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Baka to Test to Shōkanjū

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Cover of the Baka to Test to Shōkanjū volume 1 as published by Enterbrain.

Baka to Test to Shōkanjū (バカとテストと召喚獣 lit. Idiots, Tests, and Summoned Beasts?) is a Japanese light novel series by Kenji Inoue with illustrations by Yui Haga. The first novel in the series was released on January 29, 2007, and as of December 26, 2009, a total of nine volumes, including volume 3.5 and volume 6.5, have been published by Enterbrain under their Famitsu Bunko publishing imprint.

A manga adaptation by Mosuke Mattaku started serialization in the manga magazine Shōnen Ace on April 25, 2009. Another manga adaptation by namo started serialization in the male oriented web comic magazine Famitsu Comic Clear on October 30, 2009. An anime adaptation by Media Factory was announced the same month.[1] A promotional trailer was released for streaming in August 2009.[2] The anime began airing on January 7, 2010.

In this series, one of the students, Mizuki Himeji, has a Shōkanjū who is clad in heavy armor and wields a large sword. When there was an error in the ESB field systems, her Shōkanjū becomes an adult version of herself and wears a vampire/succubus costume which vaguely resembles Morrigan Aensland of Darkstalkers.

Series Details

  • Series Name: Baka to Test to Shōkanjū
  • Genre: Romantic comedy, Fantasy
  • Type: Light novel
  • Author: Kenji Inoue
  • Illustrator: Yui Haga
  • Publisher: Enterbrain
  • First Published: January 29, 2007
  • Volumes: 10


Manga Series

  • Illustrator: Mosuke Mattaku
  • Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten
  • Magazine: Shōnen Ace


  • Publisher: Enterbrain
  • Magazine: Famitsu Comic Clear
  • Published: October 30, 2009


Video Series

  • Director: Shin Ōnuma
  • Studio: Silver Link
  • First Appeared: January 7, 2010

Plot

The story centers around a boy named Akihisa Yoshii, also known as the idiot or "Baka" of the titled anime. He attends Fumizuki Academy, a school where the staff rigidly divides the students based on the results of their academic scores. At the start of the school, students are academically sorted by entrance exam test grades. In this case, Class A is filled with the highest-scoring students; therefore, their classroom was filled with many prestigious items (air conditioners, fancy seats, huge spaces, etc.), while the state of Class F is the complete opposite of that, leaving much to be desired.

This academy has something special, where all the students manage to call forth Summoned Beings (Shōkanjū). These Beings are used for battles between the classes to capture the facilities of the classroom. Since Class A is filled with prodigies, they all have strong Summoned Beings, while Class F has drastically weak ones in comparison. These beings are supplied in health by the matter of knowledge in a certain subject. Points vary and could even be supplied greatly in a F student if when calling a battle.

On the day of the placement test, a intelligent girl named Mizuki Himeji suffers from a fever and is unable to complete her test, hence her reigning in a score of zero. As a result, she is pigeonholed into Class F together with Akihisa Yoshii. Akihisa, who worries for her health, pitches an idea to his class to rule over the higher-level classes by doing a Summoned Being War for both Mizuki's sake and to get more and more privileges. Aside from Mizuki (who happens to be the second-ranked student in the year), there is also the class representative Yūji Sakamoto, the bishōnen Kinoshita Hideyoshi, the perverted Tsuchiya Kouta, and the tomboyish Shimada Minami (whom Akihisa claims is his worst enemy).

Characters

Year 2 students

Class F

The worst class with the worst facilities, including decrepit tables(later changed into orange containers) and under-stuffed sitting cushions. Comprises 48 male and 2 female students. There is a total of 149 boys enrolled in the second year class, so it equates to approximately 1/3 being in F Class.

Akihisa Yoshii (吉井 明久 Yoshii Akihisa?)

