Medaka Box Abnormal Episode 1 [First Impression]: The Flask Plan
“There are three different types of people in the world. Those that are Normal, those that are Special and those that are…Abnormal.”
After declining the academy chairman’s invitation to join the Flask Plan in replacement for Unzen, Medaka is attacked by Unzen’s sister Myouga, an Abnormal who wants revenge for her brother’s defeat at Medaka’s hands, as well as to beat her in order to gain the chairman’s attention in order to enter the Flask Plan. When Medaka refuses to attack Myouga, Nabeshima Nekomi quickly steps in, and despite being a Special easily defeats Myouga through her trademark underhanded tactics.
Oh Gainax, you’re such teases. What’s with all the subtle references in the OP? I mean, I doubt we’re going to get to the Not Equal arc, so it’s pretty much trolling to show us Hanten and Anshin’in-san right at the very start of the OP, as well as throwing in Shiranui’s “Big Eater”. Please don’t get my hopes up like that. There were members of the Thirteen Party there as well… I see Oudo and Naze Youka, but I think I’ve forgotten the rest xD Random people like Maguro and Unzen around too, who will pop up from time to time. And if his signature screws weren’t enough, Kumagawa right at the end, to top things off. Thank you, Gainax, for a fabulous max OP that you may struggle fitting into a 12-episode series. Kumagawa at the end, maybe, but no Not Equals.
Welcome to the Flask Plan arc! I believe that this is where Medaka Box really starts – there was no Season 1 as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, to complete the genre swap from comedy to battle, we’ve had a huge chunk of info dumped on us, and it needs a bit of sorting out. A bit of classification on the students – as Unzen (I love how he’s all casually leaning into his subordinate’s boobs) said, Hakoniwa Academy’s students are split into various groups, however the three general ones are Normal, Special and Abnormal. You have the vast majority of students being Normal, i.e. no powers whatsoever. Then you have the Specials, like Kikaijima or Nabeshima Nekomi, who have some sort of talent that is unusual but doesn’t really defy the laws of physics. Lastly you have the Abnormals. People like Naze Youka of the Thirteen Party (voiced by Sawashiro Miyuki!), or indeed Medaka herself are amazing to the point that they are literally “abnormal”, as in “not normal”. It’s not talent-related, but usually going past what humans are physically able to do, and the dice trick proved that.
Unzen Myouga, who fought Nekomi and Medaka today is a prime example of an Abnormal. She doesn’t even speak using normal words but numbers instead, and doesn’t come to school, carrying these massive balls on chains that wreck even more damage to the school. This is what I mean by literally abnormal – they are not conventional, and do not conform to everyone else’s views. This is why they’re all put together in one class – Class 13. We’ve never actually seen lesson time or teachers) (in this show, but I can’t imagine what class time would be like for members of Class 13. These people clearly also think of themselves as separate due to having an Abnormality, which was Myouga’s whole anger at Nekomi, who is a Special being able to land a hit on her. It was a really cool fight, by the way. Really nice to see a side character like Nekomi get more screen time, and it was complete with a gratuitous pantsu shot!
This is what the Flask Plan aims to create – perfect humans. By using Abnormals as experimental guinea pigs, the Flask Plan aims to create artificial geniuses and mass-produce them. While it may be a “great” goal to strive for, the number of people that will be lost in the experimentation would be massive, and I can’t even begin to imagine the kinds of tests they’re running in order to make the perfect human. Having someone as amazing as Medaka join them would be a great help to their plans, which is exactly why the Front Six of the Thirteen Party are working with the chairman to get her to join their cause.
This, guys, is how Medaka Box will be from now. No more happy-go-lucky episodic suggestion box solving, and the slice of life will be toned down, a lot. This is a supernatural battle series from now on, and I can’t be happier with this decision to make a Season 2 and animate what Medaka Box really is all about, instead of leaving it off as a comedy show which disappointed many people. Hopefully the skirmish with Unzen in S1 and word of mouth will help spread interest in the S2, because really, it’s worth watching. Things like Myouga’s Goku reference and other satires of the shounen genre will make themselves known later on, which is much more in line with NisiOisin and the kind of work he produces (e.g. Bakemonogatari). In terms of where the show’s headed, we’ve dived straight into the Flask Plan arc, and the stream of new characters won’t be ceasing next week at least, with another Kurokami being introduced – Medaka’s onii-chan.
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