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Manga / Medaka Box

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Just your everyday Abnormal Student Council.

"Your dreams are your own personal 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 NisiOisiN (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 went from a quirky Slice of Life high school comedy to a fighting manga, then Serial Escalation as each Big Bad's defeat brought a newer, more dangerous one onto the scene. An anime adaptation by Studio Gainax was announced; the first season aired from April 4 through June 21, 2012. A second season subtitled Abnormal ran between October 11 and December 27, 2012.

Making use of Misogi Kumagawa's groundbreaking popularity in the manga, Nisio and Akira released 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 was 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:

  1. Student Council Executive Arc (Chapters 1-21)
  2. Thirteen Party Arc (Chapters 22-55)
  3. Kumagawa Incident Arc (Chapters 56-92)
  4. Kurokami Medaka's Successor Arc (Chapters 93-140)
  5. Jet Black Bride Arc (Chapters 141-158)
  6. Unknown Shiranui Arc (Chapters 159-185)
  7. Bouquet Toss To The Future Arc (Chapters 186-190)
  8. 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:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council:
    • Subverted — Medaka and Zenkichi solve various problems, but don't enjoy the ability to override school rules and regulations.
    • Played straight with Kumagawa's student council, where he plans to introduce an absurd set of rules, and the chairman is apparently too afraid of him to do anything about it.
  • Academy of Adventure: The entire story takes place in the sprawling Hakoniwa Academy.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the anime, some changes are more subtle than others - they range between a slightly different shade of colour and Moji, who went from having brown hair to bright blue. Which may or may not be Actor Allusion or a Shout-Out to another blue-haired male leader of a bunch of delinquents who is also voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi.
  • Always in Class One: Averted. It's just Zenkichi and initially Shiranui in class 1. The class numbers are actually used as a plot point later.
  • But Thou Must!: A rare benign example. The stakes for the final fight between Zenkichi and Medaka are that if he wins, she has to marry him. If she wins, he has to marry her.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In episode 2, after a track girl's shoes were destroyed by a jealous teammate, the culprit is found out and questioned. Although Medaka seems to let her off, the second girl is overcome with guilt about what she did, so she takes the first girl's sneakers (which she was using due to her destroyed track shoes), and replaces it with a letter of apology along with a brand new pair of track shoes. However, Medaka gets angry at the fact that the first girl's sneakers were now stolen.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: How Medaka recruited for the Student Council's open positions.
  • Foreshadowing: When Zenkichi is discussing Medaka's four trump cards he mentiones that he probably shouldn't speak of the fourth one...
  • Freudian Excuse: Just about every "bad guy" Medaka faces has a reason for doing the things they do, such as the swim team's obsession with money note , or the thugs occupying the kendo room note 
  • Genki Girl: Applies to many of the female characters who appear in the series.
  • Idiot Hair: Many, many characters have this. Medaka's and Shiranui's frequently twitch around in the anime. It also seems to be a genetic quirk of the Kurokami family. Every child of Kurokami Kajiki (including himself) has either a single or double ahoge. Specifically: Kajiki and Maguro have two, Medaka and Kujira have one.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: Everyone in the student council. The default student council uniform itself is black rather than the regular student white, supposedly to symbolize that the student council is meant to be servants to the student body. However, all the student council members have made their own modifications to the uniform:
    • Medaka's uniform is very flattering to her figure, but the first thing people notice is the Cleavage Window showing off her impressive assets. Her skirt is also shorter than it should be.
      Medaka: I'm not exposing my breasts, I'm covering every other part of my body.
    • Zenkichi wore his jersey under his uniform jacket in an effort to look cool. The other members of the student council thought it was anything but.
    • Akune lowered the neckline of his jacket and forgoes a shirt to show off his manly chest, intending to emulate Medaka's Cleavage Window
    • Kikaijima wears her swimsuit underneath her uniform, although this is more because she feels extremely uncomfortable without it.
  • Off the Chart: Right in the first chapter, the one shot of the chart tallying the votes shows that they needed to add multiple pages to the top to cover how massively Medaka won.
  • Personality Blood Types: Subtly averted, as everyone's blood type is AB. Probably counts as Running Gag.
  • Pilot Episode: Chapter 0, which is retold as Chapters 1 and 2 and changes the dynamics of Medaka and Zenkichi's relationship — going from Zenkichi not being able to shout it out in the pilot to him openly admitting to his friends that he follows Medaka around because he's in love with her in the actual series. This romance subplot is dropped after the Genre Shift... somewhat.
    • It's finally come full circle in Chapter 126.
  • Pooled Funds: The swim team's objective.
  • Pun: Why does everyone have the bloodtype AB? Probably because it stands for Abnormal.
  • Punny Name: Besides the Animal Theme Naming of Medaka's family, Medaka institutes a meyasu-bako (suggestion box) as the student council president, and if you reverse the meaning of 1 kanji from yasu (low) to taka (high)...
    • Most characters have matching given names with their location themed last names, meaningfully or punnily.
  • Red Armband of Leadership: Medaka originally wore all five of the ones for the student council (although only her own is red). She hands them out as more members join.
  • The Rival: Akune's relationship with Zenkichi had many elements of this due to Akune's professed interest in Medaka.
    • In Chapter 29, the splash page is done in the style of a Dragon Quest box cover.
  • Running Gag: If someone is in the foreground in a dramatic pose of some sort, chances are Medaka is right behind them making the exact same pose.
    Zenkichi: Why the hell do you always appear behind people?
    • Given a Cerebus Retcon after the Genre Shift, where it's revealed that Medaka is simply aping other people's movements (in addition to their abilities) because she doesn't know how to properly behave like a normal human.
  • Shout-Out: In one of the early chapters, Medaka is explictly referred to as having an "intel chip inside her head" due to her omnicompetence.
    • In episode 1 of the anime adaptation, Medaka performs EVERY one of The Ginyu Force's pre-battle poses from Dragon Ball Z before beating the living daylights of a bully.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Doing a showdown with Unzen, Medaka admits that she isn't the pinnacle of morality that people make her out to be, but she at least differs from Unzen by actively trying to be as good as she can.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Zenkichi and Kouki towards each other. In one hilarious incident, during the three-legged pool race, they at first seem to agree that teamwork was key to winning. However, as soon as the race starts, they both take off flying, but it turns out they were actually trying to get ahead of each other, and in the end they end up in third place against other teams who did coordinate their efforts.
  • Spiritual Successor: To The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Medaka does this often, usually to Zenkichi. Hilariously, she is usually in the same exact position he is in when she's seen, such that if he's pointing at something, she'll be pointing the same way.
    • Less hilarious when you learn she is doing it because she is trying to find some way, any way, to relate to the rest of humanity, because she is so far past a normal human she just can't relate to or truly connect emotionally with a normal person, and is horribly, terribly, alone. Aside from Zenkichi of course.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Isahaya definitively knows nothing about using scissors on Ariake's spikes, nor did her send a letter telling her to quit track.
  • Wall Crawl: Medaka does this with a stolen pair of Wolverine Claws.
  • Watching the Reflection Undress: In the anime, Zenkichi turns around and finds himself staring at Medaka's mostly unclad reflection in the mirror, having been unaware that she was undressing behind him.
  • Wolverine Claws: One of the enforcers Unzen sends to deal with the student council, uses these.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Kurokami Clothesline!
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: Zenkichi asks Shiranui where she's getting all her information about the other students. She simply tells him that an honorable and lawful person like him probably wouldn't want to know.

This series (post-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: 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.
    • Well, obviously, Zenkichi is tougher than a battleship.
    • Later, this is revealed to be a result of Nienami's style, which gives the least possible outcome. Zenkichi was considered the weakest of the student council but paradoxically had the greatest chance of winning.
  • Ass Kicks You: Medaka, stuck in Yuzuriha's leg choke, ultimately frees herself by slamming her butt down on Yuzuriha's face.
  • 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.
    Unzen: 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.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Ajimu's plan to shift the role of main character from Medaka to Zenkichi actually suceeds, however it's played with because she really wanted to prove there were things that even she couldn't do. She then decides that she's had enough before Medaka intervenes.
  • 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 '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.
    • 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 Shonen 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 for 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. During the election arc, the fact that she stands up for the whole ceremony was considered a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, which resulted in the entire student body showing up for the voting.
    • In the epilogue, it's revealed that Kiruko invented a cryogenic stasis chamber...which she used so she could get really good sleep. Or, Zenkichi posits, she believes that humanity will still be there when she wakes up in a hundred, or even a thousand years.
  • Broken Smile: Medaka when she loses her position as Student Council President by a landslide to Zenkichi during the next election, feeling that her life has lost meaning again.
  • 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!
    • Kurokami Open Palm!
