Does this deserve a third season?
The source material has ended, so why not? It would be deserving of such a spirited anime to wrap up on a high note. Then again, I have yet to finish the light novel as of my typing this, so I’m not sure if the previous statement is correct.
The second season of Baka-Test is better than the first season. How much better? Very, very little. Tremendously little. Like the size of a baby ant. Why is it better? I’ll tell you.
The first season was very tedious with its jokes. It would constantly bombard the viewer with a vast array of zany situations and off-the-wall humor. It’s enough to leave even the biggest anime junkie tired. Well, maybe not the biggest. It also had a little bit of serious “battle-strategy” to it. It had serious moments, however these moments played off the random and illogical atmosphere the show created for itself.
The second season plays out a tad different. This season does absolutely nothing with its plot. There are no major wars between classes. Instead, we are given more fan service and the same non-stop insanity that the first season harbored so well. That is, until the last few episodes.
It’s almost as if the second season had given up on the shenanigans and decided that it was time to develop the characters. Now, how do you develop characters that are archetypal in nature? Very carefully. Baka-Test may not come up with the best choices for how to develop its characters, but it comes off as genuine in the long run, and enjoyable all the same. Although, one giant complaint is that they focus too much on characters who have a potential love interest. The most interesting episodes later on were the ones involving the past relationships of some of the male and female pairings. However, this transition from wacky to serious may turn many off. It probably would have for me, had I not seen this before until now.
The characters remain largely the same. They have one trait, and that’s pretty much it. During the second half of this season, particular characters get more development than others. As I mentioned above, these characters are all male/female pairings. Yuuji and Kirishima, Akihisa and Shimada, and Akihisa and Himeji. If there’s potential to induce romantic tension, Baka-Test will manipulate that shit until it’s dead. Is it meant to be insightful? Is it meant to be impactful? Probably.
The art has cooled down for this season. It doesn’t try as hard to be as in-your-face this time around. This is both a blessing and a curse. It makes Baka-Test less entertaining, and starts to show how trivial and bland the plots of the show are. However, the overexcessive expressions and mannerisms that plagued the first season’s time slots were debilitating on their own. In terms of overall design, nothing really changed much. Perhaps the characters got brighter. I didn’t really care to try and notice.
Thinking about it more, I may have been wrong to say that this season was better. It’s just better in certain regards. Both seasons of this show are obnoxiously showy, and have enough parody fluff to make you excuse its fallacies. The first season had a more carefree nature. The second season tries somewhat to distance itself from its roots. The success of this transition is hard to place concretely. It really all depends on the viewer’s subjective taste. I personally preferred the first season, until the last few episodes of season two showed themselves. The first season was consistently batshit, while the second took its time to show its underlying nature.
Spirited battle-shounen fodder.