Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it only makes sense that this week’s release has some cute, heartwarming moments in there, plus plenty of parody and perverted school-boys with nose-bleeds.
Today brings us the release of the second series of Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts; a high school comedy, where teachers allow students to wage wars against other classes, with the help of a summoned avatar. If you haven’t previously watched the first instalment, then you will most likely find it a little difficult to follow at first, but you’ll slowly catch on. However, I would recommend beginning from the first series if you do decide to watch this.

Based on a series of light-novels; Baka and Test follows the lives of a group of underachievers studying at Fumizuki Academy, a school with their own unique assessment system. Testing students not based against possible scores out of 100, instead a student can earn as many points as they can, with the limits being simply the time allowed and their own intelligence. Each student has the ability to summon a mini version of themselves referred to as an avatar, with the strength of this avatar depending on their academics (certainly an incentive to work hard for some). The better their scores, the greater their weapons for the battles that take place - under the supervision of a teacher of course.

Baka and Test

The classes are divided from A-F according to ability, with ‘A’ being the top class and ‘F’ being the lowest ranking. The better the class, the better the resources within the classroom, obviously only contributing to the rivalry between the classes. Our central characters are those in class F. And our central protagonist being Akihisa Yoshii, the class idiot, or ‘baka’ as mentioned in the title. Class F may be the lowest ranking class, however some of the characters are actually surprising smart, and could likely do pretty well if only they applied themselves.

Baka and Test

It’s somewhat amusing seeing the girls with soft spots for the boys, and then the boys running in terror in fear of what consequences may occur as a result. You’ll certainly see lots of blood, but not in the way you’d expect. You will see perverted boys having nosebleeds, and I mean ‘massive’ pools of blood, from some serious over-excitement.

Initially I didn’t quite know what to make of this, especially with a lack of continuous engagement, but over the episodes it grew on me. Admittedly I much preferred the second half of this release. There were a few moments here and there where I would rather have been doing something else, but then there were certainly moments that I wanted to watch more. Full of a many occasions that can indeed make you chuckle, and certainly a few episodes that will pull at your heartstrings, especially those consisting of a slight back-story. The visuals are nicely done. The characters are likeable and you may even find yourself developing something of a fondness for them. Whilst the characters are in no way original, being full of clichés, they are what help make this anime endearing. Certainly worth a watch if you are after something light and entertaining to watch.

Baka and Test DVD
Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts Series 2
is Out Now from Manga Entertainment

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