Sunday, April 3, 2016

Medaka Box - Why It's Not Perfect

Written by Shiggins

A request was made a while ago by Reginald Hanzo, a long-time commenter of Otaku Nuts, for a Medaka Box WINP article. And I was admittedly hesitant at first, since I knew that the series isn't as well-known to western audiences as my other WINP articles and I didn't want to spoil a series before they get to enjoy it. I only want to spoil it afterwards. However, I love me a challenge and so I decided I'd give it a try for my 6th WINP.  The links to my other 5 WINP articles are at the bottom of this article.

A surprisingly badass group of... WHAT'S WRONG WITH MEDAKA'S FACE HERE?!
Fanservice... Kinda

This has become my equivalent to CinemaSin's "Golden Gate Bridge" cliché. Constantly popping up (and busting out teehee), fanservice is all the rage in anime and manga. It's almost like someone is trying to sell me boobs. "Do you like boobs? We got boobs! We got boobs a plenty! What kind of man are ya? A little type? A massive type? We got all kinds, pal!" 

And yet, every girl I've told this to got angry at me for some reason. Someone explain why! Is it a sexist thing? I bet it's a sexist thing. Women are sexist to me because I say they should take their bras off. How unfair!
That being said, I want to use this time to ask a question to you all. Is fanservice always fanservice? Just because a scene has nudity or breasts in a manga, does that automatically make it fanservice? I mean, I personally wouldn't consider Erza's torture scene fanserviceable, and I often have trouble deciding if jokes relating to breasts are fanservice or not. I mean... it is technically for a joke, not for arousal... So it leaves me wondering.

See? I feel uncomfortable considering this "for the fans".
Medaka Box also makes me question this sometimes. Obviously, we get sexy outfits and cleavage and whatnot, but what about battle damage? Medaka herself manages to take some real damage, and her clothes get torn apart so we can see her bra and PANTSU (sorry, got overexcited), but does that count as fanservice or battle damage? This flaw is still a flaw because Medaka and others do use fanservice a lot, but is battle damage fanservice? Let me know in the comments.

Mary Sue. She Annoys Me and She Annoys You

As someone who fancies himself a writer, this one bugs me. A lot. Admittedly, I can think of worse examples but Medaka is definitely one of the biggest. For those who don't know, a Mary Sue is a character type that is considered "perfect". Everything they do or say or even look like is gorgeous and unbeatable, and they always win no matter what, with zero flaws except the ones that just make them even more perfect. You can think of many examples, I'm sure.

According to the internet, this guy is such a Mary Sue (or a Gary Stu since penis) that he's literally been nicknamed Jesus.
Now admittedly, Medaka Box almost fixed this during one surprisingly intriguing arc, where characters rightfully told Medaka herself that she's not perfect. Or to be more precise; "she's too perfect". They argued with her, and even protagonists turned against her during this part of the story. I know it sounds dickish, but trust me. It's actually quite clever.

If this isn't perfect symbolism, I don't know what is!
Honestly, if the series had finished Medaka's Mary Sue elements at that point, I'd give it a gold star. Unfortunately however, it disappoints. Instead, the series goes right back to Medaka being perfect. Admittedly, she's not as overpowered and perfect as before, but it's still there. She's not losing tons of fights or failing like a normal person would. And that... that is such a letdown. I can't even say anything else but that.

1 Genre Digivolve to... Another Genre!

Honestly, some people might actually consider this a plus. If so, no problem as the idea of one series providing many changes and surprises is an endearing one. However, I just know some of you out there will hate it. The series begins as a slice-of-life comedy before going into shonen, and then changing throughout at a sudden left turn. Sometimes, it'll be action. Sometimes, it'll be a romance. Sometimes, it'll be... a fucking word game. It's clever and stupid at the same time.

...Yeah. The tone is just like that.


Read the manga.

The anime adaptation isn't great. At all. However, when a character uses the word "chan" while speaking English, it's awkward and uncomfortable. It doesn't belong unless you're speaking the language. Or being hilariously ironic. And Medaka Box's anime does neither. Now admittedly, maybe that's because of future arcs using the honorific to further the story, but it never gets to that point since the series is short.  

