Medaka Box (めだかボックス, Medaka Bokkusu) is a Japanese manga written by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Akira Akatsuki. Medaka Box was serialized in the Japanese magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump, published by Shueisha from May 2009 to May 2013.
The series follows the Student Council of Hakoniwa Academy, originally comprised of Medaka Kurokami and Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, during their various adventures to honor suggestions presented by fellow students in order to better the academy. These suggestions are received through a suggestion box Medaka institutes at the series start: the titular "Medaka Box" (a play on words with the Japanese term for suggestion box, meyasu box). As the series progresses, more characters join Medaka in her endeavors, and the Student Council face progressively more difficult requests, both absurd and dangerous.
- Duration: Chapters 1 - 21, Episodes 1 - 12
The series begins with the announcement of Medaka's election as Student Council President. She promptly strong-arms her childhood friend Zenkichi into helping her as the Student Council's General Affairs Manager. Together, the pair answers numerous requests, from finding lost dogs to cleaning up club buildings and even fixing personalities. Shortly, they are joined by Kouki Akune, formerly of the Judo Club, who becomes the Student Council Secretary and Zenkichi's rival for Medaka's affections, and later Mogana Kikaijima, a member of the Swimming Club who becomes the Student Council Treasurer. It is not long before the Student Council's unorthodox methods begin to garner the wrong kind of attention: that of the Public Morals Committee, and their leader, Myouri Unzen; considered a superhuman on the same level as Medaka.
- Duration: Chapters 22 - 55, Episodes 13 - 23
Hakama Shiranui, Hakoniwa Academy's chairman, reveals to the Student Council a government conspiracy to study and attempt to artificially recreate super-humans on the same level as Medaka. Formally called Abnormals, Medaka quickly discovers that she is not the only Abnormal in the academy, let alone the world. In fact, these abnormal children are intentionally being brought together as the academy's Class 13 in order to study them and attempt to recreate their abilities; the "Flask Plan". However, once such a method is found, the students of Hakoniwa Academy will be forced to endure the vicious trial experiments, which will result in the death of most of the students. Medaka resolves to oppose the Flask Plan, and she and the other members of the Student Council descend into the academy's underground facilities to challenge the Abnormals participating in the plan; the fearsome Thirteen Party. After a series of difficult battles in which Medaka's own Abnormality is finally identified, the Student Council is able to put an end to the Flask Plan. Their success is short-lived however, as the Chairman immediately falls back on a new method for the Flask Plan centered around Misogi Kumagawa, the one person even Medaka could not save.
- Duration: Chapters 56 - 92
The new enemies are a subgroup of Abnormals known as Minuses; Abnormals that aren't merely unhinged due to the loneliness of being better than normal humans, but genuinely horrific, deranged people with powers that defy both logic and physics to match. These new enemies group together as Class -13, lead by Kumagawa, who, using a school rule, threatens to usurp Medaka's Student Council with one of his own, allowing him to achieve his ultimate goal of gathering the elite students of the academy together, and killing all of them. Medaka accepts his challenge, and the two Student Councils face off in a series of five battles to determine which council will take over control of the school. With allies old and new, the Student Council progresses through the challenges, with Medaka finally defeating Kumagawa in the last match, and successfully reforms him. Class -13 is formally accepted into the academy, and Medaka invites Kumagawa to become the Student Council vice-president, a position he accepts after encouragement from Zenkichi. As the Student Council celebrates their victory, the mysterious "Delayed Two", the remaining transfer students invited by the Chairman, arrive at the academy. Consisting of the mysterious Najimi Ajimu and Hanten Shiranui, the pair label themselves as Not Equals; those who stand above both Abnormals and Minuses.
