“A four episode taste test? And for a last season series? I haven't been this disappointed in you since that lazy two episode taste test for Katanagatari! UNFOLLOWED.” It breaks the mould yes but not without some cajoling. In reality though this is a traditional three episode taste test because the first episode is diametrically different, to the point that it feels like its from a different series, to the subsequent three.
a fearless exploration of what it's like to be just ordinary when surrounded by brilliance
Raucous, racy and disappointingly trashy, the first episode of Sakurasou no Pet no Kanojo (The Pet Girl of Sakura Dormitory) will likely affirm any preconceived ideas you had about a series about an autistic girl and the word “pet” in the title. You'd nod sagely and stroke your beard, perhaps letting out a disparaging “Oh Japan”. But then the next episode is surprisingly affecting. It's still got a perpetual do-gooder as a protagonist (“He rescues cats! Awww”) but behind the shiny pastel coating is a rare and deft touch.
Yuru Yuri is one of the best post-apocalyptic black comedies of recent memory. It's startling how such a bleak and unforgiving situation is afforded fleeting levity by a group of school girls who seem content to ignore such a bad situation.
aliens and androids have been spotted circling the dying planet that is now the Earth
The nameless cataclysm obviously happened some years before the start of the first series and though never mentioned by any of the characters, its lasting effects are plain to see. The Earth we are shown is untainted by bombs or or environmental collapse but instead a complete annihilation of the male species has taken place. Without males the world did not fall immediately to ruin but began a slow decline that the series shows the formative years of.
There is no way of reviewing humour. It's always personal and at the mercy of such fickleness as "I wasn't in the mood". Enough then to say that Baka Test is my kind of humour; the kind where the jokes are obvious from the setup but the punchline is so much more over-the-top than expected. The kind where the minute-to-minute plot is irrelevant as long as the laughs keep on coming. The kind where with all the rules established, it's just a case of exploiting the environment.
laugh along at the absurdity, embrace the archetypes and accept the obvious but still giggle at the outcome
I called the first series a "thigh-slappingly hilarious comedy" and the second is no different, primarily because there is nothing new here. No great switch-ups or new characters only more of the same but tweaked and intensified. The reliance upon Hideyoshi's effeminate appearance is dialled down and tertiary characters such as Akihisa's and Minami's siblings are sidelined for a greater focus on the core love triangle. It's here it's at its weakest with a lengthy foray into Minami's move from Germany and then a confession that leads to confusion that leads to drama that eventually leads to a reset. Lacklustre and bereft of the sharp eye that makes the comedy so great, it's dead weight when compared with the homosexual overtures from Miharu and Toshimitsu that manage to be more genuine despite being played for laughs.