Voiced by: Hiro Shimono

Akihisa Yoshii is the protagonist of the story and carries out the first person narration view in the novel. He is portrayed as the Ultimate Idiot (Baka among all Baka) and is implied to have the worst grades among his peers of the same level. In the novel, his friends make fun of his idiocy by turning his name, by appending suffix '-ful', into an English adjective; "He is so Akihisaful" essentially means "He is so stupid" in the context of the novel. Because of his absolute idiocy, he is also given the title of Punishment Inspector (観察処分者 Kansatsu Shobunsha?) and his Shōkanjū (Summoned Being) is the only Shōkanjū given the ability to touch corporeal objects in order to help the teachers with chores as a punishment for being the Ultimate Idiot. Because Shōkanjū are many times stronger than humans, Akihisa can help the teachers perform tasks that would normally require the strength of many people. The flip side to this 'special ability' is that any damage taken by his Shōkanjū will be transmitted to himself as well. Thus, he is always reluctant to fight Shōkanjū battles due to the pain he will accrue during the battle. However, because he is very much accustomed to controlling his Shōkanjū as compared to other students, his Shōkanjū is much more nimble and can execute many unorthodox moves (such as sliding attacks), and this has enabled him to win battles otherwise thought to be impossible due to his poor grades.
His Shōkanjū's ability to touch corporeal objects was also instrumental in helping his class to defeat Class B in volume 1. Akihisa's parents are on long-term overseas work assignments and send money back regularly. However, he always spends this money on the latest games and as a result, he has to live on merely salt, sugar, and water. In the anime, he is depicted to survive on a sub-divided piece of cup noodles which can be as small as 1/64 of the entire piece. Akihisa has many romantic admirers, both female and male, including Mizuki Himeji, Minami Shimada, Hazuki Shimada, Toshimitsu Kubo, and Akira Yoshii (his sister) but is oblivious to this due to his idiocy while everyone around him is aware of this. Though he frequently claims that he is energized by just looking at the feminine-looking Hideyoshi Kinoshita, his real love interest is Mizuki Himeji. He cares deeply for Mizuki and is always thinking of ways to improve class F's condition for her health's sake, but he thinks that she is in love with Yūji Sakamoto. Despite the fact that they always sabotage each other's reputation, Akihisa has a close friendship with Yūji and can communicate with him just by glances and without any words. Akihisa also has excellent cooking skills, as a result of having to fend for himself because he lives alone, and is good at housework. His favorite dish, to make and eat, is pallea. After the tournament in volume 2, Akihisa acquired the platinum bracelet that lets him perform dual summons, allowing him to have two Shōkanjū in a battle. His Shōkanjū wears a school uniform and wields a bokken.
Mizuki Himeji (姫路 瑞希 Himeji Mizuki?)

Voiced by: Hitomi Harada

Mizuki Himeji is one of the smartest students in Fumizuki Academy and would have probably ranked second of her level if not for her inability to finish her placement exam due to her fever. In Fumizuki Academy, leaving in the middle of an exam gets a student zero. As a result, Mizuki was placed in the worst class, class F. Despite the poor conditions of her class which were unfavourable to her fragile health, she claims to be happy because her love interest, Akihisa Yoshii, is in the same class. Mizuki is also portrayed as a shy, timid, innocent, but determined girl. Akihisa and Mizuki used to be in the same elementary school, and since then, she has long admired Akihisa for his thoughtfulness, caring personality. Mizuki also finds Akihisa cute, especially in maid costumes. Towards the end of volume 2, Mizuki changes her way of addressing Akihisa from Yoshii-kun (吉井くん?) to Akihisa-kun (明久くん?). Even though she has both brains and beauty, Mizuki possesses lethal cooking skills and in the novel, anyone who eats her handmade cooking goes into a coma, including Hideyoshi Kinoshita who is known for his strong stomach. However, she is completely oblivious to the lethality of her own cooking because she does NOT taste her cooking when asked by Yoshii when Kouta, Yuuji and Hideyoshi went under. She is on particularly good terms with Minami Shimada, and calls her Minami-chan (美波ちゃん?), despite the fact that they are love rivals. Often, she will emit a killing intent aura and yandere-like eyes whenever she hears that Akihisa is with some other woman like when Yūji claimed that Akihisa was with a college girl. This side of her tends to increase more and more as the series goes on. Her Shōkanjū is clad in heavy armor and wields a large sword. When there was an error in the ESB field systems, her Shōkanjū becomes an adult version of herself and wears a vampire/succubus costume which vaguely resembles Morrigan Aensland of Darkstalkers.
Minami Shimada (島田 美波 Shimada Minami?)