  • Catchphrase:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Snarl: During the debut of Zenkichi's mother Hitomi, he complains about her being too nosy in his personal life, and Akune chastises him for speaking insensitively around Medaka and Kikaijima, who both live on their own. A text box reminds the reader that Medaka's parents have passed away... except Medaka's flashback during the Flask Plan arc had only ever stated the death of her birth mother, and she still has a biological father and stepmother. While she does live on her own, it was a personal choice after being awarded with a huge amount of money for solving a complex theorem.
  • Contrived Coincidence: "Devil Style", the power Ajimu gave Zenkichi negates this:
  • Cooking Duel: In chapter 106.
  • Cooldown Hug: Medaka gets two of these; one by Zenkichi when she's going berserk after being brainwashed, and by 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Defector from Paradise: A less broad home-based example is presented. It is eventually revealed that Medaka's older sister, Naze Youka ran away from home at a young age because her home was too idyllic. She had wealthy supportive parents, an older brother and younger sister who loved her, and everybody was eager to help her make the most of her genius intellect. Her personal philosophy, however, boiled down to "Adversity Makes You Stronger", and the huge number of advantages she enjoyed got in the way of that. In the end, she not only abandoned wealth and privilege, she also concealed her beautiful face (to avoid preferential treatment based on looks), erased her own memory to avoid clinging to the past, and deliberately set herself up as a feared outcast in a new school. Only then could her genius TRULY blossom!
  • Demoted to Extra: Akune and Kikaijima after Zenkichi takes over as Student Council president with his own council.
  • 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.
  • Everyone Can See It: Medaka and Zenkichi, Maguro ships them, as does Mukae. Up to the Successor Arc there is only a shortage of an actual mention of the word LOVE. Will go through hell for her? Check. Will do anything to stay at her side? Check. Will challenge inhuman teenagers that defy logic? Triple check. And for the other side, Will have a mental breakdown when he is hurt? CHECK twice at that. "I only need him" declaration? More than once. Reaction to the idea of his rejection? Let herself erase every single concept of her new personality just to make him happy (doubles for him when he stops her just to tell her that he will always support her even changed). This list could be expanded.
  • 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, who like him first appears to forcibly marry the female protagonist, and has a similar appearance, down to the red pointy earrings and a god complex.
    • 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.
  • First Kiss: Apparently Medaka was the first for almost her entire middle-school class, boys and girls.
  • Five-Man 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.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: Episode 12 of Season 2 shows Good Loser Kumagawa doing stuff at a previous school. It only alludes to the main characters in the very beginning.
  • 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 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: Originally it was thought this was what Ajimu was Genre Savvy, with her knowing about plot armor and making references to other Shonen Jump 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...
  • The Glomp: Medaka does this to Zenkichi a few times. She also does this to Kikaijima once.
  • A God I Am Not: Medaka.
  • Hammerspace/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 Iihiko destroys Medaka's heart by reflecting the force of her Kurokami Phantom, she 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.
    • 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:
    • Kikaijima's debut chapter as Medaka's Treasurer involves her and Zenkichi awkward trying to socialize, culminating in her trying to forcefully kiss him. Medaka and Akune come in on this and simply chastise them for not picking a more discreet location than the Student Council office, despite both using it as a changing room.
    • 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.
    • When Momo Momozono explains Professor Fukurou's actions, Kumagawa and Ajimu both question how someone who's supposed to have died can be doing any of that.

  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Unzen, having been utterly defeated, was about to be finished off by Medaka, but not before taunting her by claiming she couldn't reform him and chose to kill him as an easy way out. He then continues taunting her by saying she'll turn into him once she starts to realize there are other humans she won't be able to reform like him around. She seems to ignore the "advice" until the other student council members stop her with a Cooldown Hug and invoking this trope, which immediately calms her down and confuses Unzen.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: Zenkichi vs. Medaka II
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: All "Plus" Abnormals feel this way in addition to I Just Want to Be Normal. Some of the "Plus" Abnormals seen so far became twisted when they lost hope that they would ever be able to form real friendships.
  • Implacable Man (and Woman): Myouga Unzen and his sister.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Onigase Harigane, the School Morals Enforcer who uses handcuffs as brass knuckles and another enforcer who tried to hurt Akune by hitting him with a bicycle.
    • Myouri Unzel uses rubbery superballs filled with gunpowder, while his sister Myouga wields four 30kg wrecking balls.
    • Kumagawa uses giant screws to great effect.
    • Hitomi Hitoyoshi somehow manages to use sewing needles, thread, and even garden shears in combat.
