Medaka’s Box follows Medaka Kurokami, Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, Kouki Akune and Mogana Kikaijima, members of the student council, during their various adventures to honor suggestions presented by academy members in order to better the academy. Except that they have Abnormalities, superhuman abilities, which can be classified as Pluses or Minuses, when they become warped by their ‘negative’ powers.
There is a 2012 anime adaptation of the manga, after which you may continue from Volume 7, Chapter 55 onwards. While the anime adaptation may have its good points, I believe it is in the manga where it really shines best. The appearance of my favourite antagonist, Kumagawa Misogi, who wields the Minus, All Fiction! This reverses wounds and make everything as they were before. The fun only comes in when Kumagawa, who is seriously ‘screwed’ up in the mind, pitches the Minuses against the Pluses in a student council battle, and we observe the contrast between the Minuses and Pluses. One side has faced constant defeat, failure, rejection, and everything negative due to their abilities, or have grown their abilities out of their negative feelings, whilst the other side has basked in the spotlight with their abilities, achieved recognition, fame and everything positive that the Minuses yearn for but are unable to achieve. This dichotomy between those with ‘it’ and those without ‘it’ is shown through the dialogue and actions of the characters. As someone who rarely entertains action or battle-oriented manga such as the long-running series Bleach, or Naruto, this manga has pitched itself in a particular way different from the rest. Besides tackling issues of determination and friendship, it acknowledges the inherent inequalities of humans from birth and explores what makes Minuses what they are. I would be hard-pressed to name another work that shares similar attributes to Medaka Box, as it seems to be unequalled in exploring human weakness versus godly talent, the negative versus the positive, and how both sides reconcile their differences in the end.
Even beyond that arc, after the Minuses reconcile with the Pluses, Medaka Box moves on to tackle the Flask Plan. Should ordinary humans be turned into Abnormals, who will gain superpowers? What is the cost of human experimentation, and is it right to do so? And who are the Not Equals, who have awoken and taken action to revive the Flask Plan?
These issues are not only riveting to confront, but also encompasses the challenges that Medaka faces in converting foe to friend, and showcases the meaningful relationships forged as a result.
This manga is definitely worth a read, although be prepared to stay up all night reading them, as they are certainly very captivating. The perfect read for a grand tale of (perhaps) innate differences in talent and ability, and the humanity of mankind.
Mild spoilers ahead.
As expected of such a long running series, the way it ends is so magnificiently capped to the brim with feels. Certainly a manga not to miss, and if you dislike long running series, I would suggest starting from the Kumagawa Arc since he’s my favourite character, and the Arc that really brings out the feels and makes it a manga worth reading.
/ーーーー・ Ｒａｔｉｎｇ：１０／１０ ・ーーーー/