when they were children. Hikari’s mother Masako is very defensive of her kitchen, she won’t let Hikari cook because she ends up breaking everything with her uncontrolled strength. Hikari’s brother Atsushi is a normal and a high-school student, who isn’t in S.A.

The student council president is Kakei Hajime, a scrawny guy with glasses and a member of the A class. He has a crush on Hikari and tries to compete with Kei for her, who doesn’t like his attempts to woo her. When it comes to competing with Kei, he likes to use underhanded, dirty tactics, which he justifies by claiming it’s to level the playing field. He’s just a jerk IMO. He’s always getting teased by the S.A. members, especially Kei who belittle him by calling him useless, dumb, among other things to rub in their superiority over him.

Story

In this academy, the classes are ranked F to A, and students are arranged in these classes according to the exam results they earn. It’s a lot like the system in Baka to Test, except without the class wars. But, there’s a bit more to it. For the top 7 ranking students in school are in a whole other league and class: the special A (S.A.) class. Members of the S.A. hangout in a luscious greenhouse conservatory, fitted and decorated with the most premium equipment and furniture. And there’s no teacher to teach them. They don’t need a teacher, as they do so well just with self-study.

This didn’t seem like much of a romance anime towards the start. There’s a huge departure from realism as the characters do things impossible and what not. Of course, being set in high-school means there’s almost no overall plot, just like slice-of-life. Sure Hikari gets bombarded with suggestions that Kei loves her and she ignores as if she were the typical male harem protagonist. I guess that’s all there is to the plot, it’s just Kei trying to make Hikari realise that he loves her. And he gets annoyed when she ignores it or misinterprets it as something else. The anime eventually ends up taking it a bit seriously. There are other aspects to the plot, such as Akira’s past, Jun’s concern towards the Yamamoto twins, the history between Akira and Yahiro. But I was annoyed by how one of these ‘shippings’ didn’t go the way I wanted it to and the conclusion to this story is too vague, to the point where it seems like nothing happened at all. It almost does feel like slice of life because of that. These anime need to be confident and solid in their endings. Otherwise what’s the point of having this romantic narrative if it goes nowhere.

But this anime does have interesting themes to discuss besides the romance. Which is depicted somewhat accurately here, it takes time for it to happen. I was also pleasantly surprised at how neatly it fell into place. There’s a variety of characters besides Hikari and Kei and I found is suspicious how easily one could ship the other characters. Almost sets one up for disappointment, since you then also want a formation and subsequent conclusion to other (non-existent) romances. But there’s also some serious discussion with rich people and how different they are. How some normal folks befriend them only because they are rich. The not so surprising reality is that this happens in real life. The attention and popularity gained by rich people, is mostly due to their money. I know because I’ve lived through it first-hand. And then there’s the abuse of authority and power for personal gain. Causing someone to suffer by firing them or someone close to them if they do something against the will of the one in power. Power corrupts. Another lesson to learn and one that might not be noticed by all viewers of this anime.

So why would anyone endure the initial slice-of-life section of this anime besides the plot that lays in later? For the laughs. The comedy. If you liked anime like Seto no Hanamiye (My Bride is a Mermaid!). While I wasn’t exactly laughing out loud, it was funny. Well, okay I did laugh like that a few times. And that made the overall experience enjoyable. This anime made me smile, with how funny it was. And that’s definitely a win in my book.

Conclusion

It was an enjoyable experience overall. The best bit of this are definitely the quirky characters and the comedy that happens because of it. I’d recommend this to fans of romance and comedy who are tolerant of slice-of-life or the lack of plot. Because the wrap-up pretty much is standard of slice-of-life and the other ‘romance’ anime. It looked like it could have been more and the shipping pairs were almost there. Because of the way the story goes, I wouldn’t define this as much of a romance. Rather a high-school slice-of-life comedy with minor hints of that romantic stuff. If you’re expecting lovey-dovey stuff, then prepare for disappointment. It’s like a bait and switch and that lack of romantic story is my biggest issue with this anime. Even though this anime is capable of making you squeal like a little girl with what little it has. Were it to take the romantic angle seriously, then I'd have given it a higher score. Enjoy the laughs though, cos I sure did.

