In Medaka Box, Nisioisin Does Goddere

Medaka Box follows the character formula that defines Nisioisin’s writing. There’s a girl who’s a genius-badass, and a guy who’s a badass-genius. The girl is aware of her own genius, while the guy is doubly aware of the girl’s genius. The guy is also aware of his own genius, but believes (and is usually right) that his is far lesser than hers. The guy is not unconfident: he knows that he’s a badass and somewhat of a genius, but he’s so sure that the girl is better than him that he understates his badassness. We only see his badassness in his interactions with anyone other than the girl, as he treats all others as equal to or lower than himself (unless they’re yet another incredible badass/genius).

Is this explanation confusing you? It should be. Nisioisin writes confusing stories. Usually, they’re full of constant, biased, loopy narration. Medaka Box doesn’t have this element—it’s more straightforward, not only because it’s based on a manga, but more importantly because that manga runs in Shounen Jump and not, say, Faust. (Nisioisin has written manga that are exactly as head-fucking as his prose.)

Regardless of narrative style, the point stands that Nisioisin’s main duo is very here. Medaka is a genius (I’m actually shocked that this exact word didn’t see any use in the episode) in just about any field, and has an overwhelming presence. (Well, she should have one, but it wasn’t portrayed as overwhelmingly as, say, Senjougahara is in Bakemonogatari.) The lead character is second only to her in genius and skill, yet he presents her as being a world apart from himself. And just like other Nisio leads who are “surrounded by geniuses,” the lead seems convinced that he’s only as good as he is because Medaka rubbed off on him. I’ll bet Medaka believes differently, and will reveal to him his personal badassery at some point.

Moving along, what is goddere? Hitoyoshi is tsundere, as he admits in the episode. Goddere is a term that, as far as I know, came from Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, wherein Kyouka claimed to be the most supreme kind of dere, “goddere,” and said, “it’s not like I’m being omnipotent and all-powerful for your sake!” To me, the idea of goddere, which Kyouka expressed to an extent, and which Medaka expresses to the fullest, is literally “the love of a God.” It’s when the character either is or sees herself as so powerful that her love is protection, like the love of God. Medaka seems to be preaching that she’ll protect everyone with her endless benevolence. Pray to Medaka and thou shalt be saved.

On a different note, Kamina is back from the dead!

I didn’t like this episode very much but I’m not ready to drop the show yet.

5 thoughts on “In Medaka Box, Nisioisin Does Goddere

  1. “Pray to Medaka and thou shalt be saved.”
    I see the reason why they voted her to be the Student Council President.

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