Oh, I almost forgot to mention. All the names and labels the different types of characters have can be very confusing, so either be really smart or read the wiki.
Side Note: These two characters are fucking hilarious.
Speaking of translations and whatnot, the later arcs are not kind to you if you don't speak Japanese. Near the end, the arc starts to use it's own Japanese language as a form of attack and manipulation. Words are thrown about and cleverly joined together or torn apart to create types of magic. It's very confusing however, since I don't speak Japanese and need the series to explain every single sentence so I can understand what's even happening. As someone who adores a good word game or pun, I can respect what Medaka Box is doing. As a dumbass failure, I just get upset and cry in the shower. So in a way, I'm more faulting myself than the series... Meh, still a sin.


God, how many times do I need to say this when talking about an anime or manga?! I've been screaming because of this with every new chapter of Nisekoi I read (and trust me, that series is getting a WINP article once it finishes), but Medaka Box is taking the piss with it! Fairly early on, the series reveals the main male protagonist is in love with the main female protagonist, because of course he is. Hell, he even confesses fairly early on!

Wrong kiss, damn it!
And yet, the series manages to provide the biggest bullshit reasons I've ever seen to keep them apart. From a rejection at the age of 2, to traditional values and standards, to just being too busy, the series wastes so much time on something that, for all intents and purposes, is enjoyable to see. I personally think they have good chemistry. Their scenes together are nice, as well as unique... but sadly, we live in a world where i can go to hell for wanting to see romance begin before the credits roll in. Screw me, right?!

Kumagawa Deserves More Attention

Have you bowed to the East and praised the sun for the creation of Kumagawa? If the answer is yes, go seek therapy. If the answer is no, you're a bad person who should seek therapy. I want the whole world to know about the greatness that is Kumagawa Misogi, and fuck you if you don't know who he is. Bad reader! Bad!

Goddamn it, Kumagawa!  I love you so damn much!

Shiranui is Not My Wife

...Ignore that title.

What I meant to say was that Shiranui is an amazing character, who is not in the story enough. Like many supporting characters in many other manga, I wish she was around more. Why isn't this a "All Side Characters" section? Because I don't care about Akune. Fuck Akune. He's not Shiranui. 

Totally not edited. It's part of the manga. Look it up... Please don't look it up.

My amazing collection of "Why It's Not Perfect" Articles:

If there are any more articles you'd like me to do, or there's anything I missed, sound off in the comments below!

......Was this manga written by God?

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page

1 comment:

  1. ...I was gone, for so long. Wandering the world, trapped without a means to access the internet or comment on this wonderful site. My carefully calculated schedule of watching manga and anime crumbled to pieces, reduced to rubble by the season of suffering known as 'Exams'. Even after the war was over however, I found myself unable to reattain my former habits.

    And then, one day, I returned. Covered in dust, my body weary and worn with exhaustion and my stomach bemoaning the lack of proper sustenance. I thought, "What was the point of continuing on?"

    Then I found this article- and while it was an article of decent interest, what kept my attention upon it was the following words: "Reginald Hanzo, a long-time commenter of Otaku Nuts".
    I realized, then. That this struggle was not just mine, oh no. I remembered that others had passed before me, wandering down the rugged road known as Life. And if they could walk it and survive, keeping a firm hold on the aniweb as well, then who was I to claim that I could not do the same?

    So I thank you, Shiggins, for going out of your way to tackle this maddening manga for me. It's not perfect, it's real damn eccentric, and all in all it's a great read. But it does have its flaws, and you hit them really well here.

    (Though, I'm not sure what I was doing addressing something like Medaka Box though. I mean, there's tons of better series to take a look at... Like Tokyo Ghoul or Hero Academia-
    *shot, killed, stabbed with a kagune and burned with Quirk fire*
    ...joking, mostly. But still!)

    Above everything else though, it's good to be back.