Family-friendliness Rating: 2/5 Besides a sensible beach episode, I think Tadashi once makes a period joke, but that’s about it (lower is better)

Overall Rating: /10 (higher is better)

6/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
10/10 characters
7/10 overall
milkteamareena's avatar
Jun 17, 2015

This review is only based off the first four episodes and the last episode.
THERE ARE SOME SPOILERS

I had heard my friends ramble about this anime - they love it - they adore it and I was too lazy to check it out at first so I forgot about it. Just recently however I found out that it had been English dubbed so I said "why not" and honestly I kind of regret it.

VOICE ACTING:
I watched abut 10 minutes of the English dubbed first episode and couldn't go on. It was honestly terrible. I actually love most of the cast in other roles, however this anime was poorly casted and acted. 
Because of this, I switched to sub.
The voice acting still wasn't outstanding but the voices were definitely more suited to the characters.

STORY:
Honestly this anime doesn't have too much of a story. After the first episode I already thought that it was obvious that Kei liked Hikari. There wasn't much development though besides the fact that they've known eachother since they were kids and Kei is crazy amazing and Hikari wants to surpass him. After 4 episodes I was honestly getting bored so I decided to just go ahead and watch the last episode and be done with this anime.
After watching the last episode though I wasn't too confused. There were some new characters I missed out on in the 20 episodes I skipped sure and some secondary couple got together which I didn't get to see develop but anything between the two main characters was pretty easy to grasp. Had the two gone through any development at all? Kei had already liked Hikari for a long time obviously and I guess Hikari really liked him too in the end because she chased after him. It wasn't really a big surprise.

CHARACTERS:
The characters were honestly something that pissed me off the most. You have some pretty cliche characters and some real wackos which serve no purpose. All the characters are pretty much the most unrealistic things you could imagine.
You have the two main characters. The boy protagonist is super smart - so smart that he only needs to look at one thing once and he remembers it forever. He never studies and he's extremely good at sport and insanely strong. The girl protagonist is also super smart - but not as smart as her childhood friend, who happens to be the male protagonist, and constantly coming 2nd place to him despite being amazing, even only by like, one dragonfly. She's also so strong that when washing rice she grinds it up with her bare hands. 
I'm sure if she was that strong she would be ripped and not some tiny high school girl.
The secondary characters are kind of meh and they're also stereotypical which pretty much means that they won't get as much character development. Dissapointing at the least.

OVERALL:
I find this anime kind of ridiculous. I know I only watched 5 episodes but if I can still get the gist and if I'm not into it by the 2nd episode someone's doing something wrong and it's not me.
Also at the end when they kiss - she JUMPS OFF THE BIG BEN AND HE JUMPS OF TOO AND THEY KISS IN MIDAIR? WTF? Did they fall afterwards? 
Not my anime - lack of character development (even after 5 episodes I expect some progress besides Kei is a dick and Hikari wants to be better than him), ridiculous characters and unrealistic abilities. If you like it, you like it I guess and I've only watched a few episodes but honestly I think that you're wasting your time with this one.

2/10 story
8/10 animation
?/10 sound
3/10 characters
4/10 overall
ffcfran's avatar
Oct 14, 2014

The density of the main female character (Hikari) to admit her feelings and realize the feelings others have for her (mainly Kei). Other than the occasional annoyance that presents this anime is good. All the other characters are great and I love the interaction and growth they all go through. It sails through seemingly smoothly, other than the relationship drama, until towards the end when the drama increases just a little.

Kei is too perfect at everything and even though Hikari is as well it's not good enough unless she beats Kei, which seems virtually impossible as she hasn’t been able to ever in all the years she has known him. Their relationship seems to waver between love-hate which makes it more entertaining. The music isn't anything to get excited about it. I didn’t even remember what it was after watching it. The art is good. The main selling points are the hilarity of the story, Hikari failing in her mission to defeat Kei at anything and everything, and the characters themselves.

