Medaka Box was a show that really grew on me. I decided to claim the show right away when I heard Gainax was making it, but did very little research on what the show was all about. As soon as I started seeing the artwork, manga, and character designs I started to get scared. The simple plot of a Student Council responding to a school's request via suggestion box seemed a bit too simple for me.
I'm one of those gals that often can't get past character designs. They really set the tone for me, and since half my enjoyment of anime is esthetics, I started to get scared. If you followed any of my Annotated Anime updates, you probably know I was pretty disappointed after watching the first episode. Was I going to be a victim of my own hype, or was I about to learn a lesson in judging a book by its cover. Hit the jump to see if Hiroko finally gets put in her place.
Yes, I did just refer to myself in third person. I guess my ego is starting to get the best of me. I better be careful of that action. Anyway --yes, I hated the show at first. I didn't get any of the zany humor, or anime gags going on. Most of all, the show made my eyes bleed. I don't watch much comedy anime, so I was setting myself up for a rough ride. By the second episode I was about to give up, and just watch my HBO shows. Luckily, my pal Elliot Gay was a fan of the manga, and encouraged me to stick with the show.
What happened slowly was a realization I really judged the show all wrong. Sure it was brash, full of boobie jokes, and still was designed by a jerk. However, the show really did have a lot of things going on underneath. It was a slow build up, bit it often got dark, personal, and most of all human. The show itself was based around the character of Medaka Kurokami and her student council. In the end, Medaka represented an almost inhumane idea. A concept and ideal that was larger than life, seemingly flawless and invincible. Yet, that was her huge fault.
That untouchable nature is what drew you to the world around her and the other members of the Student Council. No one could ever match her beauty, skills, and power, yet their humanity is what set them apart. The show was surprisingly touching at times, although the moments were brief enough to steer clear of being a tear jerker.
The spilt nature of the episodes were a bit jarring as the stories were summed up quickly. When ideas spanned a whole episode it really seemed tow work best. Some of the characters were also quite a bit underdeveloped. I get that it was only 11 episodes spanning a large part of the manga, but a lot of that time could have been used a little better. Lots of things about my favorite character Shiranu had been implied, but never gave me the payoff I wanted. Just what is her story? Or is she just what she is? From what I've read about the manga, a lot of the background about what exactly is going down at this zany school is just not covered.
From a technical perspective, the animation and details did seem to pick up quite a bit at the end. I'm glad the show was smart enough to make fun of the ridiculous way that Medaka is dressed. It made the whole design of her make just a bit more sense. One thing I still find unforgivable is the soundtrack. Most of the music is severely out of place, and just plain boring. Perhaps I watch the show a little too late at night, but damn, that music always made me angry. Please hire someone else to do the music next season!
I could go on about what I don't know about the show, but I'll just describe it as good clean fun. There wasn't a ton of deep meaningful things going on, but it turned into a pleasure to watch. The last few episode really turned up the heat, and actually had me early awaiting the next week. The way the show wrapped up was also pretty interesting. Medaka didn't even appear. It was all about the aftermath of her breaking her seemingly impermeable shell. Pretty cool if you ask me.
I'm sure this isn't the last we've seen of Hakoniwa Academy and the Medaka Box. They seemingly have a lot o ground to cover in the next season, and I for one am looking forward to it. Now that they've tackled the ideas of Medaka and her humanity, where do they do from here?
Oh yeah, next season definitely needs more Mogana!
From other sites around the web