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Special A – 02

OP Sequence:

Special A   OP   01 Special A   OP   02 Special A   OP   03

OP: 「Special days」 by Gotou Yuuko (後藤 邑子) / Hanazono Hikari (華園 光).
Watch it online in high quality here.

Special A   02   01 Special A   02   02 Special A   02   03
Special A   02   04 Special A   02   05 Special A   02   06
Special A   02   07 Special A   02   08 Special A   02   09
Special A   02   10 Special A   02   11 Special A   02   12
Special A   02   13 Special A   02   14 Special A   02   15
Special A   02   16 Special A   02   17 Special A   02   18
Special A   02   19 Special A   02   20 Special A   02   21
Special A   02   22 Special A   02   23 Special A   02   24
Special A   02   25 Special A   02   26 Special A   02   27
Special A   02   28 Special A   02   29 Special A   02   30
Special A   02   31 Special A   02   32 Special A   02   33
Special A   02   34 Special A   02   35 Special A   02   36
Special A   02   37 Special A   02   38 Special A   02   39

「プライド・プロレス」
“Pride Pro Wrestling”

The S.A class goes over the test results from their recent exam and unsurprisingly find themselves in the same ranking order. Kei continues to rub this in Hikari’s face with his “Ni-i-san” (Rank 2-san) remarks. Shortly after, we also find out that Hikari’s the daughter of a chief carpenter (i.e. she’s not from an overly rich family). The main focus of the episode comes to surface when student council president / top student of class 2-A, Takei Hajime, along with his supporters Oogawara and Takahashi (introduced in episode 1), issue a written challenge (挑戦状) to the S.A class. Apparently in the morning, Hajime was brushed aside by Akari (who took absolutely no notice of him) and then trampled over by all the S.A fan girls. Much to Hajime’s surprise (and Kei’s dismay), Hikari actually goes on to support his challenge since well, she loves challenges. :\

The challenge turns out to be a pro wrestling match where the student council has picked a couple of ringers to represent them (…something that is conveniently within the rules for the challengers only). Hikari gets fired up at the thought of a wrestling match and the S.A class unanimously select Kei as her partner (ah, the fated couple pairing…). The two of them go on to train together, but are ambushed by people hired to injure them before the match. Hikari, being a bit of a dunce, brushes off the inconspicuous attacks as nothing, but Kei takes out his attackers and rushes off to find Hikari. As a result of these attacks, Kei ends up lying to Hikari by calling her a nuisance and asking for a replacement partner, just so that she wouldn’t get hurt during the match. Hikari, being as clueless as she is, just gets angered by this and goes off to train on her own.

On the day of the match, Hikari insists on participating and Kei lets her, but decides to go out first (probably without ever intending to tag her in). However, the two of them get tricked by a pre-match bouquet gift and end up handcuffed together. During the match, Kei does everything he can to protect Hikari and ends up putting her outside of the ring while he gets stomped on. (By the way, I thought this was a tag-team match, so I have no idea why both the opposition are in the ring for the entire time… o_O) Hajime, as one of the announcers, ends up insulting Hikari which angers Kei, so he breaks the handcuffs. (If Kei could do this so easily, it makes you wonder why he didn’t just do so earlier. Anyway…) Free from their shackles, Hikari and Kei end up winning the match with a “Jumping Double Elbow”. As per an earlier competition, Kei also ends up winning the most number of techniques executed (16 to 15) and ponders on what to make Hikari do.

 

Next Episode:
「おにぎり・まごころ」 (Onigiri / Magokoro)
“Onigiri / Devotion”

Special A   02   Preview 01 Special A   02   Preview 02 Special A   02   Preview 03

First off, the OP scene/song. I’m always a bit apprehensive when I hear that Gotou Yuuko will be singing, but I was surprised to find “Special days” a bit worse than even I expected. Please note that this is putting it fairly nicely too, since I’m quite tolerable to bad singing. (I listen to a fair share of character CDs.) Granted, her Suzumiya Haruhi character songs were pretty bad because she was singing in a Mikuru voice, but her Night Wizard character song, Darkness, was actually alright. I think the main problem with “Special days” is that it sounds off key more often than not. Regardless, the song actually sounded better the more I listened to it, but I’m not sure if this was simply because I became more tolerable to it or not. (heh…) Anyway, if you’re listening to it for the first time, I’m pretty sure it’ll irk you the wrong way, so prepare yourself! Given this and the all male cast ED song, I can’t help but wonder what the producers were thinking at the time. :\

