Medaka Box (めだかボックスMedaka Bokkusu?) is an ongoing Japanese manga written by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Akira Akatsuki. The series follows the student council, originally Medaka Kurokami and Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, during their various adventures to honor suggestions presented by academy members in order to better the academy.
Medaka Kurokami, the recently elected student council president of Hakoniwa Academy, has instituted a suggestion box in order to collect suggestions and improvements from fellow academy students. Together with Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, she solves problems, from finding lost dogs to cleaning up club buildings and even fixing personalities. During the course of the series, Kouki Akune and Mogana Kikaijima are recruited to the student council to help improve the school. Soon, the student council discovery the existence of The Flask Plan, supervised by the Hakoniwa principal in order to experiment on extremely talented student dubbed Abnormals. The goal of the project is to find a way to mass produce geniuses. However, once a method is found, the students of Hakoniwa Academy will be forced to endure the vicious trial which will result in the death of most of the students. The Student Council enters the secret base under the school to stop the project.
Medaka Kurokami (黒神 めだかKurokami Medaka?)
The female protagonist of the series and Student Council President. Beautiful and well endowed, which she has no shame in showing off whenever possible, Medaka is an excellent academic student, placing first in the national test. In addition to her academic achievements, she has excelled in various other areas, such as calligraphy and sports, and obtained seemingly inhuman results. When the series begins, she has just been elected the new student council president by an unheard-of margin of 98% of the total votes, even though she is still only a first-year student. Medaka institutes a suggestion box in which students can drop suggestions for various tasks that the students feel would improve the academy. Medaka planned on just her and Zenkichi Hitoyoshi running the student council, but as the story continues, Medaka recruits more people to fill the council positions. Her personality is one of helping others, and she determines to finish any task handed to her. For every task she completes, Medaka buys a vase with flowers. She one day hopes to have completed so many suggestions that she fills the entire academy with blooming flowers. She has an older brother whom she despises but at the same time holds some degree of begrudging respect for. She also has an older sister whom she looks up to and loves deeply.
Medaka grew up in a family of four: her father, older sister, and older brother. Her mother died giving birth to her; members of the Kurokami Company coldly said her mother existed only to give birth to her. Because of her abnormal abilities, she quickly matured and was selected to be part of the Flask Project. However, she ran away after being confronted with the realization that life has no meaning. This was when she met Zenkichi Hitoyoshi for the first time. Medaka, with the only way she was taught, talked in an arrogant tone with him, but much to her surprise, Zenkichi did nothing but smile. When Medaka asked him what the point of her life was, he smiled and replied, "I'm sure you were born to make the people around you happy." Thus, Medaka was reborn and the unbreakable bond between Zenkichi and Medaka begun.
The bond between Zenkichi and Medaka can be described as childhood friends. Medaka was incredibly lonely as a child due to her skills. In middle school, Medaka had a classmate whom she tried to help but failed to do so. Her failure to do so ended in the death of another classmate. As a result, Medaka was emotionally scarred. In hopes of protecting her, Zenkichi vowed to prevent anyone similar from getting close to her again. According to Medaka, she and Zenkichi have been together since they were two years old. It is only in Chapter 35, while Zenkichi is fighting Munakata, that Medaka confesses her love for Zenkichi to the other Student Council members. In chapter 36, when Zenkichi falls to Munakata, Medaka breaks down in tears. After Medaka was brainwashed, it was due to this bond between Medaka and Zenkichi that he was able to return her back from her old personality.
Medaka's abnormality, Known as "The End" by Naze, is her ability to copy and master other people's abnormalities. It is this ability that draws the interest of the Flask Plan, as she appears to be the one person who can achieve the ideal of the "Perfect Person". It has been commented, by herself no less, that only she can hold this ability, because she is a beast and no human would be able to withstand it. When Oudo tried to steal her abnormality with his "Unreasonable Taxation" abnormality, he states that it was, "Dark enough to black out the sun"
Zenkichi Hitoyoshi (人吉 善吉Hitoyoshi Zenkichi?)
The male protagonist, childhood friend of Medaka, and the Student Council General Affairs Manager, reluctantly joining for the sake of protecting Medaka; in the pilot chapter, Medaka assigns him to become the Vice President. Zenkichi always shows enthusiasm toward Medaka’s cause for helping others and will punish anyone who opposes that cause. It is later revealed that he is the one who reformed Medaka into her current personality. It is implied he has feelings for her. Little is known about Zenkichi's past except that he has been with Medaka since they were two years old.
