Medaka Box – 09
「やり過ぎなけりゃ正義じゃねえ！」 (Yarisugi Nakerya Seigi ja nee!)
“It’s Not Justice If You Don’t Go Overboard!”
And so the battle arc begins. Honestly, if it keeps up like this, I might actually enjoy it despite all the claims that it’s the weakest part of the manga!
We actually have a few new character introductions this episode, but only one really stands out so far. Unzen Myouri (Paku Romi) seems like your typical psycho antagonist, all the way down to his self-justifying monologues and wanton violence. He’s even the perfect polar opposite to Medaka – where she believes in the innate goodness of humanity, he believes in their innate evil! I always wonder why antagonists feel the need to justify everything they do in monologue format… maybe it’s a feeble attempt to convince themselves that their reasoning is sound as much as it is to convince their opponents. As one might expect, Myouri gives Gainax an opportunity to fill a lot of the episode with (awesome) menacing partial face shots.
Myouri isn’t the only one who gets this treatment either. There are several instances of the same direction used for Shiranui, particularly around Medaka’s suggestion that she would make a good vice president for the student council (scary stuff). But of course, the offer is turned down – Shiranui likes to remain autonomous rather than be tied down to an organisation. With all this going on, I can’t help but feel that Shiranui is being used to troll us – when Medaka left her behind to hold off Myouri, I fully expected to see her true colours. But no, her method for stalling him was entirely based around the idea that she had done nothing wrong and thus he couldn’t lay hands on her. I suspect that this isn’t the real reason why Medaka left her behind though… if not for Harigane’s white lie, that tactic would not have worked and I doubt Medaka had merely overlooked Shiranui’s flagrant rule breaking. I still fully expect to see Shiranui’s true strength at some point!
It would seem I may have been right about Harigane – her conflicting loyalties are already beginning to show in her choice to lie in Shiranui’s defence. While she may have joined the disciplinary committee fully believing in its creed, even she is afraid of Myouri and considers his methods to be too extreme. I would like to see her join the student council at the end of the arc – at the very least, she fits the criteria (particularly the ‘hate Medaka’ part) and she’d bring some much needed discipline to the fold. On the other hand, I could also see her taking over the disciplinary committee once its current leadership has been removed.
While it’s true that justice and saints do not properly mix – you cannot fully mete out justice if you’re completely unwilling to cause some level of suffering – there are still limits on what can be considered just. ‘Let the punishment fit the crime’ and all that. Of course, there are many faces to justice, but nearly all of them lead towards the same goal – giving everyone their just deserts and working towards a greater good. It could be argued that Myouri fits both of these, even in his extremities of dispatching assassins to deal with the student council members (their obvious rule breaking is a bad thing thus from his viewpoint, removing them would be working towards the greater good in stopping others from following their examples as people in positions of power), but at what point is justice too extreme? There is something very obviously wrong with choosing to kill someone outright to stop their wrongdoing without even giving thought to the possibility of reasoning with them.
- It’s nice to see Harigane mirror the thoughts of many of us viewers on Shiranui!
- I’m also interested in seeing how the rest of the school views Medaka’s activities – it’s pretty funny to note how people are only fazed by the possibility that it might not be Medaka performing these crazy feats. Medaka riding a bike at 80kmph down a school hallway though? Perfectly normal.
- We had a short introduction for her this week, but I’m hoping the next episode will properly explore Yobuko Fue (Koshimizu Ami). Nice to hear Koshimizu Ami cast as yet another psychotic, bespectacled stern girl!
- Gainax does what Statelight would not!