Yikes. I have to start with an apology for starting this stuff so late, but I’ve been doing an seemingly exhausting amount of work recently which has obviously had the means to drain away all of my time. Though it’s immensely belated (most shows are about to get to their 3rd episode by now!), its time for the usual evaluations of the anime this season. That said, I guess that there isn’t a huge amount to cover, so though I have alot to catch up, I still imagine I’ll be able to do it in three or four posts (he says…yet again).
Anyway, I’ll start with Baka no Test and Dance in the Vampire Bund.
Baka no Test (aka. the Idiots, the Tests, and the Summoned Creatures)
The random prediction I made about this in the previews turned out correct: the chibi versions are indeed the summoned creatures (facepalm). Anyway, this is another one of those highly discriminating tiered school systems that manga and light novel writers seem to love the idea of. Special A of course being the other notable one, where the ultimate students get the ultimate facilities. Of course, that focuses on the top, this on the bottom. We hear about Yoshii, who is a complete idiot, so gets assigned to class F. We also hear about Himeji, the token lovely awesome girl who also happens to be sickly and in ultimate discrimation, she gets assigned to F because of her illness preventing her from taking the exam. I’m sure I’d smell a lawsuit there if this were based on the assumption of any other country.
Anyway, Class F naturally has cardboard coffee tables, smelly tatami floors and an unmotivated teacher. Where most schools try their dardest to give the ‘intellectually challenged’ extra special help to make up for their problems, this school does all it can to remind them of just how awful and idiotic they are.
Naturally, Class F immediately starts a revolution, which is apparently allowed in the school charter, by challenging Class E to a virtual reality summoned creature battle with the stakes being Class E’s classroom and facilities (which are at least slightly less drafty with hardwood desks). Basically, students summon a creature which has hitpoints equal to their current total exam score. If their creature gets KO’ed they have to immediately take remedial lessons to get their score up, and can also leave and take more exams to increase health and attack power.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to go very well. Even though the battle goes evenly for a time (as it real idiots vs. slight idiots), the eventual difference in grades slowly becomes clear. Yoshii, the protagonist, has a slight secret weapon: he’s such an idiot he has to help teachers with chores so his chibi has the special ability to affect real-world objects. Unfortunately it also passes on its pain to its user, and in fact becomes totally useless.
So, of course, everyone in class F ends up relying on Himeji, who is of course a super genius only relegated to the class due to sickness. She completes 5 exams in the space of 30 minutes and pumps her creatures score up to 412, turning it into a greatsword wielding warrior girl chibi:
Which, of course, goes onto pwning all of class E simultaneously with a giant super-robot wars style FMV attack.
Which was apparently the class presidents plan all along. Strangely though, he forfeits the prize for some reason, and then a ludicrous challenge letter arrives for class F from… Class A? Oh dear…
Though the concept is fairly dumb, it is at least pretty. I imagine this will be one of the shows that will be fighting over my last couple of remaining slots rather than being guaranteed one. Nevertheless, its good chances as a backup show, especially on those days you want to watch mindless entertainment.
Dance in the Vampire Bund
Again, this one turned out fairly similar to my initial estimations in some respects: Vampires reveal themselves to the world because they buy a entire slice of Japan in order to form themselves a new country due to the efforts of Mina Tepes. However, I didn’t expect HOW they would do this: though the medium of TV show (within a TV show… whee go narrative framing).
It’s played straight, as they bring in various “experts” (ironically, the actual manga-ka guest star is THIS show’s original manga-ka) to determine the validity of vampires, whom of course throw out the concept.
Only to have the proof shoved in their face, first normally as Mina Tepes appears as a girl in the audience and evidence is provided from a recent murder scene.
Of course, still no 0ne take the bait when they they play it straight, so it comes down to the stupid actions the vain special guest star, an actor playing the vampire in a recent live action adaptation of a vampire manga, whom turns out to actually be one (ableit one with the true form of a ‘frog’ which is weird) and also the one resposible for the recent murders.
This idiot is promptly destroyed on live television by Mina, who promptly makes her announcement to the world.
Of course, they’ve turned the literary tradition on its head, not that I didn’t expect it. Since this Mina is apparently the descendant (?) of Vlad, rather than one of his wives as is the case in Dracula.
I have also actually watched the second and third episodes of this. Werewolves appear…and there’s a mighty amount of dubious loli fanservice provided by Mina herself (notably, the scene with the application of super suncream…OH DEAR). The fact that all of this (the blood and the nudity) is also provided without censoring (fairly rare in an anime) suggests this is shown REALLY late at night. But hey, it makes a refreshing change.
I’m rather interested to see where they take this, so I’ll probably continue to follow this.
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