Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
Released Year : January 7, 2010 to April 1, 2010
No of Episodes : 13
Genre : Comedy,Romance,School,Super Power
Plot : 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. The F class uses the summoned creatures in an all-out battle for school supremacy.
Our Review : Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, the show with one of the least creative names ever seen. Just calling it Idiots and Tests and Summoned Beings... can you imagine if they called Avatar Blue guys and Forest and Environmentalism, nobody would be able to take the movie seriously (well... you can't really take it seriously anyways...). Anyways, silly titles aside, Baka to etc, is a simple show that illustrates how funny anime can be. A juvenile sense of humor with lots of slapstick gags, that delivers in every way you expected it to, just like it should. With that said, lets look at Baka to blooby bloo.
The plot of this anime, is a deep and intriguing one if you look at it symbolically, and barely visible if you don't. A down trodden class of good for nothings is thrown to the bottom of the social ladder like yesterdays dinner, and its only after a young charismatic leader whips them into shape that they realise they must enter an spectacular struggle to climb up the food chain and defeat the high and elite who are squandering their power.
Ok well, bad literary synopsizes aside, the show doesn't really pull off anything spectacular in that fashion; as you would expect its a comedy. The plot (as with most comedies), is their to provide somewhat of a driving point for the story, but mostly just to help string along more humor. And it does it well, it seems like every "summon battle" they have something extreme and wacky happens. Really every episode is enjoyable and you'll get a good laugh. I think the main reason for this (aside from a great sense of humor) is that they like to mix up the episodes quite a bit in presentation. For example one episode is aimed like a RTS video game, viewed from above mostly where you watch the battle unfold. Another is set where you follow the protagonists friend Yuuji, while not exactly knowing what the rest of the gang is up to. So in summary, the plot is simple, but does exactly what it needs to to keep this show rolling.
The characters are... well pretty token for a comedy of this sort. They all are pretty one dimensional, usually only having one trait to go upon, but again it works in this kind of situation. And despite there being some cliche in most of the characters, you can't help but feel that theirs something special about each and every one of them. For example, Yoshii, the protagonist. He's weak, dumb, useless, clumsy, poor, and has 2 beautiful women chasing after him (ummm and a guy, but don't think about that too much). Yawn you might think, that's been done a million times before, but what I like about Yoshii is that he isn't a wimp. Most leads of this sort, are pathetic not because they are terrible at everything, but because they are pansies who bend to every whim and have no mind of their own. Yoshii on the other hand, seems to accept that he's completely useless and strives instead to just enjoy life as much as he can. All in all, the characters are rather interesting for a comedy troupe, and I don't think I really hated any of them (something that most shows can't say). There are a tonne to pick from so you are bound to find at least a few that you find hilarious.
Finally, the art and sound are actually really fantastic. Looking and sounding good isn't such an achievement nowadays, as computers have streamlined everything... but you really have to enjoy the artistic style of this anime. It always feels like there's a weird fluffy feeling to it I find, not really sure how to describe it. Needless to say, it gently massaged my eyeballs with quite nice art work.
So, to sum it all up as quickly as possible, Baka to *omg this title pisses me off* to Shoukanjuu, is a fun little experience, that I definitely recommend to anybody who needs a few good laughs. Might not be for you if your a sad lonely critic who can only watch anime if it stimulates some part of your brain, but hey give it a try at least.