7 Apr 2012

Medaka Box 1

Medaka Box, written by Nisioisin (of Bakemonogatari fame) and animated by Gainax (of FLCL fame), so what could possibly go wrong? Turns out, not much. Pretty decent adaptation, bits of nice animation, and generally good voice acting.

First-year student Kurokami Medaka wins 98% of the student votes to become the student council president of Hakoniwa Academy by loudly proclaiming to solve any problems the students might have. This "Medaka Box" is placed around the school and allows anyone to anonymously submit requests. Her idealistic view on things is balanced out by her pure determination and strength to enforce her ideals on others. Childhood friend Hitoyoshi Zenkichi gets dragged along to basically just follow her and be by her side. The first request was to get rid of the hoodlums loitering in the school's old Kendo hall. Medaka takes care of this easily with her strength, and soon some sense of order seems to be in place. However, the one who submitted the request has a bad attitude and simply wanted the hoodlums gone so that he could take control of the Kendo hall himself. He attacks Zenkichi in anger for letting the hoodlums use the Kendo hall for proper Kendo practice, but got a surprise himself when Zenkichi turns out to be no pushover. Weirdly enough, all the bad guys reform, and one of them is even in love with Medaka... hmm...

I had already read a bit of the manga, so I knew what to expect from the episode. It's pretty much what I expected. Nothing too exciting here, but it's still interesting. Medaka is an intriguing character, but she has yet to open up. At this moment, she just seems so distant and incomprehensible. I can see how this would work as a light novel, but Nisioisin has to remember that he's working on a manga here, so subtle facial expressions matter a whole lot... and Medaka has none. I also did not expect Toyosaki Aki to voice this character... her voice just isn't strong and assertive enough. On the other hand, Kato Emiri is excellent as Shiranui Hansode! Super cute without going into cringe-worthy territory. As expected, from the voice of Kyubey.

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