Anime Review: Kaichou wa Maid-sama Episodes 25 and 26 (final)

(Originally published on Livejournal on 11/11/10)

Anime Review:
Kaichou wa Maid-sama Episodes 25 and 26 (finale)

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.25 tl;dr review: Love triangle between Misaki, Takumi and Hinata comes to a breaking point; poor guy never had a chance.

Assorted video captures from the episode – click on each picture for a full-sized view in a new window:

Episode 25 Synopsis: While all the guys at Seika Academy see Misaki as a scary monster, Hinata sees her through his own naive-romance-vision. Over the years he’s been away, Hinata has idealized the concept of his future with Misaki, never preparing for the possibility of competition. A fortune-telling session at the Maid Cafe offers ominous insights, indicating that Hinata would have to overcome a great obstacle to be with Misaki, but with his optimism he sees it as a challenge and opportunity. Takumi, on the other hand, receives and outright rejection in his fortune, and leaves troubled. Later, Hinata helps Misaki in cleaning at the school when they get drenched — but Takumi arrives to ‘protect’ Misaki, guiding her away from a clearly defeated and deflated Hinata. The next day, Misaki heads out to a school festival with Sakura (still infatuated with her boy-band idol) and Shizuko, with Takumi tagging along (of course). Misaki and Takumi get separated in the crowd, and they have whole day ahead, together, at the festival.

ep.26 tl;dr review: After months of pussy-footing around, Misaki and Takumi confess their true feelings; Yes, folks, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…finally!

Assorted video captures from the episode – click on each picture for a full-sized view in a new window:

Episode 26 Synopsis: While the lovestruck Sakura and visibly-irked Shizuko wait it out for the boy band performance, Misaki and Takumi have the entire day just to themselves at the festival — much to Misaki’s annoyance. They come upon a “love challenge”, where they have to complete several trials while holding hands, and the duo flies through the tasks like a hurricane. While Takumi is as calm and collected as ever, teasing a clearly frustrated Misaki. At the end of the day, as part of their prize they change into ‘Romeo and Juliet’ outfits and retire to a quiet room alone to view the fireworks. In a moment of frank honesty, both of them are finally able to voice their true feelings towards each other, Misaki ultimately admitting her attraction to him, ending in a kiss.

My Thoughts: There you go, it’s the moment that everyone who has been watching this show from the beginning has been waiting for: The Kiss. It’s been building to this point for the past SEVEN MONTHS, and it only took that long for the ultra-stubborn man-hating Misaki to finally come to terms with her true feelings and admit it. Y’know, this world would definitely move along a whole lot quicker if people would just say what they believe and think and want; then again, that would probably eliminate 90% of the romantic comedies out there as well.

As for Hinata, when he first appeared as the freakazoid weirdo with no filters, it was easy to dismiss him as just another one-note nutcase side character. But as the final episodes progressed, he became a much more sympathetic person, and you almost feel sorry for the lunkhead as he watches his lifelong dream wrenched away from his grasp. (In truth he never had a chance to begin with, something with which I can sympathize.) His love triangle competition against Takumi was over almost as soon as it began, it seems his true role in the series was less of a love interest and more of a catalyst for Takumi to get off his gold-plated ass and solidify his nebulous relationship with Misaki. Without Hinata to push him along, the two of them may have remained in their uneasy love/hate tug of war that would never be resolved.

The Verdict:

SERIES FINAL GRADE: B – Kaichou wa Maid-sama started strong but then drifted for a while in meaningless side-stories and filler before finishing strong in the final stretch. They could have easily chopped out about ten episodes worth of crap in the middle without seriously affecting the plot at all — and definitely get rid of *anything* involving the obnoxious Moron Trio, please!

But the series did not so much as “conclude” as it simply reached a “stopping point”. At the end of the 26th episode, Misaki and Takumi are pretty much a couple, but Hinata has not given up — if the show was to continue, I could only imagine the official relationship between the two would be just as rocky and stressful as the unofficial one, and the fortune-telling could be an ominous prediction of what comes next. Furthermore, Misaki is *still* not confident enough in herself to embrace her secret job openly, which was sort of the linchpin of the series concept to begin with. The tsundere stereotype can only change ever-so-much, it seems.

They clearly left the door open for a possible second series, and the manga is still going strong. Hopefully if they decide to go forward from here, I would hope they would cut down on the side-character hijinks. After all, “more” story is not necessarily “better”…it is often just “more”.

Spring/Summer 2010 Series Up Next: Occult Academy (finale), Legend of Legendary Heroes (13-15), Shiki (13-15) Agriculture Angel Baraki (1), Super Street Fighter IV (OVA), Bungaku Shoujo (Movie)

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