Summer comes to an end, but before that, it's time for beach volleyball. If Aoi and Misaki win the local tournament, they can be crowned Beach Prince and Princess. More importantly, his aunt has promised Aoi that he can go back to dressing like a girl if he wins. Then, back to our usual haunts, they bring back a character who serves no purpose other than to irritate Misaki, and the viewer.
What They Say
It's the second day of the Maid Latte crew's vacation at the beach house. Nagisa is allowing Aoi to cross-dress if he wins the beach volleyball tournament held near the beach house, with the winning team becoming Beach Prince and Princess as well. Then, the Miyabigaoka Student Council aims to buy Maid Latte in a hostile takeover, and replace it with a butler cafe. The only way for Misaki to stop this is to don a disguise and join the male-only footman auditions.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
We continue with the Maid Latte gang still hanging out at Satsuki's sister's beach house. Misaki is up early in the morning, as everyone else is still sleeping in. While brushing her teeth on the balcony, she happens to overhear Nagisa and Aoi arguing. Aoi has taken to cross-dressing again, and Nagisa tells him to knock it off. She will, however, allow him to do as he wishes, if he can complete one task: that is to win the Hakusengahama Viva Royale Beach Volleyball Tournament, the annual beach volleyball tournament whose winners get to be crowned Beach Prince and Beach Princess at the local summer festival. Aoi is determined to win at all costs, though he has to find a partner for the competition. Misaki, however, is impressed by his determination and decides to help him, even though she's never played this version of the game before.
Though neither is very experienced, they manage to make it to the finals based on determination alone. It doesn't hurt that Misaki is good athletically. However, the team meet their match when they get into the finals: facing off against Erika (one of the maids from Maid Latte) and Usui, who decided to play even though Misaki notes that he's not the type to generally care for such things. The final match does not go well for Aoi and Misaki, as Usui is just too superhumanly able to do anything (his near invincibility in almost every respect is rather annoying actually). Of course, he does have his weak spot, which is Misaki. And that ends up costing him the match. Aoi is happy at all events, as he and Misaki win the match, even if it is by default.
In the end, Misaki and Usui talk over the situation, where Usui makes it clear that his only reason for entering the competition was because he did not want to see Misaki dressed up like a princess and taking pictures with other men. Misaki, displaying her usual denseness, does not seem to understand what Usui is saying, even though he's already made it abundantly clear that he loves her. Misaki herself has some feelings, but they're still very much buried down inside, covered over by a massive layer of dense matter. So dense, it could probably block radiation.
So ends summer vacation, as we return to school and the regular run of things. Things are not so usual at Maid Latte, however. For after hours, an unwelcome but familiar person shows up: Kanade Maki, the vice-president of Miyabigaoka (you remember them). Except, he's not here in that guise. He is here as a representative of the Maki Dining Group, his family's business, which is involved in the restaurant trade, from high to low, across Japan. His family wishes to buy the entire building where Maid Latte is located, knock it down, and turn it into a high class butler cafe. The owner of the building turned him down, so he has been going around to the various tenants to explain the situation.
Of course, it's not that simple. There seems to be an ulterior motive involved, since also present is Tora Igarashi, the president of Miyabigaoka's Student Council. He is Maki's boss, and doesn't seem to do anything unless Igarashi tells him to. It would appear that Igarashi is doing what spoiled rich jerks normally do: play with the lives of those whom they can. Misaki, of course, is not going to take it lying down, but what can she do? What she decides to do is to sneak into the footman tryouts that Maki is holding for his new establishment. Therefore, Misaki and Subaru (another Maid Latte maid) dress up as butlers to compete in the auditions (the competition is by pairs, so Misaki needed a partner).
The first event, however, is not your usual test of refined service: instead, the pairs are required to run a short marathon, with one piggybacking the other, up and down a hill. What kind of audition for a footman is this? Complicating matters is the fact that people Misaki knows (two of the Idiot Trio and Kanou and Yukimura as well) keep on showing up. Fortunately, her cover isn't blown, though there are close calls. However, later in the competition, Subaru just can't keep up, and her cover is blown. Then there's the suspicious pair that are wearing masks. They turn out to be Usui and Aoi. Unfortunately for them, only high school students and older are allowed to participate, so Aoi (even though he is a boy) is out. Igarashi, who has been watching the event, continues to like playing with people, so he suggests that the remaining members of the two disqualified pairs, Usui and Misaki, be allowed to form a new pair...so long as they both meet the age and sex criteria. This requires Misaki to do something rather embarrassing, but it works out in the end for her, and she is able to continue to compete.
The story will be continued...
This show continues to move one step forward and then two steps back. The step forward was the end of the first episode, where Misaki and Usui have another long talk, at which it is made very clear to her yet again that Usui loves her, but Misaki's incredible denseness prevents her from fully realizing her own feelings, whatever they are, for Usui. The step back begins with the next episodes, which re-introduces the Student Council President of Miyabigaoka, Tora Igarashi, who is one of the most useless characters in the series. He exists mainly to cause contrived problems for Misaki, forcing her to overcome them. I'm not sure what entertainment value that holds, unless you are fond of watching mice running through mazes. For that's about on the same level of amusement that Igarashi and his schemes hold.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard