It’s a testosterone-fest this week, as Misaki and Subaru compete against a sea of men and get their tailcoat-wearing freak on and gatecrash the auditions for a rival butler café… But could their efforts be in vain and could this be the end for Maid Latte?!
The summer hols are over and our favourite Prez is back at school and in the Student Council room when in walks
Trapimura Yukimura, assisted by a paper-pile-carrying Kanou. The others are surprised at the sudden friendship, until Kanou says he’s hanging around Yukimura to help himself get over his fear of girls. At which Yukimura promptly determines to become more GAR. Then Misaki, for some reason, remembers that she is in Usui’s debt for the sum of a gazillion favours and runs off to find him after school. After Misaki asks him what he wants in return, Usui promptly tells her that he’d like her to spend a day with him as his personal maido. With benefits. Appearing to actually consider his request, Misaki then starts to give him hell, before he tells her that he was just joking about the last part and reminding her she has to go to work.
At work, it’s Priestess Day and the three bakas are eating fortune cookies and discussing their fortunes. Except Shiroyan, who is crying in a corner, Tamaki-style, due to having received one of the few bad luck fortunes. Misaki gives in to their request to try one of the cookies and she receives one of the more positive ones, but instructing her to return any outstanding debts that she owes (esp. in the rabu rabu dept). Soon, they are interrupted by that Evil Elite School[whose long name I forget]’s Evil Vice Prez, Kanade Maki, who has turned up with butler-outfitted clones and planning-requests to buy out Maid Latte and turn the entire building into a English-style butler café/ restaurant, even bearing invitations for the maidos to come and watch the imminent butler/ footmen auditions. The Evil Prez himself, Igarashi Tora, also turns up to support Maki’s plans/ goad Misaki, who follows him outside to confront him, until Usui steps in between the all-too-close-to-each-other pair.
Soon, it’s the day of the footmen auditions, in which a reverse-trapped-up Misaki and Subaru plan to partake. Cue a series of random tasks with all the other random candidates who have turned up, including: a piggyback marathon; tableware carrying; pot scrubbing, water urn carrying, glass polishing; and a one-minute race to get changed into given footman uniforms. Unfortunately, Subaru isn’t quick enough and her gender is discovered, which causes an uproar that also leads to the de-masking of Usui and Aoi (all candidates have to be male and high school-aged or above). Looks like both couples are disqualified from going any further in the auditions, however, Evil Prez, sensing another opportunity to be evil, comments that Usui and Misaki have done well so far and could perhaps form a new partnership, as long as they both confirm that they meet the entry requirements, of course… Misaki then dramatically semi-strips to the waist, grabs Usui’s hand and shoves it onto her flat chest in order to ‘prove’ that she is a boy. Usui is suitably disappointed at his ‘flat as a board’ findings. The Evil Prez, along with the few others who are in the know about/ have worked out Misaki’s identity, is stunned, but gets over it, and allows the new pair to carry on, before he makes his glinty-eyed announcement about the next test… /cliffhanger-epi.
Another epi, another trap, eh. We’ve had Trapimura and Trapaoi, now it we get a pair of reverse-traps the likes of whom would make the Ouran boys and girl proud. In fact, they are so hot, even the three bakas melt. Even though they are guys. Seriously, does their Misa-worship know no bounds? I mean, I can see why any unsuspecting bishie-loving girl would go gaga over Misaki-kun, but wouldn’t a guy just go, ‘Eh?!’? On the other hand, I’m trying to understand by picturing Usui in maid uniform. Honestly, it would probably make me p**s my pants rather than nosebleed. And having seen him in football shorts, even the extra flesh on display probably wouldn’t help in that sense. In short, I don’t get it. But I suspect I’ll get over it.
Moving on. My confusion regarding the subtleties of reverse-trapification aside, it was nice to see Yukimura dressed in his usual clothes in this epi. Though, I’ll admit that this week’s addition to the running-Trapimura-gag was nonetheless funny, with Kanou implying that Yukimura gives off a feminine aura, and Yuki’s subsequent declaration of GAR and even swifter power walk/ waddle outta there, even funnier. Probably because he looked so moe doing both.
And speaking of funny, I thought the three bakas were on fire in this epi. I loved the way they kept popping up in that habitual, yet unobtrusive and very funny way throughout. I mentioned Shiroyan’s Tamaki-style sulking in a corner, add to that their melting dance, the ‘L-O-V-E! We heart Misaki!’ cheerleading, and the masochistic ecstasy displayed after Misaki stepped on them – all the while with chibi forms galore – and you’ve got some very entertaining bakas to provide ridiculously light relief to the fast-paced GAR and the looming threat of the closure of Made Latte due to Misaki’s powers of p**sing-off powerful young heirs to rich parents…
And speaking of Evil Prez, I was surprisingly less annoyed with the one-dimentionally-evil Evil Villain this time round, as opposed to thoroughly entertained by the BL undertones during his
petting praising of his very own Kuroshitsuji and his sadistic almost-forced-kiss with Misaki. And he even has fangs. And his own chorus of dramatic cellos throbbing in the background. In short, Evil Prez = devilishly good times.
However, to address the main focus of this epi, this seems to be the development of Misaki the friend, co-worker and reluctant debtor. And to have some reverse-traptastic Misa-chan service. Regarding the latter, we’ve had some deliciously tsuntsun and deredere moments in the last two epis, and here we get a chance to see more of her Fighto! side, as she declares unofficial war against the rich b*****ds threatening her part-time job-security. Or rather, one particular rich, and perverted, b******d, that is. Yes, just what does the Evil Prez want with the Awesome Prez, aside from the obvious? Or rather, why would he go so far as to mess-up so many other businesses and other people’s livelihoods in order to do so? Cos he’s just a selfish rich b*****d, say you?
Well, it’s certainly entertaining to watch, but so far in the anime, I feel Igarashi hasn’t really been fleshed out in a particularly deep or convincing way, so in this sense, without revealing any manga spoilers, I think that there needs to be at least some more hints (if not actual info) regarding the subtleties of his background and motivation. However, I like the way that the show has overall successfully established and fleshed out its ensemble cast, and how these figures can be brought back in and out to aid the overall plot and character development and comedy. Which, in this epi’s case, seems to centre around Misaki’s sense of wider responsibility and growing desire to improve all her relationships with the people around her, not least of all her hitherto embarrassing co-workers.
Finally, some more words on some of the randomness: I enjoyed the little ghosty calling Usui a pervert; the brief animalistic face-off between the three brave bakas in the face of Evil Prez’s evil-eyed presence on the territory under dispute; Misaki and Subaru, of course, as reverse-traps; Erika’s fake-remorse/ pride at not being able to get reverse-trapped-up due to her unflattenably big boobs; the other random participants, not least of all Afroman, as well as the first glance of what turns out to be Usui and Aoi in those freaky animal masks; the addition of the glasses to Misaki’s already awesome ensemble; and, of course, Usui’s disappointment at Misaki’s flat chest (let’s hope this was actually bound-up like Subaru’s was, I refuse to believe that Misa-chan is that small-chested, hmm…). In short, these were all kinds of Win.
Overall, I thought that this was a highly entertaining episode, and, judging by the previews, part two looks set to follow. With quite possibly the most kyaarific Misaki x Usui scene to date…