Kaichou wa Maid-sama! episode 17: Lady and the Trap


The strongest tag-team in the world… of beach volleyball.

Part two of Maid Latte-on-the-beach presents: melons, teeth brushing, yawns, blushes, GARs, bikinis, balls, kyaa kyaa!s and fireworks. Let the games begin!


Episode Summary:

Back home: Suzuna is still eating watermelons. Back at the beach house: Misaki, shortly joined by Usui, brush their teeth together the morning after the hug before. Before Misaki starts banging her head against a wood wall. They are soon distracted by Trapimura Trapaoi-chan arguing with Nagisa about his trappiness, with the blonde-wigged princess screaming about not being allowed to express his true self. Eventually, Nagisa decides to let him finish his slave duty at the beach house and go home early wearing whatever the hell he wants if he wins the upcoming Beach Volleyball Tournament. Trapaoi take up the challenge and wonders off muttering about trying to find a female partner (it’s mixed doubles and former champ Nagisa is now too old to complete and so can’t partner him herself). Misaki is impressed with the littl‘un’s determination and resolves to help him, while Usui looks hot on. Later, once the partnership has been agreed by the lady and the trap, the other Maidos hear about it and get excited about the winners’ prize, which is to be crowned Beach Prince and Princess and to get to wear sexy outfits and have their pictures taken with random audience members. Usui later requests of Misaki not take part, but she doesn’t understand why he’d say such an unhelpful thing and brushes him off.

Soon the Tourney is upon us and the Misaki-Trapaoi tag-team demolish everyone brave stupid enough to stand in the way of their GAR. Until they reach the final and realise that Usui and Erika are up against them. And that they’re bloody good. Misaki is a bit miffed, but tells Usui not to go easy on them. And he doesn’t. And then Misaki is really miffed. So miffed, in fact, that she blurts aloud her confusion and frustration over Usui’s apparent and unusual unhelpfulness, by wondering why he has become her enemy. Usui is surprised, but recovers swiftly and loudly teases her back by claiming that she must want him after all. Misaki is now extremely miffed and goes all out to try and win the match, almost resulting in badly injuring herself against one of the metal posts… until Usui throws himself in between them. Final score: Usui saves Misaki from a nasty bump, but loses the match while doing so.

Later that night, while Trapaoi leads the post-tourney festivities, Misaki instead follows Usui to a conveniently more secluded part of the beach and gives him hell for not resting his injured back and for getting injured, i.e. trying to compete and thus beat Trapaoi, in the first place. Usui finally explains to Misaki that he competed because he didn’t want them to win as that would mean she’d have to wear sexikinis and pose for photos with random bastards. Misaki is floored (literally) by such a reason and says that Trapaoi’s issue was way more important. At which point, Usui crouches down too in front of her and tells her that she is more important to him. Misaki, flustered, comments that she never knows whether Usui is joking or not, at which Usui grabs her arm and asks her to take a good look to see if he’s joking or not. So Misaki looks, then they both lean in for a kiss… before they are interrupted by sudden fireworks and Misaki blurts out that they should go back. The epi ends as follows: the gang is reunited; Trapaoi is granted Nagisa’s traptastic blessing; the whole lot of them take a commemorative group photograph as Trapaoi and Usui play tug-o-war with Misaki; and three crying bakas are randomly shown camped out on the steps of Maid Latte awaiting the return of their favourite Maido, before that bloody new ED begins again and kills the my mood.


Thoughts:

Right, I’d better go in chronological order otherwise I’ll deafen you all with fangirl squealing. First up is the melon eating demonstration by Suzuna. One word: LAME.

Okay, better add a few more words. In short, Suzuna is awesome, but that scene which went on far too long (just like it did last week) just made me want to throw those melons in her face. In short, enough with the oh-isn’t-she-so-weird-and-thus-extremely-funny-without-us-having-to-bother-giving-her-a-decent-role? Shame on you, you lazy-arsed director/ producer/ script adaptor-writer/ whoever the hell it is who’s responsible and deserves to be shot. In the stomach. And if it’s the same person responsible for the new ED, then he should be castrated first. With a spoon.