10/10 story
9/10 animation
6/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
BigDumbOhFace's avatar
Oct 8, 2014

I first came across this anime after googling some good School Life anime's to watch.  Special A was on that list and I put it on mine to check it out.  Sadly, I had to drop it.  I just couldn't get it.  It just didn't have that charm I found in a lot of other animes I've watched.  There was always that one thing about an anime I find that made me want to watch it.  I just couldn't find it here.  If anything, I'm always over-praising an anime.  Everything just wasn't my taste.  However, I am genuinely upset that I cannot will myself to finish it and I know I shouldn't.  There's so many good reviews that I'm kinda forced myself to try and find a reason to like it.  If I do I won't properly it as I should.  Hopefully I'll come back in the future and start fresh.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
5/10 overall
Kintoista's avatar
Sep 29, 2014

[Don't read if you loved it cause you'll wanna punch me and this is just a very personal point of view I have. All of it.]

Can I just say: I HATE the lead character (?) I don't mind any of the others so I gave it a five, but if it were for her I would give it a -5000. I freaken HATE her. She is SO ridiculous and witless. Her goodness is just annoying to the point of stupidity I don't understand why every character liked her so much. She wasn't even that nice, she was just "nice" in an obtuse "I can do it all, everything anyone ever says is a challenge I overreact to" kinda way.

Seriously, I wanted to punch her. This was SO difficult for me to endure. Why didn't I just give up watching it altogether then? I wanted to see the epic "happy love" ending. I wanted to know if I was hating her with good motive or just cause I found her unbearably dense and annoying and loud (and.... WTH is wrong with her and rice? goddamit woman, the machine MAKES it!) or if she would actually realize she had feelings for the guy and become a less exasperating human being.

Competing with him was fine. Lame plot but fine. But she showed no interest whatsoever and then suddenly: oh yeah, you know what, I love you. I am obsessed with beating you so at the veeeeeeery last moment ever, woops! ["SPOILER" ALERT] yeah you're probably right. Let's kiss. And then probably back to square one, cause in the end  it's like a scene from the first ep (i know, I know after it all they got to be together in school again. I get it). [end of spoiler]. But I bet she probably won't be able to hold hands or kiss anyway, cause she'll think it's a freaken challenge and she'll ruin any mood wearing an embarrasingly stupid, out of context bunny costume (not to mention getting stuck with making the silly-not-even-cute-or-funny-just-lame voice for a while after removing it).

GOSH. Seriously. HATE her like I never hated anything in anime ever before lol. 

Characters: Aside from the above, I liked most. The other relationship that begins is cute and funny to watch :)

Animation: It was good. I will always respect the work of animators <3 

(The lead girl wasn't even easy on the eyes. Come on. u_u;). *Runs and hides before they murder her for this review* 

(very personal annoyed review I know. I'm blowing off a lot steam. I'm so SORRY >.< ).

2/10 story
8/10 animation
?/10 sound
5/10 characters
2/10 overall
animeDEMON901demsage's avatar
Jun 16, 2014

I love the animations and all, but the thing I really hate about it is the romance >_< Of course I do reccomend it, but not as much as I did with Dream Eater Merry. Only that time when I reccomended it I really meant it :l. I hate the romance moments of this show, it's all to cheesy. I really had a hard time figuring out what the main plot really was about, or what the story was trying to lead up to. I just that every episode was just about a boy and a girl liking eachother, basically. I'm done now, I don't think those Special A fans (I am kinda one too) appreciate me scolding Special A like that XD I do like that fact that S.A. does have some comedy in it. That's the reason why I kept watching it, I also liked the animation.

9/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
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xcvb2003's avatar
Feb 7, 2014

I loved Ouran High School and many recommended this anime saying its similar to it. Well it sure was similar but no where near that good.

