Will Misaki's secret be revealed by a too-curious group of fans at school? Does Takumi have a female admirer who could challenge Misaki for his attention? Will these episodes be more enjoyable than their bare descriptions? We shall see.
What They Say
Maid Latte is visited by Aoi, a famous net idol, who is also Satsuki's niece. Aoi is excited to try the café's uniform, much to Satsuki's chagrin. Meanwhile, Takumi helps out in the café's kitchen. Aoi finds Takumi attractive but he ignores her. Then, Satsuki warns Misaki about a group of stalkers targeting cosplay cafés, but Misaki isn't worried. But one night when Misaki is closing the café alone, she is caught by the stalkers. It falls to Takumi to rescue her. Finally, Misaki acquires a group of fans at school - the Inuyama quintuplets. They want to know everything about her, but this could reveal her secret part-time job. She is torn between telling the truth and risking the good reputation she has with them.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In the first of these three episodes, a commotion is caused in the cafe Misaki works at, Maid Latte, by the sudden appearance of a very cute young girl, who immediately turns the heads of all of the males in the establishment. She turns out to be Aoi Hyoudou, the 14-year-old niece of Satsuki, the owner of the cafe. It's not as simple as that though. Aoi caused such a commotion because she also happens to be a very popular net idol at the moment. This is not a simple family visit, however. Aoi has run away from home, basically, having upset her father, Satsuki's elder brother. She makes a bit of a racket, and demands to be allowed to wear a maid outfit, like the workers at the cafe. She does, and of course, turns the heads of all of the customers. Except one, obviously. Usui comes along and is non-plussed by Aoi's appearance. This, of course, makes Aoi all the more determined to gain his interest, especially since Usui is such an attractive young man.
Not only that, but Usui can cook. When the kitchen help doesn't show up that day, Satsuki desperately seeks help, and Usui volunteers. The boy can apparently cook in addition to everything else he can do. As I said in my first review, he is too perfect. This just increases all of the ladies' appreciation for him, except for Miksaki, of course, though even she admits his rice omelette is good. As for Aoi, she is incensed by Usui's indifference and tries to make her move. Things go wrong, however, as Usui responds to Aoi's brazen approach by pushing the envelope a little too far. Something is not quite right, however. When one looks at Aoi, one cannot help but think that she is also too perfect. Too perfectly fake, since it turns out that Aoi is actually a boy who dresses in drag because he likes cute things. The others at school made fun of him for his love of cute things, so he has created this whole other life to pursue his love of cute. Going a little overboard, of course. That love of cute, of course, is why he has such a visceral reaction to Misaki, a naturally cute girl who dresses in boring clothing and acts too much like a guy. Aoi tries to drag Misaki out shopping, but it's hopeless, as Misaki is only interested in things that are cheap. In the end, Aoi decides to make an outfit for Misaki (in which she really looks quite good), and Misaki tries to tell Aoi to just be himself and not care what other people think. Well, it wouldn't be shoujo if it didn't try to impart a life lesson every episode.
In the next episode, it appears that stalkers have been attacking girls who work at cosplay cafes, leading not only the owner, Satsuki, to worry, but also Misa's fan club at school (the former Idiot Trio of delinquents who now worship her despite her disdain of them). In the end, all of their fears are put to rest by the thought that Misaki is strong and does aikido, and therefore can take care of herself. Of course, it happens that Misaki is left alone at the cafe one night, since the boss is away and the other girls have to leave early for other things. Of course someone sneaks up behind her and grabs her, though Misaki manages to fight him off. Turns out that it's Usui, who's trying to warn Misaki of the dangers, as she apparently left the back door open. The next night, Misaki is forced to close up the shop again, and she appears to take security more seriously, taking time to lock the back door. Of course, two creepy customers who have been coming to the cafe the past few days show up after closing and force Misaki upstairs alone. Usui, who did not come to the cafe that night, but somehow felt worried, comes to the rescue. So, it looks like we have the same boring situation with Usui coming to Misaki's rescue...wait. Not so fast. Misaki, even though handcuffed, breaks free and kicks the butts of the two creepy maid fetishists. It seems that the original author takes Misaki's strong personality and training seriously, and she is not some helpless little damsel in distress. Misaki fights off the attackers herself, making Usui's rescue unnecessary.
In the sixth episode of Maid-Sama!, Misaki gains a group of disciples: the Inuyama Quintuplets, five first-year male students who think that Misaki is some sort of ideal person, as she works hard in her job as Student Council President. The five of them follow her around like a group of baby ducks with their mother. They even take to calling themselves the Ayuzawa Cram School. The attention flatters Misaki, which is why she tries harder than ever to cover up her secret and not allow the young boys to find out her secret. She is worried that it will only disappoint them, to find out that their idol does something so disreputable as dress in a costume and fawn upon losers and nerds with a maid fetish. Usui tries to tell her not to worry, since if they really do admire her, then it should not make any difference what she does for her part-time job. All of this, however, is really just background for the "love confession" scene. At a critical moment, when it appears likely that Misaki's secret will be revealed, Usui offers to help her protect it...by jumping off a building (not for sheer laughs, there is a serious reason he would have to do so). Misaki asks why he would do something so outrageously idiotic and potentially life-threatening, and his response, easy to guess for the audience, is to declare his love for her, accompanied by a kiss. Of course we've all seen this coming since about episode 1, but it's good that they've gotten this out of the way sooner rather than later.
So far, Maid-Sama! is progressing pretty much as one would expect. The official couple was clear from episode 1, only now one half has openly declared their love, while the other half is still a little unsure, but we know that Misaki's tough exterior and gruff demeanor is hiding what her true feelings for Usui are. The question now is how long it takes the iceberg to melt. Depends on how the original author wished to play it out.
With this next set of episodes, things become clearer as Usui openly declares his love for Misaki, not only that, but performing an act of rather outlandish heroism to preserve her secret. At least they do not seem to have gone down the road of always presenting Misaki as someone in need of help to solve her problems with Usui always helping her... "though that still occurs fairly regularly. Misaki even gets to show us how strong and able to protect herself she is, even in a quite dangerous situation. Usui is all too perfect, which is why at some point I expect some sort of fatal flaw or personal problem will surface, though I have no idea what it will be yet. Misaki, however, continues to be a character that continues to surprise, as she shows herself quite capable of managing her own safety, if not yet able to come to grips with being both a strong personality as well as a very pleasant cosplay maid waitress. Perhaps that will be an end goal in the future, seeing her able to embrace both sides of her life.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard