Medaka Box News

Medaka Box is a franchise comprised of 2 anime series, 1 manga series
| |

Plot

Medaka Kurokami, a first year student at Hakoniwa Academy, excels at everything she does. She becomes the Student council president and along with her childhood friend, Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, she plans to solve all of the student body's problems that are submitted to a suggestion box, dubbed the "Medaka Box."

By AnimeNewsNetwork

Go Anime Vice!

| |
There are many kinds of villains. There are villains we love to hate, villains we hate, villains that ruin a series, villains that define a series, villains we sympathise with...
And then you get these guys.
There is no sympathy with these monsters.
Because that's what they are.
Monsters.
See, I just read the 56th and 57th chapters of Medaka Box. Perhaps you've heard of it? It's a brilliant deconstruction made by the man who brought you Bakemonogatari of what happens when a Mary Sue goes around solving everyone's problems, only there are other Sues that, frankly, don't want their problems to be fixed.
And these two chapters sent shivers down my spine. 
How?
With one character. 
Just one, new character.
Kumagawa Misogi. 
 
 He'd stand there amid the carnage, blood on his hands and stolen  jewellery in his pocket, and with an expression of injured innocence  declare, 'Me? What did I do?' And it was believable right up until you  looked hard into those cheeky, smiling eyes, and saw, deep down, the  demons looking back...Of course, by then, you'd taken your eyes off his knife.
 He'd stand there amid the carnage, blood on his hands and stolen jewellery in his pocket, and with an expression of injured innocence declare, 'Me? What did I do?' And it was believable right up until you looked hard into those cheeky, smiling eyes, and saw, deep down, the demons looking back...Of course, by then, you'd taken your eyes off his knife.
- Terry Pratchett, Night Watch
 
 
This guy appeared at the end of chapter 55 standing amongst the bodies of several powerful named characters. He's covered in other people's blood, and holding a massive oversized screw in his hand.
Not just that. Look at his face. His posture. His hands.
I don't read Japanese, but I can tell you what he was saying.
He could be holding a bloody knife in one hand and a bloodstained purse in the other while standing in an alley next to a bleeding woman  on the ground, and he'd be saying the same thing with the same expression.
"Who, me? What did I do?"
That sets off warning bells in anyone's mind, but over the course of these two chapters, you realise what he actually is.  
A Monster.
A Complete Monster.

This is Kumagawa Misogi
This is Johan Liebert.
This is Frieza.
This is Envy.
This is Father.
This is Kimblee.
This is Tucker.
This is Orochimaru.
This is Hidan.
This is Haguro Dou.
This is Light Yagami.
 
These are just the ones from anime I've seen. These are villains with which there is no forgiveness. There is no sympathy. Their excuse for their actions is meaningless, because that's just what they were looking for. And don't give me any crap about how Light had ideals. So did Peter Sutcliffe. A serial killer is a serial killer.
 
The thing is, these guys will kill you. And they'll enjoy it.
There's no redeeming these bastards.
There's no forgiving them.
They are unforgivable.
The only mercy they are worthy of is a cold knife through their throat.
 
Now, Kumagawa Misogi invoked one reaction from me: FEAR.
I was afraid of this guy.
 The Monster Himself
 The Monster Himself
This is in a comedy manga about a mary sue who solves everyone's problems.
And I was terrified.
I hadn't felt like that since I read Monster.
These guy's know that they're evil bastards.
And they love it.
Some may try to think that they're 'cleaning' the world, or that they're in the right.
But the fact is that you'll never convince them to change.
And it's terrifying. 
Because the only way to stop them is a prison cell or a bullet through the skull.
 
These are incredibly hard to pull off. I mean, flat characters are boring and unrealistic, but if you sympathise with them, then they're not Complete Monsters.  
And a poorly done Complete Monster doesn't work. These villains are All Or Nothing. Fear or no reaction. 
See, this is what Aizen TRIES to be, except we're not afraid of him. He doesn't evoke fear from the readers, just annoyance. We don't want him dead or forgiven, we want him out of the way so Bleach will either end or be interesting again.
True Monsters define a story.
You never forget them.
 
