AniMeh is one our Periodicals, created because of our love for anime and manga.
What we do with AniMeh is talk about anime and manga that we don’t find satisfactory, and concentrate on the factors that make them fail.
We plan on talking exclusively about completed works, old and new. After all, the worlds of anime and manga are so vast that it’s worth exploring everywhere. We will try to not reveal any plot twists, but sometimes they might be worth mentioning to prove our point.
That being said, let’s get this show on the road!
Today’s AniMeh: Medaka Box
Original Title: めだかボックス
High School Life
Cast (main):Kayano Ai
Opening Theme: “Happy Crazy Box”
by Kuribayashi Minami
Ending Theme: “Ohanabatake ni Tsurette”
by Toyosaki Aki”
- Like most anime, this series was based off a manga of the same name, which was penned by NisiOisiN and featured art by Akatsuki Akira.
- Apparently the manga has done well in Japan and has sold over 3 million copies…meh.
Highly intelligent (and obligatorily busty) high school girl Kurokami Medaka is a perfectionist in every sense of the word. So much so, that she becomes the student council president alongside her childhood friend, (anime aficionados know how those relationships turn out) Hitoyoshi Zenkichi. Medaka plans to solve all of the students’ problems by setting up a suggestion box called “The Medaka Box”.
Never heard of this series? I’m not surprised.
It’s not memorable in any way. It’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s just…Meh. This whole series was viewed (in its entirety, mind you) by yours truly, and I admit I was not disgusted…but I was not entertained either. I was bored with the premise of it after an episode or two. Much like the summary states, the series is about a perfectly perfect student council president who sets up a suggestion box and — like the super girl she is — fixes all of the students’ woes, usually in the most outlandish of fashions. Each episode was presented in a problem-of-the-week format. Kind of like Dragon Ball Z, but without the length, unnecessary deaths, and bulging muscles (replaced with boobs instead).
Here is a series that relies on tired anime tropes, mediocre characters, and a female protagonist who is so perfect, she is unable to bring any sense of empathy from the viewer. She does all of this while doing everything she can to be the center of attention, taking away most other characters’ time in the spotlight.
Dull, trite, forgettable, and any other possible synonym I could use for boring perfectly describes Medaka Box.
The Three Fails
#1. Did I mention Medaka is a Mary Sue character?
The aspect of the series is so damning it is worth mentioning twice. The definition of a “Mary Sue” is a female who is flawless in nearly every manner to the point that she is annoying. Medaka is just THAT: She is smart, beautiful, athletic, kind, generous, determined…
Need I say more?
In order for a character to be interesting there needs to be some realism attached to them – a flaw, or some kind of goal to be achieved. A character who is everything will be nothing to the viewer because they cannot relate to them.
She also is nothing but a male fantasy…
Seriously, in almost every episode she is either taking her clothes off and exposing her “unmentionables,” or in some skimpy outfit to showcase her “goodies.” I’m all for a little skin, but for a character that is supposed to be the paradigm of virtue, it all seems a little skeevy.
#2. This series was made by Gainax…Gainax, I tell you!
Say what you will about Neon Genesis Evangelion, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, or FLCL there is one thing that can never be uttered about them: lackluster. Gainax is known for making some of the most vibrant and attention-grabbing anime in the history of the medium. Be it visually enticing animation, or powerfully written fiction, Gainax usually has at least one of their bases covered in a show.
Not with this series!
This anime is not particularly aesthetically striking (although the animation can be good at times) or thematically riveting. For a Gainax work the ball was seriously dropped and nothing about it screams — or even whispers — that this was something put together by the same studio that brought the controversial Evangelion or the zany FLCL. Much like a blob-fish, Medaka Box just floats around in the Gainax ocean and just, well, exists. It really does nothing to add to the fame of Gainax other than put another name in the studio’s filmography.
#3. There appears to be a sequel series of this…Why?
I have a feeling that this series might go on and on because it is so conventional – much like other series which follow Medaka Box’s repetitive style of storytelling. But at least series like Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho, and One Piece can be entertaining.
But this anime will just be more of a rehash of the same thing, minus the fun. I guess hyper-inflated breasts really is the glue that holds the modern anime industry together, because this series gained enough of a following to make a second season.
Watch this anime…
…if you like your shows to be forgettable and formulaic. Tell you what, just watch the opening and you will get everything you need from this series.