Medaka Box

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Just your everyday Abnormal Student Council

"Your dreams are your own personal concerns... you should take on the challenge and fulfill your own dreams. However, your worries are my concern. Entrust every last one to me!"

Medaka Box is a manga series by author Nisio Isin (of Bakemonogatari fame), and artist Akatsuki Akira (of his "fame" as the ero-artist RIROLAND), about the paragon and all-around perfect student Medaka Kurokami, who is elected as the President of Hakoniwa Academy's student council by 98% of the student body. Possessed of a forceful personality, charisma, and incredible ability, she is accompanied by her loyal and snarky childhood friend Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, who has been at her side for over thirteen years.

Her first act is to set up a suggestion box where students can put in requests, which comes to be known as the Medaka Box. The series initially follows a standard formula where Medaka selects a request for help, then drags Zenkichi along into a complicated situation which is usually resolved by the chapter's end. For each completed request, Medaka has a potted flower brought into the Student Council room. Over the course of several chapters, Medaka manages to recruit two more members for the Student Council.

Thirteen chapters later, the series undergoes a Genre Shift: multi-chapter story arcs become the norm as Medaka discovers the existence of other students with inhuman abilities like herself known as Abnormals. There are also other students called Specials whose talents are not quite at an Abnormal level, and regular students like Zenkichi who do not possess any particularly special traits. All of them have brought together under the auspices of Hakoniwa Academy's chairman, Hakama Shiranui. The whole Academy exists to support a project called the Flask Plan, whose goal is to mass-produce perfect humans by duplicating Abnormal talents in normal people.

And things only get more complicated from there.

Medaka Box has gone from a quirky Slice of Life high school comedy to a fighting manga, then Serial Escalation as each Big Bad's defeat brings a newer, more dangerous one onto the scene. Whatever the author's original intentions, the series has become more and more popular with each Genre Shift, and an anime adaptation by Gainax was announced and began airing on April 4, 2012.

Making use of Misogi Kumagawa's ground-breaking popularity in the manga, Nisio and Akira announced a Spin-Off short with the aforementioned character, entitled Good Loser Kumagawa, published in Jump NEXT Magazine on December 26, 2011.

According to its own wiki, the manga has contained six completed story arcs so far, with a seventh starting around the same time as the anime. At the same time, the anime is expected to include several filler arcs.

The seven arcs include:

  • Suggestion Box Arc (Chapters 1-8)
  • Club Battle Swim Meet Arc (Chapter 9-13)
  • Clash With The Enforcers Arc (Chapters 14-21)
  • Flask Plan Arc (Chapters 22-57)
  • Student Council Battle Arc (Chapters 58-92)
  • Medaka’s Successor Arc (Chapters 93-140)
  • Jet Black Bride Arc (Chapters 141-Current)

Tropes used in Medaka Box include:

Pre-Genre Shift[edit | hide | hide all]

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.
    • Kikaijima wears her swimsuit underneath her uniform, although this is more because she feels extremely uncomfortable without it.
  • 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.
  • Punny Name: Besides the Theme Naming of Medaka's family, Medaka is an Innocent Fanservice Girl, and her name is 1 character off from Hadaka ("nude").
  • 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.
  • 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 Dragonball Z before beating the living daylights of a bully.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Post-Genre Shift[edit | hide]