As for the actual episode, I found the re-introduction of all the S.A class (name, background, and rank) a bit redundant, but I’ll assume that the writers were simply trying to familiarize the viewers with the characters. (If they do this again in the third episode though, I’ll probably start thinking otherwise.) Unsurprisingly, the episode focused on a pro wrestling match (as per the title), but it was interesting to catch glimpses of Hikari and Kei’s freakish strength. They also reiterated the fact that Kei is really protective of Hikari (and thus probably likes/loves her), despite his cold attitude towards her in front of the S.A class. I was actually starting to think that Kei was going for that cool/distant attitude in order to attract Hikari, but his quick verbal defense of her in front of others throws that idea out the window. In any case, I found Kei’s attempts to protect Hikari during the match a bit cheesy, but I know the effect the writers were aiming for, so I can appreciate that scene in that sense.

Joke-wise, the “Ni-i-san” (Rank 2-san) / “Ni-i-tte, yuu na!” (Don’t say Rank 2!) bit appears to be a mainstay as I originally suspected. I know some people will probably find this gag overused already, but I don’t mind it because I see it as Kei’s childish way of expressing his interest in Hikari (akin to a boy teasing a girl that he likes at the playground). In a way, it’s almost endearing. (For all you ARIA fans out there, this is the time to proclaim, “Hazukashii serifu kinshi!” (Embarassing remarks aren’t allowed!). :P)

After two episodes, I find Special A to be mainly comedic with flashes of romance her and there, which is an approach I personally don’t mind at all. I made the comparison to School Rumble and Ouran High School Host Club before and I’m really starting to think we may be in store for something similar. (i.e. The romance theme is always in the background, but never really accumulates to anything happening.) I haven’t read the manga though, so I could be mistaken here. Either way, I guess it’s something we’ll find out as we go along.

 

Cast:
- Hanazono Hikari (華園 光) / Gotou Yuuko (後藤 邑子)
- Takishima Kei (滝島 彗) / Fukuyama Jun (福山 潤)
- Toudou Akira (東堂 明) / Nabatame Hitomi (生天目 仁美)
- Karino Tadashi (狩野 宙) / Shimono Hiro (下野 紘)
- Yamamoto Megumi (山本 芽) / Takagaki Ayahi (高垣 彩陽)
- Yamamoto Jun (山本 純) / Yonaga Tsubasa (代永 翼)
- Tsuji Ryuu (辻 竜) / Horie Kazuma (堀江 一眞)
- Takei Hajime (筧 肇) / Fujita Yoshinori (藤田 圭宣)
- Takahashi (高橋) / Satou Yuudai (佐藤 雄大)
- Oogawara (大河原) / Ichiki Mitsuhiro (市来 光弘)
- Female student (女生徒) / Nabei Makiko (鍋井 まき子)

April 17, 2008 at 5:05 am
26 comments »
  • April 17, 2008 at 5:23 amFuruba

    The OP song… its omg…. lol -no comment- all ill say is that… its just… not to my taste lol, from the pv or cm that i watched for this anime, midway had this song playing through, from there i knew it was her singing and was gonna be the OP probably, and didn’t like it. not. at. all. -shivers-
    anyway =D! ive yet to see this ep, its in my folder, but just needs to be watched haha. but yeah, i like the way you set up your entries =D
    lol i think ill never get sick of that falling concrete thing that falls on her head whenever he says kei says “ni-i-san”. and i love the chibi faces in this anime =]!

  • April 17, 2008 at 6:49 amGintama

    I’m looking forward to watching this

  • April 17, 2008 at 7:03 amtonbo

    out already… awesome.

    hey guys,… the ‘overused’ gag points are what helped make S.A make it to our screens. remember when they had to run thru the same (almost) intro on every episode of Gundam SEED …?

    thx Divine

  • April 17, 2008 at 8:35 amMeyrin

    Well you see in the manga the mangaka always reintroduce the characters with every new chapters. So the animators are just sticking very close to the manga in this case. Although it’s indeed extremly annoying.

  • April 17, 2008 at 8:46 amoutcast

    This show sucks. Obviously.

    Super people who can do anything. A boring twin. A girl who likes to make tea. Overused gags and just plain stuf that is hardly entertaining.
    Nr1 is in love with nr 2 ok get yourself kicked by some pro wrestlers which btw nr2 can beat on her own.

