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Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「Perfect-area complete!」 by 麻生夏子 (Asou Natsuko)
Watch the OP!: Download, Streaming ▼

「バカとクラスと召喚戦争」 (Baka to Kurasu to Shoukan Sensou)
“Idiots, Classes, and the Summoning War”

Now why didn’t my school have a summoning war system? Not that I needed it as motivation, but if it entitled me to a high-tech facility, first-class treatment, and meant I could own everyone with a digital personification of myself, it sure as hell wouldn’t have hurt. If you’re looking for a comedy to watch this season that has everything from a “pervert ninja” to the ultimate trap, look no further than Baka Test!

Before I get into the wacky yet unbelievable awesome premise we have here, let me start off by saying that the production here is amazing. The screencaps speak for themselves, but I have to give credit to SILVER LINK for doing some incredible work here. They’re a relatively new studio that formed in December 2007, and is comprised of ex-employees of FRONTLINE. This is only the second series that they’re heading the production for too, with the first one being the relatively low-profile Tayutama – Kiss on my Deity- last year. As a whole, Tayutama was nothing to write home about, but it was fairly good animation-wise. Baka Test on the other hand? It feels light-years beyond their work there. Let’s just take the animated digital backgrounds for starters, followed by the simple yet unique overhead camera views.

While the stills look pretty good on their own, it’s a totally different story when things are put into motion. What’s even better though is that the comedy is spot on, and had me laughing more than the manga I skimmed through last season at Patrik’s recommendation. (He’s still the resident backseat blogger/on-call translation checker here.) Some of you may remember he wrote a post about the light novel some eons ago (i.e. May 2009) and while I can’t speak for the novel’s content, this first episode does go about things differently than the manga. However, therein lies the beauty of it all, as the screenplay behind the jokes are really well done, plus we get right into the thick of things with a taste of a Shiken Shoukan Sensou, a.k.a. Exam Summoning War.

 

I almost feel like I should direct you to Patrik’s post for a rundown of the premise, but the story here follows one Yoshii Akihisa (Shimono Hiro), whose high school Fumizuki Academy has an experimental summoning war system in place. Students are required to take a placement exam every year to decide which class they end up in, which not only range from A to F in name, but also in the quality of the classroom facility itself. The smartest students get placed into class A, where they have everything from reclining seats, notebook computers, and a free self-service snack bar. At the other end of the spectrum, class F gets rundown tatami mats, shoddy tables, broken windows, and floor cushions that don’t even have enough cotton in them. Naturally, to make things hilariously interesting for our sake, Akihisa is a complete idiot and winds up in class F.

It’s intellectual discrimination at its best, but oh-so-funny when their class representative Sakamoto Yuuji (Suzuki Tatsuhisa, Eishirou from SoraOto) rallies everyone into taking part in a summoning war. In this teacher-supervised event, a class may challenge another and fight using digital personifications of themselves (a.k.a. Shoukanjuu/Summoned Beasts), whose powers are directly proportional to the student’s latest exam score. Evidently, this puts the stupid kids at a huge disadvantage, but the incentive is that they can take over the facility of the better class should they win. All participants risk reducing their beast’s score to zero in the process however, in which case they have to take hellish remedial classes to bring it back up.

In this first episode, the pace picks up quickly when class F challenging class E to a war, which has three of Akihisa’s friends, Kinoshita Hideyoshi (Katou Emiri), Shimada Minami (Mizuhashi Kaori), and Tsuchiya Kouta (Miyata Kouki), holding down the front lines and unknowingly buying time for their pink-haired secret weapon, Himeji Mizuki (Harada Hitomi), to take recovery exams and improve her beast’s powers. As it turns out, Mizuki is actually a genius but got a zero on the placement exam because she came down with a fever and had to leave. She’s able to return just in time with a supercharged beast and annihilate the entire class E single-handedly.

Akihasa on the other hand is so dumb that he’s a Kansatsu Shobunsha 「観察処分者」, i.e. “A Person Under Observational Punishment”, which gives him the “awesome” privilege of experiencing all the pain and hardships that his beast does. It’s basically punishment for being the ultimate dumbass, but comes with the benefit of allowing his beast to handle real-world objects and be stronger than his test scores would indicate. In reality though, the ability to handle objects is just so he can be the teachers’ errand boy.

 

I won’t get into describing each of the jokes and ruining the fun, but some of the screencaps probably speak volumes about what you’re in store for. I will mention that you are staring at some serious “male ass” in this scene however, which already puts Hideyoshi as the number one candidate for Best Trap of 2010. The best part of his trap is that he doesn’t even dress like a girl, yet everyone sees him as one, especially Akihisa who wants him to come out and proclaim that he’s a girl at heart. I actually didn’t pick up that it’s Katou Emiri (Kagami in Lucky Star) playing him, but she also doubles up as Hideyoshi’s hot twin sister from class A, Yuuko. As for the aforementioned “pervert ninja”, that would be the upskirt-peeking, camera-snapping Kouta, whose Miyata Kouki also plays Hanatarou in Bleach.

