In a world where education is everything, if you manage to pass exams with your academic ability, you will start a successful life. However, those who fail the exams will start a cruel life. The world is capable of only developing the gifted from a young age as measured by exams – but there are some people who cannot accept the destiny they face if they are unable to pass the exam, and would do anything to pass it. This includes cheating and interfering with the exam. Thus, the examination hall has become a battlefield.
L (learning) type and C (Cheating) type students prevent each other from interfering with the exam, so that they can aim for high scores. In order to prevent the L-types from getting the high scores, C-type students battle against them. This battle also involves the examiners who do not allow cheating, making the examination hall even more chaotic!
The heated battle between Mumei, a C-type student, and Koui, an L-type, begins! Can Koui outsmart Mumei and her tricks?
Cheating Craft is the definition of an absolutely brilliant mediocre anime!
You might be thinking, "How could you give this mediocre series a ten, especially when you only give tens to three percent of anime?!" Well, it's actually a six, but hear me out for a second...
(TL;DR at end)
If you've already watched this show, you probably already know that it's really not THAT great. However, have you ever seen another series like this...? The answer is probably no, and that's where I feel this anime shines the most.
Anime is supposed to be the genre of artistic imagination, yet we're constantly bombarded with the same concepts
repeatedly. However, Cheating Craft goes against the norm by being a short, 12-minute parody series that makes fun of some popular anime concepts with a fun twist. Every episode contains a comedic and dramatic story, where all you know is that the main character will somehow cheat to prevail over a test in a dramatic way using his family's impossibly diverse Shokatsu techniques. It has a linear plot and moves at a really great pace towards the single end-goal of living a life of luxury by graduating from their prestigious school.
One of the characters in this series really stood out to me, and that's Kou-chan (or Huang, Qiao Yi). Kou-chan is is voiced by Rie Kugimiya, otherwise known as the "Queen of Tsundere Voices". Kou-chan stands out to me because she's: smart and nerdy, but not shy; simplistic, but not average; unusually focused, but laid back; she's confident, rude, sarcastic, perverted, bl-loving--- in other words, she's a very unusual and lovable character. In fact, I think she may have one of the more unique (unrealistic) personalities that I've seen in the anime genre (let me know if you agree). I think she's a worthy favorite if you like her enough.
I strongly believe that Cheating Craft should be praised for its unrealistic and bold concepts, like using supernatural abilities for the sole purpose of cheating to pass exams. It's a stark contrast to most other anime because the teachers are actually the main "villains" of this supernatural school tale. Hell, they might as well have just studied with all the effort that goes into cheating each episode! To add to the humor, you have a disclaimer every episode that says "cheating is a wrongful act, do not imitate." Note that it is physically impossible to imitate almost anything that happens in it, which makes it even funnier! Then, to finish it off, you have the hilariously dramatic episodes and backstories of the main protagonists.
This anime does not even try to take itself seriously, which adds to the mediocre brilliance. It may be extremely mediocre, but it is honestly the most enjoyable mediocre series that I have ever seen.
This series is masterfully mediocre.
Story: 5 - Linear, good pacing, rather average story.
Art: 6 - Fluid, Dramatic, Good Enough.
Sound: 9 - This actually threw me off... There's not usually great music in a mediocre series...
Character: 5 - All are archetypes except Kou-chan
Enjoyment 9 - Surprisingly entertaining, despite having no intellectual value.
I highly recommend that you watch it! If you don't like it by the 3rd episode, then you probably won't like it.
Even with a short runtime (12 mins per ep) and a lack of promotion, for lovers of stupid senseless "switch off your brain" comedies, Cheating Craft is easily a barrel of laughs and jaw dropping goodness.
China brings you a new generic shonen battle / gag series to add to the pile of generic shonen battle series we already have in Japan. WITH EXAMS!!!
Cheating Craft takes place in a world where CHEATING IS SERIOUS BUSINESS!!! There are those who can learn and there are those who can cheat. Everything's fair in love, war and exams. From pen tranquiliser guns to X-ray glasses; from making origami
weapons to training an insect army, the otherworldly cheating kung fu skills elevate the premise to higher realms of fun campy silliness. JUST STUDY DAMMIT!!!