    • The ultimate example, Iihiko, uses random objects he picks up; examples include eyeglasses placed over his hand to form brass knuckles that can break someone's arm, and a rubber band that he fires with his thumb and index finger to kill a god.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Surprisingly enough, Medaka. When Munakata had supposedly killed Zenkichi, she dropped on her knees and cried loud enough for it to echo throughout the room. This happens once again in Chapter 71. She cries while in Perseus/War God Mode.
  • In-Series Nickname: Ajimu insists that people call her Anshin'in.
  • Insane Troll Logic: How many of the unusual situations and powers in the series are explained, to the point where the reader may question his/her sanity.
  • Interrupted Suicide: The end result of Ajimu's Genre Savvy mental disorder. Weary of a long life, she tries to shoot herself, but fortunately for all involved Medaka is very fast; the saving act knocks Medaka out of her Heroic BSoD, and gives both of them a reason to keep on living.
  • In the Blood: According Medaka's father, Kurokami Kajiki, abundance of love is a trait that runs in the Kurokami family's blood. He believes this is the source of Medaka's overflowing love for all of humanity and Maguro's obsession with his sisters. He also uses himself as an example by revealing that during his own Jet Black Wedding Feast, he married all of his suitors because his love couldn't settle with just one.
  • Instant Expert: Medaka's Abnormality includes this.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: When Hitoyoshi is asked who he think would win in a battle between Kumagawa and Munekata, he ask that he would say that they are probably similar and they might unexpectedly get along. Cut to the two locked in fierce battle to the death.
  • Ironic Name: Hitoyoshi, whose name means "man of luck" is one of the Butt-Monkey's of the series. On a more story relevant note, he gets a skill that cancels out luck, in favor of his own ability.
  • It Amused Me: The motivation which drives Hansode Shiranui's actions.
    • Turns out to be an act. Her real motivation is her job as Medaka's double.
  • Justice Will Prevail: Discussed by Anshin'In and Shiranui during the election battle between Medaka and Zenkichi. Najimi confronts Shiranui about her crush on Zenkichi and offers to make a harem ending, but Shiranui declines and says that what matters is doing the right thing and that she isn't naive enough to think that all crushes will be fulfilled.
    Shiranui: Unlike justice which otherwise must prevail, love does not have to win.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Professor Fukurou after all his set up as The Man Behind the Man was killed off by Iihiko accidentally.
  • Keeping the Handicap: Kurokami Maguro hides many scars under his shirt which he keeps as a reminder of his past errors and as a symbol of his returning to the good side. Kumagawa healed them... because he's such a monster.

  • Landslide Election: The election to determine the 100th Student Council president ends with Zenkichi receiving 62% of the votes, the Successors receiving 36%, and Medaka receiving only 2%. Medaka doesn't take it well.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Medaka, thanks to one of Naze's serums.
    • And Naze herself, having used her serums on herself first to separate herself from the past.
  • Last Episode, New Character: A few examples:
    • Played straight with Ajimu in episode 12 of Season 2, who hasn't been formally introduced yet in the anime up to this point. Also played straight with Sukinasaki Saki.
    • Played with regarding Kumagawa. He's seen in a Flash Back with Medaka when she was visiting a hospital (he's the little boy who talks to her prior to Zenkichi), and he's seen again at the end of episode 11 in Season 2. But until episode 12, viewers who only watched the anime so far haven't been formally introduced to him yet.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Zenkichi states that this is the common weakness shared by the strongest students at the academy: they never dodge their opponents' first attack (Medaka being an exception thanks to the "Auto-Pilot" Abnormality she copied before). Any attack that could take them out of the fight in one hit will work on them.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall / This Is Reality: Kumagawa does this a lot, referring to the fact that "this isn't a manga" or "If we were published in Shounen Jump...", plus making fun of Shounen Jump's mottoes. This becomes a bit of a running gag, as the latest two villains also do the exact same thing (with one taking it up to madness mantras — mentioning twenty one different Jump serieses and their protagonists in an attempt to tempt someone).
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The Kurokami Medaka's Successor Arc involves Zenkichi turning on Medaka in order to prove a point, with Kumagawa of all people trying to be the voice of reason. This is, of course, all set up by Najimi — except for Kumagawa's deciding to go third wheel.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Brainwashing people, stealing peoples' abilities, controlling 131,313 super computers all at once, magnetism, controlling the opponent's motor skills, and mind reading to name a few.
  • Logical Weakness: Mizou Yukuhashi 's abnormality has several from being too good at what it does; by being able to read even the smallest thoughts, he/she can't read a person whose thought process isn't clear, and he/she has difficulties dealing with crowds due to the constant bombardment of chaotic impulses. He/she feels the pain that the people within his/her reception range suffer; and cannot fight a person without empathizing with their viewpoint.
    • Medaka's powers have a significant problem as well: she can't control what powers she absorbs, which means bad things if the power is an abnormally strong killing impulse.
      • Not so much a weakness as a logical flaw. Medaka is essentially the ideal. Her abnormality is that she can gain and master any abilities/skills of those she comes into contact with. It has even gotten to where she only needs to hear details about an abnormality to gain and master it. However she can't 1. wrap her mind around defeat(true defeat) and always strives to succeed no matter what and 2. she can't understand others' hearts. Case and point during her fight against Zenkichi in Forsaken God Mode. Forsaken God Mode makes her weaker than her opponent. She beats Zenkichi and criticizes him for losing when she "couldn't go too far", not realizing that Zenkichi didn't want to fight her in the first place and held back. In short she lacks empathy, something which has become evident in the latest chapters.
  • Lonely at the Top: Medaka during her childhood since she could effortlessly do anything.
  • Loophole Abuse: In episode 10, right before Medaka leaves the music room, she asks Shiranui to prevent Unzen from leaving and attempting to stop her from saving the Student Council members. She does that by simply blocking the door, then stating that Unzen can't touch her because she hasn't broken any school rules, which Onigase "confirms" while remembering everything the girl did. It seems to work, as he then pulls out his smart phone so he could at least watch the Public Morals Committee take them out.
    • Then in episode 11, he kicks the wall, creating a new "exit", to which Shiranui says she has no jurisdiction over that one when he asks if she has any objection to leaving that way.
  • Loss of Identity: Shiranui laments that she can't figure out her own feelings after she's done being Medaka's double.
    "I think I lied too much."
  • Love Epiphany: In chapter 126, Zenkichi has a breakdown when he realizes that he "selfishly" loves Medaka and wants her to love him back.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Combined with Growing Up Sucks; those fantastic and wonderful powers you've come to know and love eventually fade with time, making their bearers ordinary, if eccentric young adults when they're finally gone. For a meta story like this, it's a decent metaphor for adolescence.
  • Magic Kiss: Invoked by Kumagawa when he claims that maybe Mogana's kiss brought him back from the dead after Munakata killed him and she performed CPR. Of course it's a lie because his All Fiction has returned.
  • Magnetic Hero: Medaka Kurokami.
    • Zenkichi qualifies as well, due to his ability to befriend people and accept them, regardless of their status except maybe Kumagawa Even the Minuses who meet him — people who by definition don't want friends — are drawn to him helping to reform Emukae.
      • Zenkichi qualifies for this to even more of a status than Medaka. While Medaka's Magneti Hero qualities are just described, Zenkichi earned the friendship, love or at least respect of almost all of the characters by Chapter 142. This means he has earned the love of most of the major female characters - there is only one character with another romantic connection, Akune and Wanizuka Shori, and Shori even ends up on Zenkichi's student council. Then there's his friendship with Akune, Mogana, Kumagawa, Maguro, Naze, Munakata, Tsurubami, Kanoya, Hyuyga, Torai, Shori and win the approval of 62% of the popular vote in the election. He also won the apparent love of Medaka, Nabeshima, Emukae, Shiranui and Najimi Ajimu. There's also an implied romantic spark between him and Medaka's sister. Plus, he managed to hold on to Medaka's love since he was two years old. Dude needs to share his cologne.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Sukinasaki is this to the student council president, Jakago, in the short story "Good Loser Kumagawa".
  • Meaningful Name: Name wordgames are quite characteristic for the author according to Wikipedia.
    • Anshin'in's name starts with Anshin, or "relieved", which is used as a pun during chapter 140.
    • Medaka is one character off from Hadaka (nude), and early in the manga it's pointed out that she has no nudity taboo.
    • Koga's first name means "Pain", which fits with her ability to feel twice as much pain as a normal person.
    • Kujira's name seems strange next to Medaka and Maguro, since the whale is a mammal rather than a fish. This makes sense seeing as how she's the odd sibling out.
    • See also Theme Naming for Shiranui family.
  • Meta Fiction
    • Akune is a direct reference to a traditional manga hero, and how the male part of the audience tends to turn that character into a pointless destroyer in fanfiction, whereas the female part turns the same concept into a bishonen on a white stallion, but then having that character mature beyond them, learn from their viewpoints, and move onwards. It is explicitly stated, but still a bit of a Genius Bonus.
