Thursday, 21 June 2012

Medaka Box - Episode 12 (Completed)

After her decidedly intense run-in with Unzen over the past few episodes, even Kurokami Medaka needs some time off school to recover and heal, leaving the remainder of the student council in a new, makeshift office and in rather an unusual position for them - one of complete and utter tranquility.

As those assembled ponder whether this state of affairs compared to the usual insanity surrounding the council is akin to the case of a genius provoking more crimes or simply that said detective is just better at finding them, it's pointed out that the remaining members should probably actually check the suggestion box, being their job and all.  Upon doing this they discover that they do indeed have a request, albeit a simple one - the oddball shogi club president (any who feels the need to hold her head on so it doesn't drop off counts as oddball in my book) Mochibaru Sasae wants to find a missing shogi piece in her clubroom.

Thus, our student council trio head over to the filthy clubroom to take a look for the missing piece, to no avail.  Sasae is adamant that the piece must be in the room, but there's clearly more to it than that despite her denials, and once Akune spots that all of the club's shogi sets are missing the same piece, the truth eventually comes out.  Rather than simply going missing, these pieces have been stolen by Miri Natayama, a rather special genius and expert shogi player who has recently left the club after being passed up for its presidency.  It's then up to the council to investigate and confirm their suspicions and bring this dispute to a peaceful end - something they do in a style and manner of which Medaka herself would be proud.

So comes to the end probably the biggest disappointment of the spring season - a much-hyped manga adaptation that has frequently been akin to pulling teeth to watch as it morosely trawled through its subject matter with little in the way of flair or conviction.  This left much of the show feeling like it had been "phoned in" by those responsible - possibly a worse crime than simply making a bad series but at least trying to do something different.  Although there are glimmers of hope towards the end of this series, comprising of one slightly stronger story arc and finally some motivation to warm to its major characters with a view towards a now-confirmed second season, they are just that - tiny slithers of hope in the midst of a dull, uninteresting mess.  Despite this, I'll still be watching the show's continuation whenever it might air - not because I'm looking forward to it, but because I'm a hopeless completist who doesn't know when to leave something well alone.  Don't follow my example however - I'd advise that anyone still on the fence about this series should steer well clear of one of the most uninspired shows I've had cause to watch in quite some time.

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