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Old 2012-01-25, 12:09   Link #6741
suikostar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noobita View Post
Chapter 118, Page 4.

Hello, Zenkichi, you look kinda cool there....not.
Lol!! Your really seem not to understand many things about this manga. Medaka is the strongest character in this manga, an almost perfect being,she beat enemies by far stronger than Zenkichi, and if u add to that, that Zenkichi couldnt have gone all out at her than it should be clear that there is nothing pathetic at him losin a fight to her. And besides the point is ITS HIS ACTIONS that would make him pathetic not what somebody else says...............

Zenkichis is too amazing, he keeps up with these guys even though all of them are abnormals with amazing abilities. The only pathetic situation he was in is when he acused Kumawaga that he was responsible that Zenkichi couldnt solve the puzzle.....But again if u take into count that he is just a plain normal, while the other ones definitly arent , and if u add Kumagawas personality to it couldb be a posibility .


And , well to finish, all of those abnormals were born with their abilities even Medaka, while only Zenkichi really evolved through the manga. Btw about the riddle do u think u could have solved it???
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Old 2012-01-25, 12:25   Link #6742
noobita
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Originally Posted by suikostar View Post
Lol!! Your really seem not to understand many things about this manga. Medaka is the strongest character in this manga, an almost perfect being,she beat enemies by far stronger than Zenkichi, and if u add to that, that Zenkichi couldnt have gone all out at her than it should be clear that there is nothing pathetic at him losin a fight to her. And besides the point is ITS HIS ACTIONS that would make him pathetic not what somebody else says...............

Zenkichis is too amazing, he keeps up with these guys even though all of them are abnormals with amazing abilities. The only pathetic situation he was in is when he acused Kumawaga that he was responsible that Zenkichi couldnt solve the puzzle.....But again if u take into count that he is just a plain normal, while the other ones definitly arent , and if u add Kumagawas personality to it couldb be a posibility .


And , well to finish, all of those abnormals were born with their abilities even Medaka, while only Zenkichi really evolved through the manga. Btw about the riddle do u think u could have solved it???
I can't, but then, I don't mind seeking or joining force with people who can solve it...just as the manga showed.

You called Zenkichi amazing, I called him garbage. Sugarcoat Zenkichi all you like, it still doesn't change the fact that he lost his place in the popularity contest for obvious reason.
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Old 2012-01-25, 13:16   Link #6743
sungreentakeo
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Guys, all of this fanbaiting is just plain ugly and it's led to a sorry state. You can't really have a good discussion anymore.

Honestly, the Medaka-fans have gotten so touchy that even if you say something that sounds critical of Medaka they'll bite your head off or waste your time glossing over your salient points to get at the 'anti-Medaka' commentary or saying things that make you roll your eyes like, "Zenkichi just wants to get in Medaka's pants" i.e. for sex. This is frustrating because at the moment, figuring out what exactly is Medaka's issue or problem is more interesting since it's actually a puzzle. I guess a Zenkichi-fan would do the same thing, but there aren't really any sore spots for Zenkichi-fans so they don't seem as defensive. Zenkichi's flaws are pretty obvious and something that the manga and everybody else has acknowledged. In fact he has and he's trying to do something about it. Basically, we've been told that Zenkichi's flaws will be on display and then fixed one by one by the flask plan. When I mention Zenkichi's flaws people seem to rarely complain to me.

Going off topic a little, I think it's also harder to people to get upset at Zenkichi in general because basically he's powerless and harmless while trying to do the right thing but failing because he has limitations. He's trying and he's worked harder than anybody else. It required outside intervention for him to start going anywhere; he was failing regardless of his will. Things like working hard are traits that make people forgive the main character usually for being such an ungodly powerhouse; he has those traits, but he hasn't got the 'power' either. For example, he works really hard. He's worked harder to be strong as Medaka to protect her, but he's not half as strong as she is, and she's probably never seriously lifted weights or anything like that. Another example is a main character's pushiness and trait of enforcing their personality on other is softened by their ability to understand other people's feelings. Zenkichi has that, but he doesn't enforce his personality on people either. It might be closer to say that he doesn't have the force of personality to do that anyway.

Medaka is much easier to get touchy at because she's powerful and that can step on other people, while trying to do the right thing and she does. But, she doesn't have any of those 'blunting' traits that soften strength. Basically she's got the ultimate silver spoon in her mouth and she's never needed to work to become strong in her life. It'd actually be far more appropriate to say that she can't do that because everything comes to her effortlessly. I'd also say that it's impossible for her to understand other people's feelings for a similar reason; she's missed from her life one of the most essential components of humanity, dependence. There was no no such thing as infancy for her. She was a powerhouse from the moment she was born. Nothing like that ever shaped how she relates to people. Like a myth out of legend, if she'd popped out of the womb into a ring of fire filled with snakes, she would have survived and that would have only made her grow stronger. Medaka's flaws are more difficult to figure out because they are the subtle flip coin of her absolute strength. That's also why I think at this point in the story she would be incapable of the mutual emotional dependence that you find in romantic love, wanting to be loved by someone while loving them. In other words, she's incapable of that type of love right now. She's never even had a bruised ego, much less desired her parents' or another person's acceptance.

Medaka has no traits which blunt when she fails or does something harmful, but generally she doesn't need them because it is impossible for her to fail. This current arc isn't just about the changes in Zenkichi, but changes in Medaka too. But to do the latter, we've had to see a little bit about the subtle achilles' heel of her character. It's a fitting analogy because Achilles was invincible everywhere else. Well, maybe not, because Medaka is invincible everywhere. Her 'flaws' are more like unique side effects.

On the flip side Zenkichi is full of traits that blunt when he fails. He fails pretty regularly, but he worked harder than anybody else and he was 'normal'.

In fact, here's the irony.... Zenkichi was taking solace in the traits that blunted his failures. He couldn't win, but he was a brave normal guy who worked hard, tried his best and kept on trying again and again regardless of failing, and he remained completely devoted even though it was to a woman who was not in love with him one bit. In fact, I think that if someone asked him if he was pathetic despite being doomed to failure (even in the case of failure at love because of loving a person that is incapable of romantic love), you'd have his defense right there. "I knew I was going to fail, but I did all the praiseworthy things that make failure ok." What Ajimu really did was take out one of the foundations of that defense, and it made him realize that what he was doing was meaningless and even hopeless but he still was left with the desire to win anyway. In fact, I think it exposed him as a character who regardless of what he did in his current situation could never become truly happy or satisfied. He was just feeding himself as many placebos as he could to make himself feel better despite being stuck in a tragic situation because of who he was and the world he was living in. You can't blame Medaka for Zenkichi fallling in love with her, but the irony is that Zenkichi is the one person whom Medaka doomed instead of saving. When Maguro tried to discourage Zenkichi from staying with Medaka when he was little, it wasn't for Medaka's sake but for Zenkichi's. When Maguro encouraged Zenkichi to stay with Medaka, it wasn't for Zenkichi's sake.... It was for Medaka's sake. He understood that Zenkichi was a sacrifice, even if willing, and it made Maguro feel guilty later.

Zenkichi would have been better off if he had never met Medaka. If you're looking at it from the perspective of abnormalities, the reason why he met Medaka was because it was something she needed, another fantastic stroke of luck and timing for her.

In various ways, I've started seeing some ironic parallels between Zenkichi and Kumagawa. Actually I think Zenkichi and Kumagawa may have some things in common the same way that Medaka and Ajimu do. At some point in the future we might see a conflict around those lines.


I find this stuff so interesting that I ended up going off on a tangent. Getting back to my original topic, I can recognize that the people here are intelligent and certainly people are entitled to their biases. But, dealing with the bias when you're actually trying to figure things out is mostly frustrating and a waste of time. Especially when someone flat out admits that they're going to fight a culture war for a character is just plain petty.

Last edited by sungreentakeo; 2012-01-25 at 14:36.
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Old 2012-01-25, 13:27   Link #6744
sungreentakeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sungreentakeo View Post
Like a myth out of legend, if she'd popped out of the womb into a ring of fire filled with snakes, she would have survived and that would have only made her grow stronger.
This is also why I think Medaka's mother dying and Medaka mentioning that her mother had 'served her purpose' was symbolic. After Medaka was born, her mother's job was done. Medaka didn't need a nurturer. That isn't the normal case; usually when a child is born, a mother's work has just begun. It also goes back to what I was mentioning about Medaka's unique inability to understand others because she never needed to depend on anyone, even as a child.

