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.
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.
Before I start my review I wana say that this manga is underrated.
This manga is my fav and I think that until now no manga effected me like this one did.
At first I watched the first season of the anime, to say the truth more half of the first season was like a very strong and smart girl helping who needs help.
When I read that this is an action anime I said to myself where is the action?! the after more than half the series ended and nothing special happened.
I was surprised when it changed after that.
And then came the second season where I
was a lot surprised of the changes that happened in it.
Medaka Box became one the animes i felt excited about.
But at the end of the second season the anime stopped at a weird moment, so i decided to read the manga.
AND IT WAS AS COOL AS THE BEST SHOUNEN MANGAS.
Story: A greatly superior girl helps who needs her help at her school by becoming the student council president. and forcing her childhood normal guy zenkichi to help her.
The student council gets another members and solves the students problems so I give it 9.
Characters: The characters is the main reason that will make you love the anime and this role will be for one of the support characters called Kumagawa,
To be short Kumagawa is the kind of character that you never expect what he will do, just a perfect mix for good and bad like (smart-stupid or strong-weak or even cool-lame) and this character may be the main reason for you to love Medaka Box.
And for our MC, its ok if you love her but its ok too if you don't love her, its not going to effect your opinion of the manga at all.
For the abilities in this manga, its not that kind of abilities that will make you wanna do cuz its cool its just cool cuz its weird, so I give the characters 10.
Art: The art in the manga or the anime isn't that attractive in fact the anime's art is something like the 2000's animes
but the art isn't that effective in the manga so i give it 7.
Enjoyment: I guess after reading all that I wrote, you know what is the rating. but well lets just say it perfect 10.
NOTE: there is one thing that I want to say, at least for me unlike all the shounen manga there is 2 things that are alil bit different from the others
1) Normally you are waiting for the fight to get excited, but in this manga the trongest wepon is the character's personality and the words that characters say.
2) Normally in any anime te 4th wall breaking is meant for comedy but in this anime its kinda different and actually is kinda cool.
I've come to realize that people who watched the anime series will have an hard time to grasp what the series is trying to accomplish, as it only shows it's true colors by the third arc (I'm counting Uzen has first arc, since everything before it was just establishing characters).
It goes something like this:
Pre-First arc: Mneh.
First Arc: Okay, things are picking up, this may become interesting.
Second Arc: Generic yeah, but it's fun (This is where the anime ends, as far as I was told, btw)
Third Arc: The author comes at this point and laughs at you for having liked the first two arcs.
Box is simply a satire of shonen mangas tropes. It basically grabs Goku, Naruto, Ichigo, Luffy, Jesus Christ and boobs and mix them together in the most overpowered, ridiculous, bland character of all time. Why is Medaka so strong? Well, the explanation is "Because she is the main character", you can't argue with that.
But I'd say that the strong point is, rather than the main character, everyone else. From Kumagawa, the boy who always loses, Zenkichi, the true main character, or even a villain that, even though she's the most OP thing in the story of OP things, simply refuses to fight Medaka because "Main characters always win against last bosses."
The third and fourth arc are what make Medaka Box what it is, because it's the one that really explores the ridiculousness of battle mangas, but not in a bad way. It's never "Shonen mangas are so stupid and ridiculous, you should be reading actual good things." it's more like: "Shonen mangas are so ridiculously stupid, but so what? They are supposed to be, it's what makes them fun, and that's why you should read them." And that's true, no matter how many complex and serious stories are there, there will always be space for simple fun stories too, and we should enjoy both.
So that's why Medaka Box exists, and you'll either love it or be pissed off by it.
I've started reading the manga after watching the anime. Well, the anime covered the first two arcs, and of course didn't end properly (manga is 194 chapters long). More motive to start reading the manga.
I would say that it have a mix of everything: School life, comedy, romance, fights, riddles, puzzles, suspense, drama, and a lot of side characters. Its difficult to classify. Its more like the next arc always present an new element that sum up with the previous arcs.
I recommend reading at least the first arc after the anime ends (third arc: minus). At this
point you can say that you like or dislike it. So I will make a review of the first three arcs.
The art is good. The characters are well drawn, in spite of the great variety. The author did a great job, making every character unique. The quality don't drop through the arcs. With the focus on the characters and dialogues, the background was left with bare minimum. Its interesting that sometimes you get so into the dialogue that you forget where you are, or that you still are on a school.
The plot and character development that make this manga great.
The first arc (Unzen arc) covers the first season of the anime. Starts with a overpowered, charismatic main character. School council president, a monster of a fighter and with the manga title in her name, Medaka could be the center of some comedy, romance, school life manga. This arc only works for presenting the story, the characters and to initiate the second arc.
The second arc (flask plan), things start to change. A lot of fights take places, people with odd skills appear. At this point you can notice that the plot really starts and the story progress in a way totally different from when started.
In the third arc (minus), you can notice that the atmosphere changes. The plot kicks in, the manga start to develop the characters psychologically. You still have a lot of fights, but their content is not entirely exchange of punches and kicks, weird skills and such. There is a lot of "talk no jutsu", drama and suspense take its course.
Personally, toward the middle, I found this manga a little repetitive. Its not like you don't enjoy it, but over several fights, for someone that master any skill, gets hard to create someone that can put up a battle. Some parts are too focused on japanese characters (kanji and hiragana), so the english version totally miss the effort the author put in it. Well, the author do explain every pun, but you will miss the effect it was on the story.
The characters are original and unique. With a lot of characters, there is absolutely some that you will like most, be it a protagonist or coadjuvant. Downside, its hard to keep track of then. Some you will forget quickly, others gets sequence in the story.
Definitely enjoyed. Got addicted in the end of the second arc. The story is not that much, but the plot was well made, original and unpredictable to the very end.