A thoughtful response to current anime.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu 2 – Episode 13

I have left it as long as I could, but somehow it is still not Halloween.  I guess we are going to have to watch the Halloween episode of BakaTest on just some random day in October.  We left off in the middle of a haunted house/summon battle tournament, where all the summons had turned into monstrous forms for no reason and they had to fight summon battles without screaming in fear or they’d lose.  It’s the sort of setup that only makes sense on Halloween, but we’re watching episode 13 of season 2 of Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu now.

…thirty minutes pass…

What 400?!?!

Yeah, that was a conclusion to a two-part haunted house arc.  Not sure what else to say about that.  Kinda weird that they chose to go out on such a weak, low-tension episode.  I guess maybe that means that they’re planning to have a third season sometime soon, and they ended with an unfulfilling episode so that we stay hungry for more BakaTest goodness?  Or maybe it means that they have run dry of BakaTest goodness, and were scraping together what they could find to finish out even the second season.  That would explain certain observed phenomena, like a two-episode haunted house arc that did not even run on Halloween.

There is a limit to how far you can stretch “will they or won’t they”, especially in a harem comedy dynamic like this where you know they won’t.  After the tenth or eleventh time Himeji obliquely confesses her love to Akihisa and he misunderstands because he’s an idiot, there ceases to be any tension.   Character relationships have to change to stay fresh if you want to have a show that runs longer than a season.  At least in the last season there were a few new relationships introduced, like Kubo to Akihisa and Shouko to Yuuji.  In this season absolutely nothing ever changed.  I got excited when Minami came out and kissed Akihisa, but they went to great lengths to ensure that it had no lasting effect on the inter-character relationship structure.  That might be why the jokes sometimes felt stale – fresh relationships bring with them fresh jokes.  Remember when Shouko poking Yuuji’s eyes out was fresh?  I bet it used to be pretty funny.  Like the Three Stooges!


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