Just your everyday Abnormal Student Council
"Your dreams are your own personal concerns... you should take on the challenge and fulfill your own dreams. However, your worries are my concerns. Entrust every last one to me!"Medaka Box
is a manga series by author Nisio Isin (of Bakemonogatari
fame), and artist Akatsuki Akira (of his "fame" as the ero-artist RIROLAND), about the paragon
and all-around perfect student Medaka Kurokami, who is elected as the President of Hakoniwa Academy's student council by 98% of the student body. Possessed of a forceful personality, charisma, and incredible ability, she is accompanied by her loyal and snarky
childhood friend Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, who has been at her side for over thirteen years.
Her first act is to set up a suggestion box where students can put in requests, which comes to be known as the Medaka Box
. The series initially follows a standard formula
where Medaka selects a request for help, then drags Zenkichi along into a complicated situation which is usually resolved by the chapter's end. For each completed request, Medaka has a potted flower brought into the Student Council room. Over the course of several chapters, Medaka manages to recruit two more members for the Student Council.
Thirteen chapters later, the series undergoes a Genre Shift
: multi-chapter story arcs become the norm as Medaka discovers the existence of other students with inhuman abilities like herself known as Abnormals
. There are also other students called Specials whose talents are not quite at an Abnormal level, and regular students like Zenkichi who do not possess any particularly special traits. All of them have been assembled under the auspices of Hakoniwa Academy's chairman, Hakama Shiranui. The whole Academy exists to support a project called the Flask Plan, whose goal is to mass-produce perfect humans by duplicating Abnormal talents in normal people.
And things only get more complicated from there.Medaka Box
has gone from a quirky Slice of Life
high school comedy to a fighting manga, then Serial Escalation
as each Big Bad
's defeat brings a newer, more dangerous one onto the scene. An anime adaptation by Gainax
was announced; the first season aired from April 4 through June 21, 2012. A second season ran between October 11 and December 27, 2012, but it has not been renewed for a third season.
Making use of Misogi Kumagawa
's ground-breaking popularity in the manga, Nisio and Akira announced a Spin-Off
one chapter story with the aforementioned character, entitled Good Loser Kumagawa
, published in Jump NEXT Magazine on December 26th, 2011, followed by a two volume Light Novel
series of the same title. A "concluding chapter" of the Spin-Off
will be released in Summer 2013.
The series finished its run in Double Issue 22-23 in May 2013, after four years of serialization. According to its own wiki
, the series contains eight story arcs.
The eight story arcs:
- Student Council Executive Arc (Chapters 1-21)
- Thirteen Party Arc (Chapters 22-55)
- Kumagawa Incident Arc (Chapters 56-92)
- Kurokami Medaka's Successor Arc (Chapters 93-140)
- Jet Black Bride Arc (Chapters 141-158)
- Unknown Shiranui Arc (Chapters 159-185)
- Bouquet Toss To The Future Arc (Chapters 186-190)
- Epilogue Arc (Chapters 191-192)
Viewers in the US may watch the anime legally at Crunchyroll.
Now with its own card game!
This series (pre-Genre Shift) provides examples of:
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- A Day In The Lime Light: Kumagawa gets most of the screentime in episode 12 of Season 2, which also gives him time to show his power, "All Fiction". Up till this point in the anime, he's only been seen very briefly.
- Alliterative Name : The author is fond of these, as well as names that are essentially a repetition of the same name in the first and surnames, with the letters being moved around, replaced or swapped.
- All Take and No Give: Ajimu believes this is the true nature of Medaka and Zenkichi's relationship. According to her, Zenkichi has been unfailingly devoted to Medaka out of his love for her, and she takes his loyalty for granted. Ajimu doesn't seem to approve of this situation, and bluntly states that Zenkichi was not born to serve Medaka.
- Present since Medaka starts to see no value in Zenkichi and begins to act very cold to him as a result. Even now just to be with Medaka he's sided with Ajimu and is undergoing the Flask plan albeit using different methods than the original mass murdering plan.
- Aloof Older Brother: Maguro (Mr. Awesome-by-analysis) to Medaka and Kei (Mr. Axe-crazy) to Shori/Koi.
- Alternate Character Reading: All over the place! Most of the Abnormalities and Minuses have alternate Kanji translations which work with the theme of their owner, and Styles work on this principle.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: In chapter 70, after being blinded by Kumagawa, Zenkichi rejects Kumagawa's We Can Rule Together offer and takes the opportunity to tell Medaka that he enjoyed the good and bad times they had together. An anxious Medaka tells him to stop talking as if he's about to die right before he drops himself and Kumagawa into a snake-filled pit. .
- Emukae makes a spectacular love confession to Zenkichi during the Jet Black Bride Arc despite knowing he loves Medaka. Zenkichi apologizes for not being able to return her feelings by stabbing himself in the stomach (he gets better).