    • Ajimu drags the story kicking and screaming into metafiction because she sees Medaka's life like a manga with Medaka as the protagonist and herself as the seemingly unstoppable villain. In order to try to beat her she even shifts the genre of the story so that the story has more use of Zenkichi as protagonist in order to defeat her.
  • Mind Rape: This is the ultimate version of Shibuki's "Scardead" power: In addition to opening all your physical wounds, she can also unlock all your traumatic memories. This worked well on Naze, who inflicted both trauma and amnesia on herself.
  • Mind Screw: Chapter 71
  • Misery Builds Character: Kujira Kurokami based her life on the saying, "Something amazing can only be made after seeing hell" believing that being happy would keep her from reaching her potential. Thus, she forced this trope on herself, even going so far as to run away from her comfortable lifestyle, change her name, conceal her face, and erase her memory of her family.
    • Oudo knew his powers could make him a king, but attempted to avoid abusing them by living on the streets and trying to avoid harming bystanders. Unfortunately, he was unable to control his power and subsequent megalomania, and he ended up joining the Flask Plan.
  • The Mole: Ajimu planted a mole among Medaka's successors, but the council couldn't find her at first glance because they're all moles! Of course, they catch on within about five minutes since it wasn't supposed to be a real secret to begin with.
  • Morality Pet: For Kumagawa, the members of the Minus 13, Takarabe, and Kikaijima.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Treasure Hunt ends with a giant group hug between the student council and the successors, and an overall feeling of a job well done...which is humorously undercut when Unzen asks where Zenkichi was during all this, and everyone finds him still stuck on the first puzzle. Then Medaka completely ruins the mood by punching Zenkichi in the head in front of everyone and coldly leaving him behind to clean up the clock tower on his own.
  • My Fist Forgives You: Zenkichi does this as to Kumagawa after he forcefully made Shiranui realise her own feelings.

  • 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.
    • Genki Girl Koga's best friend is the gloomy, antisocial Youka Naze.
    • 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.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The finale sees Medaka defeat the MOON in offscreen single combat. She claims alien adventures kept her from coming back sooner. She follows this up with an offscreen takedown of every named character in the series. Yeah.
  • 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.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Both Medaka and Ajimu have a short of Catchphrase 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 Parasite Eyes and later, Devil Style and Model Zenkichi, 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 to 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 all her former enemies) and WINS. The You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me! moment afterward is an understatement.
  • People Puppets: When Miyakonojou Oudo uses his "Weighted Words".
  • 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.

  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: All of the shown student council presidents 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.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs:
    • Medaka Kurokami vs. Shigusa Takachiho.
    • Medaka and Hinokage once spent three days doing this, ending with both collapsing in exhaustion.
  • Reality Warper: Chapter 71 confirms that this is the true nature of Kumagawa's "All-Fiction". Comes with a hitch, though: he can take things away but he can't restore them, because they "become nothing". He loses it for a while (specifically, he trades it in for a new power), and then when regains it there's a new limitation: he can't erase things with strong feelings attached to them, like true love or strong memories. Near the end of the series he finally gets it back up to its original power.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Megusuno delivers a harsh one to Kumagawa in chapter 111 when he loses a contest of imagination to her. She explains that someone like Kumagawa can never beat her in such a contest because he honestly can't imagine that he can win — he has a self-defeating personality. She's basically calling him a loser in the most brutal way possible.
  • Red Baron: Subverted with Hinokage who actually isn't known as "Mr. Unknown" because his Abnormality makes everyone forget about him.
  • Relationship Upgrade: It takes her 140 chapters, but Medaka finally realizes her feelings for Zenkichi after he defeats her in the new student council election.
  • Right Makes Might: Subverted.
    Unzen: I'll admit it, you're stronger than I am. But that's as far as it goes. It doesn't mean you were right, or that you were smarter.
  • Rubber Face: Medaka does this to herself in episode 2 of Season 2, after Zenkichi mentions that she had a big smile on her face after meeting Oudo for the first time.
    • Zenkichi does this to Kikaijima in the next episode after the latter screams to help Medaka to figure out the layout of the area they were at using sonar. However, to him and Akune, it sounded like a really loud, ear-piercing scream.
    • Kumagawa also does this to Medaka while she's holding a speech to mock her.
  • Rule of Three: As of chapter 119, the Student Council has been divided up into three factions: Medaka with Akune on her side, Hitoyoshi and the Not Equals against Medaka, and Kikaijima and Kumagawa representing the weak and trying to restore order among the divided group.
  • Save the Villain: Medaka ends up doing this during the fight with the Enforcers as does Naze during her fight with Shibushi.
