Training complete, the student council's journey to the heart of Hakoniwa Academy's nefarious Flask Plan begins in earnest this week, with a face-off against an Abormal claiming to be the strongest of the bunch.
The student in question, Takachiho, certainly looks the part with his boxer's stance and physique, and he's also not short on confidence to the point where he carries all of his own Flask Plan research data around with him - an obvious taunt to Medaka to see if she can take it, which she duly does with little trouble. Keeping that data however, proves to be a rather more difficult matter...
As their fight progresses, it soon becomes clear that Takachiho is the owner of some fearsome reflexes, to the point where his brain doesn't even get involved when it comes to avoiding attacks - this is in stark contrast to Medaka herself, as we come to realise that her own reflexes have effectively been "turned off" entirely. In other words, we have a mismatch on our hands between two polar opposite opponents... but is having no reflexes to speak of really a handicap? Not in Kurokami's hands, that's for sure, and come the end of their battle both parties have learned some decidedly important lessons and skills as we move onwards towards the Flask Plan's laboratory.
Watching this episode of Medaka Box Abnormal, it is really starting to feel like this is a series with no real budget to speak of - despite a pretty hefty smattering of action across this episode, it's all carried out in a very functional and basic way without any panache, to the point where it doesn't particularly offer anything over and above reading the manga if you were hoping for something a little more spectacular from GAINAX's adaptation. Still, it is at least a solid translation of said manga to the small screen, and there is a certain amount of joy to be had from seeing the first of many ludicrous battles to come in animated(-ish) form. It's a shame that such a popular manga hasn't been subject to a more lavish production, but if you haven't been reading the manga then this could continue to be a half-decent way to see what all the fuss is about.