- Animals Fear Her: Invoked. When they enter a zoo-like enclosure after finishing Munekata's battle they immediately know something is wrong because none of the animals are reacting to Medaka.
- Apple of Discord: The real reason Ajimu sent the successors to the council was to break Zenkichi and Medaka's "bond". It worked.
- Arch-Enemy: Kumagawa to Medaka.
- Arc Number: The number 13 is all. There is Class 13 which is the class for abnormals. The 13 Party is made up of the 13 most abnormal students in Class 13. The Flask Plan facility underneath Hakoniwa Academy has 13 floors each with one of the 13 Party as the boss of a particular floor. Medaka Kurokami met Zenkichi Hitoyoshi and Misogi Kumagawa 13 years ago. There is the Minus 13 class made up of transfer students and led by Misogi Kumagawa. Maguro Kurokami was 13 years old when he took over the Kurokami family's finances.
- Also the number 98. Medaka Kurokami is the 98th Student Council President of Hakoniwa. She won with 98% of the vote and she has a 98% approval rating.
- This is later shown to be just a fluke. While Medaka is the 98th (and 99th) school president, she actually got closer to a 49% in her Approval Rating, and it's implied it would had even even less because some students, notably Shiranui, only voted for Medaka because they knew Medaka would have Zenkichi in her cabinet one way or another. The reason for this mistake is that so few of Hakinowa's students actually voted.
- Art Shift: Contrast the early chapters with the DBZ-inspired art of the later chapters. See also Genre Shift below.
- As Lethal as It Needs to Be: Nienami, one of Medaka's suitors, is capable of cutting a battleship in half with her sword abilities. Yet in her fight against Zenkichi, she only succeeds in cutting him up a bit.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: All of the shown student council president have been some of the strongest people on the academy. Both Medaka and Hinokage were undoubtedly the most powerful students in their time and Zenkichi isn't exactly weak either. Heck they even had Kumagawa as a president during their middle school time.
- Awesome by Analysis: Maguro's talent is being the ultimate manager/coach, (especially to Medaka). He had also took over managing the Kurokami family's finances by the age of 13.
- Seems to be a family trait of the Kurokamis. Naze also uses this in her research into Abnormalities, and even Medaka is ultimately revealed to rely on this as the basis for her superpowers.
- Ax-Crazy: Unzen and his sister, who is slightly worse due to the fact that she's actually crazy.
- Munakata, natural-born killer who is said to have murdered at the age of five in order to answer the question "If I kill them, will they die?" (paraphrased) "I don't kill for no reason, I have reasons to kill. I'll kill you because I don't want to fight you. I'll kill you because you're in my way. I'll kill you because the weather's nice. I'll kill you because my phone's batteries are low. I'll kill you because I had a good dream. I'll kill you because I'm in a hurry. And I'll kill you for no reason at all. (To Medaka in particular) I'll kill you because the chairman told me not to." Subverted when it's revealed in chapter 37 that he's never actually killed anyone, but keeps up the facade to avoid temptation.
- Badass Boast: During the Bloody Sevens game between the Chairmen and The Naked Apron Alliance, Unzen delivers one when they discover that they had falled for Kumagawa's trap right since the beginning.
: It's fine
. You can set a trap
. You can use all your smarts
. You can strategize your next move
. You can mold a plot
. You can use a trick
. You can think of a way
. You can use bluffs
. You can set up a plan
. You can use underhanded methods
. Because we can allow this
. We are the Chairmen
- Badass Normal: Specials seem to be this by virtue of the fact they're not born with Abnormal talents, but can keep up with Abnormals due to training. Zenkichi also qualifies by virtue of actually belonging to the "Normal" category.
- Hell, Unzen says that Zenkichi might be second only to Medaka in terms of fighting ability.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Munakata, whose Abnormal ability is being an assassin savant. He is really good at killing people and constantly feels the urge to do it. However, since he has a conscience he uses all his skill to avoid killing people by using his instinctual knowledge of how to kill to aim for blows he knows aren't fatal.
- Batman Gambit: Zenkichi and Naze's battles during the Thirteen Party Arc and the Kumagawa Incident Arc hinge around this.
- Battle of Wits: The battle between Kumagawa and Shiranui largely revolves around bluffs and lies.
- Battle Strip: Kumagawa and Munakata randomly decide to take their shirts off for their big showdown.
- Berserk Button: Parodied by Chougasaki who gets violently enraged by a trivial insult about a card game. Later revealed to be because his Minus let him avoid experiencing any kind of hardship in his life, so he never learned how to deal with insults at all.
- Beyond the Impossible: Iihiko kills Anshin'in even though some of her skills include immunity to death and guaranteed victory against a stronger opponent.
- Big Bad: Changes with each story arc. So far there's been Myouri Unzen, Oudo Miyakonojou, Misogi Kumagawa, Najimi Ajimu, Medaka's suitors, and now Iihiko Shishime.
- Big Bad Friend: Possibly Zenkichi to Medaka as of chapter 117.