Last edited by sungreentakeo; 2012-01-25 at 14:15.
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Old 2012-01-25, 14:11   Link #6745
Xellos-_^
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Sungreentakeo's wall of Text(Nisio would be proud)
This is why i am interested in Medaka Box. The top complain about Mary Sue Characters like Medaka is "Boring." Normally they are but only because the writers don't have the skill to make them interesting. It takes real skill to make a Mary Sue character interesting as a Main Character and I want to see if Nisio can pull it off.
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Old 2012-01-25, 14:16   Link #6746
sungreentakeo
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
This is why i am interested in Medaka Box. The top complain about Mary Sue Characters like Medaka is "Boring." Normally they are but only because the writers don't have the skill to make them interesting. It takes real skill to make a Mary Sue character interesting as a Main Character and I want to see if Nisio can pull it off.
You can already tell that I think he has, lol.
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Old 2012-01-25, 14:41   Link #6747
Soji
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Originally Posted by sungreentakeo View Post
You can already tell that I think he has, lol.
See a how much People take Medaka side ,I agree with you.
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Old 2012-01-25, 16:14   Link #6748
Sol Falling
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I find this stuff so interesting that I ended up going off on a tangent. Getting back to my original topic, I can recognize that the people here are intelligent and certainly people are entitled to their biases. But, dealing with the bias when you're actually trying to figure things out is mostly frustrating and a waste of time. Especially when someone flat out admits that they're going to fight a culture war for a character is just plain petty.
A bit paranoid there. If I (or others, I suppose I shall presume to claim) might seem to be biased, that is still for the greatest part on the basis of wanting to figure things out myself. You yourself note how counter-intuitive or difficult relating to Medaka is. It's not something one can do just looking for entertainment or escapism from a story. My gradually increasing appreciation of Medaka over these years of Medaka Box has always been born from a central desire to better understand the themes of the story.

It might've been phrased somewhat baitingly (Zenkichi is practically asking for it at this point in the manga though; his entire character at the moment is centered about his romantic love for Medaka), but there is nothing inherently offensive to Zenkichi-fans about my suggestion that Medaka is to be honest better off with Kumagawa and Zenkichi with Emukae. From the perspective of the greater context of the manga, it makes perfect sense; it is only the micro-perspective of Zenkichi's current goals and actions with the support of Ajimu that the prospect seems to be negative.

My statement regarding my intention to discourage instinctual backlash against Medaka is also in the interest of furthering anime-viewers' appreciation and engagement with the greater themes of this story. It is not a plot to enact an atmosphere of derision for Zenkichi--for the first 115 chapters of this manga, Medaka and Zenkichi are on the same side. Rather, in terms of an overview of the structure of the manga, it is simply an unfortunate fact that Zenkichi starts out as something of an embodiment of Shounen convention/stereotypes, while Medaka is set up (crucially) as an interesting subversion from (nearly) the very beginning. Any way you like it, it is simply the case that in early stages of the manga Medaka is by far and away the sole conceptual pillar capable of arousing greater interest and controversy. People who dismiss entirely the possibility of engaging with her character are likely to find the series as a whole very difficult.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sungreentakeo View Post
Medaka is much easier to get touchy at because she's powerful and that can step on other people, while trying to do the right thing and she does. But, she doesn't have any of those 'blunting' traits that soften strength. Basically she's got the ultimate silver spoon in her mouth and she's never needed to work to become strong in her life. It'd actually be far more appropriate to say that she can't do that because everything comes to her effortlessly. I'd also say that it's impossible for her to understand other people's feelings for a similar reason; she's missed from her life one of the most essential components of humanity, dependence. There was no no such thing as infancy for her. She was a powerhouse from the moment she was born. Nothing like that ever shaped how she relates to people. Like a myth out of legend, if she'd popped out of the womb into a ring of fire filled with snakes, she would have survived and that would have only made her grow stronger. Medaka's flaws are more difficult to figure out because they are the subtle flip coin of her absolute strength. That's also why I think at this point in the story she would be incapable of the mutual emotional dependence that you find in romantic love, wanting to be loved by someone while loving them. In other words, she's incapable of that type of love right now. She's never even had a bruised ego, much less desired her parents' or another person's acceptance.

Medaka has no traits which blunt when she fails or does something harmful, but generally she doesn't need them because it is impossible for her to fail. This current arc isn't just about the changes in Zenkichi, but changes in Medaka too. But to do the latter, we've had to see a little bit about the subtle achilles' heel of her character. It's a fitting analogy because Achilles was invincible everywhere else. Well, maybe not, because Medaka is invincible everywhere. Her 'flaws' are more like unique side effects.
The question is, do these factors negate entirely our capacity to relate to her? And in general, presuming an entity such as this actually existed, what would be the best way to deal with her? How does the existence/integration/civilization/humanization of a being nominally without weakness impact our perception of our own humanity/existences?

Kumagawa as an encapsulation of an opposite concept to this is equally interesting. I would argue that it is precisely the existence of an opposite concept in Kumagawa that solves/answers most of these issues and points of inquiry.

Quote:
On the flip side Zenkichi is full of traits that blunt when he fails. He fails pretty regularly, but he worked harder than anybody else and he was 'normal'.

In fact, here's the irony.... Zenkichi was taking solace in the traits that blunted his failures. He couldn't win, but he was a brave normal guy who worked hard, tried his best and kept on trying again and again regardless of failing, and he remained completely devoted even though it was to a woman who was not in love with him one bit. In fact, I think that if someone asked him if he was pathetic despite being doomed to failure (even in the case of failure at love because of loving a person that is incapable of romantic love), you'd have his defense right there. "I knew I was going to fail, but I did all the praiseworthy things that make failure ok." What Ajimu really did was take out one of the foundations of that defense, and it made him realize that what he was doing was meaningless and even hopeless but he still was left with the desire to win anyway. In fact, I think it exposed him as a character who regardless of what he did in his current situation could never become truly happy or satisfied. He was just feeding himself as many placebos as he could to make himself feel better despite being stuck in a tragic situation because of who he was and the world he was living in. You can't blame Medaka for Zenkichi fallling in love with her, but the irony is that Zenkichi is the one person whom Medaka doomed instead of saving. When Maguro tried to discourage Zenkichi from staying with Medaka when he was little, it wasn't for Medaka's sake but for Zenkichi's. When Maguro encouraged Zenkichi to stay with Medaka, it wasn't for Zenkichi's sake.... It was for Medaka's sake. He understood that Zenkichi was a sacrifice, even if willing, and it made Maguro feel guilty later.

Zenkichi would have been better off if he had never met Medaka. If you're looking at it from the perspective of abnormalities, the reason why he met Medaka was because it was something she needed, another fantastic stroke of luck and timing for her.
I believe at some point in our exchanges earlier you reprimanded me for using Ajimu's influences as a platform to deprive Zenkichi's current actions of any personal agency. I now throw that back at you. You are underselling Zenkichi (human agency in general) greatly if you state that Zenkichi's very meeting with Medaka was misfortunate, a predestined failure, a tragedy.

Quote:
In various ways, I've started seeing some ironic parallels between Zenkichi and Kumagawa. Actually I think Zenkichi and Kumagawa may have some things in common the same way that Medaka and Ajimu do. At some point in the future we might see a conflict around those lines.
There are a great many parallels/emergent points of contrast between Zenkichi and Kumagawa in their relation with Medaka, and Ajimu too, even, if you look closely for it. This is the principle basis for discrediting any exaggerated notions of Zenkichi's horrible "oppression" at the hand of his relationship with Medaka. The struggles/difficulties at the core of Zenkichi's current conflict with Medaka cannot be isolated as something unique to Zenkichi specifically. That is why the idea that Medaka's nature/existence is at the core of Zenkichi's sufferings is not ultimately something which is feasible.
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Last edited by Sol Falling; 2012-01-25 at 16:26.
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Old 2012-01-25, 16:17   Link #6749
Takigashima
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It's not so much he took medaka's side. He was stating that Nisio has done a good job of making a good Mary sue, one you love to hate, but love regardless.

As much as I liked kuma at the start, he's started to become bland and over used, sorta like narutos rasengan, seen it once, seen it a billion times.

@sol.
It would from an obvious stand point that kuma would/could be a good match for Medaka. I would also think it would be an almost unhealthy one as well, Kuma would not stop Medaka from doing things that would cause people unhappiness, it's more likely he wouldn't do anything that wouldn't benefit him in some way.
He doesn't class people based on right or wrong, but strong and weak, if the weak were doing something evil, he is inclined to help them and Vice versa with good intentions. This would be in no way a good thing for medaka who doesn't understand people and would think that what she is doing will make them happy, something we have bared witness to with her and zen.

While emukae and zen is also a good combo, emukae would only be pandering to Zen's need for appreciation. This wouldn't allow him to pursue the role he has always wanted for the person he loves: to be the white knight.

The way the story is being told is that zen should walk away from medaka and be normal, that he should get with emukae who loves him, and medaka go with kuma. But the point would be moot, medaka needs not someone to pander to her whims or disagree with them. She needs Simeon who will love, hate and prevent her from doing the wrong thing when she thinks it's right.

Maybe a little confusing, just hoping the point of it is there to understand.

Last edited by Takigashima; 2012-01-25 at 16:31. Reason: Meh
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Old 2012-01-25, 22:03   Link #6750
sungreentakeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
A bit paranoid there. If I (or others, I suppose I shall presume to claim) might seem to be biased, that is still for the greatest part on the basis of wanting to figure things out myself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
Hahaha. I will probably be spending ungodly amounts of effort white-knighting Medaka, myself.
Yes, Medaka-fans keeps talking about all this in the context of something along the lines of a character war and they're losing so they have to fight.

They imply that's there's a character war going on between Medaka and Zenkichi and they're going to defend their favorite. Sometimes it's said it directly, most of the the time it's said it indirectly. I'm just reacting to what has been said and implied all over the place. A minus for Medaka is a plus for Zenkichi, and a plus for Zenkichi is a minus for Medaka. There is also the obvious baiting going on.

