That giant tie. It bothers me.

Here’s an anime I’ve been anticipating due to the huge popularity of the light novels it’s based on and super-cute art and the trap. Literally translated as “idiots and tests and summoned beings”, it takes place at what seems to be a school of magic, but its appearance is closer to a normal Japanese school rather than a Harry Potter/Zero no Tsukaima-esque castle. This school rigidly defines the students into classes from A to F based on the results of their tests; the super-intellegent A class get to learn in luxury with state-of-the-art computers and wait-staff, whilst at the other end, F classes room is pretty much falling apart. The main character Akihisa, defined as a ‘huge idiot’, ends up in this class, but because of a rule that failing to do the exam at all results in a 0 mark, the super-intelligent moe-blob Himeji ends up there too when she falls ill on the exam day. When Akihisa and his friends get sick of their crappy class, they decide to wage war on the other classes in order to move up through battles with Summoned Beings; chibified versions of themselves whose hit point levels correspond to the score they received in their last exam. Beating a class above them will allow them to move up a rank, whilst losing has the reverse effect…It’s certainly a good thing they have Himeji up their sleeve.

The brunette on the far right is a boy. My interest, it is roused.

You know, it’s probably a good thing that I never bothered to find out what Baka to Test was about before deciding I was going to watch it, because the plot honestly sounds ridiculous. But this show looks like it could be one of the hits of the season (although admittedly, it is only my second ’10 anime so it may be a little too early to say), if not only for its strong visual style, likeable characters and ability to be pretty damn funny when it wants to.
Sure, they’re familiar. We’ve got Moeblob, Tomboy, Perve and Cooldude,  but that doesn’t necessarily make them annoying. And Akihisa himself is pretty likeable as far as leads go, something like the unholy lovechild of Tomoya and Sunohara from Clannad (and I severely apologize for any mental images that may have caused). But I can’t be alone in thinking Hideyoshi (Trap) is the best character here. (True, he’s not in drag, but Trap is certainly the best way to describe him, and Akihisa seems to wish he was a girl a lot) This show could be complete and utter garbage and I would still watch it for Hideyoshi. Luckily, it’s not, it’s enjoyable, silly and doesn’t take itself seriously enough for it to come across as overly corny. There are times when the humour does  come across as forced, but not to the extent that it’s just annoying.
I also really like the show’s visual style;  utilizing soft pastel colours and an almost pop-art dot-effect on backgrounds. Possibly only because it’s the first episode though, but it also seemed quite well-animated. The incredibly video-game-esque battles are actually pretty amusing to watch, and make me wonder how long it’ll take for a game to be released.
It certainly looks like a strong entry for the season, and one I’ll be adding to my blogging roster.

Plushies and/or nendoroids of these are pretty much necessary.

Out of 5,