When I found out that Shimono Hiro was going to be playing Akihisa some time ago, I really couldn’t have imagined anyone else in the role. If you want stupidity and comedy, Hiro’s your man. Sure he played Hirono Hiro in ef – a tale of memories, but this is Ikuto from Nagasarete Airantou and Jin from Kannagi we’re talking about. I got a good chuckle from him buying into Yuuji’s spiel about being special and talking smack when they were cornered, only to end up owning himself with his beast. That was absolute comedic gold, but wouldn’t have had the same effect if he didn’t try to act cool just before. The one voice that I found terribly off though was Himeji’s, but it was bearable given her character’s timid nature.

You know, I was really hoping that no new shows would compel me enough to blog on a regular basis this season (due to lack of time in the upcoming months), but Baka Test is damn hard to ignore. I still can’t say I’ll commit to it, but it’s high on my consideration list. If you haven’t watched it already, do yourself a favor and check it out. It doesn’t have any fan-service like the other new shows I’ve covered thus far and the jokes are clean enough for anyone to enjoy. Don’t let the strange premise dissuade you from doing so, as it’s pretty damn funny and the production is “stupidly” good.

* I’m not going to bother uploading OP/ED videos anymore, since not many people tend to download them. The streams are still available as usual. If you want a copy of the videos, please see the Community section on the sidebar for sites where you can get them.
* Added them this time as requested.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「バカ・ゴー・ホーム」 (Baka Go Home) by milktub
Watch the ED!: Download, Streaming ▼

January 8, 2010 at 3:14 am
61 comments »
  • January 8, 2010 at 3:24 amKevz

    WOAH! SUPERB! I’m already hooked on this anime because of its originality and creativity, not to mention its laughter, i lol’ed so many times. It has a lot of potential, and I have extremely high hopes for this show. I’ll definitely keep watching this!

  • January 8, 2010 at 3:25 amdededede

    YAY FOR THE EPIC STUPIDITY

  • January 8, 2010 at 3:26 amdededede

    the ED song kick mudabitches ass

  • January 8, 2010 at 3:34 amKevz

    to all of you out there!!! watch this anime, it’s surprisingly awesome!! highly recommended.

  • January 8, 2010 at 3:40 amxcswmboy

    awesome that you are blogging this. nice first episode, but it seems to be on high speed fast forward through the novel though. almost already to the climax of the first volume.

  • January 8, 2010 at 3:42 amShiroiRyu

    The opening, the ending, the full episode is really better than the others.
    Loved the trap too ! :)

  • January 8, 2010 at 3:43 amSunny

    I thought this is gonna be a FFFFFFUUUUUU compared to the manga, but it’s already a Winrar from the first episode. Hideyoshi is a tarpp, he’s cuter than any other female in here.

    the ED made me LOL’ed so hard!

  • January 8, 2010 at 3:44 amお化け屋敷の主人

    The sequence of event is a bit different here in the anime than that in the novel. In the novel, the class that they first declared war on is the D-class instead of E-class. And it’s not until later in the series that they “almost” have to face the A-class. Now, I can’t help but wonder how the story is going to proceed with the A-class already declared war on the F-class this early. Other that, I think Silver Link is doing a decent job overall in the first episode, and I will definitely be following the rest of the series.

  • January 8, 2010 at 3:52 amtenchu1990

    LOVE IT!!so much =D nice!

  • January 8, 2010 at 4:21 amkokweng

    cute char with chibi sumoning beast so cute :D

  • January 8, 2010 at 4:46 ambullrogg

    awesome is how i describe this first episode.
    i still cant believe i fell for the trap……..gahhhhhhhh. but twin sister makes up for it.

  • January 8, 2010 at 6:05 amSynchronicity

    Now this was the show I was waiting for ever since it was announced….ages ago like…2 seasons ago T.T.

    Well seems like pervert ninja (silent pervert in the novels)is STILL win….so is Hideyoshi. AM SO GONNA FOLLOW THIS.

  • January 8, 2010 at 6:26 amhaseo0408

    Please upload the op and ed. By the way the series seems great.

  • January 8, 2010 at 6:38 ambloodread

    *Downloaded*

    Definitely gonna watch this one… XD

  • January 8, 2010 at 7:43 amEldaron

    The most surprising thing (in a good way) about this show was the ED, i mean where are the underage girls in swimsuit (or without), what happened to Japan.

