Special A

Title:Special A
S・A ~スペシャル・エー~
Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - AIC Spirits
Animation - GONZO
R1 Distributor - Section23 Films (ADV)
R1 License - Subtitled Only
When Hikari was little, she and her father liked to watch pro wrestling, and she became very good at it. She was the pride of her family until one day she was introduced to Kei, the son of her father`s friend. He instantly defeated her in wrestling, and started what would become Hikari`s major ambition to one day beat him. To do this she enrolled in Kei`s school, an ultra elite school that costs her father a lot of money. This unusual school created classes according to grades, and the top seven students become members of the "SA". They have their own building, and can optionally attend class. Hikari is usually the only one who does so, since she desperately wants to beat Kei with test scores. The members of the "SA" have been close friends since their first year.

Based on a shoujo manga by Maki Minami serialised in Hana to Yume. (summary from ANIDB)

New Series to aire in March '08.

4:29min Series Trailer - YouTube Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Ggultra2764 [series:1785#1552]
(Watched 2 episodes)

Sigh, yet another typical shoujo high school romantic comedy. Any cliches you can think of from this genre, I could find within this anime: super popular group of wealthy elite students stand among the top of the school academically, said super popular group gets to hang out in their own separate building for their "classes", fangirls are around to swoon at the members, groups jealous of the Special A's success are out to humiliate them at every turn, female lead has a rivalry for male lead while oblivious of his feelings towards her, male lead uses a jerk facade to hide his feelings for the girl, both male and female lead are ridiculously perfect at whatever they do, male lead will break out of his jerk facade to defend the girl if belittled, etcetera, etcetera. The only thing that had me laughing was when the female twin let loose with her lethal crappy vocal skills with singing in a brief scene. Besides that, I wasn't caring for anything else within Special A as I've seen these shoujo anime cliches done to death. Dropping this one without a final review.

Last updated Friday, December 09 2011. Created Friday, December 09 2011.
Rent 8 8 8 8 8 8 Dreamer [series:1785#2279]
This is your typical High School story of a group of friends. So one would think it would be more or less the same as all the others. However, this one was fun.

Art, Animation & Character Design
The art and animation is average... maybe slightly above average. Framerate is pretty smooth and the character designs are on par with all the other dozens of similar titles. However with that said, the character designs are still pretty decent. Hikari (the protagonist) is an enjoyable character... one of the few protagonists I favor over the supporting characters. Most typically, the protagonists isn't my fav character. She is both funny and level-headed, although quite dense when it comes to "love". In most similar roles, this individual would be one extreme or the other. Megumi is super cute but not loli for sure.

The theme song bored me... as usual and the singer's voice was really annoying for some reason. However, the second theme song, which stared at episode 13, was actually quite good. I was astonished, since I'm extremely picky when it comes to anime music. I actually sat and watched through the opening credits.... several times! Good enough to contemplate picking up the OST.

Episode and Series Stories
As mentioned earlier, the plot was nothing new and the characters for the most part was nothing out of the ordinary. But nevertheless, I really enjoyed this anime. There were moments of humor.... not alot but enough to chuckle at and the antics between some of the characters such as Hikari vs Kei and Tadashi vs Akira. The episodes, though not complex nor unique were typical mundane story telling that were light hearted with hints of light humor here and there. I found myself more times than not smiling at various points in every episode. The Series as a whole was nothing extraordinary. In fact, it was nothing more than various love plots that was nicely wrapped up in the end while leaving you all warm and fuzzy inside.... all that was needed was a couch, a mug of hot chocolate and a mild rainy day, and it would have been perfect.... joke.

Overall, it was an amusing show and kept me interested from beginning to end. Watch this one if you want a fun HS romance or looking for a light-hearted anime.

Last updated Saturday, November 29 2008. Created Saturday, November 29 2008.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:1785#1573]

I enjoyed it more than Stretch did, it's not a buy but should keep me occupied for at least 5 episodes.

  • 4/17 - Unfortunately this time I agree with Stretch. It wasn't all that funny.

Last updated Thursday, April 17 2008. Created Saturday, April 12 2008.
Avoid Stretch [series:1785#628]
(Two episodes watched):

After I'd read the synopsis but before I'd watched the actual show, I was certain I understood the way this would go. Kei would like Hikari but be too shy to 'fess up to her; he'd be cursed by superhuman talent in almost every field of endeavor, and his code of honor would demand that he always give 100% when challenged. Hikari, on the other hand, would be supercompetitive but too dim to recognize Kei's feelings for her. This premise seemed to have a good deal of potential as an amusing romantic comedy, but after actually watching it I was dismayed by the lack of imagination and good jokes. I'd only gotten half of it right, there was no intriguing relationship, no dynamic, between Kei and Hikari. Not yet at least, and based on what I've seen I detect little hope of it ever happening. They actually border on being obnoxious rich bastards who are oblivious to anything but competition; at least the other members of Special A aren't so annoying. Even worse, the show isn't particularly funny; I smiled once or twice, almost laughed once, and that was about it. I watched episode two, which has an extremely irrational plot involving Kei and Hikari being challenged to a wrestling match. The only way such a bizarre story could work would be that it has to be funny; but again I got very few laughs and the episode was more tedious than entertaining. Special A seems like a definite second-string anime, and with the recent flood of new series, not really worth the time it takes me to watch it. I wonder why an anime was named after an American breakfast cereal (Haa!).

Special A doesn't offend me at all, and I feel kind of sorry for it, given it's admirable lack of cheap fanservice. It just strikes me as one of the most incredibly unfunny "comedies" I've seen in a long time. This show cannot for the life of it summon up more than a handful of decent jokes, and the amount of precious time that has to be spent just to catch these is painfully evident. Seeing as there is a flood of new Spring series which I'm trying to keep up with, I've decided to cut this one from my anime schedule. Normally I would still download and save the remaining episodes, so that I could watch them later on if I wished, but I'm confident that I'll never be so desperate for fresh anime as to want to watch Special A.

Spoiled by a simplistic plot and an inexplicable shortage of decent jokes

Last updated Saturday, November 29 2008. Created Saturday, April 12 2008.

Other Sites
Japanese Series Web Site http://special-a.jp/

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