AniMeh: Special A

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AniMeh is one of our Periodicals, created because of our love for anime and manga.

What we do with AniMeh is talk about anime and manga that we don’t find satisfactory, and concentrate on the factors that make them fail.

We plan on talking exclusively about completed works, old and new. After all, the worlds of anime and manga are so vast that it’s worth exploring everywhere. We will try to not reveal any plot twists, but sometimes they might be worth mentioning to prove our point.

That being said, let’s get this show on the road!

Today’s AniMeh: Special A


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Trivia

  • Special A is an adaptation of the manga of the same name, originally by Minami Maki.
  • The female cast of the anime sings the first opening and the male cast of the anime sings the first ending. Their roles are switched halfway through the season, with the male cast singing the second opening and the female cast singing the new ending.

Story


The elite S.A class!

The elite S.A class!

Ever since she lost a childhood wrestling match to Takishima Kei, Hanazono Hikari has forever seen him as her rival. Ever since then, be it in grades, athletics, or competitions, Kei has always effortlessly stayed number one. Hikari and Kei are now both enrolled in an elite high school, where the top seven students make up the S.A (Special A) class. While Hikari is still struggling to rise above second place, Kei has long fallen in love with her. Will Hikari ever realize (and reciprocate) Kei’s feelings? Or will she only see him as a rival?

Hikari, as energetic as ever.

Hikari, as energetic as ever.

Short Review


Although the “elite group of students” is a common trope in anime, Special A still had an interesting premise with a likable cast. Each of the seven members of the S.A class had their own unique qualities and personalities that make for interesting character interactions. As a huge fan of the Shoujo Romance genre, I found a lot of the romantic scenes adorable and exciting to watch. However, Special A has many overwhelming clichés, among other disappointing aspects, that dragged down the overall likability of the show.

Hikari sees Kei only as a rival, Kei values her as someone much more.

Hikari sees Kei only as a rival, Kei values her as someone much more.

The Three MEHs


MEH #1: Dense female lead

Hikari is…extremely dense.
Now, she has plenty of great qualities, including her determination, positivity, friendliness; the list could go on and on. But one of the first adjectives that come to mind when I think about Hikari is just that: dense.

It’s common for Shoujo Romances to have a dense female lead, as this pushes the love interest to try harder and helps the story progress. However, Hikari’s obliviousness actually leads to countless misunderstandings and hurt feelings, all of which could have been avoided if the characters just sat down and properly voiced their opinions. It is unrealistic to a point where the viewer is left staring at the screen in disbelief going “really…?”.

How can someone who is so smart and talented be <i>that</i> dense

How can someone who is so smart and talented be that dense


MEH #2: Everyone has to get with someone

Remember how there are seven members of the S.A class? Well by the end of the series, all but one of them have found a lover (don’t worry; the one that didn’t is able to find his soul mate in the manga). While it’s nice that characters other than our main couple get romantic interactions as well, it becomes frustrating that the only way Special A can attempt to develop a character is by throwing a love interest in their face.

This girl literally came in halfway into the series to become an S.A member’s love interest.

This girl literally came in halfway into the series to become an S.A member’s love interest.


MEH #3: The extremely cheesy ending

The Special A anime ended while the manga was still ongoing, so an anime original ending ends up being the unavoidable decision. However, I’m sure there are hundreds of better options than the scene the makers decided to end the last episode with.

They are literally floating and kissing in front of a clock tower in London.

They are literally floating and kissing in front of a clock tower in London.

Needless to say, I suffered a lot of second-hand embarrassment from this scene and could only cringe as the protagonists got their happy ending, which really isn’t the best way to leave a viewer at the end of a story.

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Watch this anime if…


…you’re looking for a cute, romantic show with likeable, funny characters, but don’t mind a compromised plot and lack of proper character development.




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