Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts Season 2 ReviewElizabeth Williams
Akihisa and the gang are back, just as stupid as ever! It's okay, they're supposed to be. Welcome to Season Two of Baka & Test: Summon the Beast!
As a satire, Baka and Test has always been a show that revolves around extremes: extreme personalities, extreme interactions with characters, and even an extreme school. The second season of Baka and Test: Summon the Beast is no exception to this theme. When the boys do something as harmless as hitting on a few girls at the beach (however terrible they are at it), the girls decide to punish the boys very harshly. After being physically beaten to the point of blacking out, the boys are forced to compete in a girls' beauty pageant. And as always, the results are humorous.
At the beginning of disk one, many of the character's personality traits are masked by the â€œextremenessâ€ of the episodes. I found a few episodes to be very predictable and formulaic. The writers seem to try to avoid this from happening by putting the characters in unusual situations. But it still ends up going so predictable that it seems the only thing that has changed is the background.
In the first season of the show, the writers introduced each character and gave back stories on them. Each character's personality was defined at that point. There is little to no growth of many of the characters in the first disk, and it left me very disappointed. To be honest, with the exception of a few episodes, the show was so predictable that I was actually bored of it before even finishing the first disk. Needless to say, I was not very impressed with the beginning of Baka & Test's second season.
That's not to say that the show didn't have any good points. A few running gags from the first season were amusing (although others didn't need to be repeated at all). The colors used are very bright and vibrant. I especially love the comic book-inspired polka dotted textures that the backgrounds are given. The character designs are very detailed, and I appreciate the changes in style depending on the mood. For example, when Yuuji has a man-to-man talk with Akihisa, the style turns into a black and white hand-drawn image, as if we are reading an action comic-book.
However, things started going back to normal by the second disk. Fresh material was added, along with an ongoing story line. The avatar battles and strategies were brought back as well (even if it was just to sneak into the girls' bath). Still, it was good to see the things that I like about the show brought back into it.
The main source of humor for Baka and Test is making jokes about manga and anime culture. Let's use the â€œfeminine maleâ€ for instance. Many mangas and animes have a character that fits this physical description. Many times this character has a gentler personality and feminine interests, causing unintended confusion about the character's gender. A character in this show, Hideyoshi, is this show's definition of such a man. He has a soft voice, and he is very gifted in the arts, such as singing or acting. Many of the other characters honestly think that he is a girl, such as many guys who go to confess their love to him. Many other characters refuse to acknowledge that Hideyoshi has a gender at all. For example, there is a boys' bathroom, a girls' bathroom, and a Hideyoshi bathroom.
(Yeah, that's a dude.)
Another played-out character in anime and manga is the â€œpervertâ€. The description is pretty self-explanatory: they like to check people out, and they have a nosebleed far more frequently than humanly possible. (Apparently high blood pressure causes nosebleeds?) Anyway, meet Kouta. Not only does he sneak around taking photos of girls, he sells them to his classmates in exchange for money or dirty magazines. His nosebleeds are so bad he has regular blood transfusions, and he almost dies a few times from lack of blood. He even goes so far as to wear a ninja suit when sneaking about, peeping in on anything with two X chromosomes.
Every show has their own take on stereotypical character types, but I enjoy how Baka and Test makes a joke out of it. Anyone looking for a few laughs will enjoy Baka and Test Season Two. Well, the second disk, anyway.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.
I started playing games from a young age, but really got into it when Santa left a SNES in the fireplace. My other hobbies include reading, writing, gardening, and playing with my two cats.
About the Author: Elizabeth Williams
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