Medaka Box – 01
OP: 「HAPPY CRAZY BOX」 by Kuribayashi Minami
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼
「生徒会を執行する！」 (Seitokai o shikkou suru!)
“To carry out the will of the student council!”
Written by Nisio Isin: Check
Soundtrack by Katou Tatsuya: Check
Produced by Gainax: Check
Alright guys, grit your teeth and let’s dive into the fray!
It’s a little hard not to get excited about an anime when faced with this kind of lineup. A popular, over-the-top manga written by Nisio Isin, famed for his witty dialogue and often non sequitur writing, and adapted by Gainax, famed for their over-the-top original anime Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann? With a soundtrack by Katou Tatsuya (Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Mirai Nikki), who is rapidly becoming one of my favourite anime soundtrack composers to boot? It sounds almost like a dream come true!
Medaka (Toyosaki Aki), recently elected as the student council president through a landslide victory, coerces her childhood friend Zenkichi (Ono Yuuki) into joining her as she fulfils the requests placed in the Medaka Box, a suggestion box she set up as part of her new reign. The first of these requests, to clean out the third year delinquents led by
Kamina Moji (Konishi Katsuyuki) from the kendo hall, results in a markedly short clash during which Medaka shows off her superhuman abilities. With this out of the way, Shiranui (Kato Emiri) confronts Zenkichi with the idea that he may not know Medaka as well as he thinks he does. Zenkichi returns to the newly-cleaned dojo to find that Medaka has succeeded in rekindling the delinquents’ desire to practice kendo, proving that Shiranui was at least partially correct with her observations.
Responding to a request to ‘fix’ Hyuga’s ‘bad personality,’ Medaka hands off her speech at the council recruitment meeting to Shiranui and arrives in time to discipline him (though Zenkichi already taught him a lesson of sorts) as he staggers from the dojo with his tail between his legs. What this entailed is a complete mystery, but it somehow results in Hyuga becoming the tsundere leader of the temporary kendo club, the object of his affections being Medaka of course! Convinced by Medaka’s words and her dream of filling the student council room with flowers (one for every request fulfilled), Zenkichi relents and somewhat reluctantly takes one of the armbands, marking him as a member of the student council.
Let’s get this out of the way – beyond quickly glancing over a few pages of the first chapter to get some idea what to expect, I have not read the manga, so all impressions are based almost entirely on information garnered from the adaption.
Medaka is a very interesting character from my point of view. From what little I’ve heard about her courtesy of manga readers, she seems to be an entity approaching a Mary Sue, her good traits far outweighing any bad and her superhuman strength far beyond that of other characters seen so far. This being Nisio Isin however, I strongly suspect a unique spin on the concept will be introduced.
In fact, not everything about her is quite as perfect as it may seem on the surface. She may have a strong desire to help others, an unflinching belief in humanity and an understanding of the value of each individual as opposed to their value as a statistic, but she’s also not afraid to force her own ideals onto others and has the strength to back this up. While her desire to discipline delinquents and set them on the right path might be admirable, her apparent fervor for ‘fixing’ people could be seen as a fearsome thing.
Her faith in humanity, that on a base level we’re all fundamentally similar and everyone has the potential to do anything, is also a slightly double-edged trait. On the one hand, belief can act as a strong motivator. As we see in this episode, Medaka’s belief in the delinquents helps them remember their love for kendo and stand up against Hyuga. However, belief can also be percieved as a burden. Should the subject of that belief truly be unable to complete the task set for them, the belief will only bear them down. I’m looking forward to seeing whether the latter effect will occur during the course of the series.
Zenkichi’s loyalty to Medaka, his willingness to stand up for her even though she ostensibly has no need of it, is impressive. Despite her strength (both physical and as a person), Medaka appears to have some basic desire that can only be fulfilled by having Zenkichi stand alongside her. Whether this is because of their status as childhood friends or something specific to Zenkichi himself remains to be seen, but at this point, I’m leaning more towards the former. Even the most perfect of beings suffer from lonliness and it’s pretty cold at the top without someone to stand beside you.
It seems to me that Gainax is really setting the tone for the rest of the series with this episode. From the crazy, over-the-top imagery of Medaka as a godlike being during her lecture, to Hyuga’s effortless defeat of the third year kendo club members and Zenkichi’s retaliatory punch, all the stops have been pulled. Whether they’ll manage to bring the sense of awe exuded by Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann to this adaption remains to be seen, but I think we could be in for quite the ride nevertheless!
This week the ED – 「お花畑に連れてって」 (Ohanabatake ni Tsuretette) by Toyosaki Aki – was used as an insert song, so no ED Sequence caps yet!
Since many readers will likely already be aware of the contents of the manga, I’d like to ask everyone to kindly refrain from posting spoilers in the comments. If you absolutely must, please remember to use the spoiler tags!