Baka Test finally ended it’s summer vacation and went back to school for the third episode, and with it came a return to the comedic form of the first season. While it may not have been on a par with the absolute best episodes, this was a solid effort from top to bottom.
Speaking of which, the first skit this week was the best so far this season – the body-switch chapter featuring Hideyoshi and Yuuko. Any story starring everyone’s favorite Hideyoshi has a head start, but it’s nice to see Yuuko get some spotlight, as she tends to be a much overlooked character.
They make an interesting pair, these two. Yuuko is everyone’s model student, smart and beautiful and a leader, but apparently all the performing talent in the family went to little brother. When the opportunity presents for Yuuko to sing the national anthem in a school promotional video, she comes up with the idea of body-switching with Hideyoshi for the day. While suspicions are raised in his class due to his increased masculinity, a surprising amount of the humor comes from Hideyoshi’s efforts to blend into Yuuko’s Class A. There’s a gold mine of material here, much of it centered around her fujoshi tastes. In the end, she’s known as a lesbian-shotacan who wears no pantsu, and he’s reported to be developing breasts.
Second sketch brings another favorite underused character, Minami’s little sister Hazuki. I enjoy her because she’s one of the few girls (pretty much just her and Aki) in this cast who aren’t total psychotics. It was a flashback ep, showing how she came to call Aki “Baka Oni-san” and how Aki became Ironman’s Punishment Inspector. It was a little heavier on the sweet and lighter on the hysterical, but still a good chapter. And it was nice to see Aki’s adorable summoned shoukanjuu for the first time this season.
I wasn’t worried by the so-so quality of the first two eps, but it was nice to get back to the zone we were in last season. The one consistent has always been that this is one of the most visually beautiful anime comedies you’ll ever see – the character designs, backgrounds, colors and Oonuma Shin’s sheer visual imagination have always made Baka Test stand out from the crowd.