Voiced by: Kaori Mizuhashi

Minami Shimada is one of the only two female students in class F. She is a Japanese who spent most of her life in Germany before coming to Fumizuki Academy, and as a result she is especially weak in kanji. Because of this handicap, the only exam in which she can do well is math (which still isn't as good as A class's due to the presence of word problems), she will also speak german when in shock. Minami is the tsundere of the series. Physically, she is slim and has long legs but somewhat lacking in the 'chest department'. She is in love with Akihisa, but due to her inability to express herself and her tsundere nature, she acts violently towards him, often causing him to misunderstand her intentions. During the class battles in volume 1, while executing a delay tactic, Akihisa indirectly defamed Minami and caused her to enter the list of "Top Ten Women Not To Date" among the guys in Fumizuki. In the novel and manga, during a battle in which Akihisa's survival depended on Minami, he was blackmailed to address Minami by her first name, and from then onwards, she started calling him Aki (アキ?) instead of Yoshii (吉井?) and he would refer to her by her first name as well. In the anime, this took place when she threatened to break his bones. It is a running gag in the light novel series that whenever Minami expresses genuine concern for Akihisa through her actions or words, Akihisa always draws the conclusion that he is going to get assassinated or sabotaged by her in some obscure way. She is on good terms with Mizuki, being the only two girls in class F, and calls her by her first name. She is good at cooking, due to the fact that her parents are not at home most of the time. Her Shōkanjū is clad in blue military uniform and wields a sabre. During the ESB field error, her shōkanjū also becomes an adult version of herself and same as Himeji, vaguely resembles Lilith Aensland of Darkstalkers.
Yūji Sakamoto (坂本 雄二 Sakamoto Yūji?)

Voiced by: Tatsuhisa Suzuki

Yūji Sakamoto is the class representative of class F. In the series, the class rep position is assigned to the smartest student of that class. He is cool, collected, and exhibit surprisingly high intelligence and foresight unexpected of a student from class F. In volume 1, his strategies and tactics had helped class F to attain victory after victory, until the duels with class A in which he overestimated his ability in elementary school level Japanese history. Yūji was once known as a child prodigy in his childhood. The only reason why he ended up in class F was because he did not study at all and he holds the strong belief that grades are not everything. However, due to the consequences he 'suffered' from his defeat from Shōko Kirishima, his childhood friend and also the top student of his level, he became motivated to study again, and in the later volumes, his Shōkanjū became reasonably strong in just a few months due to his test scores improving by leaps and bounds.
It is implied that he is actually smarter than his childhood friend, Shōko. After the tournament in volume 2, he acquired a platinum bracelet which allows him to control the size of the force field of his Shōkanjū, allowing him to form a one-man army choke point since humans cannot pass through this force field. He bears no ill intention towards Shōko, but due to her unyielding obsession with marrying him since their childhood days, he sees her as having a few loose screws in her mind, and fears to even think of his future if he does marry her. In the anime, its suggested that they act like a maried couple though she tends to treat him as a slave. Yūji is close to Akihisa to the point where they can actually communicate without any words. A gag in the series is that Yūji will attempt to decipher a complicated expression on Akihisa and comment on a series of events that must have taken place. While he meant it as a joke, he is always a spot-on when this happens. His Shōkanjū wears an outfit that makes it look like a punk, and is armed with brass knuckles. During the ESB field error, his shōkanjū becomes an adult version of himself wearing a school uniform.
Hideyoshi Kinoshita (木下 秀吉 Kinoshita Hideyoshi?)

