Reasoning behind choosing to watch BakaTest first out of all of the other winter series: I went in alphabetical order, lol.
BakaTest was what I expected it to be – a light school comedy with your usual cast of characters, each with their own quirks. It revolves around a school where students are sorted into classes by grades, and the quality of their school life depend greatly on their class. I’m not going to summarize it because if you wanted a summary, you would go to MAL or AniDB or Wikipedia or w/e.
Given the pink-haired heroine and the ‘summoning’ mentioned in the title, I really thought it’d be a Zero no Tsukaima clone. It is not. The summoning is not magical, it’s technological. The plot seems to revolve around Exam Summoning Wars, where each student can summon a chibi version of themselves, whose power corresponds to the student’s grades. They then battle RPG-style. When a chibi gets attacked by a stronger chibi, they lose hit points (lol), and in order to restore their hit points they must write tests (even more lol). It may sound lame, but it’s actually pretty funny.
If a class defeats another class, they can switch facilities. This is where the main idea of the plot comes in: Himeji got a zero on her placement exam due to a fever, putting her in F-class. However, in reality, her grades are A-class level, giving her the ability to help F-class rise to the top. At the end of the episode, A-class challenges F-class to one of those summoning war things. I’m predicting that F-class will either lose, or tie (prompting a new rule to come up). I just don’t see where the plot would go if they were to win.
They also worked some subtle references in – zetsuboushita!, ef-style scenes in the ED sequence. “Why was I the only one to get a transformation sequence?” – you may think that that was just making fun of his femininity, but that must have been referencing Suou from Darker than BLACK II.
The main guy, Akihisa Yoshii, is your usual male lead. He’s basically so stupid that his summoned chibi has a special ability – when the chibi gets hurt, Yoshii will feel the pain too. However, his chibi can also interact with real-life objects, making him an ideal errand boy. Not very beneficial, but that’s his own fault. d: Himeji Mizuki is a kind-hearted, very intelligent girl. Naturally, from her appearance I can’t help but expect a Louise-type character, which I clearly did not receive. But it’s okay, Minami will take the tsundere role this time.
Shimada Minami is not a reverse trap. I am disappointed :<
There’s also that class rep guy, the random guy who will take every attempt at a low-angle shot, the deadpan teacher, and of course other students. My favourite character right now is probably Minami.
The music was pretty average. I already can’t remember what the OP and ED sound like. The art is very Hidamari Sketch-like. It’s got a good seiyuu cast, with some big names such as Katou Emiri and Taketatsu Ayana. Overall it’s a pretty entertaining show, and I’m going to stick with it. It’ll probably end up being around 13 eps.
Here is a screenshot I took but didn’t get the chance to use. Oh hey, when it’s only this frame, she doesn’t look like a spy, but rather the class rep’s stalker. Haha.