Sorry for resurrecting this dead topic, but I've read this recently in preparation for complaining about the anime next season. I guess it made an impression on me though because I feel obligated to post about it.
First of all, the whole premise is just Great Teacher Onizuka
, but through the lens of Hayate the Combat Butler
. The GTO part is obvious, but what reminds me of Hayate is the sort of strange way that infinite money and implausible skills combine to create a world where anything can happen. But usually doesn't, leaving it semi-grounded. I mean, there can be ghosts and stuff, but it still doesn't feel like fantasy, per se.
Anyway, I guess the explicit theme of the series is that passion is what makes the world go 'round. People aren't good at things just because they are, but because they're passionate
about those things. They want to do them with every fiber of their being. If you're not doing something you're passionate about, then you're not doing anything at all. The most obvious symbol of this is the main character, who is sort of accidentally the best person at every "mental-based" skill in the world, simply because he's 120% passionate about everything he does. This is of course represented by him being an otaku, the gold standard for being excessively passionate about things.
While this is a charming idea that maybe will inspire the target audience, I feel like it's undermined by the fact that he's actually the best at everything. Are we saying that everyone else is less passionate than him? That no one else in the history of the universe has tried as hard as he does (while enjoying himself every step of the way)? Frankly, that's insulting to anyone who's ever tried to do anything. While this message might inspire the directionless in life, it blatantly mocks everyone else.
That said, I like the introduction of his foil, the other teacher guy who's second best at everything (everything) and has tried to find his passion all his life but never succeeded in "creating a miracle". I mean, I really
liked his introduction, and then he disappears for 50 chapters of repetitive tournament stuff. I hope he gets a good conclusion, but honestly it's not looking hopeful at this point. The fact that he was gone for so long implies to me that the author had no idea what to do with him, in the same way that the evil school principal has entirely faded into the background because she's not really compelling as a villain (on account of being totally incompetent).
I guess this is a long way of saying that Medaka Box
ruined this for me before I read it. But it's still interesting as a kind of reverse commentary: playing it so straight that it's a bit admirable.
edited 17th Feb '15 2:13:24 AM by Clarste