The “Matsuri” OVA concludes with the summoning tournament referenced at the end of Part I pretty much taking up the whole episode. More so than the first part, this felt very much like an episode of the original series, and if you liked the tournament eps of that you’ll likely look favorably on this effort.
The major problem with the episode is, of course, the general lack of Hideyoshi. If you can get past that it’s pretty entertaining watching Akihisa and Yuuji work their way through an event that seems to be – as usual – stacked against them. The crux, of course, is that they have to win to procure funds for new classroom equipment, which they need to keep Himeji from transferring.
Along the way we get the requisite cameos from Hazuki-chan, Aki’s otoutocon sister, and most of the rest of the familiar cast. The two funniest characters in the series are certainly Hideyoshi and Mussolini (Pervert) so their relative absence necessarily tones down the hilarity a little. But there’s something of the sense of fighting for a just cause that drives the series a lot of the time – the social commentary is often overshadowed by the broad humor but it’s always there, lurking underneath. This being Baka Test it can’t be anything so simple as the Aki-Yuuji team winning the tournament, but they do get the celebrate a triumph of sorts, anyway. And the pair of douchebags from Class 3-A who messed with Class F’s Chinese cafe in part 1 certainly get their comeuppance.
As an appetizer, this works just fine – it’s nice to see these great characters go through their paces. But the main course is definitely S2, and that’s what really has me excited. I’m counting the days until the return of one of my favorite series from 2010.