Long time, no read! Yes, we’ve been separated for a time, but colds do horrible things to people. Nasty horrible things that should be locked behind closed doors. Let’s keep that door shut, shall we. With Superintendent of Baltimore County Schools, Joe A. Hairston speaking of success in our school; perhaps we should move to a manga about school. Thus today, we’re going to be hitting up a popular one, Medaka Box!
First year Kurokami Medaka has just become the Student Council President. Her first order as president is the suggestion box. Taking all the Student Council’s responsibilities upon herself, she drags her childhood friend, Hitoyoshi Zenkicki in to help her where she needs help. But the question is, does she really need it?
Medeka Box is a story that comes off as a regular shonen kind of tale of high school life. But once you get into it, it seems to be a bit more than the usual everyday tale of life in school. The story picks up around the whole idea of a suggestion box and students putting in suggestion or request for something. Medaka then grabs Zenkichi and drags him through some crazy antics that borderline obscene to assist the students. The one shot isn’t quite included in the first volume but it’s nearly identical to the first chapter of the story with some differences. As stated earlier, starts off much like a typical shonen high school manga but then quickly picks up to an action manga format. While it’s a story of attending to all the requests, there is also the quest for Medaka to collect the rest of her student council. Of course, she doesn’t quite complete this quest in the first volume. In terms of understanding, the story is pretty straightforward as introductory mangas go. You won’t find yourself getting lost or swept away in a plot that just pops out of nowhere. The only snag is that the description of the manga makes you think it’s an everyday kind of manga, then you read it and you’re left going, “Whoa! I wasn’t expecting that.” There are some surprises to be had, that’s to be sure, but they tend to get more outlandish but hilarious as the story progresses (i.e. lots of “What a Twist!”) One of the other snags is that the story is introduced as a romantic tale of high school life, the first volume barely constitutes that as you watch people gets crushes on others but really, the main focus is all about the requests.
In terms of artwork, it doesn’t stand out too much from most shonen. It’s very well drawn and highly enjoyable to watch, however, there’s a lot of a sexual theme in it. Not to the point where people are committing the act. It is instead to the point where people are barely clothed and Medaka for one doesn’t seem to care whether she’s seen or not sans clothes. That said, that particular element is used to further feed into the story, but it is still something to watch out for if you’re underage or not ready for. In terms of characterization, it’s a bit hard to pick up who’s the main character at first. So for sake of sanity, there are two of them and everyone else is supporting cast. While all the primary character’s in the manga stand out, it is hard to say which one stands out more above the others, Zenkichi or Medaka. This is primarily because the story is about the relationship they share while at the same time, it’s not. Okay, that’s confusing. Remember, the plot is about the student council handling all requests put into the box. The subplot which seems to swap in and out with the real plot at points, is the forming of the two’s relationship and all they go through. It is conceivable, since the manga is called Medaka Box, that the main character is supposed to be Medaka alone. After all, she sure does have a serious impact on everyone she comes in contact with.
With all said and done, Medaka Box is a very enjoyable manga. There’s tons of potential there for it to become a very great read, not that it hasn’t already become one. Like all mangas, volume one lays the ground work which is perpetually built on by the other chapters. It’s definitely a manga to check out, but find out for yours. Doubt you will be dissatisfied.