Saturday, July 30, 2011

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! - 04


There are a few chinks in the armor for Baka Test this season that are preventing it from working for me at the same level it did last season. I think they were really issues all along, but for whatever reason they're more noticeable to me now than before.

For one thing (and this has certainly always been true) the girls on this series are just nightmares. Are they worse this year, or am I less forgiving? I don't know exactly but the unrelenting stream of abuse coming from them feels a little more exhausting this time around. Of course, Aki is in the center of it as always. With a full-on yandere and physically abusive tsundere after him, not to mention a perverted older sister, he's got it pretty rough. It's no wonder people ship him with an elementary schooler and a guy (well, a Hidesexual) - the worst thing Hazuki ever does is call him "Baka". The "Penalty Game" skit was fairly clever, and as always with this show the level of detail that went into "Bullshit" was impressive. But psychotropic chocolates or not, Himeji really seems nastier to me this season. She was always nuts but I don't remember a lot of deliberate abuse, just homicidal cooking.

Second sketch was certainly the better, and very funny. With 2-F taking part in an experiment the shoukanjuu are back, but with the very clever twist that they're basically unfiltered representatives of their summoner's unconscious mind. Well, obviously Himeji and Minami are presented with an awkward dilemma there, and when Shuuko shows up things are looking pretty grim for Yuuji. All I could think of was that HimejiNami's summoned beings were a hell of lot nicer to Aki than the real girls were. As for the boys, well, it was pretty hilarious that their shoukanjuuu were basically chibi versions of the full-sized humans - nothing too complicated here. Yuuji and Aki's are happy to look up Aiko's skirt, Voyeur's just said exactly what everyone knows Voyeur is thinking and the worst Hideyoshi's had to offer was that three middle-school guys confessed to Hideyoshi just this month. I was a bit disappointed in Aiko, who I held to a higher standard - she genuinely seemed to enjoy getting Aki and Yuuji in trouble with HimejiNami.

If anything, the other major problem this season is that the humor just doesn't feel as fresh as it did last. I did enjoy the second skit this week because it put a new spin on the summoning gag, and even the Bullshit game was amusing enough. It just feels to me as if the scales have been tipped more towards abusive humor at the expense of the guys (especially Aki) than they were last season, and that just isn't as amusing to me as when this show gets really creative. On the plus side, it's still doing amazing things with visuals - especially in the classroom during the summoning this week, it was fantastically vibrant and eye-catching.

2 comments:

  1. Regarding the abusive humour, to be honest I don't really mind it. It's a recycled joke and so I can see how it can get boring after a while but I don't find myself annoyed with it, I actually loved the Yandere moments last season when Aki's sister came.

    I do think they need to change it up a bit more since the Yandere has been pretty full blast this season minus Episode 3. I want more dere "Chibi Minami" like moments. Sitting in Aki's lap...so cute. :3

    Absolutely loved the second skit, so many great moments like when Shouko forced Yuuji's face into her breasts. I was a bit disappointed with Aiko too, she should only be torturing Mitsurini, the other guys already have enough on their hands.

    Maybe this season doesn't feel as fresh because there's not really a new "plot" line to follow. Last season kind of had a goal with defeating other classes but right now its a lot of recycled comedy in different settings. I like the way Baka Test recycles its comedy so I don't really have any issues with it so far. I hope it picks up and has a bit more purpose later on or more "development" for the characters to compliment the comedy, otherwise I can see a lot of people complaining about the second season and that it will never match up to the first.

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  2. I really like this show, however for some reason seeing aiko sudden closeness along with himeji. It seem to me somehow a lot is skipped. Anyway again this episode is using all the recycled jokes like the first episode. I do hope they will eventually get into the main plot. Though I have no doubt that they will eventually.(I mean they do have more material than this) Oh and if they are going to continue this, I really hope they will explain why do aki and gang from last season keep trying to get yuuji and shouko to marry.

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