Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Season 2 Episode 1
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, or “Idiots, Tests, and Summoned Beasts” is a continuing television anime series, with the first thirteen episodes in 2010 and the second series starting in July, 2011. In a special high school, classes are divided into ranks A through F depending upon their grades, with the quality of the facilities decreasing with each grade. The classes can challenge each other in a duel, using virtual reality avatars to battle with strength and scores based on their academic knowledge. Akihisa and the rest of Class F try to fight their way up the ladder, often realizing that their own worst enemies keeping them back are themselves instead of their opponents.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:
ep. tl;dr review: The same tired, old jokes warmed over; This will be on the test.
Spoiler-free Episode Summary: Akihisa, along with the usual suspects (the main characters in his class from the first series, plus his older sister) visit the beach. All the same jokes from the first series are back for the second series. Minami gets angry over the small size of her chest; Hideyoshi is confused for a girl; Kouta is a pervert that runs around with a camera and gets nosebleeds; Mizuki gets jealous when Akihisa looks at other girls; blah, blah, blah, repeat ad infinitum.
My Impressions: Sigh…it’s the same thing all over again.
So, Baka to Test, we meet again. I sampled the series back in 2010, and dropped it after one episode. Then, many months later, I watched the two-part Original Video Animation (that served as a bridge between the first and second seasons), and thought it was mildly amusing…enough to go back and give it another try. Which is exactly what I did, and continued to find the episodes mildly amusing, but repetitive. But the sixth episode, it started to get a bit of a tough row to hoe, and I managed to (just barely) finish it off and assign it a “C” grade, which is below my cut-off point for recommendation.
The big problem with Baka to Test is that it relies primarily on the same half-dozen-or-so jokes, and just repeats them over and over again without any variation or originality. The characters never change, and they never grow. Taken in small amounts, such as with the two-part OVA, it’s perfectly fine. But over the length of an entire series, it’s just tiring.
Now, enter the first episode of the second season — and it’s the same as it ever was. There’s nothing new to see here, and if they’re going to just keep recycling the same over-used crap then what is the point in watching? Baka to Test is so fired.
Here’s the skinny: If you enjoyed all of the episodes of the first series, then you can turn off your brain and enjoy the second series, because there’s no difference. But if you were so, so, so very tired of it all, like I was, then don’t bother. I don’t care how ridiculously cute Minami is, that’s not enough to make up for the trite, repetitive humor.
- Hellishly autotuned opening credits on Youtube.
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, and Wikipedia.
- If you like this, you might also like: GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class or Seitokai Yakuindomo.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “I was surprised how interesting the first episode was especially as it was just a refresher course on all the hilarious characters that populate this show, and with a humor filled first episode I’m looking forward to see just how insane this second season gets.” – Sekijitsu
- “As much as I love the series, this episode was pretty disappointing. I only chuckled a bit when Voyeur nosebled so much he turned the car windows red and again when he was getting hit on by girls. Other than that, the rest of the jokes were basically carbon copies of jokes we’ve seen from season 1…Maybe this was just a refresher or throwback episode, but I’m going to be a little concerned if this continues to bleed into the second episode.” – Metanorn
- “I am sure but it will pretty much be more or less in the same format as the first season. I said that such repetition is not such a good thing for The World God Only Knows II but I think it is perfect for a show like Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu because it is one of it’s strongest points. Top it off with excellent casts/characters, the show has all the ingredient to make it into an anime made of WIN. Grade: 9/10.” – Conspicuous Klux
- “It’s the same thing we saw last season: hilarious comedy and well-employed parodies that leave you cracking up. There isn’t really much more that you can ask for from Baka to Test.” – The Otaku’s Blog
- “It was just random unfunny banter, characters abusing their quirk that already was established in the first episode of the first season and the main characters trying to hit on girls while screwing up miserably. This seems to have been one of the most anticipated series of the season. Why? Potential: 0%” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “Considering I was actually rather impressed by the OVA, I was going into this hoping for my “comedy of the season”, so to speak. Whilst it didn’t exactly make me laugh, it made me figure out what I like about this show: The relationships.” – Meeping Anime
- “I know what the show will be about. I know it’ll be filled with stupid comedy, ridiculous plot events, and bizarre characters. While some shows can be great and funny with a set up like this, this show isn’t. ” – Xebek’s Blog
- “Though the show was just as silly and random as I remember the prequel being, due to its beach set-up, the jokes were more predictable. Although I had fun meeting all the characters once again, I was disappointed by the decision to use an ocean setting as the opening episode of this sequel.” – Marina Sauce
- “The rest of the cast make triumphant returns as well, but unfortunately, there are no summoned beings in this episode as there are no tests. But there are idiots that spew blood from their noses, forced or not. I feel like the Shouko-Yuuji combo will provide more laughter now that they are indeed canon, adding to the already impressive list of jokes, gags and insults. Grade: 4.5/5” – Population GO
- “Some of the jokes were stale, but at the same time a lot of the gags were spontaneous fun. I can never quite put my finger on it, but Baka Test is strangely entertaining, even with it’s stereotypes. Grade: 6/10.” – Emory Anime Club
- “I absolutely loved the first season so I was definitely excited to see this new season! You have the same jokes (gender issues, breasts, older sister, etc…) but they still don’t get old! This first episode seriously did not disappoint me in the slightest.” – Anime Evo
- “To state how I feel about this episode would be to re-state how I felt about the entire first season…It’s fast paced, funny, and tremendously endearing. It hits several tropes and uses a few stock character archetypes but overcomes any limitations they might impose with raw cleverness.” – Japanator
- “Well, there isn’t really much to say about this series. It’s just more of the craziness that took place in the first season. And I loved every minute of it.” – Anime Void
ROUND ONE RESULTS FOR SUMMER 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round One: Busou Shinki: Moon Angel, Blood-C, Mawaru Penguindrum, Kamisama Dolls, No. 6, Dantalian no Shoka, Uta no Prince-sama, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Nekogami Yaoyorozu, Kamisama no Memochou, Nurarihyon no Mago Season 2, Natsume Yuujinchou Season 3, Usagi Drop
Thumbs-down for Round One: Double J, Morita-san wa Mukuchi, Mayo Chiki, Nyanpire the Animation, Carnival Phantasm, Copihan, Yuruyuri, The Idolmaster, Sacred Seven, Manyuu Hikenchou, Blade, Higurashi no Naku Koko no Kira, Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi, Twin Angel Twinkle Paradise, Baby Princess 3D: Paradise Love, Rou Kyuu Bu, The World God Only Knows OVA, Sorette Dakara Ne!, Gensou Mangekyou: Memories of Phantasm, Astarotte no Omocha EX, R-15, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Season 2
Coming up next: Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai OVA, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes OVA