What about you guys? Do you enjoy a good Complete Monster?
| |
Need to rant about something insignificant, might as well do it here...
 
Okay, it sounded interesting at first: a Haruhi-ish character who was using her powers for good instead of self-interest, slowly gathering up her awesome own student council that would work for the greater good of the school. Okay, fine, I can stomach overly-powerful student councils if only for parody reasons. The problems arise when too much of the focus is on Medaka herself instead of the much more interesting supporting cast. It started out with descriptions of how smart, talented, and strong Medaka was. The problems started arising when Medaka actually became God in all but name. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and at one point she actually balances her entire body on a single waterwing floating in the pool just so she could make a point.
 
But no chapter illustrates the Mary-Sue-ness of Medaka more than chapter 17 of Medaka Box. To sum it up, her main rival in the school's Discipline Committee or whatever cackled that his subordinates were going to strike down each of her council members/friends when they didn't see it coming. One of them carried a bicycle (yes, a whole bicycle) as a weapon, the second had Wolverine-like claws, and the third had a hidden chain. This could have been a point where all the "good guys" showed off their skills while Medaka proclaimed her confidence, and it would have been enough material to last at least three chapters. But instead, Medaka simply runs so fast that she leaves an afterimage and saves them all with her sheer awesomeness before the chapter ends, while the other students watch and go, "Yeah, that's our Medaka."
 
Basically, take what you know about The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and think about it for a second. Now imagine if the majority of the story was told from Haruhi's point of view instead of Kyon and the supporting cast. It would not be as good. Why? Because she's (allegedly) GOD. She can do ANYTHING. Everytime she saved the world before the end of the chapter, you would just shrug your shoulders and go "Yeah, so what else is new?" just like the bystanders in Chapter 17 of Medaka Box. I guess my point is if you're going to give a character near godlike power, either focus on his/her supporting cast (because that's where the real drama is) or you better be real damn creative with how you tell the story. Otherwise, it gets boring and predictable to the point where it may be dropped altogether.
Pokemon Black and White Looks Delicious in Motion

First video of a Pokemon battle in Black and White.

Comment & Win: One Piece Vol. 52, 53

Time for a giveaway folks! Now, act civil, we don't want anyone to get hurt in the mad rush to win.

Beginner's Guide to FLCL

Gainax's madcap, surrealist anime, broken down for new viewers.

Ballz Deep

Steve gets intimately close to Dragon Ball Z, for science!

Top 3 Awful Anime Dubs

Grit your teeth and get your ear plugs ready cause this week we're taking on the three most amazingly bad dubs of all time!

Anime Vice Battle User of July 2014: Low

Congratulations to Low!

SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL #1 -- Special Review

What was revealed about this reboot from the Anime Expo screening?

Anime Expo 2014 Recap

Vice Pit sentai squad assemble!

DRAGON BALL :: Should You Watch Dub or Sub?

Episode #11. Retro review. He's bringing THAT question up again?

BLEACH Ch. 587 Review

The war has taken an unexpectedly disappointing turn in direction.

NARUTO Ch. 683 Review

When things are at their worst, the only place to go is up,....right?

ALDNOAH ZERO #1 -- Special Review

An info dump that... still smells good?

JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE : STARDUST CRUSADERS #10 + 11 -- Double Review!

This one will make you cry the manliest tears!

Anime Vice Battle User of July 2014: Low

Congratulations to Low!

SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL #1 -- Special Review

What was revealed about this reboot from the Anime Expo screening?

ALDNOAH ZERO #1 -- Special Review

An info dump that... still smells good?

DRAGON BALL :: Should You Watch Dub or Sub?

Episode #11. Retro review. He's bringing THAT question up again?

BLEACH Ch. 587 Review

The war has taken an unexpectedly disappointing turn in direction.

Anime Expo 2014 Recap

Vice Pit sentai squad assemble!

JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE : STARDUST CRUSADERS #10 + 11 -- Double Review!

This one will make you cry the manliest tears!

ONE PIECE Ch. 752 Review

Finding extraordinary solutions to unique problems appears to be the theme of the week.

Top Editors
Mandatory Network

Submissions can take several hours to be approved.

Save ChangesCancel