「どっちやねん!!／願いがあるなら」 (Docchi Yanen!! / Negai ga aru nara)
“Make your choice!! / If you’re going to make a wish…”
Picking up from where we left off last week, it’s time for an epic battle between Zenkichi and Akune! Who will win? Only the psychic octopus knows the answer to that one! Well, him and those of us who have watched the episode…
The results of the battle should have been no real surprise to anyone – Akune may have been impressively strong, but I doubt Zenkichi could lose while Medaka was making such a cute face. Of course, the odds were stacked in his favour from the start – he only needed a single point to win, whereas Akune needed a whole ten (which he came dangerously close to getting)! I do have to wonder whether Medaka was seriously distraught at the thought of losing Zenkichi from the student council, or if it was an act she put on, knowing how he would react. They seem equally plausible.
Medaka (and Nekomi) came out with quite a few good lines this episode. Perhaps the most interesting of these was her statement that there’s no such thing as a prodigy (kind of hard to stomach when it’s coming from someone so far above the rest of us). Nekomi is also one to favour hard work over talent, though her viewpoint doesn’t deny the existence of those born with natural aptitude, only frowns upon them. In a way, I can see where Medaka is coming from – in reality, people are not necessarily born with talent – those who are considered ‘naturally gifted’ or ‘prodigies’ are in fact people who spend an enormous amount of time dedicated to practice, learning, and experimentation (and enjoy said activities). Even Akune’s judo skills could be chalked up to a large amount of practice. Only Medaka seems to put a lie to the idea that there are no prodigies, though we have no idea how much work she does behind the scenes.
Another of those lines revealed one of her many policies – Medaka will help those in trouble, but she won’t save the weak. In essence, something of a ‘help those who help themselves’ situation. I don’t think ‘weak’ in this sense refers to physical strength or combat skill, but rather to the strength of one’s will. If you want Medaka to help you when you’re in trouble, you should have the will to stand up for yourself rather than cowering or running away from your problems. Losing is acceptable; running away is not. This also ties in neatly with the second half of the episode – Yatsuhiro (Nakao Eri), rather than facing her problem by herself, is running away from the responsibility, hoping that the student council will take care of it on her behalf.
There are quite a few side characters who I’d like to see more of now. Yatsuhiro, the most recently introduced, is definitely on this list. In a way, people’s misinformed impression of her as a violent delinquent (when she’s really just a loveable baka) reminds me of Kodaka from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai. Neither of them intends to give off that aura of danger, but the misconceptions of those around them result in bad reputations. However, Yatsuhiro did create a problem where there was no problem before – she submitted a request for something that, in reality, only she could do. If you get someone else to write a love letter for you, how can you expect your feelings to be conveyed? Of course, it might work, but in a sense, your relationship would be based on a lie. I was almost as disappointed as Medaka when Akune failed to pick up on this in his eagerness to impress. But I can’t really blame him too much after the rejections he was handed in the past. It’s only natural he would want to help someone else who was faced with the same situation in any way he possibly could.
- From what I’ve heard, it can definitely be pretty hard for a beginner to avoid breaking judo rules, but something makes me think that considering Zenkichi a beginner at any form of martial arts would be a mistake…
- The flowers have finally extended beyond the student council room! There’s something almost poetic about the way this was stated – the flowers almost representing Medaka’s love being spread across the campus.
- Looks like I may have spoken too soon when I said Akune’s stripping was confined to the dojo. I can definitely see him as a perfect match for Medaka (still rooting for Zenkichi though)!