  • January 8, 2010 at 8:20 amahelo

    WOW. THIS SERIES IS AWESOME.

  • January 8, 2010 at 9:31 amElton John

    @Eldaron

    It’s Yaoivolution

  • January 8, 2010 at 9:33 amCherubium

    I love it, I wish High School was like that!

  • January 8, 2010 at 9:56 amNinja Penguin

    ROFL! This was excellent, easily exceeded my expectations. I hope you continue to blog this.

  • January 8, 2010 at 10:14 amIsland Esper

    Well I was feeling down, maybe post holidays depresion… That’s it until I just watched this!!! It was plain fun. The only thing I’m worried now is that the tap got me !!! *shhh
    Common that butt ain’t a man… she is female FEMALE artghhh!!

  • January 8, 2010 at 11:34 amGod~Knows~

    Premise is kinda corny,animation is really really really really nice however.But that might be due to the digital art everybody does now.

  • January 8, 2010 at 12:17 pmFeenix

    I’m gonna have to be contrary and say this first episode didn’t impress me too much. But i’ll stick it out for a couple more.

  • January 8, 2010 at 1:50 pmSirMuffin

    Oh God… Instant Favourite! Honestly, judging by the screen caps alone, I was quite put off by the whole stupid game simulation thing… But after watching it, I realized how wrong I was!

  • January 8, 2010 at 2:36 pmrum

    yea, came across this and it seemed pretty fun. was hopin’ it would get blogged and bam… yes!
    dammit, those chibis’ are too damn cute.
    double dammit, felt like i just copy-pasted what above repliers already said.

  • January 8, 2010 at 3:05 pmSpec

    hahaha this is really great
    i wish this kind of war exist during my elem. & hs days
    thanks for blogging XD

  • January 8, 2010 at 3:06 pmNazarielle

    Couldn’t agree more about Shimono Hiro, he plays the role perfectly. And I wasn’t a big fan of Mizuki’s voice either. I just hope she’ll grow into the role a bit more and drop the really high breathy voice.

    Really a super well produced episode, if they keep up this level of animation the whole way through I’d be super shocked, but really pleased. The gags were also really great and timed very well to fit in between everything else that was going on in the episode. Really looking forward to more of this.

  • January 8, 2010 at 3:14 pmMegas

    LOL. Damn this is too funny. I had to pause it a few times to finish dying during a many of the scenes. I must be losing my touch or something. I usually hate shitty slapstick, but when its funny my gut will burst like any other. I still hate traps but I can definitely deal with this one (since he acts like a girl & all – not in an annoying way).

  • January 8, 2010 at 3:50 pmActar

    I agree wholeheartedly. Just like last season’s Sora no Otoshimono, BnTnS is a surprisingly big hit with me. (^o^)

  • January 8, 2010 at 4:26 pmJurkasz

    Finally a series I’m gonna stick with ^^ Get them Mizuki, go go go!

  • January 8, 2010 at 4:48 pmnanon

    I like how the battle screen not only gives us a mini-map and summoning stats, but also the weather report. 18 C and sunny!

    What’s… what’s up with those hooded creepy guys? Were they in the novels?

  • January 8, 2010 at 5:09 pmMike

    This is the only anime that can surpass or at least on the same level of Sora no Otoshimono from last season, even the novel has me laughing and crying in tears. I am talking about novel here too, just nothing but reading words and not manga with picture but it still has me die laughing.

  • January 8, 2010 at 5:20 pmfullmetalQAF

    This show looks awesome, but am I the only one who thought the ending seemed out of place? I like it and all, but it seemed like they were doing a parody ending or something. Like Yaoi or something. Maybe that’s just me…

  • January 8, 2010 at 7:40 pmNekomimiMode

    @fullmetalQAF

    You should check “ef tales of memories” openings or endings.
    The director of this anime is the same as ef’s one who has been involved in most of SHAFT anime .

    PaniPoniDash! + ef = Baka Test

  • January 8, 2010 at 11:50 pmcutemi2

    BLOG THIS!!!reminds me of School Rumble more Rumble, and more Failing Graders….

  • January 9, 2010 at 2:25 amSadman

    I thought that I was going to be disappointed with this series after just finishing Sora no Otoshimono but this was great. Defiently equal if not very close to Sora no Otoshimono in terms of animation quality and comedy.

  • January 9, 2010 at 3:50 amKevz

    Why are people comparing this to SnO? these two are different, and for me, this is even BETTER in SnO in terms of comedy.

  • January 9, 2010 at 5:22 amBROOKLYN otaku

    “WHY ARE HER POINTS SO HIGH!?!?” hahaha, cuz she studys!! this show is pretty damn fun!! i just hope they keep it fresh and not get repetitive.

