Enter the rich boy who would try to steal Misaki's heart from Takumi, not that Misaki would say that Takumi already has any claim to her heart. At this point, one wonders whether Misaki would ever admit to any man that she is interested in him. It would seem to hit at her pride.
What They Say
A phone call from Sakura and Shizuko prompts Misaki to stop a fight between two Seika High students and three students from the prestigious Miyabigaoka Academy. When she brings the two Seika students to Miyabigaoka to apologize, Takumi tags along. Then, Misaki is torn for three days, having to decide whether to accept a prestigious scholarship to attend Miyabigaoka. When she finally goes to Miyabigaoka to give her answer, Sakura and Shizuko are worried since Seika High wouldn't be what it is today without Misaki.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Still somewhat stunned by the kiss and the leap that Takumi took last episode, Misaki is a bit inattentive to her maid serving duties, dropping some glasses while serving customers. She's even more stunned when Takumi shows up, even though he should still be in the hospital after his fall. As if that isn't enough, Misaki gets a call from her friends Sakura and Shizuko, who have witnessed a fight between two students from Seika High and a student from the elite Miyabigaoka Academy. Rushing to the scene, Misaki stops it from getting worse, though there's something a bit off about the students from Miyabigaoka. They are wealthy, and they seem the type to like to rub their wealth in other peoples' noses.
The leader of the Miyabigaoka group demands that the Seika High students come and apologize to him at a later time. Misaki, finds out the real reason for the fight: the Miyabigaoka student, the head of their Chess Club, acted like an arrogant jerk, which led to the Seika High students hitting him. The next day, Misaki takes the two boys from Seika High over to Miyabigaoka, and Takumi decides to tag along. Once there, Misaki confronts the Chess Club head with his remarks which started the fight, and demands an apology from him. The Chess Club head, Koganei, says that he was justified in calling Seika High students "insects," and will only consider taking it back if someone beats him at chess. None of the Seika High students can play...except Usui says that he's played some when he was little. That Takumi is a man of many hidden talents, it would seem. Of course, Takumi is not at all frightened by Koganei's talk about being a great chess player, and instead acts his usual bored self. And wins. The Miyabigaoka student, however, does not take well at all to losing, and he refuses to apologize.
Later, we see him with the Student Council President of Miyabigaoka, demanding that he take action against Seika High school. The President, however, is none too impressed by Koganei's hysterics, and throws a glass of water in his face. He does, however, seem interested in the situation. The next day, a delegation comes from Miyabigaoka to Seika High, led by the Student Council President, Tora Igarashi, who is the heir to a large business conglomerate, just the type you expect to find at an "elite" high school. Instead of coming to demand an apology, however, Igarashi has come to offer an apology to Misaki for the behavior of his student. On top of all that, Igarashi moves on to something completely unexpected: he offers Misaki a place on the Student Council of Miyabigaoka. As you have to be a student at a school in order to serve on the Student Council (well, obviously), he further offers her an immediate transfer and a full scholarship to the elite private school, as her family could never afford it otherwise. All of this is said in a very refined voice and with a rake's charming smile.
Misaki is stunned. Everyone is stunned. I'm stunned, but know better than the characters do that this boy is up to no good. That was easy to tell from the way he treated his own student, and the fact that he was only shown in shadow the first time we meet him. Too much telegraphing. On the return limo ride to his own school, in fact, we learn that the refined and elegant surface Igarashi showed to the students of Seika High was just a false front, as his accent suddenly changes to a much rougher Kansai (western Japan) accent, and we see that his limo is filled with bimbos to serve him. It's clear that his plans for Misaki are not ones that she would probably approve of if she knew of them.
The next day at the maid cafe, things are a little...different, as it's a cross-dressing day, with maids turned into butlers, and only female customers allowed. Misaki, being slim and not top-heavy, naturally fits the costume well, matching that with her manner, which has always been in the more direct and strong style of a man from the start. She even comments to Takumi how she would fit in well as a man, though as usual, he manages to demonstrate to her that she isn't, though he does so in a way that angers her, making their relationship now seem as far apart as they were close at the end of the previous episode.