  • Say My Name
  • Seppuku: Zenkichi stabs himself in the stomach as an apology for being unable to return Emukae's feelings after her spectacular love confession (she knew he couldn't return her feelings but she did it anyway). His wound was partially healed by Kumagawa, who apologizes that his abilities aren't as strong; Zenkichi doesn't mind since the wound is a good reminder of his stupidity.
  • Serial Escalation: Everything Medaka does qualifies: her running skills, her cycling skills, her inteligence, and even her stupidity! You know what, let's just say Medaka herself. This also seems to apply to her siblings.
    • In chapter 140, Medaka stops the manga from ending. That's right, a character in the story decided it wasn't going to end.
  • Shadow Archetype: There are a number of parallels between characters, especially in terms of contrasting motives.
    • Medaka and the Class 13, both of whom seek people to relate to in spite of their overwhelming and alienating abilities.
    • Akune and Wanizuka, who highlight how stupidly devoted they become to their object of affection.
  • Shōnen: The series becomes a more typical shonen fighting manga after the Genre Shift.
  • Shout-Out: Maybe, when Tsugiha— sorry, The Magical ? Wonder Tsugiha — renames the final scavanger hunt challenger "Koyabashi" after reprogramming her challenge and taking over "Kobayashi's" narrative.
  • Slasher Smile: Several characters get these, including Medaka.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Each "bad guy" Medaka faces off with, at least in the anime, gradually becomes more evil and tougher than the last person she fought.
  • Spanner in the Works: Zenkichi defeating and befriending Munakata after taking over for Medaka. The leader of the Flask Plan had intended for Medaka to be the one doing the befriending.
  • Spiritual Successor: To JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (In the over the topness of the powers the characters have)
    • Danganronpa Is one to the last third of the manga, where the meta elements took over to the point of it becoming a Deconstructor Fleet, without the shonen elements.
  • Stepford Smiler: Kumagawa. It's so creepy that his rare expression of unbridled rage and hate is actually less disturbing. Also Emukae. Kumagawa ditches the smile after getting his original power back.
  • Super Mode: Medaka's Perseus/War God Mode, of the Unstoppable Berserker variety. Later receives several variations.
  • Superpower Lottery: Abnormals and Minuses. Some have better or more horrifying powers than others.
    • Ajimu has a quadrillion different abilities and she absolutely thrashes Kumagawa in the battle in his heart.
  • Super Reflexes: One of the "Class 13" Abnormals has Super Reflexes as his Abnormality, which he calls "Auto-Pilot". He discovered that his reflexes were an Abnormality in a truly disturbing way; by living through a car accident which killed his entire family, save for himself.

  • 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.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: A weird twist on the concept. In the Unknown Shiranui Arc, Kumagawa is in a coma and meets with an afterimage of Anshin'in-san, which she says is effectively a physical "video recording" made in the event of her death. Kumagawa immediately tries to peek up her skirt, and she kicks him in the head, saying "I can't see or hear you, but I still know how you think, so I'll throw in a kick right here for good measure. If it hits you, good for me."
  • 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 skills 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.
    • Kumagawa as well. The first thing he does when he meets Zenkichi's mom is bribe her with info on 2000 Abnormals in order to have her write him off as normal, before blackmailing her with her son's life if she doesn't accept the bribe.
    • It's also revealed that he was using his signature screws at that age.
  • 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 thought 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.

  • Verbal Tic: Kumagawa speaks very insincerely with [BRACKETED ALL CAPS] When he gets his original minus power back he loses the brackets, all caps, and starts talking seriously. Later, when he's officially on the good side the brackets and all caps speech pattern returns.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Kumagawa starts to do this when the Student Council doesn't fall apart like he plans. When one of his own Minuses nearly gets herself killed for him is when he completely breaks down.
    • Iihiko has a breakdown in the face of Medaka's refusal to give up on Shiranui even after he's pretty much won. He has an even greater one when he realizes he lost and he's about to die.
  • Walking Wasteland: Mukae Emukae, who can rot anything with her Minus "Raff-Rafflesia." She has since gained a greater control of her power, being able to adjust their effects by manipulating plant growth - and since being hit with Kumagawa's All-Fiction, can turn it on and off at will.
  • Wall Crawl: Koga Itami, Miyakonojou Oudo, Medaka Kurokami, and Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, although it severely winded the latter.
    • To be fair, Zenkichi was only using his legs while simultaneously carrying a girl half his size straight up a building as a 'normal' person.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Chairman Hakama Shiranui in his attempts to create the perfect human.