I also thought it was interesting how you mentioned in a post that Zenkichi is more popular. The war is being lost!

Going off on a tangent, I think Medaka and Zenkichi's popularity rest off of totally different hero subtypes which appeal to different people. Medaka's appeal is like Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star, and Zenkichi's appeal is like Kenichi from History's Greatest Disciple Kenichi. Obviously there are quite a few differences too. For instance, although Medaka does learn martial arts by seeing them once like Kenshiro does, she doesn't make her opponent's head explode after punching them.

People who want to like Zenkichi also end up disliking him at the same time because he's spent most of the manga not meeting up to his fanbase's desires. What if History's Greatest Disciple Kenichi always remained totally powerless. The manga would have bombed. Basically, Zenkichi's fate has betrayed their expectations. From another perspective, the manga has betrayed their expectations.

If Zenkichi starts fulfilling the expectations of his underlying stereotype, his popularity will skyrocket. I wouldn't be surprised if Nishio was making bets with his editor about how he was going to make the winner of the popularity polls different every time.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sol fallin
You yourself note how counter-intuitive or difficult relating to Medaka is. It's not something one can do just looking for entertainment or escapism from a story. My gradually increasing appreciation of Medaka over these years of Medaka Box has always been born from a central desire to better understand the themes of the story.
Well, either way you go, it's about entertainment and escapism when you talk about appreciating a character. The reason why I'm doing this is because I'm entertaining myself. The stuff I post up on the forum is a small fraction of what I actually write, just about this particular manga. Although, this manga, I think, has more depth than it initially leads you to believe. The initial setup is rather conventional to take advantage of what people expect to see in shounen manga. The reason why so many people are frustrated about Zenkichi is because of that.

It's fantastically simple to be a Medaka-fan; if Zenkichi and Kumagawa weren't around everyone would be. Medaka is the hero that's the strongest and most talented that saves everyone. Why do people like superman? Why do people like Kenshiro? Why do people like astro boy?

You're talking about the mainstay hero of children that's the simplest thing to understand. A child reading the manga would immediately recognize that Medaka is the hero of Medaka Box. She's the strongest and she's always right. It's because of the preconceptions of adults familiar with popular manga that they get frustrated when Zenkichi doesn't meet up to their expectations. He's got all of the fittings but none of the potential or destiny.

Although there's probably more than one adult *wink* *wink* that likes Medaka because of her bra size.

I know you hate when I say Medaka's a parody, and I'm not trying to upset you, but I think that the intention is for Medaka to be a parody of the most conventional type of hero. I don't mean conventional as in unoriginal either. It doesn't mean anything bad; it means the original friggin heroes. It means the legacy starting with Beowulf or Hercules. The destined man from history born with the king's blood and the king's destiny.

It's the way the parody is implemented though (let's take it to limit and see what breaks) that actually makes it unconventional. It's not a normal way of doing a parody of the conventional all powerful hero either. Usually what happens is you have some conquering headstrong guy that comes in and screws things up while touting their own horn, and Medaka is completely not that. It's actually the opposite; let's take this seriously, make her the absolutely strong shounen hero, make her right, but let's think it through... How would somebody like that actually be different from how you would expect? How would somebody like that affect the world in ways that we wouldn't expect? I think the latter is where the idea for abnormalities came from. But it's more layers on here than that.

It's a common scenario. You have the weak guy who meets the talented and amazing female hero, and he builds himself up until he's her equal or better. Nishio said, "Ok, let's do that. Let's take that to the limit and exaggerate it; let's make it real." The guy -- let's make him actually a normal person with a couple of tweaks. The girl -- turn her into the ultimate meaning of talent, she learns everything effortlessly. If she's about talent, let's take that to the max. If he's about being normal, let's take that to the max.

Whoops, here comes the fallout.

Honestly, why in the world would some talentless guy ever get stronger than the most talented woman in the world. Why would she even consider this guy special? In fact, why would she consider anybody special? Well, it makes more sense that she wouldn't. Being better than everybody else and never needing anybody for anything during any point of her life is the ultimate equalizer to her world view, even if she's not a jerk about it.

In fact, it's clearly pointed out that no matter what he did, no matter how deserving, no matter how devoted or hard he tried, this guy, Zenkichi, our 'male hero avatar', would never get anywhere by himself. Even though he would never give up and fail a billion times, he could do that for the rest of his life and get nowhere.

Ok, we have to go on with the show, it would take a godlike being that could play around with the rules of the universe to make it possible. But even then, how could you even beat someone like Medaka. It's impossible. Literally every shounen hero at some level is empowered by the fact they grow faster than anybody else, and talent is the definition of how fast you grow. You don't have to practice, just learn in the middle of battle by seeing it once. If the female hero has the ultimate combination of all talents, how in the world do you make this happen? It seems impossible.

But guess what, Nishio has hinted that Zenkichi figured it out. The ultimate cheat code to beating a hacker with god mode on. So Zenkichi asks the god of the realm, Ajimu, to give him the cheat code that will beat Medaka's god mode.

And currently, this is a big secret. You know, those blanked out lines of text where Zenkichi described his skill. You can talk about main characters all day, but you can't win without a justification, especially if you're fighting against another 'main character' candidate. Even on the 'meta-level', the level where we're talking about main characters and things like that, this has been made very clearly into a fair fight. Somehow, through an unknown method that hasn't been thought of before and a little assistance from an all powerful being, there is a line of reasoning where it makes sense for the normal male hero with one ability and some motivation to outrank the ultimate legendary female hero with the ultimate ability that even copies and negates other abilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
It might've been phrased somewhat baitingly (Zenkichi is practically asking for it at this point in the manga though; his entire character at the moment is centered about his romantic love for Medaka), but there is nothing inherently offensive to Zenkichi-fans about my suggestion that Medaka is to be honest better off with Kumagawa and Zenkichi with Emukae. From the perspective of the greater context of the manga, it makes perfect sense; it is only the micro-perspective of Zenkichi's current goals and actions with the support of Ajimu that the prospect seems to be negative.
I don't think Medaka would go great with anybody at this point, but sure? Zenkichi and Emukae could work out I guess too; it would be a happy ending. I think Zenkichi could probably make Emukae very happy. I think Emukae could make Zenkichi happier than Medaka could, especially at this point. Actually, Hansode makes the most sense to me at this point. Zenkichi and Hansode actually really close and have been for a long time. Hansode has been quietly there in the background supporting him and hanging out with him.

I didn't find your comment offensive at all, so much that I didn't mention it. I had to go back and find your posts to figure out what you were talking about. Something I've complained about before, is when you reply as if I had said things about stuff I hadn't even thought about is on the list. You're thinking that I'm talking stuff because you're thinking about it, not because I'm talking about it or it even fits within the context of what I'm saying. I said Kumagawa and Zenkichi were similar in many ways to Ajimu and Medaka, and that I thought maybe those might be the sides in some conflict in the future.

I mean if I'm forced to think about it I guess Medaka and Kumagawa could be dysfunctional together? Actually I think anyone plus Medaka at this point would be dysfunctional. She's not emotionally built right now for love.

But on a more serious note, why are you limiting her to males? Medaka is very unconventional; I could totally see her with another woman. And neither will I deny that this would not be totally awesome.

Ajimu + Medaka, it's happening. Just you wait for it. The big question is "Who is going to be the oneechan?"

But why leave Zenkichi out of the fun... Why does it have to be... just one? <3 <3 <3 (hearts x 3!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by sol fallin
My statement regarding my intention to discourage instinctual backlash against Medaka is also in the interest of furthering anime-viewers' appreciation and engagement with the greater themes of this story.
Instinctual backlash? Like those fans are a bunch of animals? More of this underhanded trolling crap or gilded insults. I don't consider myself a 'Zenkichi-fan' but whenever see something like this I have to point it out because I find it offensive in general. After the clock tower arc, I went from approving of Medaka to disapproving of her. This is basically an underhanded insult to anyone who doesn't approve of Medaka.

Again I'll mention that I don't know about these ancient Medaka-hating wars; the recent complaints about Medaka seem very justified to me. In fact, I've been describing and analyzing them. Near the beginning of the manga, it makes more sense to me that people would have been just mainly upset with Zenkichi since he couldn't fulfill their expectations. Also, I guess Medaka didn't give him the appreciation that most people would have liked for him to get. They were pretty much right about that too I guess, and that's hinting around what her actual issue is. I recognized it when I was reading the early chapters and filed it away under 'this might be important' until I saw her go way out of line in the events following the clock tower. What may have been a hint and I misinterpreted as sort of a selfish imposing on Zenkichi that you find in family, close friends and initimate relationships was actually coldness on her behalf. Well, it's more accurate to say that there were no feelings there. She wasn't hinting that she thought she could act freely around him or even mistreat him because she could trust him and considered him close to her; she was just doing her own thing without even having that sort of relationship dynamic or even acknowledging Zenkichi's feelings whatsoever. Honestly, I probably would have still thought that if Ajimu hadn't chuckled to herself and explained to us, "Hah Hah... There she goes. Just as planned. Breaking bonds --- it wasn't friendship or love."