- Big Damn Heroes: Medaka makes a habit of this. One example had her kicking through a cement wall just because she heard a name that sounded familiar. Through several rooms and at least one floor down in a subterranean research lab.
- And in Chapter 44, "The Loser Team" consisted of several defeated opponents, including two from Class 13 and Myouri Unzen.
- Special mention goes to Medaka in Chapter 73, wherein she shows up to save /Koga Itami off screen... But only after Shiranui warned her, complete with a very mild What the Hell, Hero? speech when she initially refused to interfere.
- Big Damn Kiss: Chapter 140, Medaka and Zenkichi, in front of the whole school.
- Big Damn Villains: The Plus Six. Also, the Minus 13 Class.
- Big 'Effing Knife: Mera "The Chef" Konomi, co-Chair(wo)man of the Diet Education Committee.
- Bishie Sparkle: Invoked in Chapter 36 of the manga by Maguro, Medaka's greatest fan/brother. Also see Ho Yay.
- Blindfolded Vision: Chojabaru. Seems to be a Shout-Out to Lady Justice
- Borrowed Catchphrase: At the end of the Unknown Shiranui Arc before pulling her Heroic Sacrifice, Medaka let's Kumagawa know that "It's not [his] fault".
- Boss Rush: The 100 flowers run, starting in chapter 187.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Subverted: "Medaka II" may be brainwashed but she's certainly not crazy, and thanks to Zenkichi it doesn't take.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Kumagawa: 「IF THIS IS THE WEEKLY SHOUNEN JUMP, THEN THIS BULLYING SCENE SHOULD BE REGULATED.」
- Naze: "It'll continue after the commercial break. The Demon Queen Naze-chan's Minus Nullify System!" Said right before the chapter ends.
- Ajimu constantly plays with the Fourth Wall, making constant references to the magazine the manga is run in. She even names 21 Shounen Jump manga in a row in Chapter 116 when trying to enlist Zenkichi into her current plan.
- And in chapter 127 she directly says that any manga that goes on four more than ten volumes is coasting, so she is going to end this story before the anime begins.
- This also occurs in episode 12 of Season 2, where Ajimu at first introduces herself and the Flask Plan, then talks about Good Loser Kumagawa. Then the actual episode shows him doing things when he was at another school, which up to this point had nothing to do with the main characters.
- It's eventually revealed that the fourth-wall-breaking is Ajimu's mental instability: because she's so extraordinary she believes there's no way this could be reality.
- Break the Haughty/Villainous Breakdown: Misogi Kumagawa in Chapter 70 after Zenkichi decides to kill him, even if he has to kill himself at the same time. Although it turns out to be just an act. In fact, Kumagawa seems to intentionally parody this trope by randomly bursting into tears when no one expects him to. When the mask actually comes off, he's cold, polite, and with dead eyes that have simply stopped caring.
- Medaka chooses this approach in dealing with Momo to dissuade her from ever challenging her again.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Taken to extremes by Tachirai Kiruko, the head of the election committee who sleeps for 22 hours a day, has never been seen standing or even sitting, and is so opposed to doing work (her sleep mask even has "I CANNOT WORK" on it) that she was placed in Class A because no one knew what to do with her. When the treasure hunters reach her she doesn't even take off her sleep mask but instantly comes up with a difficult challenge for them.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Maguro Kurokami's fondness for his little sisters almost reaches this level. Neither of them reciprocate those feelings.
- Brought Down to Normal: The effects of Naze Youka's "Normalize" serum on Abnormals.
- Quite a few of the super-powered teens naturally lose their powers as adults (example: Emukaie).
- Bullying a Dragon: Several examples include: Aka Aoki doing this with Kumagawa only to discover who is actually The Dragon, and Unzen of the Enforcement squad does the same when Medaka is restrained by being lashed to a building only to find she's strong enough to move the building and break through the restraints.
- Calling Your Attacks: Kurokami Phantom!
- Catch Phrase:
- When his opponents are amazed or try to pinpoint his power to deflect trauma, Gagamaru often just dismiss it by saying it was just an "unexpected accident".
- Kumagawa has 「Once again I couldn't win」 and 「It's not my fault.」
- Munekata has "So I'll kill you."
- Character Tics: Kumagawa constantly does a blasé pose where his arms are bent and his palms are pointing up. It's even shown in a flashback before he is properly introduced!
- Cliffhanger: The anime Medaka Box Abnormal actually ends in Episode 11 with the appearance of Kumagawa. The twelfth episode (really Episode -12) begins with an introduction from Ajimu telling the viewers that the writers didn't plan things properly. She then explains the episode will be an adaptation of the "Good Loser Kumagawa" side-story.
- Close-Call Haircut: To Medaka from Munakata. And just after she learned how to dodge.
- Clothing Damage: Just about everyone who fights.
- Cooking Duel: In chapter 106.
