A thoughtful response to current anime.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu 2 – Episode 4

Last episode of BakaTest was a flashback filler double feature, a million miles from any possible continuity carrying over into this episode.  Fine by me.  I’ll take as many silly episodes about Hideyoshi crossdressing as they’re willing to put out.  There’s been a surprisingly strong trend toward that, hasn’t there?  Not even considering that even a three-piece suit is crossdressing on Hideyoshi, the past two episodes have had him dressing in unequivocally female clothing.  Let’s see if the trend continues in episode 4 of Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu season 2.

…thirty minutes pass…

The dreaded return of the summoned beings.

For a little while there it looked like we were going to be able to fit some cross-dressing into this episode, but I guess the boys of F-class are just a bunch of no-good cheaters who try to wriggle out of their responsibilities.  Ah well, I guess that’s why they’re stuck in F-class, unable to advance.  They don’t take things seriously, and refuse to accept the consequences of their actions.  You’ll never amount to anything if you don’t dress up in women’s clothing!

The second half of the episode brought back the summoned beings, which is a dire omen, but it was really good despite that.  I always enjoy a musing on the intricate web of hypocrisies, half-truths, and outright lies that make up what we consider normal social interaction. You would think that more transparency, more honesty would be better, but the truth is, people want to live surrounded by a comforting blanket of lies, and the biggest lie we tell is that we value truth.  Each one of them was vaguely interested in hearing the true thoughts of the others in the group, but none of them was even remotely willing to pay the price of having their true thoughts heard.  The only one who seemed to come out at all ahead on the deal was the green-haired chick whose identity is a mystery to me, and she only came out ahead because she gets off on tormenting people.

And really, to what extent did the girls really want to hear the boys’ true thoughts? All that happened was they got mad at how interested in looking up the green-haired chick’s skirt the guys were. Is that actually bringing them any closer to a state of happiness?  Isn’t it better to be able not to think about the faults of your romantic interest?  Especially when those faults might reflect on you, and your lack of relative charm? It’s not like the green-haired chick is going to steal them away, just put it out of your mind.  The girls aren’t unaware that the guys are interested in the female body, of course.  It’s just not salient, and everyone silently agrees to keep it non-salient, and so people don’t have to deal with it, and can live in an enjoyable fantasy world.  All “honesty” is doing is bringing things out into the open and forcing you to deal with them.  I’m reminded of the blue-eyed islander problem: the difference between a fact everyone knows and a fact that is common knowledge can be immense and disastrous.

I remember reading a news article about special glasses for helping people with autism, that would read people’s body language and help them pick up on social cues.  The catch was, they worked too well, they were helping even neurotypical people see body language that would normally remain hidden, and spot the disgust, boredom, embarrassment etc. that people tried to hide.  To me these sound like big claims that are a little implausible – I hadn’t thought the state of the art in facial recognition was up to this task.  But one commentator suggested that these glasses should be banned as an invasion of privacy, and if they actually work as advertised, I’m in agreement.  Dishonesty is too important to humanity to be given up.


One response to “Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu 2 – Episode 4

  1. tomphile August 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Dreaded return? It’s good for them to come back. 😀

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