Kurokami Medaka, a first year, is elected as Student Council President, and the first thing she does is establish a suggestion box, later dubbed by students the "Medaka Box." Medaka encourages students to submit any problem to the box without hesitation and promises to take on any issue from anyone.
Since Medaka won the Student Council elections with a staggering 98% of the vote, she ends up as the Council's only member. She asks her childhood friend, Hitoyoshi Zenkichi, for help and he grudgingly agrees, becoming the Student Council's lowest ranking member. Soon Medaka recruits two more people to the Student Council, the former judo club member Akune Kouki as secretary and the current swim club member Kikaijima Mogana, on loan for 300 yen a day, as treasurer.
Now the Student Council members spend their days solving the problems submitted through the Medaka Box, whether they be hooligans in clubs where they don't belong, girls who need help writing love letters or people who've lost their pets, gradually earning the respect and admiration of the entire school.
Ok, tuck the kids into bed, because it's fucking story time.
Please note your opinion doesn't matter two shits until you've read at least until the end of the Minus arc.
Medaka is a BATTLE SHOUNEN. No, not fucking hurr durr king of the ninjas, not a fucking rip off of Yu Yu Hakusho called Bleach (It's named that because when I watch it, I feel the need to drink Bleach), it's a real BATTLE SHOUNEN.
Medaka Box is constantly examining the tropes of Battle Shounen manga, and making fun of them. It's asking these questions.
Can a character truly be perfect?
What are the implications?
How will real people react to this?
An example of this is Medaka herself. Here's a pro tip, you're not supposed to like her one bit. She's not just a Mary Sue, she's the god damned literal definition of Jesus. She lives for humanity sake, she loves everybody, especially her enemies, and she constantly fights to reform them into good guys.
Also she's invincible. Later on, an antagonist refuses to fight her because "If this was a weekly Shounen Jump, she would be the main character, and the villain never wins against the main character."
Medaka is special. By the age of 3 she could solve any problem on Earth. She can beat up the bad guys, she's always right, and she's got the biggest rack in the show. At one point, she wins a tug of war contest, while the entire opposing team consists of the rest of her school.
Now after processing all this information I could have condensed better if I wasn't so lazy, you either hate her or like her. If you like her, that's fine too. But if you hate her, you're missing the point. You won't ever like her. Once you realize you aren't supposed to, maybe you'll be able to enjoy the series.
Have you ever read a story in which you hated the villain? Or despised the little sniveling coward who always tried to cling to the main character's coat-tails? There's a difference between a badly written character and an intentionally unlikable character. And ironically, that's what Medaka is as the main character. The best side supporting character ever made.
Zenkichi is the one you are supposed to like, him and a bunch of other supporting characters, and then Kumawaga steps in and you hate how much you love him. Or maybe you love how much you hate him? Shiranui is incredibly mischievous and cute, while Kouki and Maguro are both bros respectively. All these people, who are weaker than Medaka, make the show what it is.
Now, if you took this plot serious, Niso trolled the living shit out of you. You should feel ashamed for being such a stupid fuck. Example, at one point 6 villains are introduced that are supposed to be super strong, but then they all get their asses kicked in one page by a newcomer to the set-piece. Forget the plot, that's not what matters in the least, and that's exactly why I didn't open up this review with the story section. It's all about the theme. Which is the whole, is there such a thing as perfection, and if so, what does this imply? Does always winning make you perfect? Does being beaten down, but constantly standing back up to fight make you perfect? Are you born with it? Can it be obtained? That's where the categories of normality, specials, abnormalities, minuses, and not equals come into play. Niso is playing a literary masterpiece on the grand scales, he's cranking the volume to a double forte, he's putting one foot on the gas, and one in the grave.
And then there's Kumagawa. YES. He is just the greatest character. Here's a little bit of his dialog.
"Even though I'm not cool, or strong, or just, or beautiful, or cute, or pretty, I want to beat the cool, strong, just, beautiful, cute, and pretty people.
Even though I wasn't blessed with talent, even though I'm stupid and have a bad personality, have bad grades, am misguided and am a good for nothing, I want to beat the talented, smart, likeable, overachieving people.
I want to beat those with friends when I can't have friends.
I want to beat the people who work hard when I can't work hard.
I want to beat the victorious people when I can't win.
I want to beat the happy people when I'm miserable.
Even if I'm hated, even if I'm despised, even if I'm useless, I want to prove that I'm better than the main characters!"
Even though this is a Shounen, each page is more text than fight. This isn't because of the normal, making a speech in the middle of a battle, cliché. This is because words get the theme across better than action.
Please be aware.
Chapters 1-12 is a mediocre/ok comedy.