- Duration: Chapters 93 - 140
Ajimu introduces the Not Equals to the Student Council, making it clear her intent to restart the Flask Plan once Medaka graduates. Medaka and her Student Council, now with Kumagawa in its rankings, attempt to stop the plan's revival by training five middle school students to become their successors. However, Ajimu reveals one of the new recruits is actually a member of the Not Equals; though the Student Council ultimately discovers that all five are Not Equals, as well as Normal girls. Medaka arranges for the interns to go on a Treasure Hunt as part of their training, though the original members of the Student Council are soon roped in to participate as well. With the exception of Zenkichi, all of them make it through the Treasure Hunt, and with teamwork, manage to defeat Medaka, with Kikaijima claiming the prize. Upon discovering that Zenkichi never made it past the first trial however, Medaka turns her back on him. Ajimu reveals that her true plan was to break the bond between Medaka and Zenkichi; Zenkichi was the only Normal who could stay by Medaka's side, but with the introduction of the interns, Zenkichi has lost his value in her eyes. Ajimu offers to make Zenkichi a "main character" so that he can defeat Medaka and earn her respect…by becoming the new test subject for the Flask Plan. Zenkichi agrees and decides to oppose Medaka. The Flask Plan is ultimately successful, and Zenkichi defeats Medaka in the presidential election. As her last act as president, Medaka sanctifies the Flask Plan. However, the victorious Ajimu tries to commit suicide, only to be stopped by Medaka. Medaka reveals that Ajimu always wanted the Flask Plan to fail, as she had never found anything impossible in her infinite existence. Medaka reforms Ajimu, promising her that she will never let her die; therefore, Ajimu's death will become the impossibility she has been seeking. Kumagawa's seal fades away, Ajimu is accepted as a freshman of Class 13, and Medaka hands the president's armband over to Zenkichi. She then kisses him, telling him she has fallen for him.
- Duration: Chapters 141 - 158
Relieved from her duties as head of the Student Council, Medaka enjoys her days as a normal student until she is informed of the start of the "Jet Black Wedding Feast", a battle royale between representatives of the seven branch families of the Kurokami Group for the right to become Medaka's husband and the successor to the main family. By having contestant Kamome Tsurubami relinquish his invitation to her, Medaka joins the competition determined to defeat her suitors and earn the right to keep living her life freely. Upon learning of her situation, Zenkichi and his new Student Council start looking for her. As the suitors are eliminated from the Feast, they stay behind to confront the Student Council, trying to prevent Zenkichi from reuniting with Medaka. Ultimately, Zenkichi catches up to Medaka, but is taken hostage, forcing Medaka to compete with her final three suitors in a word game of "Delete Shiritori". The game concludes with Medaka forcing the last suitor to say "surrender", ending the Jet Black Wedding Feast. Together with Zenkichi and her friends, Medaka returns to Hakoniwa Academy.
- Duration: Chapters 159 - 185
Now formally engaged to Zenkichi, Medaka intends to take a more traditional approach to their relationship. However, she soon discovers that Hansode Shiranui has disappeared from both the school and everyone's memories. A meeting with Ajimu reveals what has happened, and along with Zenkichi (the only other student who still remembers Shiranui), Medaka sets out to find her erstwhile double. Medaka and Zenkichi discover she is to become the next host for Iihiko Shishime, a 5000 year old being, and set out to defeat him. After learning the truth behind the styles and Medaka's other father, Fukurou Tsurubami, Iihiko is defeated and Shiranui is saved. However, Fukurou's final trump card brings the moon plummeting towards Earth. Medaka stops the moon and disappears, but returns in time for the academy graduation ceremony.
- Duration: Chapters 186 - 190
Now head of the Kurokami Group, Medaka withdraws from Hakoniwa Academy. After fourteen years together, the time has come for Medaka and Zenkichi to part ways. But first, a flower filled send-off party for the president who loved flowers! Zenkichi arranges a 100 Flowers Run for Medaka; a battle against one hundred opponents from her academic year. Medaka defeats Zenkichi first at the base of the clock tower, and after traversing the academy to collect flowers from her opponents, faces Kumagawa last at the top of the clock tower. He reveals that each flower includes a farewell message from each of her opponents. In April, at the beginning of the school year, Medaka returns to the academy as the new chairwoman.
- Duration: Chapters 191 - 192
Ten years have passed, and the golden generation of Hakoniwa Academy gather together on the anniversary of Ajimu's disappearance. Two members in particular have not seen each other for several years. Medaka and Zenkichi remember their past, discuss their present, and decide their future. Thank you for four years of affectionate reading!
A sub-series of the Medaka Box main series, it features Kumagawa as the protagonist and main character. The sub-series takes place two months before Kumagawa transfers to Hakoniwa Academy, and details his time at Suisou Academy. This is the story of Kumagawa's one month-long battle with Saki Sukinasaki, a battle that ended with the closure of Suisou Academy and no winner.
A large number of students at Hakoniwa Academy are scholarship students, allowed to enroll at Hakoniwa because of their ability to excel in a specific area and are generally known as Specials. More extraordinary students are known as Abnormals, who are individuals possessing overwhelming capabilities such that the individual is unable to control that aspect of themselves and inherently seek to master their abnormality. Introduced as the anti-thesis to Abnormals are Minuses, students who have no inherent interest in controlling their abnormalities and have no sense of morality. Rather, they thrive on destruction, regarding themselves as unworthy, unable to relate to others, and have no sense of responsibility. The majority of the students, who lack any special ability, are known as Normals.
