Kaichou wa Maid-sama Episode 8 – Usui saves the day… for the 18859th time

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What a delicious scene… my mind is wild with explosion. What if Usui is seeing this POV?

Kaichou wa Maid-sama decides to be a less fluffy at the start with pretty serious heavy stuff (well, at least for this series anyway). Honestly though, let me go back to the picture at the top. It’s almost impossible for me not to replay this in my head and think how it will be like if this is a hentai show. Oh my god. This is becoming way more explicit in my mind than I want to. Maybe, I should ask for a request from a certain someone… or not.

Quick summary

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This episode revolves around the A-academy’s attempts to get Misaki for their school. First, the vice president of the school tried to lure Misaki with gifts. They also dangled the funding for Misaki’s sister, and she slightly wavered. However, as they ate mock seafood (made by tofu), her sister noted that rather than going to such a good school, she would rather eat real seafood. Misaki decided to pay the president a visit. On the other hand, her friends are starting to feel guilty that they didn’t listen to her when they are troubled.

Misaki was set up by Tora, the student president, and was forced to wear a maid costume. The president then went on a huge tirade about how women would throw themselves at him. Obviously, Misaki is not taking that laying down, but struggles to fight against the physical strength of the president. At the point where she was going to be forcefully kissed while being pinned down, she called out for Usui’s name. Then, it became happily ever after with the hero rescuing our damsel in distress.


Thoughts

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To be honest, I found the first part of the episode to be dry and boring. Of course, there is the slight highlight of the mock seafood through the great use of tofu. Nonetheless, I feel that the serious mode of the show needs a bit more work because it didn’t feel right at all. I cannot even describe why but I guess that it does not manage to fully capture my emotions. I do not feel like Misaki is truly taking it seriously. I think the lengthy deliberation is simply saying that it is expected that she will not accept the offer. The conclusion is way too clear for it to build up any emotional tension. As such, that is perhaps why the serious part of the show just did absolutely nothing for me.

I was also pretty amused at Yukimura’s reaction at Usui. It was almost like he liked it. Seriously, just re-watch the whole scene where Yukimura recoiled in shock before blushing like a little girl. I mean, what is that all about? I also found myself adoring Misaki’s sister for her awesome ability to use tofu to make all that awesome stuff. I would pay my wife if she can do that kind of stuff. Nonetheless, I cannot remember. Misaki can’t cook to save her life, right?

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However, who cares about all that boring stuff. When Usui comes barging in with all guns blazing with the nonchalance of a deus ex machina hero, all hell in me broke loose. Then, he went with the words, “This is a woman you cannot touch easily.” That, in essence ladies and gentleman, is what shoujo is all about. In Tvtropes terms, it is the crowing moment of win, as the hero moves in to literally demolish the fabric of realism and re-assure every single antagonist that the darn girl is mine! MINE!

It also teaches that lecherous Tora that Misaki’s holy body is only to be defiled by Usui and no one else. Still, I applaud his effort to provide some fanservice of Misaki in sexy cute maid costumes. I mean, this is just so hot when the sexual tensions are hitting boiling point, and the desperate nature of the president’s attack required Misaki to feebly mouth out “Usui.” My god, that is so kyaarific. Yes, I just created a word, kyaarific, which cues a specific moment for all shoujo fans to kyaa the living lungs out of them.

Moreover, I really think that the episode once again shows the message that “the rich only flaunts their money to gain power” and inherently moves people. It’s a sad and overly abused story plot where the rich uses all their might to seize control, only for the indomitable main lead to resist all these temptations. All that sounds good, until you look at it from an objective point of view. It makes the idea of rich/elite people very empty. It is as though their whole life is about trying to control others using money, and a very empty soul inside. Perhaps it is the fact that I am very conscious of the subliminal messages that presents a reflection of the perceived view of things through roleplay/media. I just find it worrying that I never noticed such things until now.

Do you? Do you actively notice things like that when you watch your anime?