Chapters 13-53 is an OK battle manga that sets up the next arc.
Chapters 54-93 is what gives this manga a 10.
And then up to 140 is a series of Arcs that play on what the previous chapters set up. Lot's of Meta elements.
this is a review of up to chapter 46 but I don't think my view will change much on the series as it is that good
This is a series written by Nisio Isin the man behind many hit light novels such as Bakemonogatari, The Beheading Cycle and Death Note Another Note so you know that there's gonna be something about it from his line up alone. it's a story that when I first read through I thought Nisio had been watching too much Haruhi, take one look at the main cast then look at the Haruhi cast and begin a very hard game of spot the differences. After reading through what there is a few times i decided that I was wrong and it is not Haruhi, it's Haruhi on steroids and as you know steroids make you better (isn't that right Baseball). it takes the best aspects of Haruhi and gives them a brief look at and moves on to it's eccentric points. Let me get one thing straight it's not a rip off, even though the last few lines would have you believe otherwise, it's a refined work of art with alot of similarities.
The story is all about 1 abnormal girl, 1 normally abnormal guy and their job on the student council at a school fill of stereotypes. Medaka(thats the abnormal girl in case you couldn't guess) lives for others and so she sets up a box, the "Medaka Box" for any student to make a request and the council will take care of it. the first few chapters revolve around this idea and the collection of the rest of the student council members. after the student council members are gathered the story immediately jumps up 100 notches and kicks you in the balls with the arrival of discipline group which leads into a great big can of anger management issues for Medaka followed by a "shock twist". While this all may sound rather cliche that's exactly what it's trying to be many people think this is all a load of BS and a mistake in story development but the thing is Nisio knows story development too well not to notice what he was doing, it was scripted to be a parody of the Shounen genre which is exactly what make the story so great, it's doing what only the greatest of the greats can do, take the piss out of itself while not giving a damn.
My only problem with the series would be the art, it's not that it's bad or anything it's that it just doesn't feel right to nisio's style. if you watch Bakemonogatari or Katanagatari you get a feel from the art work that Nisio had something to do with this because it does you don't get the same feeling that you get from those two, it feels rushed which is a general problem I get from reading anything punlished in shounen jump but that can't be helped because it is rushed and there's nothing I can do about it
While the supporting cast are generally a bunch of limp d***ed idiots this is perfectly compensated for by Medaka and other "abnormals" because they are truly that abnormal that you can't help but think they are epic. these abnormals add a sense of insanity to the whole series that just works and allows you to say that all the characters are epic even though only some of them are. Special props to Medaka, Miyakonojou, and "The Losers"
Something is special about this series to me, I can over look any flaws involving weak side characters annoying rushed feel to the art and lack of true originality to the plot by the fact that is lives off the "Rule of Cool". the "Rule of Cool" states that you can over look a lot of bad things about a series 'cause it's just so god damn f***ing epic. it truely does live off the "Rule of Cool" but it does so well, as does any series that lives of the "Rule of Cool" just because it does.
Special Mention to the fact that if you took the crew of DBZ and told them to go fight the Abnormals from Medaka Box you would get a battle that would have so much epic stuffed into it you couldn't see it without your mind exploding read more
DBZ, Yu Yu Hakusho, One Piece, Fairy Tale, Naruto, Bleach.......
What do all these great stories have in common? One simple word SHOUNEN.
While all stories are different, they are at their base the same. Introducing vast words and intricate powers that fill every fan boy out there with envy while at the same time introducing the idea of hard work and friendship.
Yet in this day and age, say something like ONE Piece is amazing or Naruto is overrated, whether it be online or in real life, and you pretty much going to get assaulted verbally , emotionally physically or some combination of the three.
Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of shounen and while I might have some nitpicks her and there with the series I mentioned before, I'd be lying if I didn't think they were ALL good in some way shape or form.
With that said, you’d think it would be rather difficult to come up with an original battle manga due to the fact that......well......THERE ARE SO MANY OF THEM THAT HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR YEARS.
That’s where this series comes in.
Medaka box is a shounen manga that had been licensed in weekly shounen jump for just under 4 years with 192 chapters
The stories setting develops on a rather simple premise: The Medaka Box. The Medaka Box is a suggestion box established by the main character, Medaka Kurokami, who is the student council president of sandbox academy . She and the rest of the student council take the suggestions from this completely ordinary box, and try to help others with their problems etc, etc. Seems simple and cliché I know but keep watching.
After taking a few chapters to introduce the characters, I began realizing one of the main reasons why this manga seemed so different. That reason being that Medaka is probably the most annoying character I've ever had the displeasure of reading about EVER.
Sure there are a variety of different pain in the ass main character in other popular series that annoyed the ever living piss out of me. And i can easily go on a small petty rant about them. But I won't, because I'm to mature for that.