  • April 17, 2008 at 9:56 amgame8910

    im enjoying the show, if they are able to closely stick to the manga things will only get better in the future trust me

  • April 17, 2008 at 10:14 amKGFJ

    Hahaha, not bad. But still, a little boring for me. I indeed agree with outcast, this is too much like Ouran, although Ouran is much funnier and more sarcastic (cleverer, for me!). But, we can’t always compare them.

  • April 17, 2008 at 10:50 ammiden

    hmm special A is a bit lacking since ive read th emanga jsut a bit so when the anime came out i decided to drop it for a bit. the anime is a bit itneresting, love her voice !

  • April 17, 2008 at 12:59 pmona

    I’m enjoying it so far, but if it follows the same format (Kei and Hikari team up to defeat __!! ZOMG!!) then this show will get boring quickly. The rest of the members of the S.A. have potential, but they don’t seem to be doing anything right now.

  • April 17, 2008 at 1:15 pmGP

    I haven’t read the manga for this either. But the romantic parts ARE clear, with each new episode they’re building up more and more. I don’t know when we’ll get to a full blown love love, doki doki part, but it shouldn’t take that long I’d think.

  • April 17, 2008 at 2:28 pmyunapie

    So far, I’ve been pretty pleased with the first two episodes. I read the manga and they’ve stuck pretty close to the story thus far. Hopefully, it’ll keep pace with the manga fairly well and do it justice. I hope we don’t get an Ouran ending though, that’d kill me.

  • April 17, 2008 at 3:33 pmSomedude

    Wow I’m surprised Hikari has a chest… I thought she was flat when shes in her uniform

  • April 17, 2008 at 4:06 pmAnna

    I love it!!!!!

  • April 17, 2008 at 4:12 pmrukia

    this anime is great, I want see more

  • April 17, 2008 at 9:16 pmSylphie

    I found the wrestling scene a bit too cheesy, but otherwise the episode was fine. The only major recurring problem I see (besides the rather lackluster OP) is Fukuyama Jun. He’s by no means a bad voice actor, but whenever I listen to Takishima talk, I keep thinking Lelouch. Not sure that’s a good thing… =_=;;

  • April 18, 2008 at 12:16 amJason Isenberg

    @Sylphie, ha ha you have no taste in romance ;). Also come on! You know Lelouch is everywhere, who doesn’t love his hot masculine voice? Plus it fits perfectly in with Jun’s character xD. Btw I think the OP is freaking awesome, grows on you so well. Omni try getting the CD somewhere and listen to it fully its really good imo, Yuko brightens me up with her cheerful voice ^^.

  • April 18, 2008 at 12:40 amDando008

    This would be around mediocre for what’s been showing for these 2 episodes so far. Will be looking forward to the next episode.

  • April 18, 2008 at 12:48 amnapen

    lol at Furuba’s reaction towards Goto Yuuko OP

  • April 18, 2008 at 2:25 amsetsuke

    Hey DIVINE mind if i ask if you plan to do kure-nai as well? I actually think that deserve some views and notice.

  • April 18, 2008 at 12:24 pmJulius

    i felt like the gags, jokes, and plot of this show required less intelligence to understand than it lead off to be.

    In other words, I had a bit of hope for Special A, but it seems it’s going to turn into a typical sappy love comedy.

    Need Seto no Hanayome part 2.

  • April 18, 2008 at 5:16 pmlily

    I love Takishima!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • April 18, 2008 at 5:35 pmHANK

    this show is very funny….

  • April 18, 2008 at 6:40 pmcbhl

    Hmm… I don’t think this show is for all audiences, but I personally like it.

    For some, I suspect it’ll seem a little childish, but who knows?

  • April 19, 2008 at 9:48 pmRitsuko

    very funny the characters of this anime

  • May 23, 2008 at 12:25 amCopier

  • July 8, 2008 at 6:52 pmElie Loli

    I love Special A as a fellow reader and fan of the manga and when I heard the anime series was coming out, I was dead excited. When i found out Gotou Yuuko was doing the voice I was a bit redundant to watch the anime but when i watched it I was like, Pretty Cool! The anime itself if done fairly well (Well, it can’t really compare to the manga but still, it’s up there) But the OP and ED, seriously, it would of been nice if they used some J-pop song or something. Well, after a while you get used to the songs but still, the song kinda (just an inseey winseey bit) sound like some bird call to get beat up in an alley.) Still, I’m all for supporting Special A!