- The female protagonist of the series and the 98th Student Council President of Hakoniwa Academy. Beautiful and well endowed, Medaka is an excellent academic student, placing first in the national test. In addition to her academic achievements, she has excelled in various other areas, such as calligraphy and sports, and obtained seemingly inhuman results. When the series begins, she has just been elected the new student council president by an unheard-of margin of 98% of the total votes, even though she is still only a first-year student. Medaka institutes a suggestion box in which students can drop suggestions for various tasks that the students feel would improve the academy. Her personality is one of helping others, and she is determined to finish any task handed to her. For every task she completes, Medaka buys a vase with flowers. She one day hopes to have completed so many suggestions that she fills the entire academy with blooming flowers.
- The male protagonist of the series, childhood friend of Medaka, and the Student Council General Affairs Manager, reluctantly joining for the sake of protecting Medaka. Zenkichi always shows enthusiasm toward Medaka's cause for helping others and will punish anyone who opposes that cause; it was he who molded Medaka's current personality. Having known Medaka since they were both two years old, Zenkichi is deeply in love with her, though he feels she would not except his feelings if he were ever to confess. Zenkichi is noted to be a Normal, someone with no special abilities. Medaka's brother, Maguro Kurokami, takes special interest in him because no matter how much he's discouraged or fails, he stands back up. Zenkichi is a master of Savate, having honed his skill to such an extent that he possesses an almost impenetrable defense. According to Zenkichi, he learned this style because he fears fighting and uses it to disarm opponents and take away their desire to fight. Because of this display of skill, the Flask Plan is very interested in him, believing him to have the potential to become an Abnormal.
- The comic relief character of the series, and the granddaughter of Hakoniwa Academy's Chairman. Zenkichi regards her as his best friend; he is apparently the only person who can get along with her and somewhat control her. Even though she is the smallest of the main characters, Shiranui has a very large appetite and is constantly seen eating. She has a knack for finding clandestine information with ease, knowing about most things that would seem to be vague details, and is unusually perceptive. Normally, she is a very cheerful girl, but she is shown to have a dark side and is brutally tactless. Shiranui harbors a hidden resentment against Medaka and claims she has no friends and, unlike other Abnormals, does not desire them, a typical mindset of a Minus. Because of the antagonism that exists between them, Medaka initially asks Shiranui to become the Vice-President of the Student Council, though Shiranui refuses. While she prefers to remain on the sidelines observing and is extraordinarily capable of removing herself from any danger, Shiranui elects to join Class -13 after encountering Kumagawa. Despite her claims to not care for anyone nor having any friends, it seems that she has strong feelings for Zenkichi.
- The Student Council Secretary, Akune has been infatuated with Medaka since middle school and hates Zenkichi for being able to spend so much time with her. In middle school, he had been a violent delinquent known as the "Destroyer," though was reformed by and subsequently developed feelings for Medaka. Since then, he gradually became less violent and now shows little desire to actually hurt others. Because of his natural fighting abilities, Akune is known as the "Prince of Judo" and was star of the Judo Club before being recruited into the Student Council for his "beautiful" handwriting. He is considered to be a Special, with skills above average, but not quite Abnormal. Akune's ability is being able to copy other people's abilities, but to a lesser extent.
- The Student Council Treasurer and originally the ace of the Swimming Club, Kikaijima and her fellow swimmers Yakushima and Tanegashima had an incredible obsession with money for personal reasons and wanted to gain enough money to fill a pool and swim in it. When Kikaijima was a child, her father left because the family was in debt, and her mother became sick from working herself in to the ground. All the people that Kikaijima had thought were friends left her because her family had no money, leading to her obsession with wealth. She and her teammates are all reformed by Medaka, who later recruits her as the treasurer (for an hourly wage). Kikaijima is a Special, and is one of the school's many scholarship students. Kikaijima has an incredible lung capacity, allowing her to hold her breath for a month if she chooses. She can also focus her voice as a sound cannon and destroy physical objects with ultrasonic shrieks.
- A young man who was once the Student Council President of his middle school. Much to Medaka and Zenkichi's horror, Kumagawa transfers into Hakoniwa Academy after the destruction of the Flask Plan. A nihilist who believes that there is no point to life or reason to be born, he has absorbed all the negative aspects of the people he met; he failed at everything and lost to everyone at everything. Medaka attempted to sympathize with him and reform him, like she had done to her other classmates, but Kumagawa proved to be beyond her influence. Though it hasn't been explicitly shown, it is known that he attacked one of his classmates in front of Medaka, which led her to attack him in a fit of rage, resulting in him leaving the school. Upon realizing that she couldn't help him, which went against everything she believed herself to be capable of, she was left emotionally scarred. The scar has still not yet healed, as this day she still berates herself over not being able to do anything positive for him. Medaka describes him as a compulsive liar who places no meaning in trust or doubt, while Hitomi Hitoyoshi considers him a developmental depravity. Despite the immensely negative personality Kumagawa possesses, he has a purely positive look regarding himself and is always seen smiling.
