|Following a series of solid action-focused episodes, this one proved to be rather ho-hum in comparison. Most of its time was filled with unfunny dialogue, with uninspired combat in what little action there was. I’m willing to give it some leeway for clearly being a transition episode, but considering this one had a shocking family member reveal, it had no business being as boring as it was.|
I was way too out there with my guesses on Naze’s identity. Sisters are the big thing in anime right now, so naturally that’s what she is, the older Kurokami sister Kujira. Just like Maguro and Medaka, she’s a fucking genius, though it seems she’s also damaged, deeming herself unworthy of happiness. Or deeming happiness unworthy of her – same difference, really. The flashback and back story were kind of dropped on us without context, so I found myself not particularly caring about her little story. Maybe if we had been told early on – like way back in the 1st season – that Medaka’s sister was missing, this would have had more impact.
With this little plot twist making Naze/Kujira the most significant villain of the series yet (and potential future protagonist), it’s pretty awesome to see what a season her voice actor Miyuki Sawashiro is having. Her career could already be considered prolific 5 years ago, and she hasn’t really slowed down since, bouncing back from a relatively low-volume 2010 (“only” 9 roles, 5 of them leading) with an impressive blitz these last 2 years, and especially this season. She’s been playing a lead into the 3rd season of Space Brothers, while tacking on a couple more leading roles this season in BTOOOM! and Blast of Tempest. She also has major supporting roles in K and Psycho-Pass. Her characters in Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb are minor, but she voices a few and has appeared more often than in any other season of that show so far. Let’s also throw in Kokoro Connect‘s BD episodes (leading role in Iori), Strike Witches The Movie (supporting role in Perrine), and Evangelion 3.0 (likely a minor role) for good measure. I’m not watching any of her leading roles right now, but her supporting characters in K, Psycho-Pass, and indeed Medaka Box Abnormal all fit in as a self-confident sarcastic girl character, which she has an incredible amount of experience with, from Tycho of 2004’s Diebuster to this year’s title character in Lupin III: The Woman Named Mine Fujiko.
It’s fortunate that Sawashiro is such a pleasure to listen to, because Naze’s story, like those of the other villains, bores me. For the characters in this series, Nisio seems to be taking some trait to crazily over-the-top levels (Maguro’s siscon tendencies, Shigusa’s dodging, Kei’s weapon hiding). That’s something I can usually get behind, but if it’s used for dramatic effect, it better be a slam dunk. Naze’s self-imposed suffering is certainly sad, but there simply wasn’t enough context surrounding it. And Medaka Box Abnormal hasn’t shown any indications that it’s capable of telling that sort of story properly. Angst and self-hate aren’t all that fun to watch without context (not much fun in context in most cases), unlike dodging steel beams or pulling out chain guns from your ass.
Admittedly these are pretty good stills, but they make for boring fights when animated.
It looks like next episode will have some Medaka on Koga action, which is something to look forward to, assuming it can keep up the choreography and animation quality of the the past couple episodes. But this one was stretched too thin, with no proper climax and a fight that consisted primarily of hugging and stripping of pants. The meta jokes could be cute, such as Naze telling Maguro to stop repeating himself in the beginning, but most of the dialogue was eye roll inducing, Maguro’s bit about his little sister love in particular. That “twist” at the end was just pointless, as was Koga’s internal monologue noting that he never oggled at her. I think someone who considers all women to be his little sister and therefore wants them is much creepier and therefore funnier than someone with just a regular old little sister incest fetish. But that’s me.
Thanks as always to Fosh for the captions.