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14 Comments

  1. iamTN
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    I usually take notice of things that don’t agree with the laws of physics, and political tones in animes I watch. Even though some of those things are the stupidest ever, I actually find myself enjoying the other good bits of the anime. Take in both the bad and the good.

    In this series, I just like to root for Usui, his entire being is unrealistic, but his other non-saving-the-damsel interactions are so enjoyable. Like beating Misaki for the photo, or asking those other guys what color fits her the best.

    • Impz
      Posted May 22, 2010 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Ya, if I must say, Usui’s nonchalant and eccentric behavior is probably the glue for the series. Without him, I can see this series falling apart very very quickly.

      Ever since I started working, I started analyzing the anime I watched with more details, and becoming more conscious of the messages. I feel that sometimes, I might have over-interpreted things but a quick reference to other anime series similar to Kaichou gave me some worrying messages. It does not affect me since I am careful not to let them affect my viewing pleasure. However, when I sit down and think about it, it disturbs me still… until my next kyaaing moment.

  2. Kobukson
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if it’s just the parallels I keep making between Usui and Tamaki, but I can’t keep from feeling that Usui is going to turn out to a “rich knight” character like Ouran’s Tamaki. We still don’t know almost anything about Usui (well, other than the fact that he’s a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient being…). Plus, the opposing President backed down way too fast. Yes, Usui creamed every guy in his path, but it didn’t seem as if that fact scared Igarashi that much. For a villain, he gave up his prize way too easily to a random guy who kicked the butts of his henchmen. It’d make more sense if he recognized Usui, maybe knew his rich family’s connections, and so backed down. But meh, might be the Tamaki allusions I keep seeing in Usui getting to me -_-;;

    Oh, so that was what the little sis was saying? Relying on the fansubs I saw, I thought she was making a parallel to school, pretty much saying, if she had the money, of course she’d go to the better school.

  3. Hana
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    I knew Impz would have a field day with this episode, based on the commentary on the previous one and the last editorial. I guess I’m noticing such things more these days, but I just take it in my stride as a sign of somewhat lazystorytelling that panders to its shoujo demographic. I also agree with iamTN that Usui’s more unconventional/ quirky moments are among the best bits in this show and so I’m not too bothered with the bias in this case. But speaking of the representation of elites thing, I agree that there is nothing redeeming about the evil prez, unless you count his respect for Misaki for not throwing herself at him. He’s certainly no Domyouji (who starts off a rich brat but turns out to be a more complex person who becomes more sensitive to the feelings of others), and I doubt that the anime will develop Igarashi’s role any further than his present evil villain role.

    • Impz
      Posted May 22, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      I don’t need lazy story telling in my shoujo. Let me give you an example of a well fleshed out shoujo manga that I read that retains the humor (darn funny) yet smacks down the serious and kyaa kyaa moments that all shoujo manga should have. That’s Dengeki Daisy, one of the best manga I have read in ages. I just wonder why I suddenly seem to notice this much more compared to previously. Perhaps it is the nuances that I pick up as I start to look into anime a bit more deeply than usual.

      Yes, Usui’s quirky moments are definitely the coolest parts, and I forgive him for the fact that it is just so awesome whenever he breaks the rules of realism. I mean, how can you not like someone who is so random and yet so cute when it comes to Misaki?

      • Hana
        Posted May 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Cool, will take a closer look at Dengeki Daisy (always on the lookout for a good shoujo title to fill the void in between SKip Beat updates). If I remember rightly, I think I read the first few chapters of it once, but was put off by the fact that the main character didn’t do more to try and find out the identity of her strange mobile-phone-benefactor, or that she didn’t think it was that caretaker guy (I guess I was in an impatient mood, but I’m prepared to revise my prejudices). Btw I love the word kyaarific. And not only is it kyaarific when Usui breaks the rules of realism with such panache, but he’s clearly a superhero. Can’t think how else to explain (for example) surviving death-defying leaps from school rooftops with only a few bandages on his otherwise perfect bod to show for it? Kyaarific indeed!

  4. rpd
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    What does final fantasy has to do with THAT anime blog?
    It gives the site a very spooky vibe.