There's no real storyline and the show follows the Gag of the Week format. My jaw dropped at least once or twice per episode at how the writers manage to pull off increasingly silly random fun stuff every week.
As at the final episode: I still stand my ground that studying is still much easier than training these cheating techniques.
Standard colourful shonen art. Nothing to complain about.
Great work by Sakabe Go. They even have orchestral pieces to match the epicness of the show. It makes you want to buy the OST from episode 1.
Standard shonen battle characters. Hot blooded male MC- check. Rivals with colourful hair- check. Cute girls to trigger shipping wars - double check. Also nothing to complain about.
What stands out about the characters is that their VAs really sound like they're having fun throughout the whole series. From the squealing of a fujoshi fangirl to flying sharks to the yelling out of shonen attacks in the middle of exams, it's a total ham fest for people who love ham.
Enjoyment and Overall: 10
Cheating Craft is a show which surpasses the sum of its generic looking parts. In terms of pure enjoyment and fun, it's a perfect TEN in my books.
Ok, if I would describe this anime amongst the character's technique, I describe it as "Suck-katsu Technique" as it in this anime for all of what is expected "TOTALLY SUCKS!!!!!" as one reviewer's comment states, "It becomes a chore than an amusement." Man, just what the fuck was Haoliner Animation League', studio Blade thinking for making an anime out of a Chinese light novel titled Zuobi Yishu by Gemini Xin Luo? Tbh, I have nothing but regrets about allowing myself to subject to such chore of watching this.....thing, where it would have been much exciting to watch 'Prison School" than this, sooooooo:
Storywise, It was
good at first (ep 1) , but it's plot which was themed after the art of cheating was anything but just too overly exaggerated, that the entertainment side of it starts to wane down, I mean, such plot about cheating on an exam simply wasn't a good fit to use as a plot base, when combine with martial arts, super powers and harem ( since there is a subtle rivalry between Koui Ou and Haku Ryu for mumei's affection), the plot based on cheating really doesn't fit in with the genre, so yes the plot was really a poor 3.
Art, ok so there isn't any panty shots that can be seen with any of them eye candies, but it does have one episode that features Ms. Ou in a hot swim suit and just this last episode , her in a sexy Qi Pao , and that is a fair enough 6. The rest where just too dorky in a fashion sense, like Mumei's pant's that were style to be a chino pants and him sporting white long arm band, Ms. Ou's teacher outfit and her Chung Li's hair style, Kou chan's glasses, Zhou's long hair, Jun's headset and Anri's outfit, where it can be consider as a serious crime of fashion. You if only studio Balde could have added a lot of fanservice around here, then maybe this dorky anime could have been saved.
Sound, I'd probably say that it's a good 7, since the voice did matched the right character's , like Ms. Ou having a matured voice and Kou having a childish voice.
CHaracter, I'd say it was really a Pathetic 1 , thing cu'z the character's themselves, aside from being annoying, really don't match this anime, like :
Mumei Shokatsu, he'd probably should be in Akame ga Kill, cu'z of his Shokatsu Technique. Also, for him to rely on Kou to pass and being this master of martial arts, was really an oxymoron on his role, now he has the time and determination to learn the Shokatsu Technique and even level it up to a Nichirin Shoten, and yet he has a hard time of studying to become a L type and prefers to be a C type, well, if he's a C- type then that simply makes his character as a C as in crooked and cheap, one reason for him being pathetic. since he's very much a double standard.
Koui Ou, is very much a character, where one would probably prefer that she be hostile to Mumei by keeping him off her test paper nd just let him get kicked out, rather than be his tool for passing, let's face it Mumei doesn't even acknowledge her feeling for him, and instead he goes for Haku Ryu, and yet there she still hopes to be romantically involve with Mumei, how stupid was she? If she is to be in the right anime, then she should be in Baka to test.
Anri, we the audience, where left to wonder if she is a C or an L, for the entire episode from 1 to 12 we never see her cheat nor do we see her being smart. Also, letting us audience know her powers was lately introduced in to this anime, she could have been an awesome eye candy if not for her dorky fashion. Too bad she was just limited as another support just like Rinu Shu, if she is to be in the right anime , then she would fit in at Highschool DxD.
