Sunday, September 29, 2013

(Omae Wa...) Honto ni Baka

It could be interpreted as an allegory for extreme competition for scarce educational opportunities (in India especially, but also in Japan and South Korea) but Nanga Fakir is sure that that was not what the creators of Baka and Test had in mind when directing the zanily, side splittingly funny anime. Its premise is that students, on the basis of their scores are split into six classes - A being the highest and F being the lowest. The allocation of study materials, educational infrastructure etc. are highly unequal and cater to the higher classes, with those at the bottom not having even tables or chairs in schools, forced instead, to make do with bad tatami mats and makeshift desks - a no-holds-barred free market fueled inequality if there ever was.

There is possibility of social mobility though. To ameliorate class tensions and offer "hope" to the downtrodden (the F class students in particular, whose tale the anime mostly is) classes can challenge each other to wars - with the victors entitled to the infrastructure of the vanquished - a great motivation for those having no resources, to pillage, confiscate and hopefully use the spoils to better their class's fate educationally by acing future tests. 

The sight of bleeding school children not being so salubrious, the school has allowed them to fight in virtual reality environments, with their avatars doing the fighting, killing and dying - the strength of each avatar  being proportional to the aggregate test scores of the students - a concept whose mix of zany and brilliant reminds NF of the great Ra, who sadly, blogs only once a year. It seems to have come from someone with an imagination as wonderful and as warped as his. NF has no hesitation in claiming that the two thirteen episode (each) seasons of Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts, were the funniest he's seen since the inimitable Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series. 

Heartily recommended. 

2 comments:

Tarun R said...

Wow, so much flattery... Also message received.

Nanga Fakir said...

Glad to be of service!