The point I'm trying to get at here is that the fact that Medaka is an annoying character is actually done on purpose. This series is not your standard shounen series whose main goal is to sway you with feeling of adventure and friendship. Nor is it there to draw you in with dark and often times repetitive themes. Medaka box my friends is a satire.
That means the sole purpose of this manga is to take the main elements of other shounen series, turn the dial all the way to eleven and watch the fireworks. Everything you can consider right or wrong with the entire shounen genre gets introduced in this series but the author presents it in such an over the top way that you can't help but laugh a little bit inside when you realize what going on. Take Medaka for example, she's beautiful, smart, knows how to give an inspirational speech about hard work and victory. She's OP as hell, never loses, is always right and claims to live for others. She's like Jesus Christ with breasts. Everyone looks week and powerless compared to her and that’s kind of the point.
Sure you could say there is a plot in this series but I'm not even going to try and describe it because that would be like trying to translate the disassociated ramblings of the special Olympics spelling bee. I mean one minute it's DBZ level child abuse and the next it's DBZ getting owned by some demonic loli. If you try to read this series for its plot than you are going to rage. A LOT.
This becomes more prevalent during the later few arcs of the series were overall plot consistency seems to catch on fire and jump out the window with the author introducing a variety of plot twists that despite being enjoyable, left me with this urge to flip a table. I swear there was one time were the author took 3/4 of a chapter to explain the mechanics of some awesome finishing move, only for it to MISS.
I mean honestly, if I were to meet this author in real life, I wouldn't know whether I should shake his hand or punch him in the face. You really need to keep an open mind while reading this series because literally anything can happen.
This series also shouldn't be noted for its action because while there are some fight scenes in the series, they are few and far in-between. After all, this series was written by NISIO ISIN, the same person who wrote the monogatari series which isn't exactly know for its action (insert toothbrush image here).
Rather, like the monogatari series, this manga shines in its dialogue and character development. As the series goes on, it's cast seems to get larger and larger. Introducing a variety of characters who have their own quirks and personalities. Sure some characters get far more development than others but I can guarantee that you'll find at least one character to fall in love with (*Cough* Kumagawa *Cough*).
Overall this series, while not perfect, was an enjoyable ride. Reading it made me feel a variety of different emotions including happiness, anger, confusion, sadness, anxiety, more confusion and that typical feeling we all get when we know the creator is just trying to fuck us over.
I'm looking at YOU Haruhi and Evangelion.
Despite all this, I can honestly say that I was never once bored reading each and every chapter of this series and even though it isn't licensed in the US, I almost feel tempted to order the Japanese volumes from overseas despite not being able to read or speak the language.
However, Medaka box is not a series for everyone and is definably more of an acquired taste than one that everyone will enjoy. But if you're in the mood to read something different, or just wanna read a series that intentionally pisses on itself and the whole shounen genre in general than defiantly give this series a try.
Just a warning though, this manga seems to take a page right out of Hitman Reborn and starts off rather slow before actually getting interesting. Just bear with the first 17 chapters and I promise you you’ll find it’s not like anything you’ve ever read before if I haven’t already made that point clear. =P read more
In every story, every setting, every book or novel, there always seem to be that one character who just stands out a bit more than others. No, I don't mean that in an intimating way. What I mean is that there's the one character who stands out who is able to define him or herself in a different way than others. Why am I saying this? Well, long story short but there's a particular character in Medaka Box who fits into that category. Her name is Kurokami Medaka; just your everyday Abnormal Student Council president of Hakoniwa Academy. After gaining an overwhelming 98% favor of the student body, she stands now as the leader of both the academy and a role model of the students. She is seen with a million dollar body, an intellectual mind, an unrivaled charisma, and a commanding presence to the audience.
Color me surprised here but this girl just seems too perfect, huh?
In a nutshell, Medaka Box is a manga written by Nisio Isin with artwork by Akatsuki Akira. The author is known for his other famous works such as the Monogatari series that features exclusive dialogues that invites entertainment to readers and manga fans alike. Did Medaka Box achieve entertainment? Well, in some ways yes but in other ways a bit of no. But what it did achieve however is interest and maybe after reading this review, it will spark some interest in you too.