- Cooldown Hug: Zenkichi gives one to Medaka in episode 10 of Season 2 in an attempt to break Oudo's brainwashing effect on her.
- Combat Commentator: Maguro Kurokami, since analyzing is his abnormality. The gate guardian twins in the Thirteen Party Arc.
- Compelling Voice: Miykakonojou Oudo's preferred way of meeting new people. Called "significant words," he uses it to force people into a submissive posture. While the heroes believe it's a psychic power, it's actually electromagnetic.
- Conservationof Ninjutsu: In his debut, Kumagawa manages to defeat the Plus 6 and the Loser Team with relative ease. Later, Munakata manages to hold his own, and even kill Kumagawa by himself. Though Kumagawa was holding back.
- Continuity Cavalcade: Chapters 187 to 189 like WHOA, but Chapter 190 is what really takes the cake. The former show every single named character who has appeared so far as obstacles for Medaka to overcome. A few of which have only appeared in the light novels until now. Chapter 190 features individualized well wished from every single one of them by name, which may send less mindful readers scrambling to the wiki to attach faces to names. All in all, this suffices to exactly ONE HUNDRED individual characters with varying designs and personalities, many of which are in bit parts and were introduced in the first few chapters. Nishio has had then drop by every so often throughout the series, but this arc really shows how excessively large and diverse he made the world.
- Contrived Coincidence: "Devil Style", the power Ajimu gave Zenkichi negates this:
- Cooldown Hug: Medaka gets two of these; one by Zenkichi when she's going berserk after being brainwashed, and the whole Student Council when she's about to kill Unzen.
- CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): Comes up in chapter 121, along with bits of Artistic License - Biology. Not only is the CPR unable to revive Kumagawa, but the fact that Kikaijima even considered performing CPR on a person with a crushed throat is baffling. This is given a Lampshade Hanging by Munakata.
- Crazy Enough to Work: How Zenkichi beats Iihiko in the end. Since all Iihiko's attack are permanent and because they are locked in a battle consisting of One-Hit Kill attacks, it's crucial to dodge all of Iihiko's attacks. Getting hit on purpose in that scenario would be the most stupid thing to do, therefore it paradoxically enough works because of Zenkichi's newly acquired Contradictory Conjunction Style.
- Crazy-Prepared: Zenkichi shows signs of this in his fight with Munekata, by consistently being able to disarm the latter and learning how to disassemble pistols and a rocket launcher on the off chance he met someone who used one.
- Kujira planned for 40 different styles of battle she wound up fighting in a -40C freezer, but her specially-made unitard was good for -40 or 140C; in addition she stocked up on "normalizing" serum.
- Creepy Children Anyone in Class Minus 13.
- Creepy Twins: The yin-yang duo guarding the door to the Flask Plan's lab.
- Cry Cute: Weaponized by Medaka. Also applies to Namanie Nienami.
- Curbstomp Battle: A few examples which are present in the series, starting with:
- Medaka vs Kendo team - Victor: Medaka
- War God Mode Medaka vs Unzen - Victor: Medaka
- Kumagawa vs Plus 6 - Victor: Kumagawa - due to the fact that he specializes in weakness and wouldn't stay down
- Kumagawa vs Hinokage - Victor: No Victor - however a very one sided beat down in Hinokage's favor
- Medaka's Student Council plus Hinokage vs Kumagawa's Student Council - Victor: Kumagawa's Council - due to Medaka's council not knowing about their abilities
- Altered God Mode Medaka vs unnamed Minuses - Victor: Medaka - of course
- Medaka vs Zenkichi - Victor: Medaka - although Zenkichi was holding back due to his feeling for her
- Similar to Kumagawa's first action once joining team Medaka, Ajimu utterly destroys the 6 fake suitors with 600 of her powers (plus one to count them all up).
- Anyone and everyone vs Iihiko "Fresh!" Shishime - Victor: Iihiko. He is a "hero", after all.
- Cursed with Awesome: Kujira Kurokami feels this way about herself, as she believes that genius cannot thrive without severe hardship.
- Hinokage Kuudou is known as "Mr. Unknown", as his abnormality means people neither see or remember him as while he's huge and friendly, he's also so intimidating that most people want to forget his very existence.
- Medaka, by learning and mastering skills, caused anyone who saw her do so to lose hope of ever becoming great in their field and falling into despair. This means that practically any teacher she's had has pretty much given up and retired just from watching her progress. Were it not for Hinokage Kuudou's "Unknown Hero" talent, he'd probably cause this effect in people just from being seen. He is essentially so manly that anyone who sees him cannot help but feel completely inferior to him in comparison.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Kumagawa decides to send thugs after the other Student council reps, using himself and his fight with Zenkichi as a distraction, specifically to prevent them from receiving a Training Montage. He then specifically goes after Medaka's sister, attempting to abuse her Nietzsche Wannabe status.