- The founder of Hakoniwa Academy and the creator of the Flask Plan, Ajimu has been absent for three years after being sealed by Kumagawa. After Medaka's success in reforming Kumagawa, the seal is weakened, whereupon Ajimu is set loose. Ajimu possesses a total of nearly thirteen quadrillion skills, and is the embodiment of seven hundred million Not Equals. Ajimu views humans with as much disdain as eraser shavings, and has trouble distinguishing people from the environment. Ajimu uses Zenkichi in an attempt to have him defeat Medaka and usurp her position as the "main character". It is ultimately revealed that her goal is to find something impossible, and as such she initiated the Flask Plan with the intention of failing. After Zenkichi succeeds in defeating Medaka in the election, Ajimu attempts to commit suicide, but is stopped by Medaka, who correctly concludes that her true problem lies in simulated reality, and being extremely weary of life. Ajimu is enrolled as a first year student, is reformed, and gradually starts to care for and be more loyal towards other people. She is later killed by Iihiko Shishime when buying time for her friends to escape. With Iihiko's defeat, it is believed she will eventually return.
See also: Locations
The majority of the series takes place at Hakoniwa Academy; across the campus during the earlier chapters, in the underground facility during the Flask Plan arc, at several prepared battle grounds on campus during the Student Council Battle arc, and in various academy buildings during the Medaka Kurokami's Successor arc. Starting with the Jet Black Bride arc, the main characters move out into the greater world, visiting several exotic locations as part of the second Jet Black Wedding Feast. While searching for Shiranui during the Unknown Shiranui arc, they visit other locations both new and old. The final two arcs of the series both take place at Hakoniwa Academy.
Beginning with its first appearance in Issue 24 in May 2009, the Medaka Box manga appeared weekly in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine. The series finished its run in Double Issue 22-23 in May 2013, after four years of serialization. Shueisha also compiled the chapters into bimonthly tankōbon volumes. As of September 4th, 2013, the entire series has been compiled in twenty-two volumes. The Medaka Box Complete Guide Book was released on the same day as the final tankōbon volume.
The anime version of Medaka Box is produced by Gainax and directed by Shoji Saeki. It began broadcasting on TV Tokyo in Japan on April 4th, 2012. The final episode of the first season aired on June 20th, 2012. The first season was streamed by Crunchyroll as it aired. The anime's first season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks, who will release the anime in both digital and home video formats.
The second season, entitled Medaka Box Abnormal (めだかボックス アブノーマル, Medaka Bokkusu Abunomaru), premiered on October 10th, 2012. The second season was streamed by both Crunchyroll and Anime Network. Sentai Filmworks has licensed Medaka Box Abnormal as well.
Nisio Isin has written several Medaka Box novels. The first set of light novels consists of two volumes. The first was released on May 2nd, 2012, and is titled Kuguhara Messhi's Ravenous Rule and Naginoura Sanagi's Forced Vote. The second was released on June 4th, 2012, and is titled Eburi Richigi's False Modesty and Mukueda Shikii's Trash Manifestation. The novels' plot takes place before the start of the manga, and serve as a prequel to the main series. The four new characters introduced are each teachers at Hakoniwa Academy.
The second set of light novels, also consisting of two volumes, details Kumagawa's time as Student Council president at Suisou Academy after the events of Good Loser Kumagawa. The first volume was released on October 10th, 2012, and is titled Medaka Box Side Story Good Loser Kumagawa Novel Version (Part 1) "Suisou Is Full of Wriggling Brains". The second volume was released on November 19th, 2012, and is titled Medaka Box Side Story Good Loser Kumagawa Novel Version (Part 2) "The Zugzwang of Suisou Management".
A fifth light novel, titled Medaka Box Juvenile: Novel Version, was released on October 4th, 2013. Chronologically, the events of the novel take place before the entire rest of the series, and detail Medaka's conflict with Kumagawa during their middle school years.
The series is currently doing considerably well in sales, and as of 2011 the series has reached a total of three million copies sold.
- Medaka Box (Manga) at Anime News Network
- Medaka Box (TV) at Anime News Network
- Medaka Box Abnormal (TV) at Anime News Network