Voiced by: Emiri Katō

Hideyoshi Kinoshita is a very feminine-looking bishōnen and is the younger twin brother of Yūko Kinoshita of class A. Despite being a fraternal twin, except for his male body, he looks almost identical to his twin sister. Because of that, his male peers, and many of his female peers, see him as a female, which upsets him though he doesn't express it strongly. In the Anime, his feminine looks are often the subject of fanservice, going so far as to make him his own gender. Hideyoshi has a helpful personality and is willing to support any activity his friends embark on. He uses the term 'Washi', used by old venerable men to describe himself. While he is bad in academics, he has unquestionable talent in acting, and can not only replicate the behavior and mannerisms of other people but also their voices as well. In volume 2, he was instigated by Akihisa to mimic Yūji's voice to propose to Shōko during their tournament, confusing her and ultimately setting up the stage for a win for Akihisa-Yūji Team, but this move caused Yūji all manner of problems later on. His Shōkanjū is clad in Hakama and wields a Naginata. His shōkanjū turns into an adult but changes gender and wears a dress that parodies Little Red Riding Hood during the ESB field error.
Kōta Tsuchiya (土屋 康太 Tsuchiya Kōta?)

Voiced by: Kōki Miyata

Kōta Tsuchiya is the ultimate pervert in Fumizuki. He has a dark taciturn personality, and as such, he's given the nickname Morose Pervert (ムッツリーニ Mutsurīni?), implicitly derived from Mutsuri (むっつり?) to form a parody for Mussolini (ムッソリーニ?). But even though he is very perverted, nobody, even the girls, seem to mind this side of him. While Kōta is uncommunicative by nature, he is part of class F's inner circle group of Yūji, Akihisa, Mizuki, Minami, and Hideyoshi. He is terrible at all subjects except for Health Education, in which few students, if any, could come close. If the score of a subject is particularly high and distinctive, the Shōkanjū in question will be given an accessory that grants the Shōkanjū some special powers. And because of Kōta's extreme high score in Health Education, partly attributed to his wealth of knowledge of the human anatomy, especially that of females, his Shōkanjū carries an accessory, during battles in Health Education, that allows the Shōkanjū to perform an accelerated move. In the novel, he is also shown to be an expert in sneaking, gathering information, and photography. His Shōkanjū wears a ninja outfit and dual-wields Kodachi. His Shōkanjū wears a modified hakama and sports a short ponytail during the ESB field error.
Ryō Sugawa (須川 亮 Sugawa Ryō?)
Ryō Sugawa is a minor supporting character in class F. He is the only class F student outside of the 'inner circle' whose Shōkanjū is described in the novel. He is also part of the FFF inquisition and might even be their leader. His Shōkanjū wears a martial-arts robe and wields a staff.
Inquisition
A group in class F in the anime who punish Akihisa for getting attention from girls to the extent of torturing him and burning him on a wooden cross. They also seem to be Hideyoshi fans. When agitated, like when they learned of Class B's representative had a girlfriend, they would sacrifice their Shōkanjū to take out others.

Class A

The best class with best equipment. Comprises 24 males and 26 females. The top 10 of class A are said to be so strong that they are in a league of their own compared to other class A students.

Shōko Kirishima (霧島 翔子 Kirishima Shōko?)