- Originally it was thought this was what Ajimu was Dangerously Genre Savvy, with her knowing about plot armor and making references to other ShonenJump serieses. Then it was discovered that believing one is in a manga is a literal mental disorder in the Medaka Box universe, a result of a dangerous detachment from reality that results in self destructive behavior until they fail at something, at which point their belief in reality is restored. Unfortunately, Ajimu, being a near Physical God, simply can't fail at something...
- You could also interpret it the other way, since she's actually right that they're all manga characters.
- Deadly Doctor: Aka Aoki, chair(wo)man of the Health Preservation Committee also a Not-Equal. Has Femme Fatalons, a dark-colored nurse's outfit, and refers to her level as a "palace of pain".
- Deadly Hug: Happens a couple of times.
- Kujira does it by faking a touching reunion, when she's told of her past by Maguro. After tearfully running into his open arms she immediately stabs him with a syringe full of "Normalize Serum".
- It also happens to Medaka after she has defeated Iihiko. Just as she's about to fall from the exhaustion she gets caught and hugged by Shiranui, who then stabs her clawed hand through her gut as she reveals that she is Iihiko.
- Deal with the Devil: In chapter 117, Zenkichi joins the Flask Plan.
- Death Glare: Medaka delivers one to Unzen in episode 11 after he tried to kill the student council members. It spooked him enough to unconsciously flinch.
- Death Is Cheap: By the time the Thirteen Party Arc ends, there are people dying. However, the deaths are quickly undone. Thanks to Kumagawa's ability, death just doesn't stick. The Unknown Shiranui Arc has Iihiko, though. People killed by Iihiko stay dead. Given that he ends up killing most of the cast, though, this is probably also unlikely to stick.
- Deconstructor Fleet: The series may be seen in this way, given how it bandies about references to Shonen Jump manga.
- Decoy Protagonist: When Medaka is looking for her successor, a few interesting characters get pointed out by the cast as being especially likely to make it. Due to Kumagawa, None of them do.
- The same thing happens with a vengeance to the 6 fake suitors. All given weird characterizations, all made completely superfluous. Like the above, this is due to Ajimu.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Medaka manages to force Oudo to apologize and join her by making him realize she's not only the master of her abnormality(s) but also powered by a very dark place. This is also how she recruits the rest of her Student Council, and other allies besides.
- The people Medaka and the student council defeated in earlier episodes, such as Unzen and Munakata show up to help the student council against Plus Six in episode 8 of Season 2 after they find themselves in a rather desperate situation with Medaka having been captured.
- De-power: After the ten year timeskip, almost everyone has lost their abilities due to growing up. Only Shiranui and Naze Youka seem to have kept theirs.
- Detonation Moon: Happens off-screen, but Medaka has to deal with something on the moon that results in both of them disappearing. One year later she returns to assume control of the Academy; ten years later she's working on a plan to restore the moon.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: After Iihiko is defeated, everyone poofs back to life as could be expected, but then Fukurou's Style drops the moon on the Earth and Medaka has to leave to go stop it. Offscreen. She doesn't come back. That is, until the next chapter.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Averted. All five of Medaka's potential successors attack Kumagawa, revealing that they are all there because of Ajimu, and planning to defeat him. After knocking him down, they insult him about his lack of power without All Fiction...only to get nailed to the wall by Kumagawa in a flash, all five of them, and if this was the old him, they probably would have been dead.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Apparently some fairly minor noise complaints from the music hall justifies not only destroying the music room, but killing, or at least severely injuring, the band members, according to Unzen.
- Dissonant Serenity: Several times including when Zenkichi and Kumagawa drop into the snake pit at the end of Chapter 70.
- The Dreaded: Kumagawa is terrifying. Everyone who meets him, even other Minuses to an extent, are afraid of him. Zenkichi needed special training aimed solely towards suppressing his fear before fighting him. Even Hinokage is unnerved by Kumagawa.
- All of the Class Minus 13 except Shiranui qualifies, to various degrees, as their despair and lack of restraint are considered as dangerous as their powers.
- Easily Forgiven: Oudo apologizes to Medaka for his wrongdoings - including nearly killing two people and trying to brainwash her. Medaka forgives him instantly, with no hard feelings afterwards. Of course, that was only after Oudo was so thoroughly humbled, that he swore to change his egotistic ways. This applies to most of Medaka's enemies including Kumagawa, who she appoints as her vice-president, due to his ability to disagree with her.
- Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Usually happens either before a fight, or during the twist ending to a chapter.
- Expressive Hair: Both Medaka and Shiranui have hair that can do this.
- Expy: Oudo, of Gilgamesh. First appearing to forcibly marry the female protagonist? Check. Similar appearance, down to the red pointy earrings? Check. God complex? Check and double check.