  • Wham Episode: Happened at least twice. First, the arrival of Medaka's old nemesis, Kumagawa, to Hakoniwa, and Zenkichi's Deal with the Devil with Anshin'in.
    • Chapter 156 has quite the wham ending, too. Medaka's true father, Kurokami Kajiki, is alive.
    • And now, in chapter 162 and 163, we're introduced to what looks like a demon incarnate, Shishime Iihiko. As it turns out, he's one of the only people who Ajimu Najimi cannot defeat. How does he show off his power? By blowing Ajimu's body in half. With a RUBBER BAND.
    • Chapter 170 throws an entirely new light on several characters and ties together the arcs since Ajimu's loss together into a new overarching plot. Tsurubami Fukuro is quite insane, planning to marry Shiranui in the place of his sister and niece. In fact, he set up Medaka's birth to try and create someone like his sister, but more lovable and then set up the Second Jet Black Wedding to free up Shiranui when that didn't work out.
    • Episode 9 of Season 1 plays this trope straight as well, which is also the beginning of the Genre Shift from a rather light-hearted comedy into a more serious affair with lots of violence and stuff blowing up or being broken down.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Class 13's Plus Six appear for one scene, get utterly Curb Stomped by Kumagawa, are mentioned once about a hundred chapters later, make a one-panel appearance in the final arc, and that's about it for six of the most powerful people in the school.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kikaijima calls out Medaka on her actions towards Zenkichi in chapters 115-117, and tells Medaka that she should apologize. Medaka's response makes Kikaijima realize that Medaka doesn't understand other peoples' hearts.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: In episode 3 of Season 2, some guards taunt Zenkichi that Hard Work Hardly Works, and that he'll never guess the number needed to open a security door, due to it being a one in a million chance of getting it correct. Akune mentions they could try a million different combinations, give up and leave, or just beat the door down. He then comments that it only took about a hundred and fifty whacks, not the million the guards claimed, and mocks the guards with the trope they tried on Zenkichi by proving that hard work can pay off.
    • After Medaka's group gets caught in the Nursery Rhyme user Kotobuki Jougan's style, they're regressed to children. Medaka immediately goes on and thoroughly explains her analysis of the style's effect, but Kumagawa just chooses to attack head on with his usual screws.
    Kumagawa: I don't understand that complicated stuff, but to put it simply we just need to screw our opponent over, right?
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Averted when Munakata starts to lose the fight, he draws pistols instead.
  • Wingding Eyes: Loup the android has crosses in her eyes and mysterious musician Furousan (Frozen?) Zomeki has a musical note in each of hers.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Many Abnormals, especially the Minuses.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: Basically any of the language users.
  • Worf Barrage: The Kurokami Phantom was always one of Medaka's strongest attacks and it receives a couple of power-ups along the way, but when Medaka uses it against Iihiko, she gets killed from the force being reflected back on her.
  • Worf Effect: Played with. Hinokage was introducted as a powerful character, but he had to retreat, when Kumagawa and two other Minuses decided to gang up against him. However, the only thing that was hurt was his pride. Until chapter 72, wherein he doesn't figure out the new Minus's superpower in time to defend against it, leading to his defeat, alongside the rest of the student council.
    • Zenkichi is often used to show how threatening a new antagonist is. During Medaka's fight with the Enforcers, he and the other Student Council members were already incapacitated by the explosion Myouri created. Oudo easily subdues Zenkichi in their first encounter, and Kumagawa plays with Zenkichi during their Student Council battle.
    • In chapter 163, Iihiko manages to defeat Zenkichi, Kumagawa, and Ajimu almost effortlessly.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Though Kumagawa is nonetheless extremely powerful, Zenkichi's main obstacle to fighting him was his crippling fear of him. It takes an entire week of training for him just to suppress it and eventually comes back once Kumagawa reveals that he was stalling in his battle.
  • You Monster!: Iihiko of all people calls Medaka a monster when she refuses to give up even after she has suffered crushing defeat.
    • Medaka actually gets this a lot. She even told Oudo that she was fine being a monster if he still considered himself a human after nearly killing Koga to steal her Abnormality.
  • Younger Than They Look: Medaka when she was two, due to her accelerated growth.
  • Yandere: Chapter 58 introduces Mukae Emukae, a member of the Minus 13 Class, who bumps into Zenkichi by accident. If the sprawling Wall of Text about wanting to bear his children during their first meeting isn't obvious enough, the fact that she stabs him in his foot when he tries to leave should remove all doubt.