The manga takes place at a school life setting at a location known as the Hakoniwa Academy. It all seems pretty normal with the daily activities and school life themes. In fact, one can hardly tell that there is abnormality at all. However, you might want to change your mind once you meet Kurokami Medaka. As stated before, she is not your normal typical girl. In fact, she is a woman to be both feared and respected. The way she behaves in the manga often puts her on the edge of a superhuman with her achievements and actions. Luckily though, she seems to be using herself to help others which led to the formation of the Student Council. The club's goals features a little tool known as the 'Suggestion Box'. Literally, it's a box that accepts any suggestion from students at the academy. Whether it'd be problems related with parents, school, relationships, or just life in general, Medaka is willing to go about the end of the world to help those in need. Why? Well, I guess it's the root of her personality that makes her dominant and a person who is just willing to help others out of kindness. In fact, every time Medaka helps others, she would rewards herself with a pot of flowers. One day, Medaka hopes that a garden of these flowers will emerge in the academy and truly show her ways of kindness.
The club isn't just run by herself though. If that was the case, she'd be dead tired about now. Luckily, the other members of the club each holds his or her own position to help Medaka with her goal. Among these members includes Medaka's childhood friend Hitoyoshi Zenkichi who reluctantly joined. He is seen as someone who is more aloof and the type who tends to keep to himself. Additionally, there's Kouki Akune who seems to be infatuated with Medaka. His violent past as well as tough personality has given him the title the 'Prince of Judo' and is considered the oldest member of the club. Last but not least is Mogana Kikaijima who plays the role of the school treasurer. Her past is also seemed to be not one of the happiest but her own will as well as obsession with money keeps her going. She eventually joined the club and becomes the treasurer. There you have it, the club. Four members all with different styles and backgrounds formed together with one single purpose: to help out others.
Oh but that's a lot easier said than done.
The problem is that there are people who goes against kindness and lives more on selfishness to fuel their own decisions that results in consequences. For example, there's a group of individuals in the series who tries to operate a secret plan for their own purposes. They ignore the fact that there are consequences while making the claim that it's for the “common good” of the people. The truth is that such a plan will result in collateral damage and only people like Medaka with a heart of gold are able to stop them from their ambitions.
At any rate, the series follows its format of a seemingly chapter-by-chapter daily activities in the beginning. Later on though, the series immediately takes off with full throttle action in the form of battle shounen. Yes, folks, this is considered a battle shounen rather than the typical shoujo or a slice of life story. It takes that genre and often makes exaggerations of it through extended dialogue (curtosey of the author Nisio Isin) and action sequences. Of course, it always tries to poke fun with word play and the action itself here and there. The manga in fact is divided into 9 different story arcs with each of them featuring a different way of presenting the series.
The action in the series itself is balanced but occasionally have problems in being a bit cliched. Additionally, Medaka is somewhat bit of being too overpowered and displays her overwhelming power constantly. This is especially true in the beginning chapters where everything she seems to make everything she does so simple. However, there is a lot of action later on and most of it is presented with a way that a battle shounen should be. Luckily, there are a lot of characters in the series (with more making debuts each and every arc). Some of these characters makes returns and brings interest while making his or her own spotlights for themselves. Examples such as Najimi Ajimu, Youka Naze, Misogi Kumagawa, and Hansode Shiranui make strong impressions in the manga and sometimes or not, outshines Medaka herself. There are also characters who have their own uniqueness that defines them who they are. In essence, there are many characters in this series and each and every one of them plays a type of role to progress the various arcs of the manga.
The arcs themselves aren't meant to be taken too serious though. It's more like one of those excuses where the manga over-exaggerates itself with the comedy and gags. In fact, there are many gags in the this manga such as the dramatic tones, the egos of some of the characters, the catchy poses, and speech mannerisms of some characters. In a way, Medaka Box is one of those manga where if you decide to read it, read it like you're having fun rather than analyzing the battles themselves.
Despite all the fun I had while reading this manga, I did ran into some problems with the pacing as well as the overall conclusion. I guess it's like reading a book and once you get to a certain point, you ask yourself if this is what the author wanted to happen. Among other factors, I find the artwork of the manga to be a bit generic, even for a battle shounen. The way the characters are dressed shows that they are students but more than just your every day kid with his or her head stuck in the books. Rather, most of the characters seemed to dress in an unique fashion but hardly shows anything besides that besides some of the more prominent characters. Medaka also seems to lack any sort of true emphasis behind her character despite being a title character. Throughout the manga though, I did find that her relationship with some of the other members, in particular her childhood friend Zenkichi Hitoyoshi to be more detailed. However, the rest of the club members' relationship with Medaka seems to minimized and sometimes frustrates me.
Overall, this manga is a battle shounen that can be enjoyed at various levels. In many ways, its dialogues and humor will definitely spark some interest. Give it some time though as the first few chapters may seem normal but the later arcs will shift quickly to abnormal. Once that catches your interest, Medaka Box can be a fun read. In every story, every setting, every book or novel, there's always something that stands out. For Medaka Box, it's the fun that never ends with Medaka-chan and her friends.read more