The first season(first 12 ep) were a real bore for me, I considered dropping it two or three times during it. The jokes and stuff weren't really funny, the characters didn't seem that interesting to me and the main romance was UGHHH unbearable, Gayness factor was too damn high. 
But the second season was pretty good in comparison. Other characters got some development and their arcs and romances were much better than the main one. Kept me interested and I was finally able to finish it.  Ending was good too. Would have loved some more development of the side characters though.

I didn't like the art/animation, was really off putting at first, especially with those freakishly long legs. Some of the Soundtrack pieces was really good though. 

It turned out to be good overall, thanks to the second season.
7/10

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
7/10 overall
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MRHowley's avatar
Jan 29, 2014

Overall - I give it a 5 out of 5 stars just for my sheer love of the series but in the case of breaking down the different areas it falls to 9/10.  My son has gotten me into anime after a long absence.  I grew up on Voltron and Speed Racer when there was only four available channels to watch TV if that is any context.  This particular show or series was a lot of fun.  it had highs and lows and added enough intrigue to keep you going from episode to episode.  I know I will watch this series again.   I should actually remove some more from the story ranking since it didn't come out with another season.  There was more than enough material to carry them through a second season without getting tired or deriviative.

Score justification:

Story - I will say that you have to let this one bake.  I have seen it in other reviews and I agree that the story does not start humming untol the 5th or 6th episode.  I also like the message it conveys throughout the series of friendship, togetherness, loyalty and, of course, love.  Point deducted for the slow start.

Animation - Let me just say the 'regular' animation of all the characters was great.  It definitely helped draw out their personalities.  The issue I have with it is the emotional caricatures used when angry sad or blue.  Understood why it is used but the regular animation was so good, i grew annoyed when they would move to the bubble stuff.  Shout out to the animation when a tender or 'love' moment showed up.  I though that was a neat touch.  Still doesn't make up for the overuse of the secondary animations in my opinion.  

Sound:  All sounds songs and bakground music was great.  Everytime I heard the opening music or the soft guitar chord int he background it made me get that slight smile like Kei when he is thinking of Hikari.  

Characters - I thought hte character development was great after the first 5 episodes.  I deducted a point because it would have been nice to see how some of the relationsips develop and if other characters do find a love interest. 

Great, Great, Great series.  Recommend it for everyone.

9/10 story
8/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
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snugglebums's avatar
Mar 3, 2013

I rate this anime a 9.5 because honestly i love this anime. the only issue and i mean the only issue i have with this anime is that the ending isn't that great and it just made it seem a bit lame in the end i mean i guess we have our opinions but mine is that it wasnt a great ending it made me cry like once. It's one of my favorites though so i would highly recommend this ! thanks, Have a happy time watching anime!!

9/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
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AliLinn's avatar
Sep 5, 2012

**SPOILER** The ending was absolutely horrible and heartbreaking, and the manga is much different. Same story line and base, but over all very different. It was overall an amazing anime, but the ending will surely break your heart.

9/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
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itachirockstar's avatar
Aug 1, 2012

Once I watched this anime online, I immediately had to download it. It really is that good.

It is very rare to come across a storyline that satisfies you in every way. I can't count the number of times I've watched an anime and was left wondering if the characters ever did confess their love to one another and what happened between them. Special A answers those questions for you. I love the storyline; it's funny, romantic, and downright silly. I love the characters, every single person plays a part and is developed well. The animation is awesome, perfectly illustrating what the author of the manga wanted to convey. It is well worth watching and following up by reading the manga should you wonder just what happened next.

9/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
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Vague's avatar
Aug 30, 2011

This is the first comedy/romance only anime that I've watched...and I loved it! I was sick of looking for a super cool anime that would knock my socks off only to be disappointed so I thought, "What the heck, I'll go for something completely different!" And hooray! Success!

Story- 8/10

Hokay, so, the story is kind of cheesy and way too intense for highschoolers but...whatev. I was thoroughly entertained by Hikari and Kei's constant rivalry and subtle romance. Plus, the other characters move the story along enough so that you don't get completely overwhelmed by mushy gushy love junk. I think even at one point I thought the story was...dare I say...cool. Again, don't look for a super deep plot or anything, just sit back and relax and be ready to laugh a lot.