Rinu Shu, I'd say he's gaaaaaaay and he should be in Gakuen Hansome.
Bugman, JUN, should be in Shaman King.
Teacher Miss . Ou, ok, at one point she is this 30 something single lady who hope to get marry, and then a 90 degree turn make him same kind of ET who is hired to give the ultimate test of insanity of destroying earth..............LAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!Anime where she should be????????Anywhere as long as it's hentai.
Haku Ryu, is just too sweet and nice to be here and she would be a better fit in "Orange."
Enjoyment, a decent 4, since I just bear with it all along, so.
Overall, it's just an anime of too many oxymoron of the character's, double standards of the roles of the character and with all that anachronisms, this thing is just toooooooo dreadful 2 the max, so no, no, no, I don't give a fuck as to what had happen to Mumei after we heard a BANG, no, no, no to a sequel of what kind.
I'm honestly not sure how this show received a go for production but I'm guessing some cheating was involved. Apparently, there's a country in which success in life is solely based on an exam. Students attempt to pass this exam using various techniques, including cheating. The show follows cheating expert and inheritor of the paper/wind/fire-controlling Shokatsu technique, Mumei Shokatsu and his actually test-literate partner in crime, Koui Ou. This is one of the worst mockeries/parodies that I've seen in ages and it really was neither funny nor cohesive. Do yourself a favor and save yourself a few brain cells by watching something else.
The show has
a fairly good animation package overall. Expect a bright, colorful landscape with decent CGI backgrounds and a rather wild assortment of different settings for the tests. Yes, tests plural. The characters are distinct enough though the show decides to draw most of the unimportant characters as grey blobs in the background. Expect rather basic character expressions as this is a rather light show. There is a fair amount of action in the show, as the cheaters (known as C-type) basically treat tests like fights where they must "defeat" all the other test takers and then quickly copy answers before time expires. Battles are usually rather short and are usually resolved by an assortment of ultimate attacks, these are preceded by the protagonist calling his attack followed by each kanji character flashing across the screen. After the carnage is complete, some random announcer repetitively comments on how awesome the attack was and how only one who has mastered the style could use the attack blah blah. There are some brief fan-service moments thrown in including the obligatory bathing suit scene. Honestly though, neither the action nor the ecchi will satisfy viewers in their respective categories.
The show opens with a decently-paced melody that if anything is a bit generic. The ED is a short and playful tune that serves its purpose well. The BGM only consists of a few tunes, the positive of which is that certain tunes will become somewhat familiar by the end of the show. The VA cast is rather surprising as you get huge veterans in many of the roles. I haven't seen the likes of Rie Kugimiya in a main role in ages and likewise haven't heard from Kotono Mitsuishi in a while too. On top of that, we have prolific Youko Hisaka and rising talent Reina Ueda. Unfortunately, I feel the talent is somewhat wasted as the characters here are as cookie cutter as they come.
Thank goodness these are half-length episodes as I found it difficult to even make it through that length. Each episode basically shows the class taking tests in various ridiculous settings, like on top of a waterfall or on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Each "stage" has a boss (i.e. test proctor) who likewise gives an incredulous feeling to the show; these include a drunken master and a shark with an augmented brain. After half a season's worth of random and seemingly pointless tests, the show decides to do some random parodies of other shows/concepts. In the last episode, it builds towards a climax of sorts, which is an unnecessarily artificial escalation. The best words I can think of to describe the story are contrived and idiotic.
If you are looking for a prime example of what a cookie cutter character is, you've found it. The characters here have literally no depth nor exposition. They are given gimmicky frosting in the form of flashy poses and moves, but otherwise their personalities and behaviors are rigid and simplistic. No one is at all relatable and there are no real relationships in the show. They supposedly try to create a bit of a rivalry in the middle of the season but it feels both out of place and ill executed.
Again, I have no idea how this show launched, but it is a disservice to anime as a whole. The characters are a mess and the story is poorly executed and in bad taste. I'm happy the wonderful VAs got a paycheck but it's a shame to have such a poor work associated with their names. Cheating Craft is neither comical nor enjoyable. It may take the simple concept of test taking and attempt to make it exciting, but in the end, it just makes a mockery of what should honestly be a pretty serious matter.