Speaking of episodes, in the next one, it seems that Igarashi has something rather dastardly planned for Misaki, not causing her any physical harm, we can assume, but certainly involving something that will provide a good deal of amusement for himself, while causing quite a bit of embarrassment for Misaki. The plan seems to start with Maki, the Vice President of the Miyabigaoka Student Council, coming with a group of underlings offering Misaki presents from Igarashi. He is careful to note that they are not meant to "buy" her, but are offered freely as a sign of earnestness on the part of Igarashi. Misaki is still somewhat hesitant, but as they keep on upping the enticement (dangling out the prospect that Misaki's younger sister Suzuna would also be able to attend Miyabigaoka for free), Misaki is starting to feel the pull of the offer.
So, on the third day, she comes to Miyabigaoka to give her answer to them. There, of course, she notices the difference in atmosphere between her own school and the elite place. Being ushered into the reception room for Igarashi, she meets him and prepares to give him her answer...but before she can speak, an underling bringing refreshments spills juice all over Misaki (and does so in such an over the top manner, that one begins to wonder how much of an "accident" it was). Misaki, so she thinks fortunately, is able to take a shower in the adjoining shower room (though even Misaki wonders why there is one next to the Student Council offices), but after her shower, she is unable to locate her school uniform. Igarashi informs her that he had it sent away to be cleaned, and left something else for her to wear. That something else is a maid uniform. As we saw near the end of the previous episode, Igarashi had his spies learn everything about Misaki. It seems that he has taken a very strong liking for her, but not in a positive manner. Degenerate playboy that he appears to be, he thinks that Misaki must also have some hidden proclivities, since she likes to dress up and play maid, and thus would be the perfect woman for him.
As we know, that's not the case, and Misaki tries to escape, but Igarashi's goons have the doors locked from the outside. Basically, he now reveals himself for what he is, and also reveals his interest in Misaki: he's tired of girls throwing themselves at him because of his wealth, and wanted to see if he could find a more interesting girl, one with some backbone, not some weak, simpering toy. Misaki is certainly no weakling, but she's not at all interested in a boy like him, though he wrestles her on top of a table, and uses his superior strength to overpower her. But before things go too far, guess who comes to the rescue. Takumi Usui of course, who manages to take out all of the Miyabigaoka student guards by himself, and bursts into Igarashi's office before anything further could occur. Misaki then tells Igarashi that she rejects his offer to come to Miyabigaoka, and is led out by Takumi. While defeated for the moment, sadly, I don't think we'll see the last of Igarashi, as he seems only more interested in Misaki after these latest developments.
Of course, we have the requisite scene where Misaki's coldness towards Takumi thaws an incredibly small amount, though it's clear that he recognizes it, tiny as it is. Outside the elite academy, there Misaki sees a large number of students from Seika High, who came to see if they could get Misaki to not transfer, unaware that she had no intention of doing so from the start. At the very end, we see Igarashi talking to his chief minion Maki, making it clear he still finds Misaki very interesting.
With these two episodes, we see the relationship of Misaki and Takumi Usui go...not very far at all. Instead, we have a potential rival appear, the well-mannered and well-bred Tora Igarashi, Student Council President of the elite Miyabigaoka Academy, the place all the rich kids go. All is not as it seems with Igarashi, however, as his breeding and manners are just a front: the real Igarashi beneath the surface is a bored rich boy looking for some excitement in his love life, as he's bored with the easy women who throw themselves at him for his money. He thinks he has found a more interesting woman in the form of Misaki Ayuzawa, and takes rather elaborate steps in trying to take control of her. Misaki, however, is not so easy to control, and there is still Takumi who is never too far when needed. While I can see where adding tension from a romantic rival is necessary in shows such as this one, the choice made by the original creators here is not one that provides much in the way of fulfilling entertainment rather than annoyance.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard