Animation: Fair
Depth: Good
Design: Fair
Characters: Weak
Story: Fair

Type: TV   (24 episodes)

Vintage: 2012

Category:

» high school
» action
Verdict: meh
Review:

Medaka Box


Summary: >

Incredibly popular and good everything, it comes as no surprise Medaka is elected student council president. She believes her calling is to fulfill requests given via a suggestion box. The school always had a few problem students, however Medaka even wins them over. Things take a turn for the unusual, when they uncover a plot to convert students to humans with super powers - known as abnormals.


Thoughts: >

I'm going to go against majority negative opinion of this one. I think Medaka Box deserves a chance. It starts very weak, then turns into something... weird. I'll be blunt though, if you don't have the patience to wade through many many episodes of mediocrity, don't even pick this one up. Getting closer to the end yields something you may not like either. But it's rather weird and I like weird, so for that I'll stick up for Medaka Box.

The centerpiece is Medaka: the attractive, bodacious, intelligent supremely good at everything, no issues (aside from being too perfect) girl, becoming the student council president. Yeah, and she's about the most likeable in this anime too (exempting the token glasses girl, with enough odd quirks to be fun). Worse still, characters poorly interact with each other, and spend much of their time worshiping Medaka.

Medaka Box starts with episodic solving "problem of the week", but fails to capture the charm of that formula. Pandering fan service, lame stories (and resolutions), romance doomed to failure, and lame characters essentially fated this show to crash and burn. The same thing happened with the manga it's based off of, and it was slated to be cut from publication. Picture a depressed manga artist ready to give up... but then he gets a gleam in his eye and Eye of the Tiger begins playing in the background. He'll make a comeback dammit, and he'll do it by making this most shounen thing the world has ever witnessed! He did it too, by retooling the series into something else. Totally crazy, and even more crazy that it kind of works.

About 7 episodes in, Medaka Box shifts into a plot about fighting a thug kid in the school's discipline committee. It becomes a shounen school fighting show, with Medaka even going Super Saiyan full Dragon Ball Z style (I wish I were making that up). If this were the salvation of the show it would still fail, particularly because of the speeches - worst feature of the show by far. Medaka gives pretentious speeches, side characters preach, even adversaries preach. Holy fuck, stop with the preaching! This can make this show nearly unwatchable, and still insufficient to salvage the first season (12 episodes).

Season 2 (Abnormal) turns things around. It's still a bit weak, but feels more natural doing fighting stuff than whatever it was trying to accomplish before. The characters improve in subtle ways too, with Medaka demoted from goddess to "miss perfect", making her strangely more approachable. A few things come together though. Just as it seems like Medaka Box will finally adopt a traditional anime direction, it doesn't, and this shifting keeps it somewhat fresh. What I liked most about Medaka Box was the ridiculous counter logic which spins around to the point where it's kinda fascinating. It's easy to write it off as stupidity at first, because things don't make sense. But the anime shrugs it off. It doesn't make sense sure, but it's only because it doesn't make sense, that it does in fact make sense. If you can read that sentence and get what in the hell I'm talking about, Medaka Box does that often and it's somewhat amusing.

As an aside, Episode 13 (or Season 2 Ep.1) has a character speaking only in numbers. A very cool voice performance, and perhaps worth checking out even if you don't watch the rest.

There's also no conclusion to this one, so that also weighs heavily on the show. While Medaka box is weak, I give it credit for pulling up from a full nose dive. There's many reasons it's not that great, but conversely it gets so strange with counter-logic later on, it becomes unique. I'm not sure this review is especially positive, but this anime offers something different (if you get that far). In the endless sea of anime regurgitating the same stuff year after year, that's commendable.


Quote: >

Kouki: If you're going to make a wish, you must put forth the effort to ensure it comes true.


Mogana Slogan: "If you waste money, I'll dispose of you"


Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 2014