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Baka & Test — Summon the Beasts: OVA Special Collection Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 stereo (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: AB (No Region C)
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 92 Mins.
  • Studio: FUNimation Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 19, 2012
  • List Price: $34.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

This collection brings together a mere two OVA episodes in the Baka & Test: Summon the Beasts (バカとテストと召喚獣) anime franchise, previously reviewed here in both Season One and Season Two releases from Funimation. The two OVAs follow a single story arc in which our favorite characters from the series all appear. Starting with episode one, which begins with a Refreshing Festival at Fumizuki Academy, in which our usual idiots, namely Yūji and Akihisa, with the help of Minami, from class 2-F decide to raise money during the festival with a Chinese Cafe, “European” in order to buy proper classroom equipment for Himeji so that her father won’t force her to change schools. Unfortunately, the “baka” duo Yūji and Akihisa get into a physical “disagreement” with two of the upperclassman patrons to the cafe. When they manage to raise the money for Himeji’s equipment anyway, their teacher “Iron Man,” negotiates for them with the school’s principal to allow them to use their funds towards their intended purpose, on one condition, – they must win a Summoner Battle, which is the focus of episode two.

These two episodes have all the trademarks of the Baka & Test series proper, whimsy, a fast pace, a bit of a risqué sense of humor, and the same look and feel to the animation. This collection, however, might have been better served as an addition to one of the already available releases from Funimation rather than a stand-alone collection. Clocking in at just under sixty-minutes for its two episodes, including credits, I don’t see that its worth the $35 list price. That said, fans of Baka & Test will in no way be disappointed by these two whacky episodes. They provide an hour’s worth of laugh-out-loud, almost insane fun.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Like all of the previous Baka & Test Blu-ray releases from Funimation, this OVA collection is passable, but the image quality in this 1080p AVC encodement is certainly not at a reference level. It does seem a bit soft and faded at times, a little “veiled” to be exact. It’s not the worst we’ve seen from Funimation by far in that issues with aliasing, motion artifacts, banding, and other anomalies are minimal, but it’s not top shelf.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The original Japanese mix in Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) and an English dub in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) are supplied by Funimation. Both are strong offerings in their own right, providing clean dialogue, a good spread of sounds, and decent dynamic range. While they each lean toward the bright side, high end isn’t intolerable at all. For obvious reasons, the 5.1 English mix is more spacious and atmospheric, though hardly the most aggressive or well balanced I’ve come across for an animated release.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

There is only about 15-minutes of additional original Baka & Test content offered here, everything else is promotional or simply the expected clean opening and closing animations.

The supplements:

  • OVA 1 Split: Hideyoshi Kinoshita, Mizuki Himeji & Minami Shimada (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:10:50)
  • OVA 2 Split: Ending (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:01)
  • Promotional Videos (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:20)
  • Original Commercials (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:00:33)
  • Textless Opening Song “Renai Koujou Committee”
  • Textless Closing Song “Getsuyou wa Kirai”

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Fans of the Baka & Test franchise should grab this up, even if the price is too steep for a mere hour’s worth of actual entertainment, not counting the slim pickins’ of bonus materials. It’s another set of off-kilter, whacky entertainment from these lovable “idiots.”

Additional Screen Captures

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Baka & Test: Ova (2 Disc) (W/Dvd) - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Baka & Test: OVA on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

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BestBuy.com:
Baka & Test: Ova (2 Disc) (W/Dvd) - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Baka & Test: OVA on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]


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