Voiced by: Tomomi Isomura

Shōko Kirishima is the childhood friend of Yūji Sakamoto. She is the top student in her level and the class representative for class A. In the story, she is portrayed as a soft-spoken, but highly assertive and intelligent girl. In the novel, her dialog always starts with ellipses. She is described as elegantly beautiful and very popular, but yet has no boyfriend, which initially created the impression to others that she is a lesbian. Later, it was revealed that the reason for this is because she is crazily infatuated with Yūji since childhood and acts possessively towards him, to the point of poking out his eyes in order not to see other girls' underwear and using a handheld taser if he is being 'unfaithful' to her. Despite being tricked multiple times, she still shows a trusting nature towards Yūji and practically believes everything he says. Shōko is also shown to be someone who is a very long-term thinker, and has already decided on her children's names (Shoyū for a girl, and Koshō for a boy). She is also a gadget moron (機械音痴?) and is known to spoil any electronic gadget that falls into her hands. Her Shōkanjū is clad in Samurai armor and wields a Japanese longsword. During the ESB field error, her Shōkanjū also becomes an adult version of herself wearing only an apron and lingerie.
Aiko Kudō (工藤 愛子 Kudō Aiko?)

Voiced by: Yoshino Nanjo

Aiko Kudō is another elite student in class A. She is portrayed as a friendly, easy-going, and mischievous girl. She uses 'boku' (?), commonly used by boys or young men, to address herself. She is extremely skilled in electronic gadgets and carries a micro-recorder for recording lessons, which she also uses to cause mischief to other people by recording, cutting and re-joining parts of their conversations, creating lots of misunderstandings and woes to others, especially towards Akihisa. Her Shōkanjū is clad in a schoolgirl sailor uniform and wields a battle axe. It carries an accessory that increases the electric strength of her axe.
Toshimitsu Kubo (久保 利光 Kubo Toshimitsu?)
Toshimitsu Kubo is a calm and cool man with glasses and the second ranked student in his level. He lives in a relatively tight and structured schedule which is reflected in his high grades. However, he easily misinterprets situations and because of this, he thinks that Akihisa was trying to hit on him. As a result, he ends up having a crush on him despite both of them being male. His Shōkanjū uses dual scythes.
Yūko Kinoshita (木下 優子 Kinoshita Yūko?)

Voiced by: Emiri Katō

Yūko Kinoshita is the attractive elder twin sister of Hideyoshi Kinoshita. Due to their disparity in academic abilities, she feels superior to her younger brother, whom she thinks is trash. During the classroom wars in volume 1, Hideyoshi, while acting on a strategy of Yūji, masqueraded as his sister and branded the whole of class C as filthy pigs, sowing discord between class C and class A, saving F from a potential alliance between class C and class B. And the proud Yūko bears a deep grudge against Hideyoshi and class F for the incident. Her Shōkanjū uses a jousting lance.

Class B

Kyōji Nemoto (根本 恭二 Nemoto Kyōji?)
Kyōji Nemoto is the class representative for class B. He is cunning, scheming, and one who will resort to underhand tricks to win. He is going out with Yūka Koyama, class rep for class C, and attempted to set up an alliance with C during the war with F in volume 1. This was later foiled by Yūji's contingency plan. After he was defeated, he was forced to wear the female school uniform and had his photograph taken, which was used as a blackmailing leverage by Yūji.
Ritsuko Iwashita (岩下 律子 Iwashita Ritsuko?)
Mayumi Kikuiri (菊入 真由美 Kikuiri Mayumi?)

Class C

Yūka Koyama (小山 友香 Koyama Yūka?)
Yūka Koyama is the class representative for class C, and going out with Kyōji Nemoto.
Tōru Kurosaki (黒崎 トオル Kurosaki Tōru?)
Isshin Noguchi (野口 一心 Noguchi Isshin?)

Class D

Miharu Shimizu (清水 美春 Shimizu Miharu?)

Voiced by: Ayana Taketatsu

A girl who holds a Lesbian attraction to Minami Shimada, whom she addresses as onee-sama (お姉さま?). Her Shōkanjū is clad in Roman armor.
Genji Hiraga (平賀 源二 Hiraga Genji?)
Miki Tamano (玉野 美紀 Tamano Miki?)

Class E

Hiromi Nakabayashi (中林 宏美 Nakabayashi Hiromi?)
The class representative for the E class. Her Shōkanjū appeared as a baseball player.
Ayumi Furukawa (古川 あゆみ Furukawa Ayumi?)
Yoshiko Mikami (三上 美子 Mikami Yoshiko?)

