Updated Thoughts on Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (2nd Season and Matsuri OVA)

(2nd Season)

Does this deserve a third season?

Yes. Absolutely.

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.

5 thoughts on “Updated Thoughts on Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (2nd Season and Matsuri OVA)

      1. It’s hard to explain.

        Trying to transition from a comedy into a romance can create a dissemblance in the writing due to the focus wondering off into all directions.

        You can tell that the anime still wants to be funny however, you can also tell that they want to concentrate on character development episodes that don’t really have many jokes in…….in fact you could easily make the argument that a lot of the one character development episodes were really uninteresting/pointless (we already knew that, you didn’t have to dedicate an episode to the topic).

        Mizuki and Minami sudden yandere feels way too mean spirited (why would 2 yendere share 1 guy?) when you compare it to Shouko from the first season they seem to be getting more pleasure from seeing them in pain then just wanting then to repent there actions.

        A heavy lack of class battles in season two (I miss the chibi avatars).

        The long story lines they create don’t really go anywhere and just randomly end with no satisfying conclusion.

        Guess I just a little annoyed by the fact I payed £20 for a comedy and ended up with an experimental romance anime.

      2. You paid money? I feel bad for ya.

        I see your points quite well. A lot of them are valid. However, I’m immersed in a feeling of nostalgia that overtakes me when I watch this show, simply because it was one of the earliest anime I’ve ever seen. The scores for both seasons went from a nine down to a six, so you can tell that my objective viewpoint stands firm, but I just had too much enjoyment with it to really complain about the abrupt mood shifts. It’s just Baka-Test. It’s stupid and all over the place.

        Nevertheless, I can relate to you in terms of character behavior. The constant use of Akihisa doing something unseemly and the girls punishing him for it got old SUPER fast. It’s kind of like the repetitive use of accidentally slipping and tearing an article off of a cute girl’s clothing in ecchi anime.

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