Zenkichi is noted to be a "normal" individual, one with no special abilities. Medaka's brother, Maguro, takes special interest in him because no matter how much he's discouraged or fails, he stands back up. Zenkichi has vowed to protect Medaka ever since she was emotionally scarred after failing to help a classmate in middle school. In order to become stronger, he has undertaken Maguro's hellish training sessions along with Medaka. Zenkichi is revealed to be a master of Savate, having honed his skill to such an extent that he possesses an almost impenetrable defense. According to Zenkichi, he learned this style because he fears fighting and uses it to disarm opponents and take away their desire to fight. He also studied on how to disassemble guns, and rocket launchers, just in case something ever happened to Medaka. Thanks to this display of skill, the Flask Plan is very interested in him, believing him to have the potential to become an Abnormal. However, it has been repeated iterated that Zenkichi, despite his remarkable abilities, is still only "normal." If standard human limits are applied though, Zenkichi has long since passed the line of a "normal"; for instance, when he caused a small earthquake with his stomp. Even if it was biologically possible, a man of Zenkichi's weight and mass would find it impossible. Also, regardless of will, no "normal" is capable of surviving seven katanas and spears, through his solar plexus, internal organs, and still stand, fight, and cause earthquakes, let alone survive.
The relationship between Shiranui and Zenkichi is frequently commented on by their classmates, often negatively, on how they interact with each other. Shiranui has commented that she is only friends with him when she is in the mood. Ironically, Shiranui's grandfather notes that Zenkichi is probably the only person who can get along with Shiranui.
Kouki Akune (阿久根 高貴Akune Kouki?)
The Student Council Secretary and the oldest member of the Student Council, as he is second year while Medaka, Zenkichi, and Kikaijima are in first year. Originally part of the judo club, Akune has been infatuated with Medaka since middle school and hates Zenkichi for being able to spend so much time with her. In middle school, he had been a violent delinquent known as the "Destroyer" and had been assigned by the student council to beat Medaka. While she was injured, she did not fight back; Akune continued until Zenkichi gathered a group of Medaka's supporters to avenge her. When Medaka stopped Zenkichi from hurting Akune, Akune immediately developed feelings for her, which she refuses, and gradually becomes less violent and shows little desire to actually hurt others.
Because of his natural fighting abilities, Akune is known as the "Prince of Judo" and the star of the judo club. Because the captain of the club, Nabeshima, despises natural genius, she arranges a match between Zenkichi (whom she favours) and Akune in order to recruit Zenkichi to succeed her as captain of the judo club if he loses to Akune, who will join the student council. Akune loses the match, but is still recruited into the Student Council after Nabeshima tells Medaka that Akune that he has beautiful handwriting. Both he and Kikaijima are considered to be 'specials', above average, but not quite abnormal. It has been said that Akune's ability is being able to copy other peoples abilities, but to a lesser extent.
Mogana Kikaijima (喜界島 もがなKikaijima Mogana?)
The Student Council Treasurer. She is originally the ace of the swim team, befriending Yakushima (swim club's captain), and Tanegashima (swim club's vice captain). All three had an incredible obsession with money for personal reasons and want to gain enough money to fill a pool and swim in it. When Kikaijima was a child, her father left because the family was in debt, and her mother became sick from working herself in to the ground. All the people that Kikaijima had thought were friends left her because her family had no money. Kikaijima believed that "anyone would be sad if they lost their wallet, but if we died, nobody would care." Medaka corrects her by saying that if they died, she would be sad for them. Afterwards, Kikaijima is recruited as the treasurer, and is the only member of the group who is paid for her job.
Though Medaka successfully reforms Kikaijima from old ways, it still does not keep her from being obsessed with money. Shortly after she joins the Student Council, she charges Zenkichi for accidentally seeing her changing and then again for insulting her and one last time for saying she had a great body. She develops strong relationships with the Student Council members, particularly Medaka and Zenkichi, after being encouraged by Yakushima and Tanegashima to make friends outside of the swim club. Like Akune, she is regarded as a "special" and is one of the school's many scholarship students. Kikaijima has an incredible lung capacity, which allows her to do ultrasound shrieks. She can also focus her voice as a sound canon and destroy physical objects; also she can hold her breath for a month.
Harigane Onigase (鬼瀬 針音Onigase Harigane?)
An eager member of the Enforcers, who is displeased with the Student Council's flauting of the school's uniform regulations. Though she is somewhat zealous, she does recognize the positive affect of the Student Council.
