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Medaka Box Episode #02 Anime Review

4 min read

The suggestions continue to pour in, but Medaka also knows how to delegate.

What They Say:
A new request has been submitted to the suggestion box. The request from Ariake-senpai is to identify the culprit on the fiercely competitive who has been giving her grief. After Zenkichi is blown away by Medaka’s astounding powers of deduction, the student council, with information provided by Shiranui, moves to the track to take action.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The opening episode of Medaka Box wasn’t one that blew me away, but it had some fun moments and went for the gusto by giving us a lead character who petty much hits every cliche that you’d expect and did it faster than most other series do. While it focused largely on Medaka, it also worked how the relationship with childhood friend Zenkichi worked as he’s the otherwise normal guy in the pairing who is most of the time just suffering through what’s going on. As it played out, you could easily see where it’s going to go and it did it with a bit of style but not enough uniqueness to make it stand out, especially for a series being done by Gainax. That in the end may work against it the most unless it does something radical, which isn’t expected since it’s adapting a known work.

This episode has things slow down a little bit which is appreciated as Medaka deals with a new suggestion that has come in her box as student council president. Unlike the previous one, this one is signed by Ariake of the track team who wants Medaka to find out who is sabotaging her track ambitions by causing all sorts of problems with her equipment. The whole situation is actually dealt with fairly quickly when you get down to it but it’s pretty instructive about what Medaka’s character is all about in how she handles situations, which also gets a little bit of commentary by Zenkichi as he reflects on how his job in relation to her has changed since middle school as well.

The second half goes in a whole other direction and does expand on Medaka a bit more in an amusing way as we learn she has a troubled past when it comes to animals, having been the one assigned in her class years ago to take care of the pets that went wrong in some life scarring way. That puts the latest suggestion on Zenkichi’s part which is to find a lost puppy, though it’s nowhere what he thought it would be when he really sees said animal. This actually turns out better than I thought, even if it plays it as you’d expect, simply because the style is a bit more in line with what I expected from the humor with some wacky design moments and a sense of pacing that kept it fun even as it dealt with something so very simple. And it let Zenkichi take the focus for a bit without Medaka around for most of it which helped to smooth his personality out a bit more.

In Summary:
Medaka Box doesn’t exactly redeem itself here but it has slowed things down a bit while at the same time upping the wacky factor. This doesn’t really hit until near the end of the episode when Medaka gets involved in the puppy hunt but it’s worth it for the costume she wears, which also shows she’ll go the distance in order to do the job as student council president. The first half is predictable but is rather well done overall and it provides the “insights” into the character of Medaka that are needed while also letting Zenkchi step up a bit and make things clear. Letting him take control in the second half more was definitely a smart choice since getting him fleshed out a bit more provides for the grounding the show needs to allow Medaka to go big.

Grade: C+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.