Anime Review: Kaichou wa Maid-sama Episodes 10, 11, and 12

(Originally published on Livejournal on 7/9/10)

Anime Review:
Kaichou wa Maid-sama Episodes 10, 11, and 12

About The Series: Misaki is the tough-as-nails class president at a recently-gender-integrated high school, where she is working hard to protect the handful of female students while trying to turn the reputation of the school around. However, she also holds a secret: Misaki works at a maid cafe in a nearby town. If anyone at the school were to discover her secret, her personal reputation would be ruined! So, what happens when one of her classmates, the ever-cool Usui, discovers her part-time job?

ep.10 tl;dr review: Sakura totally falls for the lead singer in a teen band; He, in turn, discards Sakura and starts hitting on Misaki.

Episode 10 Synopsis: Sakura goes all ga-ga over the lead singer of a popular rock band, and gets invited to a private meet-up with the band. Squealing like a little schoolgirl (well, she *is* a little schoolgirl), she invites the oblivious Shizuko, and Misaki, who works hard to clear her schedule. The fateful day arrives, and the three of them meet up with the band at a local cafe. At first it all goes well, Sakura is beaming like a child, but it’s clear the band is just there for promotion. During the conversation the lead singer, Kuuga, begins to take an interest in Misaki. She doesn’t know how to handle the situation, but Usui-the-Stalker shows up out of the blue and comforts her, patting her on the head. Kuuga keeps twisting the verbal knife further into Sakura as a means to get to Misaki, and the tension grows. Finally Sakura snaps to defend Misaki; Misaki snaps defend Sakura – Sakura’s puppy-love dreams shattered but their friendship strengthened.

ep.11 tl;dr review: Sakura and Shizuko bring along Misaki on a covert mission to learn more about Usui; He leads them on a wild goose chase all over town.

Episode 11 Synopsis: Usui by coincidence helps Misaki’s mother with some spilled groceries, and ends up being invited in to the Ayazawa household. Misaki arrives home and is absolutely mortified, dragging Usui out; Sakura oversees them and begins to wonder if something is up between the two. She asks and learns it’s nothing, but that gets Sakura and Shizuko thinking about Usui, wondering what his life is like — she imagines him visiting the High Class Sports Gym, then High Class Tailors, then High Class Restaurant. Misaki denies being interested in the slightest, but it’s already too late for Sakura, who is now hooked on the idea. The next day, Sakura and Shizuko tails Usui to the Maid Cafe. Misaki is able to slip away before her secret is revealed, and ends up joining the duo in their costumed mission to spy on Usui. First he heads to the High Class Sports Gym, then High Class Tailors, then High Class Restaurant…turns out he had overheard Sakura earlier and was just leading them on as a prank. After the “chase” is over and Sakura’s friends head home, she oversees Usui caring for an abandoned kitten. She teases him, but he says that if she wanted to know more about him, all she had to do was ask, and hands over his address — the penthouse suite of a fancy tower.

ep.12 tl;dr review: School’s annual sports festival where Misaki has to win every event to protect the other girls; Silly costumed relay race gets all silly.

Episode 12 Synopsis: The sports fest is arrived, and the student body is pumped at the possibility of all sorts of prizes. But to prevent the school from descending into chaos and to protect the handful of girls at the school, Misaki makes it her mission to enter practically every event and gather up the prizes. She succeeds in dominating all the morning events, culminating in the school obstacle course, where the prize is a kiss from Sakura. Determined to win the race to save Sakura from embarrassment, she is bumped and nearly disqualified, but saved at the last moment from falling by Usui, who cruises to victory. But rather than collect the prize, he says he’d rather kiss than be kissed, and hands it off to Misaki. The final event of the day is the costume relay race, which also happens to be the least popular event. Predictably, Misaki happens to randomly choose the maid outfit, but she gets bumped in the darkened changing tent by Yukimura who dons the outfit. Despite the massive embarrassment of running around the track in the outfit, he does his best. Both Misaki and Usui come to his rescue, slapping together cool outfits from the remaining costumes, to show everyone that the costume race could be fun.

My Thoughts: Just a few fun episodes, mostly involving the relationship built between Misaki and her two best friends. The most interesting part of the indie-band episode was the mirroring of Usui’s relationship to Misaki with Misaki’s relationship with Sakura. At first, Usui manages to calm Misaki down with a few comforting words and a pat on the head — more of a paternalistic gesture of affection rather than one of love. Misaki pretty much does the same thing to Sakura, but doesn’t realize it until later, in an oh-my-god moment of embarrassment with Usui.

Speaking of which, is it just me or is Usui getting creepier and creepier as the series goes on? Or am I just noticing it more now? I mean, he’s always been somewhat of a stalker character — first in jest but now only half-in-jest. And Misaki’s introduction of him as “a stalker but not a stalker” is both equally confusing and fitting.

Usui’s personal life remains as much a mystery as before — but it appears his secret is nothing more than he is filthy rich. Not a surprise, really, something that could have been inferred from the opening credits sequence for anyone paying attention. The question is why he chooses to “slum it” at Seika Academy, and why he’s taken such an interest in the desperately-poor Misaki. Looks like there is much to be revealed about him in the future.

As for the sports festival, it was just a stupid episode that left me a bit angry. Misaki regresses to her “I MUST PROTECT THE WOMEN ROAR!” personality, just like during the culture festival, and all the boys at the school are revealed as wimpy weaklings unable to stand up to her. I understand the point where Usui has to step in to prevent Misaki from failing (it just reinforces an earlier theme that she can’t do everything herself regardless of how hard she tries), but the whole costumed race was just mind-numbingly stupid. Maybe this is setting up some future character development for Yukimura, I dunno, but it all seemed so pointless.

The Verdict:

Up Next: Senkou no Night Raid, Arakawa Under the Bridge, and The Tatami Galaxy.

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