A class consisting entirely of students possessing abnormalities, many are involved with the Flask Plan, an experiment overseen by the Headmaster of Hakoniwa Academy to create a Perfect Human.
Myouri Unzen (雲仙 冥利Unzen Myouri?)
Project name: Monster Child
A high school junior at only ten years old. He is a child prodigy and the leader of the school Enforcers Squad. He is known to go overboard in his methods to bring about justice, but his motto is "Justice is nothing if you don't go overboard!" Unlike Medaka who loves people and thinks they are good inside, Myouri hates people and believes they are evil by nature. He also seems to be quite perverted for his young age, and possess a fetish for big breasted women. After his defeat by Medaka, he reveals the Flask Plan and turns down her offer to join the Student Council as Vice President.
Myouri appears to be an abnormal among abnormals. Of the thirteen members of the Flask Plan, he is one among the seven who are able break the complicated code of characters and numbers necessary to use to use the Flask Building elevator. His most frequently used weapons are super elastic bouncy balls, created by scientists of the Flask Plan. He is able to fully calculate the trajectory of each one of his balls no matter how many he throws. His second weapon are similar in size and shape to the super bouncy balls, but they are balls full of gunpowder. For these he lets them out onto the floor of a contained area and then has to light them externally.His trump card; balls with Nigh-indestructible wires coiled around inside. As he throws these balls they bounce around their target and the surrounding walls letting the string out as they travel. These balls form a web so to speak that renders its victim immobile. This weapon is also a one use item, as Myouri doesn’t want to take the time to re-ravel the thread.
Shigusa Takachiho (高千穂 仕種Takachiho Shigusa?)
Project name: Hard Wrapping (棘毛布Hādo Rappingu?)
The strongest of class 13, his abnormality is his heightened reflexes. Because his reflexes allow him to automatically dodge anything, he has never gotten hurt until he fought with Medaka. His abnormality emerged when he was a child. A car crash killed his family, but his reflexes allowed him to survive unharmed. Since then, he has secretly harbored a desire to be touched. Shigusa incorrectly stated that Medaka’s abnormality was to turn off her reflexes when in fact it’s that she is able to mimic other’s abnormalities. In the end, Medaka came out victorious because Shigusa's muscles could no longer keep up with his reflexes.
Kei Munakata (宗像 形Munakata Kei?)
Project name: Last Carpet (枯れた樹海Rasuto Kāpetto?)
A senior of Class 13. From the day he turned five, he's harboured incredibly powerful homicidal impulses, driving him on to kill anyone and everyone he looks at. Despite this, he knows killing is wrong and learns how to use a vast and diverse arsenal of hidden weapons as a way to keep people at a distance so he wouldn't hurt them. His weapons range from his bare hands to explosives. After losing a fight to Zenkichi and finally gaining a friend to relieve his loneliness, his impulses have died down and he has gained a great deal more control.
Itami Koga (古賀 いたみKoga Itami?)
Project name: Best Pain (骨折り指切りBesuto Pein?)
Originally a very normal high school girl, she desired an abnormal lifestyle and pleaded with Youka Naze to make her life abnormal. They became "best" friends ever since. As a result of Naze's experiments, Koga gained incredible recovery abilities and had everything unnecessary removed by Naze, though her ability to sense pain was left intact. Akune realizes in his fight against Koga that because she was originally an ordinary human, her super-human strength puts excessive tension on her muscles. Without her pain system, Koga would have no way of knowing when her muscles were at their limit. To defeat her, Akune utilizes a pinning move that drains all of Koga's energy.
Youka Naze (名瀬 夭歌Naze Youka?)
Project name: Black White (黒い包帯Burakko Howaito?)
The researcher for class 13 and current supervisor of the Flask Plan, Youka Naze's real name is Kujira Kurokami (黒神 くじらKurokami Kujira?), the older sister of Medaka and the younger sister of Maguro. As Naze, she was once a classmate of Akune. Disgusted with the lack of dissatisfying elements in her life, the burdens of having a loving family and similarly extraordinary abilities, she became extremely stoic and driven to find something to make her miserable in life. Unable to achieve this goal, she ran away and erased her memories to become Youka Naze. Naze has little interest in the Flask Plan, using it only to further her scientific experiments on becoming normal. The only thing she truly values is her "best friend," Koga, the only person not to be intimidated by her overwhelming abnormality. Naze's abnormality appears to be analysis, similar to her brother, and an understanding of biology that exceeds even Medaka.
Oudo Miyakonojou (都城 王土Miyakonojou Oudo?)
Project name: Create (創帝Kurieito?)
Self-proclaimed King of the World, Oudo believes he was born a king and everyone else a servant to him. He takes a special interest in Medaka right from the start and wishes for her to be his wife. His abnormality can be described as mind-control because he is able to send electromagnetic waves into his opponent's brain. With this ability he has able to force other to obey his commands, which he usually limits to making people bow in his presence. Oudo utilizes this technique to awaken Medaka’s original personality, though his original intent had been to brainwash her into someone subservant only to him. Despite the extraordinary extent of his powers, he has been unable to control them and they have warped his sense of self.
Oudo has been shown to have to abnormalities. The first being his weighted words, which allow him to control Electromagnetic Waves, and the second known as Unreasonable Taxtatioon, allowing him to completely still another person's abnormality, meaning he takes it from them completely.
The small masked boy who is usually seen around Oudo, his abnormality is to feel the emotions of other people so strongly that it is as though he is reading their minds. The downside to this power is he is so in tune to other’s emotions that he even feels their fatigue and pain. Because he could not control his own powers, he was being driven almost insane by the constant babble of the thoughts of all the people and machines around him. Upon meeting Oudo, heard in his head was silence due to Oudo's overwhelming projection of himself; because he had finally found peace and quiet, Yukuhashi has stuck to Oudo ever since. Because his ability allows him to feel his opponent's feelings, Yukuhashi prefers not to physically fight and resorts to mental games and tactics to win. Yukuhashi's abnormality is considered the polar opposite of Oudo; while Oudo can be thought of as a transmitter of electromagnetic waves, Yukuhashi is a receiver for electromagnetic waves.
The Plus Six consists of members of Class 13 involved in the Flask Plan, who's Abnormalities are far more advanced than the other members of Class 13.
Gunki Itoshima (糸島 軍規Itoshima Gunki?)
Project name: Death Watch (死番虫Desu Wacchi?)
A seemingly hotheaded boy who declares that he is not so cowardly to leave a friend in need. Unzen remarks that Itoshima, along with Hyakuchou, is particularly exceptional among the Plus Six and not the type that should be challenged lightly. Because of their implied strength, it is suggested that either Itoshima or Hyakuchou is the leader of the Plus Six.
Otome Yunomae (湯前 音眼Yunomae Otome?)
Project name: Free World (宙ぶらりんFurī Wārudo?)
An apathetic girl who speaks in monotone, chews bubblegum, and only wears a pair of overalls. Her abnormality appears to allow others to pierce into her body without harming her.
Hamaya Hyakuchou (百町 破魔矢Hyakuchou Hamaya?)
Project name: Love (初恋Rabu?)
A member of the Plus Six who openly admits to having no interest in the abilities of Medaka Kurokami, but agrees to aid Naze and Oudo so that Oudo will have to return the favour some day. Unzen notes that Hyakuchou and Itoshima are exceptional members of the Plus Six and cautions against making the first move against them. Hyakuchou's abilities seem to be related to using an archery bow.
Yutori Chikuzen (筑前 優鳥Chikuzen Yutori?)
Project name: Trick or Treatment (髪々の黄昏Torikku Oa Torītomento?)
A girl with long hair that conceals her face; her hair is capable of growing at will and binding a number of opponents extremely quickly. She speaks with a rural dialect.
Yamami Tsurumisaki (鶴御崎 山海Tsurumisaki Yamami?)
Project name: Star Master (占領役者Sutā Masutā?)
A boy with a strange mark on his face and speaks in an equally strange manner. He feels disgusted being near normals and would think nothing of getting rid of them. He is capable of melting iron his with his fingers.
Shoko Kamimine (上峰 書子Kaminine Shoko?)
Project name: Dental Shoes (食虫食物Dentaru Shūzu?)
A bookish looking girl who is capable of stopping a barrage of bullets with her teeth. She regards normals, or ordinary people, as trash.
Hansode Shiranui (不知火 半袖Shiranui Hansode?)
The comic relief character of the series. Even though she is the smallest of the main characters, Shiranui has a very large appetite and is constantly seen eating. She has a knack for finding clandestine information with ease, knowing about most things that would seem to be vague details, and is unusually perceptive. Normally, she is a very cheerful girl but she is shown to have a dark side. Shiranui harbors a hidden resentment against Medaka and claims she has no friends and unlike the other abnormals, does not desire them. Because of the antagonism that exists between them, Medaka initially asks Shiranui to become the Vice President of the Student Council, though Shiranui refuses. Her grandfather is the school's principal. The only person who can get along with her and somewhat control her is Zenkichi.
