Baka and Test
Series 1 – Anime Review
Synopsis & Opening Comments
“When a fight breaks out at Fumizuki Academy, nobody throws a single punch. Instead, the students utilize the school’s technology to summon Avatars, pint-sized stand-ins with battle powers based on academic ability. That “academic ability” part is bad news for Yoshii: he’s an idiot, stuck in lowly Class F with the slackers. If these misfits want to escape their dump of a classroom and earn some respect, they’ll have to fight their way up the ranks and take on Class A, the Academy’s brightest students. It’s going to be tough, that’s for sure, but once the underachievers of Class F get motivated, they don’t give up – and Yoshii can’t even spell surrender!”
“Baka”, a word you hear a lot in anime, it simply means “Idiot” or “Fool”. The word is thrown around a lot in the anime world but never has it really had an impact. Every idiot has their day in my experience, but for some it is everyday, much like Yoshii. Most idiots are lovable at times, Yoshii has his days quite often, along with the rest of the gang.
I watched this anime to prepare for reviewing Series 2 when it is released on Monday 11th February. I am really glad that I watched this because it was extremely enjoyable to watch, and I can see me coming back to this or reading the manga which is much further ahead in the series. With a cast of lovable characters, a unique action style, and a great sense of humor that applies to an audience over the older generation but includes only a BBFC of 12.
At first when you look at the picture above, what do you see? A bunch of children right? No that definitely isn’t true. It was an interesting experience, to tell you the truth, I do not normally watch short anime but this was a brilliant exception. Have you heard of Gintama? It is a series that strives on comedy, it cannot continue without comedy, mainly because there is no real story. With this there is a story, a very simple one that has been developed over the episodes. Sexual concepts in anime really bring out a chuckle, most big series have a part of it involved. This is huge in the series, especially in the first 10 mins of the first episode, and it really got me into it.
I will get onto the story in the next paragraph, mainly because the comedy side of this is so important to me. Above in the photo, the kid with the camera, his name is Kōta Tsuchiya, and he is probably one of the most entertaining characters I have ever seen. Wondering why? He is a Pervert, and a funny one of that for a few reasons. Do you remember in anime that you used to watch as a kid, Dragonball and stuff like that, specifically Master Roshi. They had the moments where when they see something slightly eetchi , some extreme nose bleeds occur, this is to prevent them showing anything much. Well Tsuchiya is seen having extremely vital nose bleeds very often, mainly when he snaps a shot of Minami’s skirt flashes when she is wrestling Yoshii.
Right onto the story finally. Yoshii, is a teenage boy at a school that uses a system to decide arguments. It is a system allowing the user to summon a avatar, a fictional being that represents the user and is equipped with a skill level which reflects their test scores on a the last exam they taken on the chosen subject. It is the day of the placement exams and the school organizes the level of skill into 6 different classes, A – F. Yoshii is confident that he will do top-notch, until he arrives in the exam and is seated next to Himeji. Himeji is ill and flustered, therefore she must leave the room, resulting in her failure. Yoshii just fails because he is the class fool, “Baka” if you will. From Class-A’s perfect and beautiful equipment, down to Class-F’s shoddy desks and naff cushions. There is a rule at the school where classes can initiate what is called a “ST-War”, where students battle it out for possession of the other classes furniture. Little did everyone know when the first ST-War was started, Class-F have an ace up their sleeve. Himeji, she was a A-Class candidate, and the class rep Yuji, he knew this from the beginning. This leads to their victory on the first day, yet they do not take the furniture, Yuji claims that, they were “Sowing Seeds”.
There are some great scenes that I am happy to share with you all as it is possibly the thing that most attracts me to this series. One of the most funny things that happen throughout the anime are the scenes between Yoshii and Yuji. It is like a heart to heart session, everything is pencil drawn and it usually is before one of them gets a beating. Resulting in one of them to trust the other with their request and it usually happens to be where Yoshii gets a kicking for declaring a ST-War.
I don’t want to ruin the entire series because it is a really good watch. Would I consider it a brilliant story? No, it definitely isn’t, and the characters are typically what you would expect them to be. What this anime is really missing is the in-depth story that a lot of today’s anime have. I consider this a great anime for what it is, but in no way would I consider it a serious anime.
I think maybe since this is a review of Series 1, I should take the time to talk briefly about the characters ready for the review of Series 2 so there will be no point in writing it all again, I will just link this article.
