Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! – 11

[Commie] Baka to Test to Shokanju Ni - 11 [9AAF5EEF].mkv_snapshot_03.57_[2011.09.18_22.52.20] [Commie] Baka to Test to Shokanju Ni - 11 [9AAF5EEF].mkv_snapshot_04.04_[2011.09.18_22.52.27] [Commie] Baka to Test to Shokanju Ni - 11 [9AAF5EEF].mkv_snapshot_05.03_[2011.09.18_22.52.31]

I give up.

I surrender, seriously.  I can’t figure out what the hell happened to this series, and what the hell Silver Link is trying to do with it.  A commenter (Myssa Rei) mentioned last week that they’ve shuffled the chapters around a lot this season, and maybe that explains some of the weirdness.  But it can’t be just that.  What is the point of all this joyless, somber backstory that’s totally undercut by the preposterously sadistic behavior of the rest of this season?

You can pretty much cut and paste my review of episode 8 here, and it will all apply.  That one was marginally better as an entertainment but they’re equally puzzling and illogical.  Why did you spend 7 episodes making me hate these girls and then expect me to suddenly love them because you showed me a sob story about their childhood?  And why are so many reviewers on places like  MAL and Animeplanet apparently eating it up like candy?  To repeat what I said about 08, just with the names changed – doesn’t the fact that Yuuji was the only one who was nice to Shouko when they were kids make her despicable behavior towards him now that much more despicable?

So the chapters being moved around, OK…  But is the source material just not as good this year?  I can’t honestly recall an instance where a show I liked as much as I liked the first season of Baka Test has totally baffled me and left me cold.  It’s not anger or disgust anymore – it’s just confusion.  Maybe this show just wasn’t written for me – I’d be fine with that, it happens often enough in a medium as diverse as anime.  But has it changed that much in a year, really?  Is that possible?  because I’ll be honest – I know I haven’t.  And I didn’t laugh once this week, not one damn time.  That’s a poor choice for a comedy to begin with if you ask me (especially as they’ve done two dead-serious eps in three weeks) but it makes even less sense in the context of how these characters are portrayed the rest of the time.

At least we got a special ED by Milktub (dropping them was another huge downgrade from S1) but all that really did was make me wistful about how much I miss my old Baka-Test.  Pretty thin gruel, but that’s really the only positive thing I can think of to write.  I’m just totally bewildered by the rest of it.  Sorry to all you fans of the season – glad you’re enjoying it.  I just can’t for the life of me understand why.  if anyone can help me understand, I’d be truly grateful because the mystery is annoying me almost as much as the show itself.

[Commie] Baka to Test to Shokanju Ni - 11 [9AAF5EEF].mkv_snapshot_13.32_[2011.09.18_22.22.36] [Commie] Baka to Test to Shokanju Ni - 11 [9AAF5EEF].mkv_snapshot_14.32_[2011.09.18_22.23.36] [Commie] Baka to Test to Shokanju Ni - 11 [9AAF5EEF].mkv_snapshot_14.51_[2011.09.18_22.23.54]

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8 comments

  1. S

    It occurred to me that if you watch Baka to Test season 1, + episode 11&8 of season 2, you get a wonderful show. The rest should be blown to smithereens.

  2. d

    @Enzo: i don't anyone can make you understand. I think you know why people like it but since your preference is way different you just find it absurb that they do.

  3. A

    Consistently serious or consistently funny isn't the only enjoyable way to pull off a series, in my view. I personally enjoy having different types of episodes in the same series, some being more comedy and some being more drama.

    I personally thought about the middle third of season 1 was pretty slow because they went so long without any summon battles (if I remember right). I thought season 2 has been more consistently entertaining than season 1.

  4. S

    On the contrary, Enzo, I think that episodes 8&11 were the BEST episodes of season 2. I am a bit tired of the usual baka antics and this season was even short of the funny ESB battles. That's why I like these more serious episodes which depart from the standard silliness.

  5. They might very well be the best episodes, Son, but do they make any sense? Shouldn't there be some connection between the way people behave from one episode to the next?

  6. d

    I agree with you that this season is weak when compare to season 1. Even though both had a randomness to them, season 1 had something that this season doesn't, a foundation to fall upon. What I mean is that in season 1, no matter how random it got, it can always fall back to the "dividing the school base on test scores is not right" theme with class F doing what they can to beat the "smartest" class in the school.

  7. U

    I didn't start to watch this season yet, but for this series in particular, i don't mind reading spoilers. Therefore, after reading this post and your review for episode 8, i want to ask: did the bullying get worse?

    Season 1 was great. It had a fresh humor, combined with an unusual presentation, and the summoning battles successfully prevented the show from getting stale. The male characters were all likeable, and the girls, while overpowered and sometimes annoying, didn't ruin the enjoyment.

    However, the show walked on a thin like between slapstick comedy and bullying. I hope it didn't become like Kemeko Deluxe, where the bullying was insane and some little selfish drama moments were supposed to make up for it.

  8. Ulisses, the abuse got much, much worse in the first 7 eps of this season. I would say by a factor of 10, literally.

    I have a theory that the change in music is very significant. In the first season you had the Milktub "Baka Go Home" ED, which was sort of like an anthem of defiant adolescent male silliness. And in that season, the guys were basically the main characters and the girls were the supporting cast. The show reflected the kind of "us against the world" bull-headed male psyche that was kind of stupid, but had a fun sense of camaraderie to it.

    In S2, Milktub is gone and replaced by a very typical femmy-femmy girly ED. And the focus of the series has shifted to the girls, with the guys basically present as punching bags. And with Baka Test, it's the guys who really make the show distinctive – the girls are too sharp-edged to work as main characters, and throwing in random backstory episodes can't make them sympathetic because they make no sense in context. So as the focus of the series shifted it basically ruined the show.

    Now – is this something that reflects a similar change in the novels, or is it a case of Silver Link making bad choices in what they're adapting – and when? That, I can't answer. But I know that for me, this is a series that's totally jumped the shark.

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