Monday, 25 June 2012

Baka and Test: Summon The Beasts
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: 12
Running Time: 325 Mins
Audio: English DD 5.1 and Japanese DD 2.0
Release Date: 28/05/2012
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

"If we win a Summoner Test War we can have a rug!"

Akihisa Yoshii has managed to get into Fumizuki Academy, but it's on the seat of his pants. After getting his grades handed to him he couldn't feel any less the idiot everyone thinks he is as receiving an F was the worst thing ever. He does have another chance at proving himself though, but not in the way he thinks. Unfortunately, now that he is in Class F it isn't what he expected, once he sees Class A with all their plush furniture and high tech technology. Once he gets to his class, the place looks drab, damp, and crappy - like a classroom from his worst nightmares. All the cushions have no padding in them, the tables and seats have breaks in them, and there's a draft that chills the bone coming through broken windows All the kids in there are scruffy looking and in one corner there is the Class F inquisition complete with black hoods and whips.

Everyone has to put up with it, of course, but Yoshii wants more from Class F, and for the sake of his fellow students (he really means Mizuki) he wants to implement a Class War challenging Class E to a Summoner Test War or STW. This means that as long as a teacher is present, a student can bring forth their avatar (a cute chibi version of themselves) and their power is based on their being adept at a certain subject. They fight using their respective avatars, and if they win, then can exchange equipment with the higher ranked losing class. Yoshii thinks this is the only way they can have a decent looking class with all the neat tech gear that he desires.

Just when you think they haven't got a chance in hell of beating Class E, they actually prove they can do it - but that is when the problems start as Class A get to hear about their new found success, and challenge them to a Summoner Test War. Once they fight against the other classes though they find it isn't as easy at all, but instead of fighting for the objects from all the classes, they decide to win their way up to Class A where they plan on beating them and taking all their precious stuff - even the shiny laptops and the coffee machine.

Yoshii first meets Mizuki and that's when the drama kicks off. All the kids in Class F are seen as the losers at school, the ones least likely to get good grades, but if they do well in tests, they must make the grade. Yoshii is the comic of the bunch, but also the unfortunate one who gets dragged away by the Class F inquisition who are ever ready with an endless supply of torture devices if he messes up. He has a thing for Mizuki while another kid has a fancy for him too. Due to his always having to take the girls out to the cinema and for expensive crepes, he finds he is almost always low on funds to get him through the weeks ahead.

The story is interesting, fun and each episode is as good as the last. The basic idea is about how a class can get themselves up from the bottom, if not with their grades, with their brawn if it comes to it. They want the stuff that Class A has but they have to work harder for it as they are more intelligent and harder to fight. Yoshii is constantly known as the idiot, and keeps getting beaten up by the other girls, while Kota, the resident kid photographer keeps looking up girls skirts, and Yuji fails as class leader and ends up being kept as a chained slave by Shoko.

Bonus Material: Mission: Impossible: Baka Preview, Baka-Outs Cross-Dressing Contest, Mission Impossible: Baka Mission 01, Mizuki Himeji Girls' Meal, The King Game in Fumizuki Academy and Special Christmas Footage.

Verdict: If you think Hetalia is fun - this is the new fun and it's chock full of comedy, wild antics and kick ass special effects.

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