No other series wears its cross-dressing guys on its sleeve quite so much as Baka Test, so it was hardly a surprise to see episode ni! of the second season given over to it.
It was somewhat of a surprise, however, to see the beach episode turn into beach episodes. That’s a rarity I think. In fact this ep picks up right where the first ended, with Yoshi and Yuuji taking their punishment for daring to mack chicks while their psychotic prospective girlfriends were around. After a brief visit to the River Styx (no sign of Menma) they return to consciousness and we get down to the business of the episode, the girls forcing the boys to enter the “Miss Yukata” contest.
I don’t quite know why Hideyoshi and Voyeur were forced to enter as well, but thank goodness they were. Hideyoshi because, obviously, he looked fantastic – though we were tragically denied the opportunity to see him actually on-stage – and Mussolini because as he so often does, he proved himself the funniest thing in the episode. His deadpan responses (delivered flawlessly by seiyuu Miyata Kouki) had me in stitches. Naturally, he and Aki proved to be unwittingly huge hits with the judges, though the older one took a shining to the rather masculine even in drag Yuuji.
As Hideyoshi said, all hell would have broken loose had he walked onto that stage. But why exactly was he talking in Shakespearean syntax through the entire episode? I guess you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth with this show – the random nature of the humor is a big part of the charm. It does occur to me that the girls on this show really are a pretty insane bunch. Aki’s Nee-san is a devout brocon, even dressing him in skirts while he’s asleep. Shouko is a just-plain psychotic terrorist all the way around. Minami breaks Aki’s bones every chance she gets, and Himeji commits culinary genocide on a weekly basis. That’s why I enjoy seeing Aiko included – she has a mischievous sense of humor, but she’s refreshingly normal otherwise.
Once again I’m really enjoying the job Oonuma Shin is doing with this show. Visually it’s like all the good stuff about SHAFT and none of the bad. B-T always has a fantastic look to it, with gorgeous costumes and backgrounds, and judiciously applied fast-cuts and discordant images. S2 hasn’t really had that moment of divine comedic inspiration and elevated itself to the heights of S1 at its best – yet. But it’s still solidly entertaining and a pretty unique style of comedy that usually works for me.
ED: “「エウレカベイビー」 (Eureka Baby) by Aso Natsuko