Animation- 9/10

Loved it. I loved the way the character's emotions were portrayed and actually enjoyed the over-the-top spazziness that I thought would turn me off from anime like this. When it comes to comedy and high school romance, animation like that just fits.

Sound- 8/10

Surprisingly not annoying. I was pretty sure going into this that this category would be really irritating by the end, but for the most part none of the characters had really annoying voices and the opening/ending themes were fairly bearable.

Characters- 10/10

Love em all. It's not often that I come out of an anime without hating any of the characters. In fact, I pretty much <3 them all. All of the S.A. seven were really entertaining and funny and well they just fit the story really well. Of course by the end you want certain people to be together and express their undying love for each other so you may go through a love/hate period, but eventually everything is happy again.

Overall- 9/10

Again, I was pretty surprised. I was expecting to hate it and absolutely loved it. Not a single episode went by that I didn't laugh out loud. I was able to put some emotional investment into the characters and it was returned tenfold.

Another time, another review.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
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MidnightAria's avatar
Jul 8, 2011

6 out of 10 stars.
This review is based on episodes 24 out of 24.


Okay so I finished the whole anime in one day. I was actually looking forward to this anime a lot, but it kind of disappointed me.


Negatives:


Having Kei there didn’t do much of an effect, because there isn’t any overall plot. There’s Hikari, who has her goal of being “first” among Kei and herself, but what about his goal? Throughout the whole anime, I couldn’t find a logical goal for him besides the fact he wants Hikari to see how he feels. Bleh. In every romance anime, there simply must be some other goal. Otherwise, the characters don’t appear realistic. 

There are times where it’s really obvious Kei likes Hikari, and it really annoys me to see how she never notices it. I absolutely hate it when the female character is too naïve to realise the feelings the “hero” has for her. The worst thing is, Hikari’s a really smart girl who gets second place in all exams. So how come she’s not smart enough to realise one small detail? 

Another negative, like I’ve stated above, is how the anime doesn’t have any plot. It’s pretty much a group of seven teenagers, all with their own quirks and style, locked up together because they’re really good at academics. The thing is, how come we never see them studying? All of them are so relaxed, it’s hard to believe that not one of them are study-obsessed. 

Then we have the absolutely worst part of the entire anime –the ending. Seriously, it’s like the creators didn’t know where to go, or how to conclude this, and so they decided it’s best to have things back the way it was. Have you ever heard that in a story, the characters must learn something or it’s not really a story? What have we learnt in this anime, besides the fact everybody except Ryuu has a soul-mate? That really annoyed me, because Hikari still didn’t learn her lesson on how coming first isn’t so much of a big deal. Should that be the whole point of this anime? 

I doubt that any school, no matter how wacky and wild, would let their students have a greenhouse all to themselves. Especially since there are animals running around, Hikari burning all the food and people playfully hitting each other. But this is an anime, after all, so it’s all good. 

Nobody’s going to fly all the way somewhere to retrieve a guy. Seriously, Hikari. Nobody would even let you go anywhere so far-fetched.


Positives:


The graphics of this anime is very entertaining and wonderful. The expressions they have, and how Kei is so cute. *gushes* Anyhow, the colours are bright and vivid and they attract me to the entire plot, despite there not being one. The Special A area truly does seem like a dream come true, because it’s such a relaxing and wonderful environment to live in. 

I love how all the characters ended up with somebody. There was the most unlikely couple with Megumi and Yahiro which really was unpredictable. The way he cared about Megumi, despite not really liking her, caught my heart. Then he bought her that little doodle thingo, where she could write something and pull on that lever to erase it. She could reuse it. 

There was Akira, who ended up with a guy she always tries to beat up (Tadashi). I thought that was exceptionally cute, but yeah. 

There are a lot of minor characters in this anime, but it’s all for the better. The characters all come together at the end, and the writer has effectively made them so they all tie up characters and tell us little details about them. 

