Cheating Craft

Title:Cheating Craft
Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - BLADE
In the nation of Mainland, which is by far the world's most wealthy and influential country, everything in your life depends on how well you do on the National Special Level University Exam. Doing well is a gateway to wealth and luxury, while doing badly is a virtual guarantee of living in poverty and misery. There are two ways a person can pass the test: by being an honest student who has a talent for learning (a member of the L-class), or by being an expert cheater (one of the C-class).

12 ten-minute episodes
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent Stretch [series:3273#628]
(All episodes watched):

I have heard it said that whereas in America it's easy to get admitted to a college but difficult to graduate, in Japan it's the reverse. This series is an obvious parody of the system of university admittance in Japan, which plays a crucial role in a teenager's life. The wild depictions, including James Bond-like technology, of the tactics which a C-class person might use immediately struck me as amusing and colorful, and I was left with a good feeling about this show. Judging from the wide cast of characters in the Op sequence which had yet to appear, episode one seemed like little more than an introduction and the main story had yet to begin. How a lengthy story would be built on this premise of high-tech cheating was something I did not know but was eager to see. Given the flair which CC had shown so far, I was optimistic.

Crazy stuff like what seems to be a shark with a human brain grafted onto it sometimes appear and have a WTF effect on you, yet you can't help chuckling at least a little. The show is imaginative, like the episode in which various characters seem to be getting interviewed by the police--I didn't exactly understand what was going on, but I could tell that it was funny nevertheless. Likewise when a man falls off the edge of a raging waterfall and responds by screaming "worldly desires!"(something Buddhist, maybe?). Apparently, you would need to be Japanese in order to 'get' all the jokes, but some are funny regardless of your nationality. Not always LOL funny, but funny nevertheless. The show bounces back and forth between parodying a number of different anime genres, like martial arts in episode seven. Some are easier for a westerner to understand and enjoy than others. So, some episodes are more fun than others. Episode 11, which seems to be a parody of a famous VA in Japan whose voice appears in every walk of life, was fun ("Sterilize the examiner!" someone shouts at one point). I don't completely 'get' the jokes, but again I can tell that they are clever and I can't help laughing. All too much anime comedy is so weak that it barely deserves to be included in that genre, but Cheating Class definitely does. I became confused regarding what the overall plot was (if there was one), and who was who, but that was OK since I got some good laughs out of the show. In the end, the answer to my question of how an anime could be built on the premise of high tech cheating was that it could be done by being insanely over-the-top (for example, the final episode, where about the most important test that anyone has ever taken takes place) and ridiculously fun, even if not all of that fun could be translated into other languages and cultures. That was good. I must rewatch this show, to hopefully 'get' a few more of the jokes that I missed the first time around.

Last updated Monday, February 27 2017. Created Friday, November 04 2016.

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