I like stories about relationships. I think they're awesome. Medaka tramples on those sort of things, so I'm not going to be comfortable with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sol fallin
It is not a plot to enact an atmosphere of derision for Zenkichi--for the first 115 chapters of this manga, Medaka and Zenkichi are on the same side.
It's not a plot. It's an attitude, and it's prevalent.

How do Zenkichi and Medaka being on the same side matter? It's about the relationships. It's about the characters.

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Rather, in terms of an overview of the structure of the manga, it is simply an unfortunate fact that Zenkichi starts out as something of an embodiment of Shounen convention/stereotypes, while Medaka is set up (crucially) as an interesting subversion from (nearly) the very beginning.
How is Zenkichi's embodiment of a 'stereotype' an unfortunate fact? How is Medaka an interesting subversion?
How is Medaka not the embodiment of a stereotype? How is Zenkichi not an interesting subversion?

It's like you're expecting me to get the other part of an argument that I haven't taken part in.

If Zenkichi were just a total stereotype, how would that be unfortunate? If Madaka is a 'subversion', how it is interesting? You're expecting me to fill in and accept these attitudes which you have just left totally unqualified. 'It's simply an unfortunate fact'.. It's like a politician lecturing at a podium. You haven't explained how it's simple, unfortunate, or a fact. I can't even argue for or against it because there is nothing there. That's why characters wars frustrate me.

If you ask me, they're both exaggerations of two stereotypes and they're both interesting. Above, I wrote a whole bunch about this. I also explained how they were 'subversions' or i.e. different from the actual stereotype. The irony is that these traits apply to nearly all the friggin characters IN THE MANGA. Stereotypes everywhere and often exaggerated, and that's the point. You're piecing things -in contrast- that apply nearly universally in this manga.

You're trying to sound vague and 'sophisticated' enough to make what you're saying sound like it has a deep meaning, but really it's just a facade for an attitude.

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Any way you like it, it is simply the case that in early stages of the manga Medaka is by far and away the sole conceptual pillar capable of arousing greater interest and controversy. People who dismiss entirely the possibility of engaging with her character are likely to find the series as a whole very difficult.
"Any way you like, it is simply the case...." Hah. Ok, counter-example, what drew me in the beginning of the manga was the relationship between Zenkichi and Medaka. I wanted to see romance blossom. I thought it was, well it's a bit of a girlish term but it fits, cute. I wasn't into the powerups and battles and all that, but people overcoming differences and so on. Also, in the early stages of the manga, you see more of Zenkichi than Medaka. Just turning the example on itself, if you didn't like Zenkichi you'd have a lot of skipping to do at the beginning. That reminds me, I read a Medaka fan somewhere mentioning that they'd like to see the beginning of the series cleaned up when it's translated to anime. It makes me wonder if what they're hinting at is they need to put the focus more on Medaka at the beginning. "Zenkichi just getting in the way at the beginning, grrr....."

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The question is, do these factors negate entirely our capacity to relate to her?
Here, a loaded question-- Does it "negate entirely" our capacity to relate to her? No.. Of course not. I can't think of any character trait or lack of character traits which make relating completely impossible. Well, unless you had story about realistic aliens and they had nothing in common whatsoever with human beings. It's even hard to imagine such a thing; I've read authors that have equated the blinking light on an answering machine to diligent loyalty.

The relevant thing here is that those differences that Medaka has create a great dissonance between the viewer and the character which would naturally get in the way of relating to her, because it makes her much different than everybody else. That we don't 'hear her thoughts' while we hear the thoughts of plenty of other characters is more than a little symbolic.


The dynamics of how male audiences relate to different characters is why normal male hero + special female heroine has been a great combination for male audiences. You have the girl that defies normal abilities that you really can't have much in common in with or see yourself through, but she's amazing and attractive. So, she's desirable, the object of your dreams. You have the male hero that is just a normal guy and earns his way up to her level, proves himself to her and wins her love. And what normal means is that that the male hero has a lot in common with the male readers. He's not friggin Kenshiro.. Well, he doesn't start out that way; they make it believable that by punching enough trees you can fold a car in half with your bare fist. And things like working hard, in addition to being an generally accepted praiseworthy impetus for growth, are stuff anybody can do, really. It's also what the 'normal hero' typically does to get stronger. You can get yourself into the character more because he's a male character and he's normal like you and he's changing because he works hard and you could work hard too. Basically, it's the recent form of same story that male audiences have been told and loved for generations. I love those stories too. You get a rapport with the male main character, he powers up and achieves the worthy love. It's a fantasy, and it's entertaining. It's awesome. It makes you glow and say "Ahh, that was awesome." You go and cheer the little guy on and you feel like you did it too.

So, Nishio makes it so that pattern is attempted but doesn't pan out. Trolled. And people are frustrated by this, because they expected they were going to get that sort of story. And there is nothing wrong with them feeling frustrated by this, because they are being trolled. In fact, they should feel that way. He knows what he's doing and this is material for male readers.

If the eventual ending was, "Well, Zenkichi was doomed to failure from the beginning and had no chance at love; he wasted the rest of his life away pining away for the woman for had no interest in him and his life was pathetic sham." I would think that's sad. I would find that unfulfilling. I would also think be unsatisfied if Kumagawa never got his lovely chance to make everyone take a ride on the loser train or he never got his chance to win.

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And in general, presuming an entity such as this actually existed, what would be the best way to deal with her? How does the existence/integration/civilization/humanization of a being nominally without weakness impact our perception of our own humanity/existences?

Kumagawa as an encapsulation of an opposite concept to this is equally interesting. I would argue that it is precisely the existence of an opposite concept in Kumagawa that solves/answers most of these issues and points of inquiry.
Ok, right here, you have made some big statements and not explained anything at all. I can't even respond to this except to go off on my own tangent and start answering questions from scratch. Kumagawa solves these questions? Ok, how? I can think of a couple of multiple ways of interpreting this and the only hint to pinning down what you're trying to say is that Kumagawa is involved somehow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sol fallin
I believe at some point in our exchanges earlier you reprimanded me for using Ajimu's influences as a platform to deprive Zenkichi's current actions of any personal agency. I now throw that back at you. You are underselling Zenkichi (human agency in general) greatly if you state that Zenkichi's very meeting with Medaka was misfortunate, a predestined failure, a tragedy.
I'm not going to say I don't change my mind. I'm never going to say that because I'd rather be right than be consistent, but in this case I actually I think I'm being consistent with what I said earlier.

Basically you're saying... Have more faith that they could control their chance meeting?

Zenkichi's meeting with Medaka wasn't something had to do with anybody's will; usually personal agency infers things like will, action, and responsibility. The meeting between Medaka and Zenkichi was purely by chance. I would argue it was due to Medaka's abnormality. I'm not even saying it was due to her will either. It was an event that was the continuing 'getting what you need when you need it' part of her abnormality. It's 'predestined' because neither of them intended to do that nor could have avoided it or made more it more likely to happen either way. It just happened, and the abnormality certainly isn't an intentional thing.

And basically, it's the beginning of a bad situation for Zenkichi. He wasn't a person with problems or a bad personality or even a trait that drew conflict to him. He was put into a situation he did not fit into whatsoever. He would have had a much easier life. The world Medaka creates and brings to her sucks for him. He was unequipped from birth for that sort of environment. That's why normal people generally avoid abnormals. Inferiority complexes and emotional damage aside, who wants to hang out with someone who drags concrete walls around like a coat when they're angry or gets subjected to deadly attacks from superhumans on a regular basis. I'd even argue that him falling in love with her is more than a little bit suspicious, because being insanely in love is the only reason that a normal person would subject themselves to that.

Quote:
There are a great many parallels/emergent points of contrast between Zenkichi and Kumagawa in their relation with Medaka, and Ajimu too, even, if you look closely for it. This is the principle basis for discrediting any exaggerated notions of Zenkichi's horrible "oppression" at the hand of his relationship with Medaka. The struggles/difficulties at the core of Zenkichi's current conflict with Medaka cannot be isolated as something unique to Zenkichi specifically. That is why the idea that Medaka's nature/existence is at the core of Zenkichi's sufferings is not ultimately something which is feasible.
Again it's this Medaka obsessiveness combined with a need to defend. This is not even in the realm of talking about what I wrote. It's like you saw some words, and then you put the agenda on top of it. I'm not thinking the Medaka and Zenkichi character war.

What I was talking about it this:

A.
Zenkichi loves Medaka. Kumagawa loves Ajimu.

Zenkichi needs to defeat Medaka to prove himself to her. Kumagawa wants to make Ajimu lose as an expression of his (a little twisted) love.

Zenkichi is limited and does not hold a candle to Medaka. Kumagawa is 100% loser and does not hold a candle to the god of the Medaka Box-verse, Ajimu.

Zenkichi actually said he can't say he doesn't like Kumagawa. Kumagawa and Zenkichi might be able to actually get along.

Depending on how Zenkichi and Kumagawa after this story arc, you could see how their goals could end up coinciding, especially if Ajimu and Medaka end up allying. In their own way, they're both fighting for something similar and that could lead to mutual understanding under the right circumstances.

B.

Medaka has limitless potential and instant learning ability. Ajimu has all potential and already knows everything. Medaka is the only person that could possibly get on the same level as Ajimu, and through that could understand the world in the same way as Ajimu.

