Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! Ep 8: Language Barrier
The mix of broken English and broken Japanese used by Minami was funnier than all the misguided English used in every ep of [C]
(you know, the one with the long title)
We flashback to when Minami first came over from Germany to Japan, and when she first meets her future Class F classmates. Though she gets off on the wrong foot with her class, she manages to
nearly befriend Akihisa.
It was hilarious. Just fucking hilarious – and that’s why I’m fully willing to ignore the fact the story isn’t moving on, and accepting this episode as character development. I never got tired of all the pronunciation errors Minami made, namely pronouncing watashi (私) as “what a shit”, leading to a surprised Akihisa thinking just what the hell she was trying to say. Similarly, Akihisa asking Minami to be friends with him in the WRONG LANGUAGE was pretty retarded, but I guess it all adds to the comic humour. Assuming that this was around one year before the start of Season 1, it’s quite amazing how Minami managed to improve from her broken Japanese to fluency. Well, it sounded fluent to me, but only a local would know I guess.
I’ve actually been quite close to Minami’s situation before (as in, moving to a whole new country without knowing much about its culture) though not to the extent that I didn’t know the language at all, so I can somewhat relate to how she felt before making friends with the future Class F. However, meeting punk Yuuji, gender-confused Hideyoshi and Akihisa in a sailor uniform completely destroyed her generic image of Japan,
though real life is nothing like life portrayed in anime.
On a serious note, it was quite heartbreaking seeing Minami lie to her imouto Hazuki, pretending that she’s fitted in to Japanese school life and wearing a fake smile around her, when in reality even after sacrificing all she had in Germany to go to Japan, she remains a reject in her class. It’s apparent that befriending Class F changed that, and she truly fits in after learning the language before the start of the series, falling in love with Akihisa after seeing how kind a person he was.
But still retarded.
It was a nice episode, and I liked it a lot compared to the previous arc, partly because this ep alone made me laugh even without overuse of a slapstick element. I also like Minami a lot more as a character now, and I definitely see her as more than a flat-chested tsundere love rival, which might have been this episode’s purpose. The “diplomacy” in next weeks episode title will probably involve clashing with Himeji, and hopefully more plot as well. BakaTest should be more like this, its a bit sad to see that the flashback eps entertain me more than the chronological filler stuff.