Friday, 7 December 2012

Medaka Box Abnormal - Episode 9

Medaka captured and in the process of being brainwashed; Hitoyoshi and Akane out for the count; it's well and truly Kikaijima's turn to step up to the plate for this week's Medaka Box Abnormal.

Although her lung capacity is such that she has little trouble putting up with her opponent Yukuhashi's sleeping gas, her ease at being provoked threatens to be her downfall as he pushes her into making an attack, which in turn sees her breathing in some of said gas.  When Mogana rips off a nail to prevent herself succumbing to its effects however, it starts to become clear that there is a downside to Yukuhashi's abnormality - mind reader he may be, giving him the upper hand when it comes to deflecting attacks, but it also means that he can feel his opponents pain.

Once Kikaijima realises this and makes a gutsy play to exploit it for all its worth, it seems as if she's won the day - not the best moment for Oujo to make a grand reappearance then.  Although Hitoyoshi comes around just in time to save her from his immediate attack, his ability to control others effectively sets Zenkichi up to kill his own fellow student council member as we drill down into exactly what Oudo's exact abnormality entails.  It could just be that any future battles are rendered moot anyhow, as Medaka's brainwashing is complete and she already seems to be a very different person...

As expected, Medaka Box continues to be a series of words over animation for the most part as it sticks rigidly to the dialogue-heavy form of the original manga without any of the bells and whistles that the likes of SHAFT introduced to other Nisio Isin adaptations - when this straight adaptation bumps up against a pretty good part of the story, such as the first half of this week's episode, it actually works quite well regardless of the lack of real action, but without those stronger moments it quickly threatens to get bogged down in its conversations with nothing else on-screen to help it along.  It's still interesting to watch, but once again I just can't shake the feeling that you're far better served just reading the manga.

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