Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu is a show about, idiots. It’s a show for idiots, and a show with a cast that is comprised of idiots, as pretty much every comedy show has. However, the use of idiot in this show is taken to a whole new meaning which makes it more enjoyable then it should be, not that I’m complaining.
The story of Baka Test as it is commonly called, is about a school that uses an avatar-based fighting system that determines power level based on test scores. Depending on which field the people battle on, the scores will differ in that specific subject. Once a power level reaches zero, a crazy guy known as “Iron Man” comes in and kidnaps you to take a remedial course. With a school that is solely based on test scores, the classes ranging from A-F is ranked from high scoring students to low scoring students. Those in the higher ranking classes get fabulous school equipment, while the lower classes get pretty much jack. The story basically can be summed up in the F class’s struggle to rise to the top, with hilarious bits and pieces of scenes in between.
Now, I’ll only go over the F class characters since I would rather not have people read a whole page describing the sheer amount of supporting characters. With F class being pretty much made up of idiots, every single character has a running gag that spans throughout the whole show.
First is Akihisa Yoshii. As the “Baka” that the title mentions, he is…stupid. As the lowest scoring person out of the whole group, Akihisa is a true idiot in every sense of the word and does a hilarious job at doing it. Things like failing at simple fractions or falling for the same prank over and over again. Kindhearted and outgoing with a mind of a child, Akihisa proves himself to probably be one of the most prominent characters in the whole series. His gag is being completely stupid. I surprised this guy still has a spine.
Next is Yuuji Sakamoto. As Akihisa’s best friend, Yuuji is the most cunning of the group and displays his genius with successful plans that he’s not THAT big of an idiot, though he still is one. His gag is getting poked in the eyes a lot by his childhood friend.
Next is Kouta Tsuchiya, or known by his nickname, Muttsulini. As the natural pervert of the group, Muttsulini is always seen with his camera and trying to take pictures of girls’ undersides. As the quiet and reserved one of the group, Muttsulini doesn’t show much in terms of character but always, somehow makes any scene great. Especially when he’s running his picture business. His gag is getting horrible nosebleeds to the point that he could swim in the pool.
Next, is the…I don’t know what to call it, really. Next is Hideyoshi Kinoshita. As the person with most common sense, Hideyoshi really just sees how stupid all these people are around it but still supports them to the best of its abilities. I say it because, for this character’s gag, Hideyoshi can almost be considered the perfect trap. With an extremely feminine look, Hideyoshi confuses people to think that he’s a girl, when it’s really a guy. It’s to the point that society has created a bathroom solely for Hideyoshi’s purpose.
Next is Mizuki Himeji. As the dandere of the group, Mizuki is a quiet and softspoken girl who is Akihisa’s childhood friend. Hint Hint. As the smartest one of the group, Mizuki is always considered as an “ace” and helps her class the best she can. She looks up to Akihisa a lot and always cherishes having him around. Her gags are comprised of her bunny clip changing its expression, her cooking that can literally kill, and her overly large chest. Yeah.
And last is Minami Shimada. As a Japanese transfer student who came from germany, Minami bears a tsundere quality and shows her soft side to Akihisa, sometimes. Hint Hint. She always draws concern for her friends and is best friends with Mizuki. Her gags consist of her flat chest, (always a staple in anime), the bow in her ponytail having a mind of its own, and her constant physical abuse. The tsundere way of saying, I love you.
Other characters consist of a cult that condemns any contact with a girl, death, Minami’s little sister, various teachers, class A, B, C, D, and E reps, Yuuji’s childhood friend, Hideyoshi’s twin sister, Kubo, and Minami’s stalker/lesbian “friend” in class D. Now you see why I limited the character explanation. Needless to say, there is a very vibrant class of characters here.
Art and Sound:
For the majority of the tracks, Baka Test has a quite limited range of music, but sounds good in its own way. The OP and ending songs each comprise of lighthearted and just overly cute sounding music. The art in this anime is very special as it’s very bright and never dark. In this anime, a normal and chibi form of a character can coincide together in the same scene without it being for just straight comedy. The characters themselves are always in bright colors and the comedic scenes are just pleasing to the eye. They also implement some manga scenes where the characters become literal sketches. As for general animation, it’s fluid and well done, possibly due to the budget saved by putting no faces on background character, and making background background characters essentially polka dotted cardboard cutouts.
As a personal fan of lighthearted comedy, I found this show to be extremely enjoyable because of how blunt the characters are in many of the scenes. As fun as this was, the gags did get old sometimes because they put the same gag in, multiple times. I felt as though the yaoi and yuri of the show was completely unnecessary (to a certain degree), but beyond that, I have nothing else bad to say. With such a vibrant cast, you can’t help but like at least one of them. They’re each funny in their own way and it’s just enjoyable to watch.
However if I was to make a ship (as is the case with love triangles), since there are just a HUGE amount of possible ones to choose from, I would choose either the Minami x Akihisa ship or the Yuuji x Shouko ship because, really, those would create the most amusing results.