This anime is really funny at times! A couple of times I would just burst out laughing like a maniac. There was this one time when a random girl was sitting in the middle of Kei and Ryuu. She asks Kei what his type is, and then he just blocks her out with a, “You don’t need to know.” And then, when she asks Ryuu, he’s like, “I like all types of mammals” and is in a dream-like stage with a thought-bubble coming out with animals in there. It made me laugh out so loud. 

Romantic? Check. This is possibly one of the most romantic animes I’ve come across, and the best thing is, it’s all realistic. They don’t stage themselves to loving each other in a second, and I respect that about this anime. 

Overall:
Typically, this was a romance anime. Don’t expect anything more, because it’s nothing more than something to do with romance. Heck, it doesn’t even show you anything to learn –instead, it’s just something people would watch for fun if they’re in a romantic mood. So, yeah. I didn’t particularly like it for that reason, because if you really know me, you’d know I hate it when things have nothing but romance in them. It’s kind of worn out. 

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
6/10 overall
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callumjay1's avatar
Apr 13, 2011

Special A is a 24 episode anime that revolves around the life of a high school student called Hikari and her day to day life with the other 6 "Special A" students who are segregated from the rest of the school into a private learning green house type thing that seems bigger then the actual school its self lolz. anyway the idea of this anime is that Hikari was used t being number #1 at everything in her early child hood but when she met Kei she instantly became #2 at everything as the 2 grew up a sort of sibling rivalry developed between them but in fact Kei loves Hikari but Hikari refuses to nitice, although it may seem she is just dense and doesn't see the obvious advances she in-fact loves him back but does not know what these feelings are so she goes into a state of denial but as the show progresses though a series of events Hikari beings to Except these feelings and starts to love Kei back the story in this anime is good but a bit repetitive. the animation is good, its smooth and bright, the sound is ok the characters voicing is good but the music is a bit disappointing  the characters are good as the anime progresses it beings to branch out and u learn more about the other Members of special A and there love loss and problems.  i like this anime souly for the romance so i recommend it but action lovers don't expect to much there is a fighting element to it but it is a small side part at best.

 

9/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
9/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
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Mailtiger's avatar
Apr 3, 2011

Konichuwa, First of all i would like to say that this is my first review so please bear if i had to say anything stupid..... i loved watching 'SPECAIL A' as soon as i finished watching this it came under my all time favorites and i felt pretty sad that it ended so quickly..... story is good not the best but good. somewhat predictable but fun to watch..... characters are all pretty good, especially kei, hikari, tadashi & akira..... can't stop laughing whenever tadashi comes......  animation is above average with few chibi comedy scenes (don't know how to say but i loved that parts)...... romance is thin which was a bit dissappointing..... expected kei-hikari, tadshi-akira, megumi-yahiro to kiss v_v but have to mention one thing each got a correct pair without any love triangles or harem (leaving yahiro-akira stories aside) for which i am so glad..... because in many anime i see either hero or heroine mixed up in love triangle leavin 1 or more poor guys heart broken which i really get upset...... anyhow it would be still better in sound & back ground musics. i am not saying music is bad but it would be still better...... comedy is superb tadashi-akira makes a good pair both in comedy & romance, kei & hikari are fun to watch..... overall 'SPECIAL A' deserves a special place in my heart.....i would be happy if 2nd season is made. i am pretty sure many others feel the same way.....

once again sorry if i had hurted any one & thank you for reading my review..... bye......


?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
10/10 overall
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LadyFate's avatar
Sep 22, 2010

Special A is one of my all time favorite animes. It is hilarious, has a romance (that isn't a side story!), and I love the overall feel of it. It has been debated about how the makers went about doing the ending, however it still has a perfectly good and happy conclusion. I have watched this anime twice despite my growing watch list, and would highly recommend it to anyone. If you like unrealistic scenarios, flowery mood backgrounds, and many "LOL" moments in every episode, Special A is for you. The best thing about this anime is that it never felt overblown. I never felt like the makers were trying too hard to make it funny like in many animes. It was naturally comedic and I like that. It also isn't so long that one gets bored, and not so short that a story can't develop. 

