Title: Medaka Box
Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance
Summary: 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.”
Review: Medaka Box ended up being one of those anime that started with a very poor impression and left me with a pleasant surprise. A combination of things made me excited to watch this anime week after week. The characters, short story arcs, clean animation, and comedy kept a steady positive progression that ultimately led me to consider this anime worth watching. It didn’t quite make it to the top of my list though because there were some slow episodes. There were times I zoned out and didn’t pay much attention, which was sad to say since it didn’t have that many episodes to begin with. Nevertheless it filled a tight spot in the Spring 2012 season and as an anime in general. I’ll also be looking forward to the next season coming out in Fall!
The animation for Medaka Box did a great job mixing touching scenes, comedy, and action. I would say a majority of the animation did well because of the action that took place in between episodes. However, when I say action I don’t mean the typical action like fighting; many of the episodes had non-violent competitions that I still considered action packed. The water games was a great example where this anime did a good job keeping my attention. There were some ecchi moments as well but it wasn’t artistically grotesque. They kept it classy, kind of. You can’t really go without some fan service in these type of anime, but luckily that wasn’t that the main point of it. The story itself wasn’t very intense, but the characters and flow made it worth watching.
Most people wouldn’t find the story to be that interesting after reading a summary or even after a full explanation, yet I found myself pulled into the little problems the student council was going through .They had to take care of the 2% that didn’t want Medaka to become student council president which was basically a group of delinquents. Although the anime was very unrealistic (it’s an anime come on), it provided a lot of great character development and situational thought. Medaka was one of those characters I can get behind in an anime because of how overpowered she was. She was supposed to be picture perfect, the best at everything, but throughout the season you realize she has her faults too. Her devotion and passion toward making everyone’s school life the best was kind of inspiring. Together with her less-stellar friend Zenkichi they managed to tackle a large variety of problems from modeling to punishing. I was afraid that the series would lose its charm but it kept coming out with some good plots. There were some slow parts though which made me drop its score. Not all of the episodes were jaw-dropping amazing or held my attention 100%. Overall it did a good job, but there could have been some improvements. The series also had one of the best endings in the season packed with a ton of action and heart warming messages. Seeing Medaka go god-mode was terrifying and exciting. I was looking forward to the second season after the first ended, and I feel like there could be a lot more improvements to make the series better. However, there is also a lot of ways the series can go downhill, the front and foremost being repetition. I’m afraid that the series will lose its charm because it doesn’t come out with anything interesting. There was that little side romance going on, but let’s be honest, nothing was going to come of it. I’m sure the second season will be the same way.
The soundtrack for Medaka Box wasn’t too bad, but nothing memorable. I think I skipped the opening and ending every time, but there was some good background music. Everything was kind of poppy so I didn’t really get into it. I re-listened to the OST for this review as well and none of it stood out. There were some pretty catch songs like Shikkou! Hakoniwa Seitokai which has a really nice piano opening and electronic beat. It is probably my favorite of the lot. Another one that is pretty popular is Approach Completion. It’s strange but I liked how all of them opened, but the song themselves seemed pretty cookie-cutter. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it is because I don’t actually speak Japanese, but it isn’t my style.
Final statements: I’m really glad they decided to make a second season and look forward to it in Fall 2012. It is definitely a preferred watch for anyone looking for a solid comedy/action anime. The bits of romance here and there were also kind of touching, but it is more of a close friends love than an actual relationship. Still, I’m rooting for you Zenkichi!