Medaka is the object of affection for Zenkichi. Ajimu is the object of twisted affection for Kumogawa.

Medaka seems to find Zenkichi somewhat interesting although she isn't in love with him. Ajimu seems to find Kumogawa fun to play with even though she isn't in love with him.

Ajimu talked about bonding with Medaka while they were playing some ball game during the clock tower interlude. Ajimu stated that she wanted to get Medaka on her side by becoming her friend, a friend Medaka would listen to, rather than by defeating Medaka.

Ajimu wants to make everyone abnormally talented. Medaka wants to make everyone happy. Who's to say that those two goals have to conflict? In fact, they could help each other.

C.

So, I'm saying they have all of these similarities that make me think that it wouldn't be that unrealistic to have a conflict where it's Zenkichi and Kumagawa vs. Medaka and Ajimu.


End.

Ok, as for your tangential comments. First thing, you didn't say anything. You said, "There's alot of proof that...." There are loads of examples! And then you skip the most important part, THE EXAMPLES. You're making a controversial statement that people disagree with and you explain nothing. I don't know how many times I've had to deal with this in responding to your posts. I have to think 'Ok, I'll assume what he's saying is true and try to figure out what he's talking about." Even in the implication here, you're being completely vague. I've gone into great detail exactly why I disagree.

I'm not going to refute this. It's been disproved already by points that have nothing to do with anything that looks like line of reasoning.

Quote:
There are a great many parallels/emergent points of contrast between Zenkichi and Kumagawa in their relation with Medaka, and Ajimu too, even, if you look closely for it.
If this were a statement by itself, then I'd let this go. But you're going to say that it proves something. At that point you have to show what proves what!

Quote:
This is the principle basis for discrediting any exaggerated notions of Zenkichi's horrible "oppression" at the hand of his relationship with Medaka.
Ok, what principle basis? You're obviously saying 'exaggerated' and 'horrible oppression' to subtly make the ideas you don't like sound ridiculous through exaggeration.

Quote:
The struggles/difficulties at the core of Zenkichi's current conflict with Medaka cannot be isolated as something unique to Zenkichi specifically.
What are you talking about specifically. I can't agree or refute this because it saying everything and nothing. It's a statement of intent not detail. Why should I believe you when you aren't saying anything?

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That is why the idea that Medaka's nature/existence is at the core of Zenkichi's sufferings is not ultimately something which is feasible.
Again, making a huge statement that's completely unqualified.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of one immediate counterexample. Zenkichi nearly died in his fight with Kumagawa. If Zenkichi hadn't been following Medaka around and hadn't been caught up in abnormal land by being around her, he wouldn't have nearly died. If it weren't for Ajimu, he would have died. Because of Medaka's existence, he regularly subjects himself to dangerous situations that normal human beings have no place in or resistance against. If Medaka didn't exist, he'd probably would have been listening to music while doing his homework or something. Or he would have been hanging out with his girlfriend.

Here's another thing; he'd have self-esteem. As normal people go, Zenkichi is talented and hard working. As abnormals go, Zenkichi has the abilities of a deficient infant. Normal people think he's amazing and look up to him. Remember the whole club storm thing and what people commented about him? Abnormals look at him and wipe him off their shoes, if they end up acknowledging he has any ability in the first place. The flask plan character that had super reflexes didn't even have to bat an eye to avoid Zenkichi's body tackle. Or how about the plain and obvious fact that Medaka is better at him at everything always even though he's put in orders of magnitude more effort than her, and he's been constantly around her for the past 13 years. Medaka had crushed many a man's soul like that before she was in grade school.

I thought it was funny-obvious when he mentioned he had no self-esteem. Of course he hasn't got any self-esteem! Not with that life!

Look, some Zenkichi-fans are going to get upset at me being critical of Zenkichi's abilities. Alright, I'm exaggerating somewhat to be poetic. Generally the state of affairs is that Zenkichi is surrounded by abnormal and 'special' people and he's completely inferior to them in every ability except personality, effort and diligence. Nobody enjoys being in an environment like that; it's a testament to the constitution of his mind that he is not suicidal.

Last edited by sungreentakeo; 2012-01-25 at 23:46.
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Old 2012-01-25, 22:24   Link #6751
Franckie
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Originally Posted by 2xj View Post
why do you despise him so much is it because until recently he has been nothing but medeka's bitch
Personal tastes are subjective. People can like all the main cast, only one of the main cast, or dislike the cast. Just how you have trouble understanding noobita's blatant dislike of Zen, I'm sure the vice-versa is true too.

Noobita's real problem is typing an actual argument.

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Originally Posted by noobita View Post
I can't, but then, I don't mind seeking or joining force with people who can solve it...just as the manga showed.

You called Zenkichi amazing, I called him garbage. Sugarcoat Zenkichi all you like, it still doesn't change the fact that he lost his place in the popularity contest for obvious reason.
Popularity by itself is a poor excuse for supporting an argument. A series like Bleach is far more popular than Medaka Box but Medaka Box actually has a plot to it while Bleach makes things up as it goes. Popularity and the quality of writing do not go hand-in-hand with each other.

Using your opinion as a basis for your argument is even worse. So Zenkichi being #8 in the popularity poll is proof that a notable portion of the Japanese fandom supports your opinion? Bring back some actual proof before stating your actual opinion to be fact next time.
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Old 2012-01-26, 00:27   Link #6752
sungreentakeo
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Originally Posted by sungreentakeo View Post
Look, some Zenkichi-fans are going to get upset at me being critical of Zenkichi's abilities. Alright, I'm exaggerating somewhat to be poetic. Generally the state of affairs is that Zenkichi is surrounded by abnormal and 'special' people and he's completely inferior to them in every ability except personality, effort and diligence. Nobody enjoys being in an environment like that; it's a testament to the constitution of his mind that he is not suicidal.
If you're talking about karma, Zenkichi deserves to really win more than any other character in the manga. He isn't trying to teach Medaka a lesson or anything like that; he's trying to make her happy while making himself happy too. He stuck in there, remained true to his feelings, and he's finally getting his chance. I'll just say it; Zenkichi looks like the better person in this than Medaka, and I think it's perfectly reasonable for people to be upset with Medaka on the feelings issue and her recent treatment of Zenkichi.

She beat him up to the point of abuse; he really had done nothing to deserve that at all, and there were plenty of good reasons for her not to do that to him. She doesn't think about people that way, but that's a problem. He certainly wouldn't have done that to her for obvious reasons. It's not an issue about being strong or weak. It's not Zenkichi making Medaka look bad; it's Medaka making Medaka look bad here.

Last edited by sungreentakeo; 2012-01-26 at 00:38.
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Old 2012-01-26, 00:49   Link #6753
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Originally Posted by sungreentakeo View Post
If you're talking about karma, Zenkichi deserves to really win more than any other character in the manga. He isn't trying to teach Medaka a lesson or anything like that; he's trying to make her happy while making himself happy too. He stuck in there, remained true to his feelings, and he's finally getting his chance. I'll just say it; Zenkichi looks like the better person in this than Medaka, and I think it's perfectly reasonable for people to be upset with Medaka on the feelings issue and her recent treatment of Zenkichi.
i have to question is what Zenki trying to do really going to make Medaka happy? When you think about Medaka personality, is love going to make her happy? Is she even capable of love in the sense of a single person and not like love the world type of love? As Medaka half/step brother observe (could be wrong but taking at face value) Medaka is type who gets stronger when alone. Her relationship with other people act as a limiter on her true abilities not a strength. Is any single individual really capable of making Medaka happy?
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Old 2012-01-26, 03:16   Link #6754
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
i have to question is what Zenki trying to do really going to make Medaka happy? When you think about Medaka personality, is love going to make her happy? Is she even capable of love in the sense of a single person and not like love the world type of love? As Medaka half/step brother observe (could be wrong but taking at face value) Medaka is type who gets stronger when alone. Her relationship with other people act as a limiter on her true abilities not a strength. Is any single individual really capable of making Medaka happy?
That's a good point. It's one of the questions I would like to see answered in the manga. I think that we already know it's going to work out somehow, but the question is how? You pointed out the massive wall that might be even more intimidating than Zenkichi's struggle to prove himself to Medaka by becoming someone who can win against her on a regular basis (You don't become someone's acknowledged rival by winning once with luck or having a victory that can be overturned. )

I think what you're saying about her is true right now, and it fits perfectly with her abnormality. I think she would have to change or maybe there is some side of her that's never had a chance to come out. Maybe what you're talking about is a fight against the conditions of her abnormality.

If Zenkichi had given up on Medaka, and just walked away, there wouldn't have been any problems on her end with that. Medaka could do just fine without him. If everybody walked away her, she'd do fine. But there is probably something more complicated going on here.

I think this line of reasoning makes it necessary to ask if Medaka is happy right now? I don't know if it's been clearly told to us whether Medaka is happy or not. We don't actually see much of what's going on in her head. She's supposed to be trying to make herself happy, but has she succeeded? Does she need anything to be happy? I'm not sure it's entirely clear what she wants or if she wants anything other than to keep doing what she's doing. We know she's curious. We know that she enjoys fighting and confronting people. We know she's a goal oriented person who is focused on achieving goals. One thing we don't know is if she has any selfish or idiosyncratic needs. It might be true that she also enjoys being alone.. She might enjoy being strong, but I'm not sure about that either. Is there some unlocked attribute that might change or put all those things in perspective in a way that relates to human relationships? I don't know.

Here's another interesting possibility. She's a person who has everything. Maybe, she wants nothing so what she really needs to become happy is to want something in the same way that other people want something. Success on all fronts might really just be as simple as Zenkichi getting Medaka to value him. I'm just throwing out ideas.

Medaka's never looked up to anyone and she's never needed anyone for anything. If that event happens, then maybe a side of her that doesn't currently exist might come out. Maybe she might feel adoration, or maybe she might feel excited at the idea of getting to fight more. Maybe she might become shy and embarrassed around Zenkichi. Who knows, she might have a yandere or tsundere or a deredere hiding in there. I don't even think she would know how she'd feel if you could ask her at the point in the manga.

Ajimu has promised that Medaka will find Zenkichi special after he becomes someone who can defeat Medaka. It's not really clear what it means for Medaka to actually be in love with someone or what she would do. There could be more things involved in that sort of passion. It can also be hate and frustration. Just being in love can spawn everything from hate to jealousy. I've stated before that Medaka is a saint, but I don't think that's really her natural state. It's like if you had a piece of machinery, and you know how it works... But you notice that there is a whole other part of the machine that isn't doing anything because there is a gear missing. Then you put in the missing gear; who knows what's going to happen? It could change entirely what the whole thing does. Zenkichi is going to try and put in that missing gear.

Medaka acts graciously in conflicts, but she's always been the winner when it counts. We don't really know what side of her comes out when she loses when she wants to win or needs to win. Although it's hard to say much when she's never experienced anything like that in her entire life. We're talking about something that may be the most significant life changing event in her life; this goes against everything including her abnormality. To normal people failure or being weaker or being dependent or looking up to someone is something can be significant, but it's not significant because it's a complete anomaly. This is going to be a completely different flavor from anything Medaka's tasted before.

She might be obsessive about this. Zenkichi, you wanted her by your side? Well, you got what you wished for.

Think about this... By the definition of special, only a select few can be special to a person in varying degrees. Usually a person has a range of 'special' people like friends, family, a lover and so on. But Medaka is still going to be a bit of an unusual case. After all this happens, everybody else is still not special to her; it's that now Zenkichi is the only special person in the entire world to Medaka. Medaka's relation to people is going to go from "Everyone is a person and they're all not special and my purpose in life is to make everyone happy including myself" to "Zenkichi is the only person who is special to me and everyone else is not special.... Wait...." Suddenly, her purpose in life isn't meshing quite so well with her view of people anymore. It's not that she's now normal; it's that she now an entirely different type of abnormal. Not only is Zenkichi the only person special to her, but becoming special to her is something along the on the level of legends and breaking the laws of physics. She's still super-invincible Medaka. It's still basically impossible for anyone else to meet her criteria for being special. She's also going to understand this after about 1 second of lightning fast calculation after it actually happens.

I don't know what would happen. I'm hoping it's not going to be boring. I'm hoping it's complicated, really complicated. It could just work out perfectly and everybody's happy, so world peace is achieved and the manga ends therefore Ajimu wins that way. But... I'm hoping for complicated.

If Zenkichi succeeds he's going to make Medaka happier or more fulfilled. That's pretty much a precondition that he's set. I just don't want it to be simple or easy. It's either he's going to get her to fall in love with him by making her happy, or she's going to be happy because she's in love with him. If he learned that he'd make Medaka miserable by getting her to fall in love with him, he wouldn't do it. But there is a possibility that the circumstances and Zenkichi's goals may change. Talking about huge changes, he's about to get a new gear himself. Zenkichi isn't just upgrading; he's changing. There could be many surprises ahead. But it would have to be a pretty dramatic change for him to not care about Medaka's happiness anymore.

I can't fault him preemptively based on the possibility he might change, especially when we don't know the circumstances of that possible change. I think it's also been hinted that Medaka is also starting to change too, even before Zenkichi 'defeats' her.

Last edited by sungreentakeo; 2012-01-26 at 03:31.
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Old 2012-01-26, 09:00   Link #6755
Sol Falling
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Originally Posted by sungreentakeo View Post
Yes, Medaka-fans keeps talking about all this in the context of something along the lines of a character war and they're losing so they have to fight.

They imply that's there's a character war going on between Medaka and Zenkichi and they're going to defend their favorite. Sometimes it's said it directly, most of the the time it's said it indirectly. I'm just reacting to what has been said and implied all over the place. A minus for Medaka is a plus for Zenkichi, and a plus for Zenkichi is a minus for Medaka. There is also the obvious baiting going on.

I also thought it was interesting how you mentioned in a post that Zenkichi is more popular. The war is being lost!
As I said, again, there is no character war. During the start of the series there is zero reason to become pitted in camps of Zenkichi vs. Medaka. They are on the same side for 115 chapters. The only issues the anime viewers will have to care about is who they like more, or whether they like either of them at all. You’re being paranoid and reading into things.

Quote:
Going off on a tangent, I think Medaka and Zenkichi's popularity rest off of totally different hero subtypes which appeal to different people. Medaka's appeal is like Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star, and Zenkichi's appeal is like Kenichi from History's Greatest Disciple Kenichi. Obviously there are quite a few differences too. For instance, although Medaka does learn martial arts by seeing them once like Kenshiro does, she doesn't make her opponent's head explode after punching them.
In the context of Medaka Box’s popularity itself as a series, there is no such thing as "Medaka's popularity" or "Zenkichi's popularity". The starting point of Medaka Box’s actual success as a manga began with Kumagawa. From the commercial aspect of the success of the anime, the lack of compelling narrative hooks and the weakness of Medaka Box’s recorded initial audience reaction was obviously the central focus of what we were talking about. The point of the discussion we were actually having was what kind of strategies the anime could use to maintain sufficient interest to get to the strong parts of the manga, and for my part my latest response was confessing my intention to cultivate sustained discussion/interest on this board through the rough early section of the narrative.

Blinded though you seem to be in thinking that everything is about some sort of character war, you are aware of Medaka Box’s weak ToC rankings during its debut period, aren’t you? Further added, that for at least the first 11 chapters I myself thought that this manga (and Medaka herself) were shallow tripe completely devoid of merit, and that as Westlo mentioned until Kumagawa’s debut this thread was littered with detractors and predictions of the failure of the manga in general and there is plenty of reason to worry about the initial reception of the anime.

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I know you hate when I say Medaka's a parody, and I'm not trying to upset you, but I think that the intention is for Medaka to be a parody of the most conventional type of hero. I don't mean conventional as in unoriginal either. It doesn't mean anything bad; it means the original friggin heroes. It means the legacy starting with Beowulf or Hercules. The destined man from history born with the king's blood and the king's destiny.

It's the way the parody is implemented though (let's take it to limit and see what breaks) that actually makes it unconventional. It's not a normal way of doing a parody of the conventional all powerful hero either. Usually what happens is you have some conquering headstrong guy that comes in and screws things up while touting their own horn, and Medaka is completely not that. It's actually the opposite; let's take this seriously, make her the absolutely strong shounen hero, make her right, but let's think it through... How would somebody like that actually be different from how you would expect? How would somebody like that affect the world in ways that we wouldn't expect? I think the latter is where the idea for abnormalities came from. But it's more layers on here than that.
Medaka isn’t meant to be a hero though. There are two things which make Medaka great entertainment material: one, that she is a fucking monster, a loose cannon, such that once her engine gets going going overboard and not giving a fuck is her trademark; and two, that she gives fantastically lofty speeches about the nature of humanity and righteousness which while sounding great often seem to teeter on the edge of impossibility. The heart of Medaka’s appeal, at least from an observer position is her instability--which always leaves things teetering on the edge of destruction (or at the very least great dynamism), befitting her last name, “Kurokami”, “Black God”, an epithet of Kali--the Hindu goddess of death and destruction. On a level it is the constant dynamism and growth of Medaka herself which makes her such an interesting character. The manner in which Medaka is a “subversion” is not in her very outermost layers of appearing to be perfect, or saintly, or good, or righteous, or all-capable; but rather in the revelation of her “true” face of an unchained beast, the very face of reality. What are you supposed to call it when the supposed “hero”, up front and center, is revealed near the very beginning to be herself in fact potentially the greatest threat in the narrative? Medaka’s “perfection” is not really the question; at least, Medaka’s “perfection” is not the real starting place. The real starting place is the beast inside Medaka, which is manifested as outward perfection through her rational mind.

Medaka isn’t a parody of “the destined man from history born with the king's blood and the king's destiny”, because the story never pretends to be about Medaka becoming king (rather, she dethrones a king with a king’s destiny. How’s that? lol). What Medaka Box the narrative actually is is a story about a monster becoming human. Before anybody understood Medaka to be perfect (in a true sense; in a sense like realizing the limitless nature of her abnormality or Ajimu declaring her a “main character”), we understood her as a monster.

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It's a common scenario. You have the weak guy who meets the talented and amazing female hero, and he builds himself up until he's her equal or better. Nishio said, "Ok, let's do that. Let's take that to the limit and exaggerate it; let's make it real." The guy -- let's make him actually a normal person with a couple of tweaks. The girl -- turn her into the ultimate meaning of talent, she learns everything effortlessly. If she's about talent, let's take that to the max. If he's about being normal, let's take that to the max.

Whoops, here comes the fallout.

Honestly, why in the world would some talentless guy ever get stronger than the most talented woman in the world. Why would she even consider this guy special? In fact, why would she consider anybody special? Well, it makes more sense that she wouldn't. Being better than everybody else and never needing anybody for anything during any point of her life is the ultimate equalizer to her world view, even if she's not a jerk about it.

In fact, it's clearly pointed out that no matter what he did, no matter how deserving, no matter how devoted or hard he tried, this guy, Zenkichi, our 'male hero avatar', would never get anywhere by himself. Even though he would never give up and fail a billion times, he could do that for the rest of his life and get nowhere.

Ok, we have to go on with the show, it would take a godlike being that could play around with the rules of the universe to make it possible. But even then, how could you even beat someone like Medaka. It's impossible. Literally every shounen hero at some level is empowered by the fact they grow faster than anybody else, and talent is the definition of how fast you grow. You don't have to practice, just learn in the middle of battle by seeing it once. If the female hero has the ultimate combination of all talents, how in the world do you make this happen? It seems impossible.

But guess what, Nishio has hinted that Zenkichi figured it out. The ultimate cheat code to beating a hacker with god mode on. So Zenkichi asks the god of the realm, Ajimu, to give him the cheat code that will beat Medaka's god mode.

And currently, this is a big secret. You know, those blanked out lines of text where Zenkichi described his skill. You can talk about main characters all day, but you can't win without a justification, especially if you're fighting against another 'main character' candidate. Even on the 'meta-level', the level where we're talking about main characters and things like that, this has been made very clearly into a fair fight. Somehow, through an unknown method that hasn't been thought of before and a little assistance from an all powerful being, there is a line of reasoning where it makes sense for the normal male hero with one ability and some motivation to outrank the ultimate legendary female hero with the ultimate ability that even copies and negates other abilities.
Sorry. You have the first couple parts right: about Medaka Box being a setup for a generic shounen, about Zenkichi being a generic “male insert character”, about Nishio eventually blowing the lid off that scenario and shounen fans being disappointed. However, what you can actually take from this is that Nishio is not a generic shounen author. He really isn’t. Zenkichi as a conventional “male hero avatar” eventually becomes a grand platform for play; Kumagawa as equally a devotee and negation of shounen conventions enters as a voice piece for twisted satirical commentary; Ajimu debuts as an inconceivable villain flaunting the entire narrative with her meta-commentary; but through all these stages the “black god” remains the central thematic pillar for the development of the story. It’s not like the Flask Plan arc was about stopping the Flask Plan and defeating Miyakonojou; instead, the completion of the Flask Plan was about Medaka. It’s not like the Minus arc was about defending the Student Council from Kumagawa Misogi and reforming the Minuses; instead, the love and hatred of Kumagawa Misogi was about Medaka. And even now, it’s not like the Ajimu Najimi arc is about re-establishing Ajimu Najimi’s Flask Plan and making Zenkichi the main character; instead, even Zenkichi becoming the main character and the success of the Flask Plan is about Medaka.

Zenkichi is in love with the external “perfect”, rational Medaka. He is trying to win her love by surpassing that outer Medaka. However, the outer Medaka is irrelevant because the true Medaka is the beast. Even if Zenkichi manages to win Medaka’s love and nominally usurp her main character position, that beast inside Medaka will remain at the core of the story. That is something which cannot be resolved via Zenkichi’s own efforts or his present capabilities.

Here is some delicious speculah. I’ve spoken before about Medaka being a matroyshka doll structure with her “Saint” persona on the outside, her “Beast” persona inside, and her “Human” persona inside further still. Now, let’s play with the idea that it was Zenkichi by whom the Saint persona was created. This was when they were two years old, and through their relationship of sticking together, it has been maintained for 13 years. Okay. Now, let’s consider: what if the Beast persona was created too? Could this have happened? When could this have occurred? Well, let us think of Medaka’s beast (War Gode Mode)’s first appearance. That would’ve (presumably) been middle school, when Medaka first lost her sense against Kumagawa. However, along those lines, let’s go back further still. Zenkichi triggered Medaka’s Saint persona at the age of two. If the Beast persona is lower, it must have been shaped earlier still. Now, what was that famous line during the Student Council battles which Kumagawa threw out to Zenkichi? That’s right, “The one who met Medaka-chan first…was me.” Here is the proposal then: Medaka was a normal human girl, who just happened to have a completely broken abnormality. But she was still essentially just a little girl, feeling lonely because of her isolation and confused about the meaning of her existence. In comes the three year old Kumagawa Misogi, who tells her “life is meaningless”, implanting her with the despair of reality. The seed of Medaka’s inner beast is established. Next comes Zenkichi, who tells her “you must surely be someone who exists to make others happy”. Medaka is inspired; her Saint persona is built on top of her beast personality.

Who was it who gave birth to the monster inside Medaka? Kumagawa did. Who is it who can restore Medaka to humanity? That’s right, Kumagawa again, by at the same time overcoming his own cursed destiny.

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But on a more serious note, why are you limiting her to males? Medaka is very unconventional; I could totally see her with another woman. And neither will I deny that this would not be totally awesome.
I probably have more legit yuri fan cred than you will ever have yourself, so don’t joke about me “limiting” Medaka to heterosexual relationships. I deeply look forward to Medaka and Ajimu’s beautiful friendship after Medaka has reformed her myself. But as the person to truly walk shoulder to shoulder beside her, Kumagawa is a better fit for countless thematic reasons.

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So, Nishio makes it so that pattern is attempted but doesn't pan out. Trolled. And people are frustrated by this, because they expected they were going to get that sort of story. And there is nothing wrong with them feeling frustrated by this, because they are being trolled. In fact, they should feel that way. He knows what he's doing and this is material for male readers.
People got trolled, yes. Nishio knows what he’s doing, also yes. You seem to be inferring though here that somehow the standard Shounen Jump audience which constantly left Medaka Box in the bottom five ToC rankings during its debut period are somehow gonna pull Nishio around and make him write a standard shounen power fantasy, when Nishio isn’t even a standard shounen writer in the first place. Given that Medaka Box’s current popularity is nearly overwhelmingly supported by how Nishio has begun to completely flaunt the standard conventions and rules of shounen/Jump narratives, since the introduction of Kumagawa and Ajimu, I find that unlikely. This is something I am totally willing to simply wait out for the results, though.

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Basically you're saying... Have more faith that they could control their chance meeting?

Zenkichi's meeting with Medaka wasn't something had to do with anybody's will; usually personal agency infers things like will, action, and responsibility. The meeting between Medaka and Zenkichi was purely by chance. I would argue it was due to Medaka's abnormality. I'm not even saying it was due to her will either. It was an event that was the continuing 'getting what you need when you need it' part of her abnormality. It's 'predestined' because neither of them intended to do that nor could have avoided it or made more it more likely to happen either way. It just happened, and the abnormality certainly isn't an intentional thing.
A tangent, but the first idea is: where does this idea of a “getting what you need when you need it” part of Medaka’s abnormality come in the first place? There hasn’t been, to my estimation, any instance where this sort of mechanism was actually suggested.

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And basically, it's the beginning of a bad situation for Zenkichi. He wasn't a person with problems or a bad personality or even a trait that drew conflict to him. He was put into a situation he did not fit into whatsoever. He would have had a much easier life. The world Medaka creates and brings to her sucks for him. He was unequipped from birth for that sort of environment. That's why normal people generally avoid abnormals. Inferiority complexes and emotional damage aside, who wants to hang out with someone who drags concrete walls around like a coat when they're angry or gets subjected to deadly attacks from superhumans on a regular basis. I'd even argue that him falling in love with her is more than a little bit suspicious, because being insanely in love is the only reason that a normal person would subject themselves to that.
Zenkichi: “I want to make Medaka as happy as she has made me.” Furthermore, if you want to bring unnatural influences or convenient manipulatives in as a factor, that determination was wrung out of him by Ajimu. I don’t think there’s an actual argument to be made that Zenkichi felt like he suffered chasing after Medaka. And the suggestion that he wasn’t there of his own will is precisely what I mean by denying him of agency.

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What I was talking about it this:

A.
Zenkichi loves Medaka. Kumagawa loves Ajimu.

Zenkichi needs to defeat Medaka to prove himself to her. Kumagawa wants to make Ajimu lose as an expression of his (a little twisted) love.

Zenkichi is limited and does not hold a candle to Medaka. Kumagawa is 100% loser and does not hold a candle to the god of the Medaka Box-verse, Ajimu.

Zenkichi actually said he can't say he doesn't like Kumagawa. Kumagawa and Zenkichi might be able to actually get along.

Depending on how Zenkichi and Kumagawa after this story arc, you could see how their goals could end up coinciding, especially if Ajimu and Medaka end up allying. In their own way, they're both fighting for something similar and that could lead to mutual understanding under the right circumstances.
Kumagawa doesn’t love Ajimu (no longer, anyway). This is obvious if you pay attention to Kumagawa’s “serious mode” reactions whenever an incident comes up regarding Ajimu. In his President battle introspection during the Minus arc, Kumagawa identified Ajimu as the woman he loved whom he obeyed (incidentally, pointing out at the same time that his love for Medaka was more significant). This can easily be linked to tidbits such as Kumagawa achieving a 100% approval rating while Ajimu was his vice-president, while Ajimu’s present status, as well as Kumagawa’s activities in his Good Loser oneshot, make it more than clear whether Kumagawa is “obeying” Ajimu any longer. Rather, Ajimu doesn’t quite seem so fond of Kumagawa anymore either while Kumagawa’s earlier reactions to the prospect of having to meet with her can be read as genuine hate or repulsion.

The appropriate parallel of Zenkichi’s limitations compared to Medaka is Kumagawa’s limitations compared to everybody.

A more interesting point of comparison to make is that Kumagawa used to be under Ajimu’s thumb just as Zenkichi used to devote himself to Medaka; furthermore, that Ajimu released Zenkichi from his former relationship with Medaka just as Medaka broke the stalemate Kumagawa had transferring schools constantly looking for ability users who could stand against Ajimu.

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B.

Medaka has limitless potential and instant learning ability. Ajimu has all potential and already knows everything. Medaka is the only person that could possibly get on the same level as Ajimu, and through that could understand the world in the same way as Ajimu.

Medaka is the object of affection for Zenkichi. Ajimu is the object of twisted affection for Kumogawa.

Medaka seems to find Zenkichi somewhat interesting although she isn't in love with him. Ajimu seems to find Kumogawa fun to play with even though she isn't in love with him.

Ajimu talked about bonding with Medaka while they were playing some ball game during the clock tower interlude. Ajimu stated that she wanted to get Medaka on her side by becoming her friend, a friend Medaka would listen to, rather than by defeating Medaka.

Ajimu wants to make everyone abnormally talented. Medaka wants to make everyone happy. Who's to say that those two goals have to conflict? In fact, they could help each other.
Ajimu clearly distinguishes between herself and Medaka (at least, as far as abilities go) in the terms of human and non-human. The rest of the stuff you wrote is just wrong, in particular regarding Ajimu’s supposed relationship with Kumagawa.

As far as Ajimu’s goals, her actual desire is to remove the concept/existence of effort—or rather, on a greater scale, any concept of human will/agency and dynamism/change in the universe at all. Ajimu is stasis and determinism. You can see how she is in diametric opposition to Medaka. There will be no such thing as a cooperation between them until such a day comes that Ajimu is reformed by Medaka.

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Just off the top of my head, I can think of one immediate counterexample. Zenkichi nearly died in his fight with Kumagawa. If Zenkichi hadn't been following Medaka around and hadn't been caught up in abnormal land by being around her, he wouldn't have nearly died. If it weren't for Ajimu, he would have died. Because of Medaka's existence, he regularly subjects himself to dangerous situations that normal human beings have no place in or resistance against. If Medaka didn't exist, he'd probably would have been listening to music while doing his homework or something. Or he would have been hanging out with his girlfriend.
Ajimu gave Zenkichi Parasite Seeing. The Election Management Committee’s vaccine was what awakened Zenkichi, while Kumagawa would have revived him if he had actually died anyway.

Zenkichi enjoys the scenario of being “cool”. Would he have received such opportunities or the strength to take advantage of them had he lead a normal existence?

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Here's another thing; he'd have self-esteem. As normal people go, Zenkichi is talented and hard working. As abnormals go, Zenkichi has the abilities of a deficient infant. Normal people think he's amazing and look up to him. Remember the whole club storm thing and what people commented about him? Abnormals look at him and wipe him off their shoes, if they end up acknowledging he has any ability in the first place. The flask plan character that had super reflexes didn't even have to bat an eye to avoid Zenkichi's body tackle. Or how about the plain and obvious fact that Medaka is better at him at everything always even though he's put in orders of magnitude more effort than her, and he's been constantly around her for the past 13 years. Medaka had crushed many a man's soul like that before she was in grade school.

I thought it was funny-obvious when he mentioned he had no self-esteem. Of course he hasn't got any self-esteem! Not with that life!
“Effort” is subjective. There is no basis for claiming that Medaka puts in less effort than Zenkichi, only that Medaka’s return on that effort is (greatly) more substantial.

Zenkichi’s declaration of having no self-esteem was self-condemnation in relation to his realization of his true motives for staying with Medaka. Prior to that incident, Zenkichi had self-esteem enough to take on the likes of Munekata and Kumagawa; personally declare himself Medaka’s protector and guarddog; challenge Kumagawa for the Vice President spot during the orienteering treasure hunt; amongst what must certainly would be a great list of other things.
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Old 2012-01-26, 11:01   Link #6756
Riltz
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holy walls of text batman!!!

There is a chapter this week?
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Old 2012-01-26, 11:46   Link #6757
Odd
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Originally Posted by Riltz View Post
holy walls of text batman!!!

There is a chapter this week?
Yeah

Spoiler for 131:
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Old 2012-01-26, 15:09   Link #6758
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@sol.
What do you mean kuma is the one who can fix medakas beast?
It has been stated since her birth that she was not a normal girl, she was a beast from the start. Kuma's role in it would have been to turn the beast into a feral one (inner), where as zen turned it into a cute and cuddly beast (outer appearance).

Kuma being able to "fix" the feral beast is not possible, cause he himself would have to go from a minus to a plus, kuma doesn't have the personality to want to help her as she is not in his weak category. Zen also couldn't fix the beast or the saint either, but as he has done before, he can cage it.

Zen and kuma are gonna have to be unlikely partners in crime if they want to do something about medaka.
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Old 2012-01-26, 15:31   Link #6759
kenjtr
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After reading countless opinions abaut zenkichi and medaka one question ocurred to me ; Why cant zenkichi escape Medakaverse ( medaka universe = World that goes everything according to Medakas will ) . From what i see Zenkichi doesnt beleng to Medakaverse cause he is a "light novel hero" who has accidenly fall for a "shounen hero" Medaka . As Ajimu said this manga isnt a light novel so when Zenkichi doesnt give Medaka what she wants , he is history for her . in all light novels main hero usually sucks but even so gets heroine or heroines cause in these kinds of stories heroines usually looks for afection from others , but medaka isnt like that she doesnt need anyone she is professor X , Batman and Superman also a loner .

if Medaka never dragged Zenkichi all his life , Zenkichi probably would have a harem life there is no doupt . From what i see Medaka pushed Zenkichi loneliness and unhappy life , Zenkichi is bounded by Medakas invisible chains and even he admits he is his dog . Medaka fans see Zenkichi rude one cause they think he is her dog so he have to answer her expectations but is there really a door out for Zenkichi ? What i mean is can Zenkichi escape medakas claws ?

Medaka has absolutely no intencion of letting Zenkichi go cause she owns him , even Zenkichis mother left her son to mercy of Medaka which is so cruel in my idea . Does anyone remember story Ajimu told to kumagawa ( its abaut masters broke their slaves bones till slaves begs them to die ) from what i see Medaka is doing same thing to Zenkichi but Zenkichi doesnt give up and that gives medaka pleasure .

Medaka wants to rule people and i guess thats clear to everyone so escaping Medaka has 3 ways 1- unthrone her and be king yourself ( Zenkichi is trying ) 2- go another kingdom ( ajimu gave that option to zenkichi ) 3- make your own kingdom . From what i see zenkichi is going wrong way cause best possible action here is 3 if not 2 but no matter what you musnt do 1 . Zenkichi is trying to be revolutinary but if things go wrong , youll lose everything which is so risky and after revolutions no one likes old king so Medaka will be in a tight spot etc..

if i were zenkichi i would escape that school without looking back ( lol ) i also think Zenkichi doesnt love medaka , he just dont know better . Medaka isnt just a love interest of Zenkichi , she is fountain of his life and Zenkichi dont know what to do if he lets Medaka go . We can also think that like slave-master relatonship ( even if you cut the chain of a slave they wont escape ) , just look at that medaka beats him pushes him to limits etc... but he still chooses her ( stockholm sendrome ) . Medaka sistematcly abused Zenkichi till he was 2 years old so he is conditioned that he cant escape from Medaka even at the beginnig he says that himself .

i also dont understand why people think Medaka is a good person , so if a dictator comes to your country and tells you how to live your life and some small things gets better will you love him/her ? i really hope someone saves Zenkichi cause as normal he is there is no hope for him
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Old 2012-01-26, 15:33   Link #6760
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Medaka isn’t meant to be a hero though
Medaka isn't a Shounan Jump hero but she fits perfectly with the Greek Heroes. Like the Greek heroes of old she is a beast.

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“Kurokami”, “Black God”, an epithet of Kali--the Hindu goddess of death and destruction
i was wondering when someone would bring up her family name.

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I’ve spoken before about Medaka being a matroyshka doll structure with her “Saint” persona on the outside, her “Beast” persona inside, and her “Human” persona inside further still.
looking back at Medaka's falshback as a child does Medaka even have a Human persona? Was she ever human in the first place?

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In comes the three year old Kumagawa Misogi, who tells her “life is meaningless”, implanting her with the despair of reality. The seed of Medaka’s inner beast is established.
i think the Beast was always there and Kumagawa just gave woke it up.
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