Special A – Episode 01

Welcome to my first new series of the spring season: Special A (also known as just S.A.), which is a 24 episode series. As one would figure for the first episode, this is largely an introduction episode for all the characters. However, since it was hard to narrow down the screenshots, you get bonus screenshots today! I also try out WordPress’s new gallery function, so now all screenshots should have a full-sized version if you click on them (yay!). I hope you (and I!) enjoy this series!

Go Straight to the Screenshots | Go Straight to the Review

  • A young girl named Hikari trains to fight by her fighter, who was a pro wrestler when a young boy her age, Kei Takishima, comes by who has also trained in it.  Hikari decides to take on Kei, since she’s been able to beat up on anyone who has challenged her before, but gets convincingly defeated by him.
  • Now older, Hikari and her CLAMPishly long legs head off to school where she immediately runs into the daily worship of her by the other students due to the fact that she’s a “S.A.” student – a group of the top 7 students who are so elite that that they wear different uniforms, have class in their own classroom and take different classes from the other students.
  • The members of the Special A class are: 7th ranked student Ryuu Tsuji, who appears to be the suave member of the group, 6th ranked Akira Toudou, who is Hikari’s best friend, 5th ranked Tadashi Karina who loves to eat, and is constantly assaulted by Akira, 4th and 3rd ranked Megumi and Jun Yamamoto who are twins, and, even though Jun likes to play the violin and Megumi likes to sing, are horrible at it.  Megumi also has a problem with her throat that prevents her from talking most of the time.  Meanwhile, Hikari is ranked 2nd in the class and, of course, her rival Kei is ranked 1st.
  • Hikari constantly challenges Kei at various events, but always loses to him, resulting in Kei calling Hikari “Miss #2,” which obviously infuriates Hikari.  In 3rd period that day,  Hikari and Kei battle by seeing who can box vault the highest, which Kei of course beats Hikari at once again (and shows off while doing it).  Hikari then challenges Kei to see who will do better in the final exam.
  • The next day, while Ryuu, Jun, and Megumi tell Hikari that they want to do a recital that night, a boy from the “regular” classes, Nakamura shows up and complains that the S.A. students look down on everyone else, but Kei shows up and intimidates him and his mates into leaving.
  • That night, Kei finds a laptop with a letter addressed to him from Hikari on it and goes to Hikari to ask her about it.  However, as he does, Hikari hears someone in the school and runs to check things out.  Hikari investigates the staff room to find Nakamura video taping the computer screen as they look at files of the upcoming final exam.
  • However, Nakamura offers to let Hikari look at the quiz so that she can beat Kei in exchange for not turning them in, but Hikari refuses because she wants to win fairly.  The boys start making fun of Hikari for never beating Kei when Kei shows up and puts a knee in Nakamura’s face, and Kei and Hikari proceed to beat the crap out of the boys.  Afterwards, Kei asks Hikari about the letter again thinking it’s another challenge, but Hikari tells him that it’s a letter for his birthday, which is that day.
  • Later in the week, Hikari comes running into the Special A classroom with a sheet showing she got 100s on all her exams.  Hikari finally believes that she has defeated Kei.  However, Kei shows up with his scoresheet, saying he was awarded 5 bonus points for pointing out a mistake in one of the questions, once again defeating Hikari…

When I first read about this series, I first thought it would be like His and Her Circumstances, and Hikari challenging Kei all the time is kind of like that, but it also gives off more of a wacky feel like Ouran High School Host Club (the fact that they’re part of an exclusive club also helps with that).

I think this series can go in one of two directions – it can either be wacky in a funny sort of way, or it can be wacky in an obnoxious sort of way, and it showed the potential to be either in this first episode.  Much of the episode was pretty funny, but it also had a tendency to be over the top as well (like with the box vault competition where they’re jumping over ridiculously high stacks of boxes).

It’s already clear from here that Kei at least has a thing for Hikari, even if Hikari doesn’t realize that he does or whether she has a thing for him as well. Kei seemed to be the most intriguing character, though, as he cares for and wants to protect Hikari while at the same time, makes fun of her for being “Miss #2,” though I guess that isn’t necessarily an unusual type of “I like you therefore I tease you” type behavior.

It’s also pretty clear that Akira and Tadashi are going to get together, just because their relationship is obviously one of those “I beat you to a pulp because I love you” relationships as well (or however you’d describe it).

I guess at this point I have some doubts about how they’ll be able to string this out for 24 episodes, but this series at least started out on a pretty good foot.

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