Moving on, and in contrast, I must say that anime-Aoi is growing on me. In particular, the moment where he says that his cross-dressing lets him express his ‘true self’ was really interesting for me. What does he mean by ‘true self? What does ‘the self’/ ‘selfhood’ mean to him? Does that mean he feels like he’s expressing a ‘false self’ when he’s not in trap mode? Why exactly does he feel comfortable only in girls clothes, anyway? He was previously shown as a weird little brat who liked dressing up in such clothing to get other guys to fall in love with him, which seemed to give him some kind of power. Indeed, the only reason he ‘went after’ Usui in that early episode in which we first saw Aoi seemed to be only because Aoi recognised Usui as a ‘cool’/ ‘elite’ type of guy and thus apparently Aoi would feel an even bigger sense of accomplishment in winning Usui’s attention, for Aoi certainly wasn’t interested/ got scared s***tless when Usui pretended to seduce him. Unless Aoi does like men after all, but wasn’t mentally or physically ready for that step and got freaked out, like a young girl with a crush facing an older predatory male… Well, whatever Aoi’s myriad of issues may be, it was nonetheless satisfying to see him prove himself in this episode and, ironically, become more manly. Man enough to be allowed to wear girls dresses, that is. Hmm.


Bloody fireworks.

Finally, we saw some interesting developments in the Misaki x Usui dept [*squeals*]. Namely, the fact that Misaki finally seems to be getting it. ‘It’ being Usui’s true feelings, that is. They’ve already locked lips before, of course (epi 6), but that kiss was forcefully given (er, without making him sound like a rapist) by Usui, whereas this time they were about to share a mutual, and thus their first real, kiss. Before those bloody fireworks interrupted them. Dunno about the rest of you, but this member of the audience felt pretty cock-teased. And I’m not even a guy.

Of course, even if you haven’t read the manga, we can’t really expect Misaki and Usui to kiss and start happily dating without any further issues when there’s still almost ten more episodes to go, can we? However, it was certainly good to see Misaki really thinking about and questioning Usui’s actions towards her (e.g.: helpful Vs adversarial Vs joking Vs serious) and realising, or at least beginning to realise, his real feelings and thus her own.

Overall, a pretty satisfying second part of a comedy/ fluff/ kyaa kyaa! double bill. Though, like our three favourite bakas, I’m also ready for the Maid Latte crew to return home. Not least of all because a certain Evil Prez is set to return and shake things up a little more next week, judging from the preview. Plus, I also caught a glimpse of some very fetching footman outfits too – might I even be referring to a reverse-trap next time…?!

Let the cosplay continue!

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4 Comments

  1. Posted July 25, 2010 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Cool review. I like how this anime provides some emotional depth without sacrificing its fun, shoujo feel. And what a cocktease it was ! :(

    • Posted July 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, I like how it gets the balance of all of those things just right too, it’s certainly fun blogging it. And yeah, tell me about it! :S

  2. Posted July 26, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I really like the chemistry between Usui and Misaki, but these side tales are leaving me cold. I guess I’m just not interested in the side characters. I think I would enjoy the show more if they edited it down a bit and focussed on the Misaki X Usui story (and maybe one or two of the more important sub-plots, like Misaki’s efforts to improve the school, which I think is pretty noble, and one of the reasons I really like her character).

    • Posted July 26, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      It’s all about that chemistry isn’t it, and the fact that we never really know what Usui is thinking. That’s a fair point too, but I guess those shifts in focus are what leave us wanting more and thus makes the more dramatic bits of the main storyline so kyaarific. Suzuna and a few of the others I could certainly do with less of, but the three bakas are awesome. Again, given the Suzuna Vs bakas screentime ratio in this epi as an example, it’s all about moderation and balance, I guess. Regarding the Prez’ school improvement plans, I think in the anim,e though, the school is now seen as a pretty stable place, so dunno if they’ll bother going much further in that direction…

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