Title: Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (Idiots, Tests, and Summoned Beings)
Genre: Romance, Comedy, School, Fantasy
Summary: The story centers around Akihisa Yoshii, the “baka” of the title. His academy rigidly divides up the student body into classes based on the results of tests. The prodigies are in the A class with reclining seats complete with air conditioning, but Akihisa is in F class, the lowest rung of the school ladder which is furnished only with low, decrepit tables and worn-out straw tatami mats. A girl named Mizuki Himeji is actually one of the smartest girls in Akihisa’s sophomore year, but she had a fever on test day and was pigeonholed into the F class. Besides Mizuki (who Akihisa secretly adores), the F class also has Yuuji Sakamoto, the class president who has been Akihisa’s friend and partner-in-crime since the freshman year. The school happens to have developed experiments to summon fantasy creatures, and Akihisa decides to rally F class to take on the higher-tiered classes and seize their perks.
Review: Finally able to revisit this anime after I gave it a first look in January. The anime actually met my expectations, and I didn’t feel as though they left much out. The art style was well done and I enjoyed the scenes that gave a very serious atmosphere for the most trivial matters. The comedy was kept fresh with only a few reoccurring gags. Although this anime is considered a romance, it focuses mainly around the comedy. It does have its touching moments, but those are quickly interrupted, and serious moments last for no more than 5 seconds. This can be good and bad. It was nice to watch the anime for its comedy and not have to worry about emotional scenes, but it does hurt the storyline aspect. That being said, the storyline wasn’t completely lost like in most comedies. However, the progression of the story went full throttle around episode 4 instead of keeping a steady pace. When I first started watching the anime I knew it would be no more than 14 episodes long (behold I predicted the future!). I can see how they could have extended Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, but I’m glad they didn’t. Most comedies that run for more than 24 episodes a season become boring. Either the anime gets repetitive or the randomness takes complete hold, leaving the audience more confused than happy. The characters were fun to watch, and each had their own little running theme. I can’t say that I got attached to any of the characters, but I never expected to for a comedy. The relationships between the characters don’t have any ground breaking changes, but you see hints here and there. They even throw a little fan service in for some of the guy viewers (comedic of course). As for the season soundtrack, I did end up watching the opening and ending most of the time. I probably wont be buying albums any time soon, but it was nice to listen to once a week. Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu did leave off on a very open note though. There was no real closure, or even hints to closure. This was very disappointing because most… wait. What? A season two was announced? Well shucks looks like I got another future anime added to my list. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out, and if it is anything like the first season I’m sure I will be satisfied.
Final statements: For a comedy this is definitely one that should be picked up. If you are looking for a good story line, or heavy romance then I suggest looking some place else. All that’s left to say is I can’t wait to see what season two has in store. Preferred watch.