School really is a drag, isn’t it? Studying, tests, grades, studying…well, you get the picture. Now, what if we decided to make things a little more interesting!?

Fumizuki Academy is a school of academic excellence, marked by a pivotal placement test given to all students at the beginning of the year.  This test not only determines an overall grade but actually places the student in a particular classroom; class A being the best and brightest students going all the way down through F, the “idiot” class.

As if that fact alone isn’t motivation enough to do your very best, each class is significantly different not only in academic level but also down to the very equipment (desks, pencils, chairs, etc.) each class is allotted. Class A, as you might imagine, lounges in reclining chairs, have personal laptops at every desk, and even have their own coffee bar to use at their convenience. Alternatively, class F has fruit boxes for desks, flat cushions to sit on, and their class sign hangs outside the door in pieces held by some thread and tape.

In case it is not obvious already, tests are kind of a big thing at this academy – but there is an even more unexpected reason for this! Every student and teacher at the academy has the ability to summon an avatar, or small chibi version of themselves, which can then fight battles between students. The only catch is that each avatar’s strength comes from the student’s most recent test scores in a particular subject. The battlefield for these particular fights must be activated by a teacher of that subject. For example, if a math teacher grants permission for the battle, both student’s avatars will be measured by their most recent math test. Depending on the difference in scores an avatar has the chance of being either handsomely victorious or completely obliterated, that is their score reaching zero. This ends the fight and the dead or losing student gets immediately swept away to the much feared and loathed remedial lessons.

Sounds fun, right?

The anime Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts follows a set of students who belong to class F. There is Akihisa Yoshii, the main protagonist, probationary student and ultimate idiot of them all; Yuji Sakamoto, the class rep and good friend of Akihisa; Mizuki Himeji, a class A level intelligence girl in class F due to being unable to finish the placement test; Minami Shimada, a tough girl who excels in math but flounders miserably in Japanese; Hideyoshi Kinoshita, the pretty boy everyone loves; and Kota Tsuchiya, never without his camera. A few characters from rival Class A and other classes also appear frequently both friendly and competitively.

It is a light-hearted comedy that truly shows what can be accomplished when even the worst of odds are against you. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your friends and allies can be the difference between victory and defeat. After all, trying is only a means to an end; but so long as you try your best what have you really got to lose?

Problems with studying? Voila, solution: An avatar battle based on test scores with terrifying remedial lessons as punishment. Can you say, ‘Hello motivation!’

Find the opening (with stupidly happy and addicting song ^^) here: