Baka and Test Summon The Beasts Review
This is a show that got some pretty positive buzz at my anime club and from one of my favourite bloggers, so it comes as no surprise that I was pretty hyped to check it out once it was released on DVD.
Baka to Test is a high school comedy show whose main theme is based around the different classes “battling” each other for superior accessories. The classes are ranked from A to F with each subsequent class having less desirable material than the other. After taking a placement test the students are placed in a class that matches their academic abilities and those scores they attain are kept and used as the students “Magical Power” which are then used in the battle arenas called the Summoning Test War.
In the War the students use Avatars or little chibi versions of themselves to do battle for better classrooms, these battles can only be performed with the permission of a teacher. The Protagonist Yoshii, who is an idiot, is a member of class F and hilarity ensues once Himeji, a very smart female student fails to pass her placement exam because she fell ill on the day thus placing her undeservedly in Class F. Yoshii takes it upon himself to give her the education she deserves by waging war against the other classes while being a total goofball about it.
The first noticeable thing about this show is its unique art style, the backgrounds and shadows use opaque pattern like designs which give the show its own signature aesthetic.
I also found myself laughing out loud during most episodes, the show is actually funny which is its major strong point. The cast is relatively large and they all have their own quirks and characteristics. My favourites being Hideyoshi the trap and Kouta the pervert, who is always on the look out for a “juicy picture” of Hideyoshi.
The battles are also a lot of fun to watch, I found the tactics they used both funny and intriguing. Its a very unique take on a high school battle anime , I have never seen anything like it. Its was worth checking out atleast once.
Its a FUNimation comedy dub so you know the drill Greg Ayres is in it, Todd Haberkon is in it heck even Colleen Clinkenbeard makes her mandatory appearance. What really impressed me though was Brina Palnecias’ performance as Hideyoshi, she really sounds like a guy, a really hot guy in a hot girl kind of way. Its hard to explain you just have to watch the show. Overall its a solid dub.
The Extras were pretty good too, packed with a tonne of mini episodes and your obligatory Textless Opening and Ending sequences added to the mix, which are quite catchy I might add.
The biggest problem I had with this show is how it tried to flirt with having a serious plot line or romantic sub plot. The biggest strength of the show was in its characters antics and comedy routines and each time it tried to stray away from this it really pulled me out of the experience.
There were also a lot of dull moments in some of the episodes, I found myself taking frequent breaks from the show because it did get pretty boring and repetitive at times. The show was funny but most of the gags were unoriginal and uninspired. I also found it sad how most of the laughs I got from it were the meta ones. Its going to be very hard for someone new to anime to really get a kick out of this show.
Final Verdict: Try It! This is a really hit or miss kind of show, its either for you or it really isnt, its not bad its just very average. Id recommend skipping this one if you don’t have a lot of expendable income but if you do and all the points I listed get you excited, go for it!