Maguro Kurokami (黒神 真黒Kurokami Maguro?)
Medaka and Naze's older brother, a perverted man who only cares about his two younger sisters; he loves them both obsessively, which neither sister is terribly fond of. The former supervisor of the Flask Plan, Maguro is known for his abnormal ability to analyze abnormalities and develop the most suitable methods to bring out the greatest potential of the individual. His obsession with the Flask Plan resulted in his own voluntary removal of several organs, which eventually led to dropping out the Flask Plan. While his original intention to become involved with Class 13 had been to find his missing sister Kujira, he became distracted by the incredible abnormality of Oudo Miyakonojou and was Oudo's original partner. While he tends to insult Zenkichi and refuses to admit if he is worthy of Medaka, Maguro recognizes that Zenkichi has a positive influence on Medaka and wants him to remain by her side.
Nekomi Nabeshima (鍋島 猫美Nabeshima Nekomi?)
A third year student and ex-captain of the judo team. Because she does not hesitate to cheat outside of official matches, Nabeshima is known as the "Queen of Fouls" in judo. She despises natural genius, such as Akune, and has an interest in Zenkichi, wanting him to join the judo club and succeed her as the team's captain. While her devised plot to rid the judo club of Akune and simultaneously have Zenkichi join the judo club fails, she still arranges for Medaka to accept Akune as the secretary of the Student Council and continues to express an interest in Zenkichi. While she does not like admitting it, Nabeshima recognizes that she and Medaka are friends.
The captain of the Swim Team, a third year student. As a swimmer, he is skilled in all areas of swimming, regardless of distance or style. He regards his teammates, Tanegashima and Kikaijima, as family and neither Yakushima nor Tanegashima would hesitate to do anything to protect Kikaijima. The three are obsessived with obtaining money, believing it is the most important thing of all; Yakushima's obsession comes from how his family split up due to not having money. He is also a classmate of Nabeshima.
The vice-captain of the Swim Team, a second year student. Like Yakushima and Kikaijima, he is obsessed with obtaining money and believes it is more important than anything else. His obsession stems from the orphanage that he had lived in being shutdown due to lack of funding and financial assistance. However, he and his fellow Swim Club members regard each other like family. A skilled swimmer, he is likely one of the fastest swimmers in the world.
Myouga Unzen (雲仙 冥加Unzen Myouga?)
Myouri’s sister, an odd little girl who does not speak in any known language, instead she invented her own language of numbers that only Medaka and her brother Myouri can understand. Much like her brother she has a perverted personality, she likes telling jokes about breasts.
Myouga is introduced immediately after Myouri Unzen was defeated, she hoped to defeat Medaka so that she could steal her place in Class 13 from her. She would have been successful as well if Nekomi Nabeshima had not stepped in. Her weapons of choice are six massive iron balls (each weighing 30kg or 66 lbs) each attached to chains. In her fight with Nabeshima she ditches these heavy balls and gains an incredible speed boost. Unfortunately for her that speed boost was not enough to defeat the “Queen of Fouls”
Misogi Kumagawa (球磨川 禊Kumagawa Misogi?)
A young man who was once the Student Council President of his middle school. A nihilist who believes that there is no point to life or reason to be born, he has absorbed all the negative aspects of the people he met, he failed at everything and lost to everyone at everything. Medaka attempted to sympathize with him and reform him, like she had done to her other classmates, but Misogi proved to be beyond her influence. Though it hasn't been explicitly shown, it is known that he killed one of his classmates in front of Medaka, which led her to attack him in a fit of rage, resulting him leaving the school. Upon realizing that she couldn't help him, which went against everything she believed herself to be capable of, she was left emotionally scarred. The scar has still not yet healed, as this day she still berates herself over not being able to do anything positive for him.
As a negative person by nature who could kill a person just as easily as he could breathe, Kumagawa thinks nothing of the lives of the people around him and could take them away easily. Despite the immensely negative personality he possesses, he has a purely positive look about him and has always been seen smiling. As a child, he was tested for any abnormalities, but was believed to be normal. It is now believed that his abnormality stems from his negative outlook, and on its own is far too great to be detected or measured. Much to Medaka and Zenkichi's horror, Misogi has recently transferred into Hakoniwa Academy.