Year 3 students

Yūsaku Tsunemura (常村 勇作 Tsunemura Yūsaku?)
Shunpei Natsukawa (夏川 俊平 Natsukawa Shunpei?)

Fumizuki's teachers

Kaoru Tōdō (藤堂 カヲル Tōdō Kaoru?)
Principal of Fumizuki.
Shin Fukuhara (福原 慎 Fukuhara Shin?)
The first homeroom teacher of class F, who in the anime became the narrator after the first classroom wars, and was replaced by Nishimura.
Sōichi Nishimura (西村 宗一 Nishimura Sōichi?)
Disciplinary master who also became class F's homeroom teacher after the first classroom wars. Nicknamed Ironman (鉄人?) or Tetsujin, he is extremely strict and drags people off to remedial classes if they lose a Shōkanjū battle, regardless of where they are as he will appear out of nowhere as shown when Akihisa created an ESB field with his iron bracelet in the baths to peek at the girls,though he has shown a slightly soft side when he accepts the apologies of Akihisa and Yuji when they leaked the mock test copies to the student body but sent them to a very hellish remedial class. Nishimura-sensei has no Shōkanjū of his own. Though Shōkanjū are many times stronger than humans, he has no problems with bashing up Akihisa's Shōkanjū, but was later defeated by Akihisa's dual Shōkanjū after a tough battle.
Yōko Takahashi (高橋 洋子 Takahashi Yōko?)
Yōko Takahashi is the Head Teacher of Year 2 and the homeroom teacher of class A. She is bespectacled, probably the smartest person in Fumizuki, but is really bad at baseball. Her total score on all subjects is 7800, nearly twice as much as Shōko. Her Shōkanjū is clad in black military officer's uniform that resembles a German officer of World War I and she is armed with a whip.

Students' families

Hazuki Shimada (島田 葉月 Shimada Haduki?)
Minami's younger sister. Grade 5. Calls Akihisa Idiotic Elder Brother (バカなお兄ちゃん?). She has also expressed her wish to become Akihisa's bride in the future.
Yukino Sakamoto (坂本 雪乃 Sakamoto Yukino?)
Yūji's mother.
Akira Yoshii (吉井 玲 Yoshii Akira?)
Akihisa's elder sister. 23 years old and a Harvard graduate in education. Has E-Cup breasts and is horrible at cooking, evident in Episode 9 when Yoshii finds all the attempted Paella dishes in the fridge and when all the band-aids are shown on her hand. Seems to have a huge brother complex as she really tries to seduce Yoshii into a kiss, reducing his allowance by her own volition such as deducting 100 for every girl that Akihisa encounters and blushes extremely red when Yoshii admits he loves her as a brother. She seems to also want relations with Akihisa too. Both her and her brother are complete opposites in terms of their skills, Akira is smarter and much more perceptive than Akihisa but is a terrible cook while Akihisa is an idiot but is a much better cook than Akira.
Yoshimitsu Kubo (久保 良光 Kubo Yoshimitsu?)
Toshimitsu's younger brother.
Miharu's Father
Full name unknown. Runs a popular coffee shop at the station.

Media

Light novels

Anime

A 13-episode anime adaptation produced by the animation studio Silver Link and directed by Shin Ōnuma began airing in Japan on January 7, 2010. The anime's opening theme is "Perfect-area Complete!" by Natsuko Aso. The first ending theme is "Baka Go Home" by Milktub and BakaTest All Stars. The second ending theme is "Hare Tokidoki Egao" by Hitomi Harada, Kaori Mizuhashi, Emiri Katou and Tomomi Isomura. On March 4, 2010, Funimation Entertainment announced that it has acquired the anime and will stream and offer simulcast subtitled episodes days after they aired in Japan under the title Baka and Test – Summon the Beasts.[3]

References

External links