- The 99th Student Council bares more than a passing resemblance to to the Justice League. Medaka with her wining the Superpower Lottery and Magnetic Personality is clearly Superman. Zenkichi has to keep up with people well out of his league in power by being Crazy-Prepared, and viewed as the Strategist is the group's Batman. Akune's Judo Club and as well as his self confidence and brash nature are a clear parallel to Wonder Woman. Kikaijima's proficiency in water as well as her ostracized standing bare more than a passing resemblance to Aquaman
- Eye Scream: In chapter 69 Kumagawa shows Zenkichi a little magic trick. Then he heals Zenkichi´s eyes... but not his eye-sight.
- And in chapter 155, before the start of the final word game, Momozono makes a deal with Medaka that includes that if the latter loses the bet, Medaka will have to gouge her own eyes out.
- The Faceless: Naze Youka's face is covered in bandages. In flashbacks, the bandages are replaced with a paper bag.
- Yukuhashi Mizou, the creepy little masked kid. His/Her face is revealed later on. S/He's adorable.
- Fallen Hero: Iihiko used to be a great protector and hero to his people, but as times passed the need for him slowly vanished. Now he's just a purposeless destroyer who's only goal is his own continued existence.
- Fighting Dirty: Nekomi Nabeshima loves this trope. Both Shibushi and Kujira during their battle.
- First Kiss: Apparently Medaka was the first for almost her entire middle-school class, boys and girls. Najimi has her first kiss (and probably his) with Misogi, and she may have been Zenkichi's first too.
- Five-Bad Band:
- Against the Thirteen Party:
- Flash Back: When "Medaka II" is trying to remember what inspired her to be "someone for others" 13 years ago, she first meets Nietzsche Wannabe Kumagawa, who tells her that life is worthless, and then young Zenkichi who tells her that she's there to help others.
- Foreshadowing: Misogi Kumagawa was first mentioned in chapter 20 in a flashback as a negative figure in Medaka's past. He finally shows up in the present at the end of chapter 55.
- The master of ceremonies of the Jet Black Wedding Feast is dressed like a Bunny Girl. The third battle will take place on the moon.
- A character mentions that the moon base has a certain purpose.
- Four Is Death: Medaka's "trump cards", as Zenkichi calls them. The first three involve Medaka using love and goodness to get people to see things her way. The fourth one is called Perseus/War God Mode, and apparently involves Medaka going all out on her enemies She later gains control of it, making it "Mars/Altered God Mode.
- There's a closeup shot of the wrist-bomb timer at 44:44:44:44.
- Ajimu's powers are an impossible-looking number that looks like this (not the actual number): 1,384,759,832,749,874. A later translation says she has a quadrillion powers.
- Fourth Wall Observer: Ajimu appears to be this, noting her inability to defeat Medaka due to Medaka's main character status. Given that she says it as an analogy, she may just be Dangerously Genre Savvy
- It turns out this is a known mental illness in the Medaka Box universe — people convince themselves that they are in a manga until something happens that restores their belief in reality — usually some form of spectacular failure. Since Ajimu is just shy of being a Physical God, she never reaches this point.
- Friend to All Living Things: This is apparently the only power Medaka retains as an adult.
- Friendless Background: Nearly every Abnormal in the series has had few or no friends before coming to Hakoniwa Academy. Zenkichi was Medaka's only real friend before she was elected to the Student Council. "Plus" Abnormals are bothered by this and want friends. "Minuses" have such horrific powers and/or are so disturbed that they have given up on the idea.
- Genre Savvy: Kumagawa seems to have read enough Shonen Jump manga (he even says this at points in the story) to know how to counter the Student Council. For example, rather than have each side do their own Training Montage, he sends his own team to beat the crap out of the Student Council before they finish their own training to the point where Akune and Kikaijima wouldn't be able to fight his Minus 13 class in the tournament.
- The Glomp: Medaka does this to Zenkichi a few times. She also does this to Kikaijima once.
- A God I Am Not: Medaka.
- Hammer Space/Hyperspace Arsenal: Munekata hides his weapons more effectively then Mousse or Manji — no cheating with loose clothes!
- Healing Factor: For a time it seems that Kumagawa's power is also this, but actually he is a Reality Warper. Shibushi's power is explicitly stated to be the opposite: she can open all wounds no matter how long they've been healed... including mental ones.
- Medaka also has acquired this ability to the extent that she can repair any damage to her body shortly after getting them.
- Heroic BSOD: Akune says that Medaka experienced one the summer after her middle school encounter with Kumagawa.
- Kumagawa has one (see below).
- Medaka has a huge one when she loses the election in chapter 139. She nearly reverts to her unhappy childhood self and once again begs Zenkichi to tell her what her purpose in life is.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In order to bring the the fight between him and Emukae versus the Hitoyoshis to a draw, Kumagawa removes the bomb-bracelets' keyholes. Emukae, who just had a heart-to-heart moment with Zenkichi and her Minus power neutralized by Kumagawa, removes the bombs and smothers the explosion with her own body. This causes Kumagawa to freak out since it was completely unnecessary, and then she politely refuses to be healed afterwards.
- Kumagawa himself gets to make one, opting to fight Munakata to the death in Kikaijima's defence. He claims that he feels strangely happy dying for a girl's sake.
- Heroic Second Wind: After her heart gets destroyed, revives by utilizing a style that vibrates her muscles in a way that allows them to pump her blood around her body.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: Medaka of all people. Maguro's analysis of Medaka losing to Zenkichi claims cutting off Zenkichi was this, as she was trying to become someone who would be useful to the many strangers that needed help. However to other people it would just look like throwing her childhood friend. Maguro claims this is one of the reasons that few people voted for Medaka. This and the fact that they wished to set her free. It wasn't really clear which.
- Holding Out for a Hero: In chapter 138, Zenkichi calls out the rest of the student body on relying way too much on Medaka to solve their problems. He claims that they were Medaka's true enemy all along. The crowd apparently agreed. Ajimu claims this is why they voted against Medaka — not because they feared her, but because they wanted to release her from the burden they placed on her.
- Ho Yay/Les Yay: Invoked a few times between Zenkichi and Maguro, or with Koga's devotion to Naze. There's also Medaka kissing Mogana and proclaiming her love for her.
- Then there's Medaka's dad, who thought engaging her to six possible female candidates was a good idea.
- Ajimu does this to Mukae with her Magic Kiss powers
- Hollywood Healing: Koga Itami and Medaka Kurokami are main culprits, but there are other characters who also think that she's actually crazy in this department.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: From where does Kumagawa pull all these oversized screws again? Munekata also counts, as some of his "hidden weapons" are longer than he is.
- Hypocritical Humor: Kumagawa says How unfair! Attacking before the opponent levels up! in chapter 117 when Medaka attacks Zenkichi to start a fight after he challenges her considering that is the exact same thing the Minuses did during the Kumagawa Incident Arc.
I J K
N O P
- New Transfer Student: Misogi Kumagawa and the Minus 13 Class.
- Not So Stoic: Kumagawa's Stepford Smiler act breaks when he realizes that Ajimu is helping Zenkichi.
- Odd Friendship:
- The monumentally self-absorbed Oudo and small, quiet Mizou. It turns out their partnership is due to their complementary powers.
- Shibushi and Gagamaru despite being have completely opposite powers and personalities.
- Unzen and Nekomi are often seen together during the Kumagawa Incident Arc and seem to get along surprisingly well, despite Unzen being a very dedicated Knight Templar in contrast to Nekomi's more easygoing nature.
- Oh, Crap: In chapter 70, Kumagawa is genuinely shocked that a blind Zenkichi manages to hit him in the face, before finishing their fight in a dramatic fashion.
- Older Than They Look: Hitomi Hitoyoshi, who is actually 42 years of age but looks 12.
- Also, Ajimu, who claims to be older than the universe. Quite possibly Hanten, too.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Both Medaka and Ajimu have a short of Catch Phrase that gets subverted at one point to show that shit's about to hit the fan.
- In the early chapters, Medaka always attempts to justify the wrongdoings of other by theorizing that they have some Freudian Excuse, by saying stuff like: "You were undoubtedly once passionate kendo club lovers. I can only presume that there's some great reason, some great tragedy which has lead you astray." as an example from the first chapter. When she first shows her fourth trump card, War God Mode against Unzen though, she begins the battle by saying "How pathetic. I'm sure you were once a cute kid walking down the right path. And i can only think that something really painful happened to you that made you like this. HOWEVER!! EVEN IF THAT'S THE CASE!! YOU ARE GONNA PAY FOR THIS!!!".
- In Ajimu's case she's always insisting that people call her by her nickname "Anshin'in-san", but when Iihiko calls her that she actually admits that he's the only one she doesn't want to call her that.
- Out-Gambitted: Even Shiranui ends up outschemed when she goes up against Kumagawa.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Played with. Zenkichi barring his parasite eyes is the only "normal" one out of all the main characters. Despite this, he manages to get most of the fights and somehow keeps up with all the super powered people in this series. Maguro even calls him "normal cool" claiming that he is unique because he is normal. However, in the Kurokami Medaka’s Successor Arc, Najimi sends five normal girls to compete in Medaka's treasure hunt where they not only do better than Zenkichi (who came in dead last being unable to solve the first clue), they actually manage to make it to the final round and briefly manage match Medaka. After noticing Zenkichi placing in dead last in the treasure hunt in comparison to the other normal people, Medaka throws him aside placing him directly under this trope in her eyes.
- Most of the School is subject to this by Medaka (no surprise) during the school festival she engages in a huge tug of war with everyone (including former enemies) vs. her and WINS. The You Have Got to Be Kidding Me! moment afterward is an understatement.
- Panty Shot: Appears several times in the Manga. Mostly Medaka's Panties.
- People Puppets: When Miyakonojou Oudo uses his "Weighted Words".