  • January 9, 2010 at 8:22 ambobara

    That wasn’t as funny as I hoped, though I guess that the horrible americanized translation of a certain group was also part of the reason.

  • January 9, 2010 at 9:21 amSynchronicity

    @nanon

    those hooded guys….I don’t remember em being in the novels….who knows it might be some original stuff? In the novel the ninja pervert(silent pervert in the novels) ain’t supposed to talk….but he is doing just fine here…so yeah some minor differences here and there….oh and class A didn’t declare war on em in the novel

  • January 9, 2010 at 10:30 amkazrsama

    this is a very good anime, I’ve seen the first episode and it’s so good
    I think Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu will be the best anime in this season

  • January 9, 2010 at 11:17 amAzar

    That voice….that high squeaky voice..AAAHH!

    Joking aside; this series looks like it could have potential, but could also collapse on itself if it relays on slap stick humor to and nothing else.

  • January 9, 2010 at 1:52 pmAhahaha

    Awesome! This first episode got me hooked. Recommended. :)

  • January 9, 2010 at 4:40 pmrofl

    hah this show is amazing

  • January 9, 2010 at 5:11 pmGelosut9

    Definately a great start to the series. I can’t wait to see the rest of this series~

  • January 9, 2010 at 10:31 pmviral

    The best series of this season so far. :) I’m surprised that it got such a low rating on AniDB. :O

  • January 9, 2010 at 10:56 pmKiel Hyre

    * I’m not going to bother uploading OP/ED videos anymore, since not many people tend to download them. The streams are still available as usual. If you want a copy of the videos, please see the Community section on the sidebar for sites where you can get them.
    * Added them this time as requested.

    ->Don’t do that… There still people like me to download it…

  • January 10, 2010 at 12:18 amLancelot

    @Kiel Hyre

    It probably chokes the site to do it. Why not do some good old fashioned sleuth work yourself?

  • January 10, 2010 at 1:07 amchingoo

    After two seasons of nothing to watch except Full Metal Alchemist and giving up watching Kobato, this is a HUGE breath of fresh air.
    The name looked funny, the screencaps looked beautiful and I downloaded and watched it before reading the review.
    I want next week to come already!

  • January 10, 2010 at 1:11 amchingoo

    @Kiel Hyre: I concur. I also enjoy having a convenient link ><
    @Lancelot: Doesn’t Divine usually link it off to another hosting site anyways? I could swear that it is not hosted on site? (?)

  • January 10, 2010 at 9:41 amThe return of the Enigmatic Moondoggiebuiscuit

    This anime is the bomb! I wish my school was like that: Geeks rule and jocks suckx! I could have pwned everyone everyday easy….

  • January 10, 2010 at 9:49 amzerofinal

    Himeji reminds me of Louise from ZnT minus the TSUN

  • January 10, 2010 at 1:03 pmHore

    I really hoped the anime would be like as the novel and manga. I feel disappointed.

  • January 12, 2010 at 1:37 pmDanshi

    I’m in <3 with YUUKO!

  • January 12, 2010 at 2:10 pmFall

    I laughed so hard during the transformation sequence. Has loads of potential!

  • January 13, 2010 at 9:47 pmRemy

    I actually got dumber watching this…

  • January 20, 2010 at 7:54 pmweiming

    XD this felt kind of like School Rumble except more random and awesome. i got hooked onto it within 3 minutes.

  • January 22, 2010 at 5:42 pmTheUnknown

    Hey, does anyone know what the students who had a KKK looking blue hat with an F on it was supposed to represent? It’s the part when he called the people in the class retarded in the beginning. I have a feeling it’s some Japan symbol for a organization or something. Thanks.

  • January 25, 2010 at 9:25 pmDeadRobots

    Um just to say the OP dwnld isnt working…. Best series ever in my opinion me and my friends are having bets on which episode they have the “I’ts Over 9000!” joke…. I put my money on last….

  • January 25, 2010 at 9:27 pmDeadRobots

    Why can’t all schools have that kinda system….. I want my company to build that…. I will make a company once I pass school and I will make a school like that….

  • January 30, 2010 at 12:48 amDeadRobots

    I had a friend say I should be under punishment probation…. I know now what he means…. I think….. still not sure D: What DOES IT MEAN! all I know is it’s linked to this show… this epic amazing hour stealing soul eating show….. And ehem Island Esper to your that butt ain’t man…. no it isn’t he got it from his twin sister…. that or he really is a girl <..> you never know….

  • February 14, 2010 at 8:17 pmAraC

    I love this series! I already watched all the episodes so far ^^ Does anyone know where I can read the novel?