    Ontopic: if rich people can’t be bastards in shoujo what are they supposed to be. Super nice guys… that wouldn’t give much of a show.

    • Impz
      Posted May 22, 2010 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      FF doesn’t really have anything to do with the blog. Just feeling in the space until I manage to sit down and actually do proper banners for next season’s offerings.

      Nah, they don’t have to be super nice guys. I would like it if they can be one or two bastards with a heart, and a seemingly nice guy with a deeper serious side to him. Those can be channeled as a form of humor, and will not break the show but give it more flesh, realism and interesting plot lines. Right now, everyone is very one-dimensional, which just makes it bland at times.

      • Posted May 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        @rpd: I think the FF banner has to do with the theme “Let Us Blow Your Mind”, which FFXIII does. And how.

        @Impz: Have you read the manga? Because while most of the rich guys are mean, there are some /one oddballs to that stereotype. But this is also clearly one series that has a few stereotypes and exploits them like crazy, so you’re not going to get much diversity. At the same time, someone in a series has to be the designated bad guys. Whether they’re foreigners or the rich, they all usually fall into the category of ‘evil’. You’ll only have more differences in a show with more plot twists and where you care who the bad guy is (since it will probably often change).

        And I don’t completely know why but all the awesome moments that I remember from the manga are quite disappointingly executed in the anime. The strapless maid costume in this episode is one such example.

        • Impz
          Posted May 23, 2010 at 1:07 am | Permalink

          Ya, I read the manga and remember how awesome it was. When it came to the anime with the awesome bits, it just didn’t feel right. I am not sure if it is the cheapening animation/resources for Kaichou wa Maid-sama, but I wasn’t as impressed. The thing that I disliked about Kaichou is the sweeping stereotypes that plagued much of our anime/manga reading across many many similar examples.

          It is definitely depressing that when we encounter just that little bit of true character development or even changes to this system, it makes a possibly average manga become the most awesome sauce since Cheddar Chinese.

          I don’t think a comedy manga cannot have a deeper attempt to flesh out characters so that you actually care. Kare Kano did that pretty darn well imho, but it is really one of the very rare shoujo manga out there that is executed perfectly.

          @The FF banner is really a random banner. I did up 6 more random ones because Crusader on yim was like, “now do this one and this one, so that one while your at it
          ,you insolent fool.” I feel like an abused admin/blogger of THAT.

  5. gt
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    yeah, that scene with the other president made me kyaaaa like none other when i read it in the manga.

    • Impz
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      hahahaha. Its almost embarrassing, and I am glad that no one in real life knows HOW MUCH i adore shoujo manga. I cannot imagine how it will be like :P

  6. ashuri
    Posted May 26, 2010 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    @Impz: How much of the manga have you read? I feel it’s becoming increasingly mature as the story develops .. and regardless of stereotypes, Misaki and Usui’s chemistry and interactions with each other seem alot more realistic than alot of other shoujo i’ve read/watched .. to me anyway .. based on my own experiences .. maybe i’m alone on this .. T__T

    In any case, i’m enjoying this anime adaptation as a whole so far – i think generally it’s a bad idea to over-analyse shoujo storylines .. There’s a reason they’re made and a reason for why we watch them XD .. Plus it’s very rare to find anything in any genre that is truly original, most everything is influenced or derived from something else, which can’t be helped – and we couldn’t sort anything into genres in the first place if they weren’t .. You know what you’re in for at least ..

    Random note: Anyone notice that Igarashi shares his last name with the director of Ouran?

    • Impz
      Posted May 26, 2010 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Totally agree with that, but as I stated earlier, it feels somewhat like the magic/chemistry between the two somehow disappeared while transiting from manga to anime. I only read the manga up to chapter 49 for now, so I am not too sure if I am on the latest or so. I don’t think Kaichou is a bad show. On the contrary, I think it is still a decent watch with enough humor and shoujo kyaarific moments. I just wish it was a bit more. You can always be a greedy fan, can’t you :P

      I also don’t think that we can expect originality in manga right now. However, I do expect some depth in the characters. They have not developed much, if anything.

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