  • 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.
    • Right after, 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.
      • It should be noted though that she was just trying to make him stand for himself and really did value him. Medaka showed that she actually valued Zenkichi highly whenever he wasn't around, praising him when he couldn't hear. The reason that everybody that knew them for years supported them (minus Kumagawa) fighting was also for Zenkichi's growth.
  • Aloof Older Brother: Maguro (Mr. Awesome-by-analysis) to Medaka and Kei (Mr. Axe-crazy) to Shori/Koi.
  • 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. .
  • Animals Hate 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.
  • Arch Enemy: Najimi 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.
  • Art Shift: Contrast the early chapters with the DBZ-inspired art of the recent chapters. See also Genre Shift below.
  • 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.
  • 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 Normal: Specials seem to be this by virtue of the fact they're not born with Abnormal talents, but can keep up with Abnormals due to training. Zenkichi also qualifies by virtue of actually belonging to the "Normal" category.
    • Hell, Unzen says that Zenkichi might be second only to Medaka in terms of fighting ability.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Munakata, whose Abnormal ability is being an assassin savant. He is really good at killing people and constantly feels the urge to do it. He isn't considered a "Minus" because he actually has a conscience and isolates himself with a fake criminal record to avoid hurting other people.
  • Batman Gambit: Zenkichi and Naze's battles during the Flask Plan Arc and the Student Council Battle Arc seem to hinge around this.
  • Battle Strip: Kumagawa and Munakata randomly decide to take their shirts off for their big showdown.
  • Berserk Button: Parodied by Kumagawa.
    • Chougasaki has one involving gaming that makes him lose all rationality and get a new haircut. Naturally Kumagawa pushes it on purpose.
  • Big Bad: Changes with each story arc. So far there's been Myouri Unzen, Oudo Miyakonojou, Misogi Kumagawa, and now Ajimu Najimi.
  • Big Bad Friend: Possibly Zenkichi to Medaka as of chapter 117.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Medaka makes a habit of this. One example had her kicking through a cement wall just because she heard a name that sounded familiar. Through several rooms and at least one floor down in a subterranean research lab.
    • And in Chapter 44, "The Loser Team" consisted of several defeated opponents, including two from Class 13 and Myouri Unzen.
    • Special mention goes to Medaka in Chapter 73, wherein she shows up to save /Koga Itami off screen... But only after Shiranui warned her, complete with a very mild What the Hell, Hero? speech when she initially refused to interfere.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Chapter 140, Medaka and Zenkichi, in front of the whole school.
  • Big Damn Villains: The Plus Six. Also, the Minus 13 Class.
  • Big 'Effing Knife: Mera "The Chef" Konomi, co-Chair(wo)man of the Diet Education Committee.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Invoked in Chapter 36 of the manga by Maguro, Medaka's greatest fan/brother. Also see Ho Yay.
  • Blindfolded Vision: Chojabaru. Seems to be a Shout-Out to Lady Justice
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Subverted: "Medaka II" may be brainwashed but she's certainly not crazy, and thanks to Zenkichi it doesn't take.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Kumagawa: 「IF THIS IS THE WEEKLY SHOUNEN JUMP, THEN THIS BULLYING SCENE SHOULD BE REGULATED.」
    • Naze: "It'll continue after the commercial break. The Demon Queen Naze-chan's Minus Nullify System!" Said right before the chapter ends.
      • Ajimu constantly plays with the Fourth Wall, making constant references to the magazine the manga is run in. She even names 21 Shounen Jump manga in a row in Chapter 116 when trying to enlist Zenkichi into her current plan.
        • And in chapter 127 she directly says that any manga that goes on four more than ten volumes is coasting, so she is going to end this story before the anime begins.
  • 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.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Taken to extremes by Tachirai Kiruko, the head of the election committee who sleeps for 22 hours a day, has never been seen standing or even sitting, and is so opposed to doing work (her sleep mask even has "I CANNOT WORK" on it) that she was placed in Class A because no one knew what to do with her. When the treasure hunters reach her she doesn't even take off her sleep mask but instantly comes up with a difficult challenge for them.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Maguro Kurokami's fondness for his little sisters almost reaches this level. Neither of them reciprocate those feelings.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The effects of Naze Youka's "Normalize" serum on Abnormals.
  • 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!
  • Catch Phrase: When his opponents are amazed or try to pinpoint his power to deflect trauma, Gagamaru often just dismiss it by saying that it was just an "unexpected accident".
  • 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!
  • Close-Call Haircut: To Medaka from Munekata. And just after she learned how to dodge.
  • Clothing Damage: Just about everyone who fights.
  • Cooking Duel: In chapter 106.
  • Combat Commentator: Maguro Kurokami, since analyzing is his abnormality. The gate guardian twins in the Flask Plan 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.
  • Conservation of 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.
  • Contrived Coincidence: "Devil Style", the power Ajimu gave Zenkichi negates this:
  • Cooldown Hug: Medaka gets two of these; one by Zenkichi when she's going berserk after being brainwashed, and the whole Student Council when she's about to kill Unzen.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Comes up in chapter 121, along with bits of You Fail Biology Forever. 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 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.
  • Curb Stomp 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 beatdown 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).
  • Cursed with Awesome: Kujira Kurokami feels this way about herself, as she believes that genius cannot thrive without severe hardship.
    • Hinkage 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 Hinkage Kuudou's "Mister Nobody" talent, he'd probably cause this effect in people just from being seen. He is essentially so manly that anyone who sees him cannot help but feel completely inferior to him in comparison.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Kumagawa decides to send thugs after the other Student council reps, using himself and his fight with Zenkichi as a distraction, specifically to prevent them from receiving a Training Montage. He then specifically goes after Medaka's sister, attempting to abuse her Nietzsche Wannabe status.
    • Originally it was thought this was what Ajimu was Dangerously Genre Savvy, with her knowing about plot armor and making references to other ShonenJump serieses. Then it was discovered that believing one is in a manga is a literal mental disorder in the Medaka Box universe, a result of a dangerous detachment from reality that results in self destructive behavior until they fail at something, at which point their belief in reality is restored. Unfortunately, Ajimu, being a near Physical God, simply can't fail at something...
  • 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".
  • Deal with the Devil: In chapter 117, Zenkichi joins the Flask Plan.
  • 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.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Several times including when Zenkichi and Kumagawa drop into the snake pit at the end of Chapter 70.
  • The Dreaded: Kumagawa is terrifying. Everyone who meets him, even other Minuses to an extent, are afraid of him. Zenkichi needed special training aimed solely towards suppressing his fear before fighting him. Even Hinokage is unnerved by Kumagawa.
    • All of the Class Minus 13 except Shiranui qualifies, to various degrees, as their despair and lack of restraint are considered as dangerous as their powers.
  • Easily Forgiven: Oudo apologizes to Medaka for his wrongdoings - including nearly killing two people and trying to brainwash her. Medaka forgives him instantly, with no hard feelings afterwards. Of course, that was only after Oudo was so thoroughly humbled, that he swore to change his egotistic ways. This applies to most of Medaka's enemies including Kumagawa, who she appoints as her vice-president, due to his ability to disagree with her.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Usually happens either before a fight, or during the twist ending to a chapter.
  • Eye Scream: In chapter 69 Kumagawa shows Zenkichi a little magic trick. Then he heals Zenkichi´s eyes... but not his eye-sight.
  • 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.
  • Fighting Dirty: Nekomi Nabeshima loves this trope. Both Shibushi and Kujira during their battle.
  • First Kiss: Apparently Medaka was the first for almost her entire middle-school class, boys and girls. Najimi has her first kiss (and probably his) with Misogi, and she may have been Zenkichi's first too.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Five-Man Band: Chapter 29's cover had an interesting take on this, showing Medaka as a swords-woman, Akune as a fighter, Zenkichi as a knight, and Kikaijima as a magician.
  • 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.
  • Four Is Death: Medaka's "trump cards", as Zenkichi calls them. The first three involve Medaka using love and goodness to get people to see things her way. The fourth one is called Perseus/War God Mode, and apparently involves Medaka going all out on her enemies She later gains control of it, making it "Mars/Altered God Mode.
    • There's a closeup shot of the wrist-bomb timer at 44:44:44:44.
    • Ajimu's powers are an impossible-looking number that looks like this (not the actual number): 1,384,759,832,749,874. A later translation says she has a quadrillion powers.
  • Fourth Wall Observer: Ajimu appears to be this, noting her inability to defeat Medaka due to Medaka's main character status. Given that she says it as an analogy, she may just be Dangerously Genre Savvy
    • It turns out this is a known mental illness in the Medaka Box universe -- people convince themselves that they are in a manga until something happens that restores their belief in reality -- usually some form of spectacular failure. Since Ajimu is just shy of being a Physical God, she never reaches this point.
  • Friendless Background: Nearly every Abnormal in the series has had few or no friends before coming to Hakoniwa Academy. Zenkichi was Medaka's only real friend before she was elected to the Student Council. "Plus" Abnormals are bothered by this and want friends. "Minuses" have such horrific powers and/or are so disturbed that they have given up on the idea.
  • Genre Savvy: Kumagawa seems to have read enough Shonen Jump manga (he even says this at points in the story) to know how to counter the Student Council. For example, rather than have each side do their own Training Montage, he sends his own team to beat the crap out of the Student Council before they finish their own training to the point where Akune and Kikaijima wouldn't be able to fight his Minus 13 class in the tournament.
  • The Glomp: Medaka does this to Zenkichi a few times. She also does this to Kikaijima once.
  • A God I Am Not: Medaka.
  • Hammerspace / Hyperspace Arsenal: Munekata hides his weapons more effectively then Mousse and 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.
  • 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.
  • Hollywood Healing: Koga Itami and Medaka Kurokami are main culprits, but there are other characters who also heaact that she's actually crazy.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: From where does Kumagawa pull all these oversized screws again? Munekata also counts, as some of his "hidden weapons" are longer than he is.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Kumagawa says How unfair! Attacking before the opponent levels up! in chapter 117 when Medaka attacks Zenkichi to start a fight after he challenges her considering that is the exact same thing the Minuses did during the Student Council Battle Arc.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Zenkichi vs. Medaka II
    • Perseus/War God Mode Medaka cranks this Up to Eleven when, after Unzen tied her up, ignored the razor wire and just dragged the whole school building after her. But then, it's Medaka.
  • 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 Knight Templar 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 superballs filled with gunpowder, while his sister Myouga wields four 30 kg wrecking balls.
    • Kumagawa uses giant screws to great effect.
    • And Hitomi Hitoyoshi somehow manages to use sewing needles, thread, and even garden shears in combat.
  • 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.
  • Interrupted Suicide: The end result of Ajimu's Dangerously Genre Savvy mental disorder. She gets frustrated at the situation and tries to shoot herself, fortunately for all involved Medaka is very vast, the action knocks Medaka out of her Heroic BSOD, and gives both of them a reason to go forward.
  • In the Blood: As shown in Chapter 142, turns out perversion is in the genes of the Kurokami family (whether the main family or the sub-families).
    • Kurokami Medaka: Exhibitionist
    • Kurokami Maguro: Siscon
    • Kurokami Kujira: Likes dissecting things.
    • Tsurubami Kamome: Likes girls' shoes and socks.
    • Kugurugi Kairai: Likes being stepped on.
    • Kotobuki Shinkirou: Pedophile (to the degree that he only wants to marry Medaka, because he's sure they'd make a cute little girl).
    • Momozono Genjitsu: Loves the 2D world.
    • Nienami Sakugo: Likes girls covered in blood.
    • Kanaino Kariteru: Likes girls with glasses.
    • Yuzuriha Gizou: Likes (possibly eating) girls' underwear.
  • Instant Expert: Medaka's Abnormality includes this.
  • It Amused Me: The motivation which drives Hansode Shiranui's actions.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Love Epiphany: In chapter 126, Zenkichi has a breakdown when he realizes that he "selfishly" loves Medaka and wants her to love him back.
  • Love You and Everybody: After being kissed by Medaka, Kikaijima wonders whether that means Medaka loves her. Zenkichi explains to her that Medaka loves everyone[1] and she used to kiss people indiscriminately when she was in junior high. What a let-down.
  • 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.
  • Mega Manning: 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.
  • Mind Rape: One of the powers of Misogi Kumagawa's Abnormality, "All-Fiction", which he demonstrates on the Loser Team and The Plus 6. As well as the Chairman.
    • 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.
  • Morality Pet: For Kumagawa, the members of the Minus 13, Takarabe, and recently Kikaijima.
  • New Transfer Student: Misogi Kumagawa and the Minus 13 Class.
  • Not So Stoic: Kumagawa's Stepford Smiler act starts crumbling in chapter 70 when a blinded Zenkichi manages to overpower and drop them both to their apparent deaths. Then in the next chapter, the act breaks completely when Zenkichi comes back from the dead with his eyesight restored.
  • Odd Couple: The monumentally self-absorbed Oudo and small, quiet Mizou. It turns out their partnership is due to their complementary powers.
    • Shibushi and Gagamaru despite being have completely opposite powers and personalities.
  • 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.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Played with. Zenkichi barring his parasite eyes is the only "normal" one out of all the main characters. Despite this, he manages to get most of the fights and somehow keeps up with all the super powered people in this series. Maguro even calls him "normal cool" claiming that he is unique because he is normal. However, in the Medaka’s Successor Arc, Najimi sends five normal girls to compete in Medaka's treasure hunt where they not only do better than Zenkichi(who came in dead last being unable to solve the first clue), they actually manage to make it to the final round and briefly manage match Medaka. After noticing Zenkichi placing in dead last in the treasure hunt in comparison to the other normal people, Medaka throws him aside placing him directly under this trope in her eyes.
    • Most of the School is subject to this by Medaka (no surprise) during the school festival she engages in a huge tug of war with everyone(including former enemies) vs. her and WINS. The You Have Got to Be Kidding Me! moment afterward is an understatement.
  • People Puppets: When Miyakonojou Oudo uses his "Weighted Words".
  • Poisonous Friend: Surprisingly, one of the protagonists. Hell, Zenkichi himself even stated at the beginning that his job was to go around bringing people down that Medaka didn't.
  • POV 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.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Medaka Kurokami vs. Shigusa Takachiho.
  • Reality Warper: Chapter 71 confirms that this is the true nature of Kumagawa's "All-Fiction". Comes with a hitch, though: anything he takes away with it such as Zenkichi's eyesight, his own "aura" or Emukae's Raffrafflesia 'becomes nothing'.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Sukinasaki is this to the student council president, Jakago, in the short story "Good Loser Kumagawa".
  • "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. This speech actually drives Kumagawa to tears.
  • Relationship Upgrade: It takes him 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.

  • 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 Clash With The Enforcers Arc as does Naze during her fight with Shibushi.
  • Say My Name
  • 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.
  • Shonen: 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.
    • More blatantly, Anshin'in references 21 famous Shonen Jump series in the span of one page (chapter 116) when she tries to convince Zenkichi to join her side. (Following in Misogi's footsteps?) [2]
    • It may just be a reference the Translator, Editor, or Scanlator popped in, but on page 12 & 13 of chapter 36, Zenkichi asks for some encouraging words, so Medaka says "GO GET HIM TIGER!", something a certain Mary Jane character used to say to Peter Parker. Whether or not this is an actual example though, I am not too sure.
  • Slasher Smile: Several characters get these, including Medaka.
  • So Bad It's Good: Inverted (of course) by Medaka: her drumming is so perfect it's boring and Zenkichi asks her to not participate in the battle of the bands.
  • Spanner in the Works: Zenkichi defeating and befriending Munekata after taking over for Medaka. The leader of the Flask Plan had intended for Medaka to be the one doing the befriending.
  • 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.
  • 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 "Automatic". 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 the Bullet: Kumagawa loses the rematch with Munakata when he takes a bullet meant for Kikaijima.
  • Take That: Against intellectual elitism. [dead link]
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Also the Shiranui family - Hansode (a short sleeved outfit), Hakama (kimono trousers), and Hanten (short coat).
    • All three members of the swim club have the character for "island" (shima) in their last names.
    • The classes of superpowers are Plus, Minus, and Not Equal.
  • "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 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 {{[spoiler| 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.

Kumagawa: 「IF YOU ACCEPT MY DEAL THEN YOU'RE A WORTHLESS DOCTOR WHO ACCEPTED A BRIBE. IF YOU DON'T ACCEPT MY DEAL THEN YOU'RE A WORTHLESS MOTHER WHO THREW AWAY HER OWN SON.」

  • Two Shorts: The anime.
  • Ubermensch: Oudo Miyakonojou.
  • The Unintelligible: Myouga, Unzen's sister only speaks in a self-created language using numbers. Only Medaka and Unzen can understand her.
  • The Unfettered: Ajimu though isolating Medaka from her friends would make her weaker. It just made her STRONGER since she doesn't have to worry about hurting them.
  • 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.
  • The Villain Makes the Plot: Since the Genre Shift.
  • 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.
  • Walking Wasteland: Mukae Emukae, who can rot anything with her Minus power "Raffrafflesia" (named after the corpse-flower). 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 said powers on and off at will.
  • Wall Crawl: Koga Itami, Miyakonojou Oudo, Medaka Kurokami, and Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, although it severely winded the latter.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Chairman Hakama Shiranui in his attempts to create the perfect human.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Enforcement committee, 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.
  • X Meets Y: If Haruhi Suzumiya was a God Mode Sue, in a story turned into a fighting shonen.
  • 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 hint enough... the fact that she stabs him in his foot when he tries to leave should remove all doubt.
  1. Whether this is true or she actually has no real empathy is up for debates.
  2. If you're curious...:Dragon Ball, Cobra, City Hunter, Fist of the North Star, Slam Dunk, The Prince of Tennis, Captain Tsubasa, Sexy Commando Gaiden, Video Girl Ai, Hikaru no Go, Rokudenashi Blues, Sakigake Otokojuku, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dai no Daibouken, Ultimate Muscle, Rurouni Kenshin, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Yu Yu Hakusho, Houshin Engi, Saint Seiya, and Keiji.