Akihisa Yoshii - Yoshii is the idiot, the biggest idiot there is at the school, but it is because of this that he can be considered as an asset. He is mainly used for his Avatar’s unique skill to interact with real objects, so they use him to do the chores. For some reason even though he is an idiot, the girls seem to have taken a liking to him. He only has eyes for Minami Himeji, who he believes is in love with his best friend Yuji Sakamoto. He is often seen being attacked by Minami, mainly for his comments about her flat chest but this also leads to the constant comedy between him and Tsuchiya, who always takes advantage in taking a photo of the opposite sex.
Yūji Sakamoto - Yuji is sort of the leader of the crew, he is bold and cool. He is the Class Rep and he usually is a brilliant influence on the rest of his class when preparing for an ST-War. He is in a relationship with Shoko but it is a relationship that he never really entered willingly. Their relationship has its ups and downs, mostly downs with how Shoko chokes him and keeps him to herself, especially in the perverted situations with Tsuchiya. He is a unique kind of guy who believes that Scores is not everything, usually resulting in him coming up with a strategy that results in either victory or utter failure.
Minami Shimada - Minami is a great friend to Yoshii, mainly because of her feelings towards Yoshii which she refuses to show. She is a kind caring girl who excels at Maths and is often seen being the teams leader when it comes to ST-Battles involving Maths. She is often seen being called out because of her breast size and showing her jealousy towards Himeji because of her over-sized chest. She is one of the prime targets for Tsuchiya’s perverted schemes, often when she is trying to break Yoshii’s bones with her classic WWE wrestling moves.
Mizuki Himeji - The ace of Class-F, the smartest one in the group. The only reason she is in Class-F is because of the incident on the placement exam where she fainted and became ill, resulting in her failure. She is a caring person with strong feelings towards Yoshii all throughout the series, although she is constantly failing to show it. She is often seen considering her classmates at all times, often standing up when other Classes look down on Class-F. She shocked the school in the first war mainly because it was unknown of her skill and intellect. Often seen being targeted by others for the size of her breasts, normally resulting in Minami being jealous or Tsuchiya’s nose exploding with joy!
Hideyoshi Kinoshita - Kinoshita is a boy that looks remarkably feminine, people often mistake him for a female, in fact they always do. His personality is helpful but he also resents others for how they see him. There are many situations where Kinoshita is put in lewd clothing an overly revealing outfits. He is a prime target for the perverted moments of Tsuchiya, since they always mistake him for a girl. Yoshii is always seen talking about how beautiful he is, and is always talking to Tsuchiya about the photos he is selling of Kinoshita. It is almost like it is widely recognized that Kinoshita is a girl because when it comes to changing rooms or bathing at the Public Baths, there is always a separate room for Kinoshita.
Shōko Kirishima - She is the boyfriend of Yuji, and the Class Rep for Class-A. She has a dark outlook on life but one thing is certain, she was influenced by Yuji at a young age, causing her to fall in-love with him. Her dream is to get married to Yuji and live happy with him. Although her outlook may be dark she has so much love for him that there is a scene most episodes where he is prevented by her from looking at other women, usually resulting in an eye-poke. One thing that her relationship always results in is her normally having to drag Yuji places because it is something that he normally isn’t willing to do, this changes as their relationship grows stronger.
Kōta Tsuchiya - Finally, my favourite, Tsuchiya. He is an avid sportsmen, normally using his skills to peep on girls or take lewd photos. What is entertaining about him is his way of going about things, he is usually seen with his trustworthy-tech, using them for his peeping methods. With the use of his Avatar, he relays information and is the main point of contact for the Wars. What I really do love about this character is his reaction to when he gets things that he wants. He usually wells up and becomes all red, until finally his nose is like a hose pipe of blood, resulting in him on the floor passed out, on the brink of death holding a sign reading, “No Regrets”. What a great bit of comedy, it is something that brings this anime together.
So this is a great series, and it keeps me coming back for more, I think before I get the chance to review series 2 next week, I will give this one more watch. It has a mediocre story for the first series but it is something that has great character development as it goes on yet fails to pull attention to the characters at the start.
Comedy plays a huge part in this, such comedy applies to many, with this anime having a BBFC of 12, it is an anime that I would not actually recommend for that age. It is something that fits the 16+ audience but it sadly fails to fit its rating because of the comedies extremities.
Overall this is an anime for many people, I enjoyed it thoroughly and there are many situations where I think, “Where is this going?” but then it really does shock you with either laughter or emotion.
You can watch the 2 series over on Funimations youtube page, here is a link to Series 1.
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