- Poisonous Friend: Surprisingly, one of the protagonists. Hell, Zenkichi himself even stated at the beginning that his job was to go around bringing people down that Medaka didn't.
- Power Copying: Medaka's ultimate power. She uses Naze's syringes, Munekata's hidden weapons, and Oudo's electrical powers against Zenkichi while straitjacketed to their respective "owners" astonishment. In fact, Medaka's power allows her to completely master another's power, even if the originator hasn't mastered it themselves. It can be a double-edged sword.
- Miyakonojou Oudo also counts as his "Unreasonable Taxation" power can steal other people's Abnormalities.
- Power Incontinence: Those with an abnormality frequently lack the ability to actually turn it off. For example, Yukuhashi can't turn off his empath and synchronization abilities and Oudo secluded himself for years to try and control his mind but failed.
- P.O.V. Boy, Poster Girl: Zenkichi is usually the POV protagonist, but Medaka is the instigator of the plot.
- Premiseville: The "hakoniwa" in Hakoniwa Academy means "miniature garden". It does live up to its name. And with Medaka as the authority, she will make it a garden that suits her paradigm.
Q R S
- Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: What to do when your group is facing doppelgangers of themselves? Have the Physical God go after the Mary Sue, the Mary Sue smack around her Childhood Friend, have the friend smack down the Born Loser, and have the BornLoser seal away the Physical God.
- Taking the Bullet: Kumagawa loses the rematch with Munakata when he takes a bullet meant for Kikaijima.
- Take That: Against intellectual elitism.◊
- Taking You with Me: In chapter 70, after being blinded by Kumagawa, Zenkichi rejects his offer (restored eyesight in exchange for Zenkichi's loyalty), says goodbye to Medaka and stomps the arena floor hard enough to drop both him and Kumagawa into the pit of snakes.
- After it becomes clear that Kujira has bested Shibuki, Kumagawa tells her to lose spectacularly and kill everyone (except him, of course) with her ultimate Scardead power.
- After Dr. Fukurou is killed by Iihiko, he is revealed to have had one final style in the event of his death: The Testament Style. It pulls the moon towards the Earth so its impact will kill absolutely everything.
- Talking Is a Free Action: In the instant before Medaka is about to hit Iihiko with her new ultimate attack, Kurokami Final, the spectators of the battle still have time for a lengthy exposition about the attack before it hits, even though she's moving at supersonic speed.
- Thanks for the Mammary: Unzen does this to Medaka while she's restrained by his string trap.
- Theme Naming
- Location Theme Naming: The surnames of all characters are locations in Kyushu, southern Japan.
- Animal Theme Naming
- The Kurokami family - Kajiki (swordfish), Maguro (tuna), Kujira (whale), and Medaka (Japanese killifish). There's a reason why one of them is a mammal.
- The Tsurubami family seems to favour bird names - Kamome (seagull), Fukurou (owl), and Hato (dove/pigeon). The tsuru in Tsurubami means "crane".
- Shiranui family has clothing themed Meaningful Names: Hansode (a short sleeved outfit), Hakama (kimono trousers), Obi (kimono sash) and Hanten (short coat).
- All three members of the swim club have the character for "island" (shima) in their last names.
- The classes of superpowers are Plus, Minus, Not Equal, and Zero..
- Three-Laws Compliant: Averted with Loup: (after revealing she lied about knowing how to cook) "In the robot world we disposed of those slavery laws long ago."
- Tonight Someone Dies: The bottom of the last page of Chapter 103 reads Takarabe and Kumagawa will meet the end of their lives in the trap that Aka laid!
- The end of chapter 120 declares that Kumagawa will be killed by Munakata! Naturally, it never mentioned Kumagawa staying dead!
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Medaka during the Kurokami Medaka’s Successor Arc. To Zenkichi of all people!
- Transfer Student Uniforms: Class Minus 13 wear the uniforms of their previous schools.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: Medaka at two years old due to her accelerated mental and physical growth.
- True Companions: There are several sets in the series including Medaka's and Zenkichi's Student Councils, the Enforcer/Public Morals Committee, the three aces of the swimming team and Class -13.
- Two Shorts: The anime.
- Übermensch: Oudo Miyakonojou.
- The Unfettered: Ajimu though isolating Medaka from her friends would make her weaker. It just made her STRONGER since she doesn't have to worry about hurting them.
- The Unintelligible: Myouga, Unzen's sister only speaks in a self-created language using numbers. Only Medaka and Unzen can understand her.
- Unstoppable Rage: Medaka's Perseus/War God Mode. She later gains complete control of it, making it more of a "Dangerously Focused Rage". She briefly loses control in chapter 71 when she thinks Zenkichi is dead.
- Use Your Head: Medaka. Well, sort of. She doesn´t use her own, but KUMAGAWA´S to break a window and give her older sister a Rousing Speech.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: The supporters of the Flask Plan believe that creating the perfect human is worth any price. Medaka disagrees.
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