In a world where academic success is everything, exams are serious business. Those who pass exams are off to a life of luxury, whereas those who fail are doomed to a cruel life. Students will do anything to pass their exams, including cheating and interfering with the exam. This turns their academic life in to a battlefield - literally.
Gifted students capable of passing exams are known as the L (learning) type. Students who cannot pass exams but are still willing to (literally) fight for it, are known as C (cheating) types. Whilst taking exams, C-types and L-types battle each other with impressive fighting skills seen in many shonen battle series. Some C-type and L-type students form bonds; a C-type will protect their L-type partner in exchange for copying their answers. If battling each other wasn't enough, students must also make sure their teacher doesn't find out they're cheating, else they must fight the teacher as well.
One might argue that students would have been better off studying for exams rather than mastering battle techniques, but Cheating Craft doesn't intend to make sense. This becomes more apparent when students reveal their weapons to assist in cheating and fighting: x-ray glasses, origami, and even poisonous bees are within the realm of possibilities.
Befitting the battle parody theme, characters are stereotypical hot-headed males and cute girls with colourful hair. The art is surprisingly good for an anime that doesn't take itself too seriously, from the colourful cast to flowing battle scenes.
With only 12 minutes per episodes, the series is fast-paced. Filled with unrealistic concepts and gags, there is also somewhat of a storyline to add drama. However, Cheating Craft doesn't take itself seriously here either; backstories and underlying reasons of the main protagonists are overly dramatic. Needless to say there is much rivalry amongst the main cast, and it is to be expected more villains and obstacles must be faced before graduation.
Every episode has a disclaimer that warns viewers to not imitate Cheating Craft. Seeing as though most of us don't carry poisonous bees around nor engage in Dragon Ball Z-esque battles with our teachers, even these disclaimers are likely added for comedic effect. The only disclaimer to take seriously, is the one that cheating in any way or form is wrong.
Cheating Craft is a mostly mediocre series. The characters are easily dismissible, storylines not truly engaging, and neither the gags nor battles stand out. However, Cheating Craft should be commended for the fact that it at least feels unique in its premise, which is the one and only thing that makes this anime worth a watch.
You can currently watch Cheating Craft in streaming form on Crunchyroll.