What’s it about ?
A super-ultra-awesome new student council president goes around “helping” people all over campus.
Medaka, the new student council president. She’s hyper-competent at everything. Since she wants to go around helping everyone, she’s set up a suggestion box. Hence the title.
Zenkichi, our point-of-view character, and Medaka’s childhood friend. He spends the whole episode ranting incoherently about her behaviour while she leads him around. You’ve guessed it, they’re a couple of tsundere in the now classic Kyon/Haruhi mold… except Kyon had charisma and a point.
Shiranui, a bizarre small girl who knows everything about everyone and is just plain weird. She’s the only character who’s actually fun to watch.
You might have been interested in this show because GAINAX did it. But the Nadia/Evangelion/FLCL people are long gone. And the TTGL/Panty&Stocking crew just left too. So that leaves us… the director of He Is My Master.
And no budget whatsoever, from the look of it : this looks like crap.
Oh, dear. This just doesn’t work. The dialogue is clunky (did NisiOisiN really contribute to the original manga ? Was he phoning it in, or is this adaptation just terrible ?), the jokes tired, and the lead characters annoying.
I’m giving it a second episode on the hope that some new supporting cast might improve matters (or at least make Zenkichi shut up a bit), but I’m not hopeful.
A big problem is that, despite her awesomeness, Medaka somehow manages to be bland. Her “I don’t care about being awesome, I just want to help everybody” philosophy isn’t particularly enthralling either, mostly because the show wants it to be a grand reveal despite being perfectly obvious from the start. (And the flower thing is just silly in its clumsiness. Or maybe it’s just the clunky dialogue bringing the whole scene down.)
But the most problematic part of the show is Zenkichi, the Kyon wannabe. Yes, Medaka is completely unlike Haruhi because she doesn’t abuse him and is perfectly open about why she keeps him around. She’s no tsundere, whatever he claims. THAT’s what makes his attitude so annoying. It feels to me that the only reason he’s so hostile in this first episode is to provide artificial conflict, which is just poor writing all around. He’s been around her since childhood, he shouldn’t need a grand reveal about her outlook in life at this point.
Also, the show spends far too much time on him telling us how awesome she is, instead of, you know, showing us her being awesome (which are the moments that do work).
I’ve heard that the manga gets way better down the line, after a genre change or two. Then, they really should have skipped those terrible first few dozen chapters (or skipped through them, only including the actually relevant parts for the future). Because at this rate, it’s hard to imagine this anime adaptation even getting to the good parts…