I am a bit of a sap so I love a good romance, but drama makes me sick. This anime has little to no drama and the romance is actually what the story revolves around, or rather, the main character's complete lack of realization that there is a potential for romance. But! It isn't purely a romance anime.

Excellent anime. Go watch it. 

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
9/10 overall
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nasreen10's avatar
Jan 23, 2010

Story: Special A is very quirky.  The small subplots and characters definitely make an engaging and thrilling adventure.The special a's class ability to do inhuman things is fun instead of annoying. The ending was very well done (not physically or humanly possible but suitable) leaving few loose ends. Great romance. Hikari and Kei are an all-time favorite couple of mine.

Animation: Very pretty animation. Bold colors and neat and attractive character designs. Very visually appealing and the backgrounds were bright and vivid. However, nothing remarkable or anything that sticks out. The characters shine more in my mind solely for their personality not their appearance.

Sound: Nice. Not remarkable or memorable at all. But nice.

Characters: Lovely characters that are endearing. I really love the characters. Hikari is one of my favorite shojo girls even when she's thickheaded and Kei is beastly. The characters are whimsical. They each have their little quirks that stop them for being perfectly flawless.

Overall: I liked this anime and would definitely recommend this most people especially those who like shojo. A nice romantic comedy that is light and fun.

7/10 story
5/10 animation
6/10 sound
6.9/10 characters
6.9/10 overall
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RiceBunneh's avatar
Dec 28, 2009

Special A contains the atmosphere of the commonly scene high school life of a budding romance between a boy and girl.  As common as it may seem, the strenuous life of Hikari enforces herself to become number one, agaisnt her top rival, since childhood, Tadashi.  The anime's cliche scenes come across numerous times, even though I've watched a few episodes.  During the beginning episodes of this anime, it's obvious to predict the ending, of the long awaited confession of Tadashi and Hikari's love.  Besides the unoriginal storyline and character development of the special class, "S.A," I became fond of the cutsey randomness of many of the secondary characters.  Unfortunately, I can't really commend any support for the animation of this anime.  The elongated characters remind me of clamps first works of tsubasa chronicles; the overly sized hands and feet. (-.-)  Overall, I do believe this anime has some enjoyable factors of romantic comedy, and high school life with a group of rich kids, but I can't help but feel bored after the first few eps, especially seeing too many of the same punchlines, and the  sitting through the predictable endings of each episode. 

7/10 story
5/10 animation
8/10 sound
6/10 characters
6/10 overall
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ames's avatar
Dec 14, 2009

Special A is one of my most favorite animes to watch over and over.  The characters are memorable and really touch your heart.  Like all shoujo animes, I always wish the storyline could last longer and the episodes never end.. however it does.  You fall in love with Hikari because she is so thickheaded and intent on winning against Takshima while not realizing that hes completely in love with her (a favorite theme of mine for all shoujo animes =))) Moving on you fall in love with Takshima because he is so calm and collected but always worries about Hikari.

The other characters play a cute role, but I wish the storyline of Akira and Yahiro would of developed into a double romance.. anyways it kinda leaves you hanging with those two.

Otherwise a A+ type of anime!! Everyone should watch it =)

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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yaoihime22's avatar
Oct 29, 2009

This story even though is one that is a one in a million high school stories was very enjoyable , the characters looked proportioned for a high school, they were issues and love trhouble but not that many rivaly and thankfully didnt turn into a harem like many other before it. It was said that it resembles skip beat but in truth it doesn't this one had a happy ending but somethings were left unsaid even that it was fun watching it . There were several imberrasing moments that made me stop but other than that it had humor , romance , sadness , some idioticy and more than anything else it had a warm feeling of seeing people actually end up with some one special other than just all feeling confused over who loves who although she never did say the words only in her mind. I advice to watch this for some anime clensing .

8/10 story
9/10 animation
10/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
10/10 overall
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