Kaichou wa Maid-sama! episode 24: Mad Dogs and Bewitched Men

Loving the pose, especially that left hand – Magical Girl meets Rock Chick?

Another day, another cosplay event. This time, our favourite café presents: Magical Maids. Accompanied by angry doggies, runaway fruit, bewitched bakas, frustrated Traps, random right hooks, weird spells, and lost and found cherry trees. All in the name of love triangles, eh.


Episode Summary:

Misaki and her student council members are having a meeting when they are interrupted first by Hinata, who wants to play with Misaki, and then by a hitherto lurking, book-reading Usui. Soon, the two rivals/ mad dogs resume glaring at each other, before both are booted out by their pissed-off Prez. Kanou, being attached to Yukimura’s hip, notices that something’s up between the two blokes, as do Sakura and Shizuko, who tease Misaki for the latest dirt about her and Hinata. Meanwhile, the sweet-toothed object of their discussion begins to make his way home, where he sees a veggie-care-package from his grandparents and decides to give them a call, during which they basically give him hell for not calling them sooner, until Hinata interrupts them with the news that he’s found his old Misaki-chan. Later, he goes for a walk, seemingly to look for a cherry tree that holds some kind of significance for him, when he comes across some runaway persimmons chased by Misaki’s mummy, before he accompanies his old acquaintance back home in order to flex his persimmon-carrying/ -guarding muscles and to bag a free dinner with three lovely ladies.

The next day, the maidos commence their much anticipated and prepped-for Magical Maids cosplay event, with none more so prepped than Misaki, who has been up all night watching the DVDs of the show upon which the event is based, much to the astonishment/ respect of Trapaoi, who is also around hoping to show off how cute s/he looks as a purple-haired witch. Soon, the even is underway, much to the joy of the three bakas and the other customers, among whom include Usui and Hinata. Noticing that Usui looks unusually bothered and working out that it’s probably due to the threat of Hinata, the manger and Trapaoi try to diffuse the tension. However, the mad dogs resurface and soon Usui leaves, leaving behind a more red-faced and quieter Misaki. Then Hinata asks Misaki to cast a seeking spell on him, and Misaki, though not quite knowing why, does so, before he too leaves.

The event draws to a close and Misaki is interrogated by Trapaoi as to her true feelings about Usui, before she, appearing confused, runs off to put out the rubbish out the back of the store. There, Usui is seen waiting for her and, after a bit of teasing about why a magical girl armed with spells would have to take out the rubbish manually, he then reveals that he overheard Trapaoi’s question and wants to know what her answer is. Flustered, Misaki tries to punch him instead, at which Usui observes that this must be what Misaki does when she cannot bring herself to tell a lie, before proceeding to show her what his ‘answer’ to the question (how he feels about her) would be. He then hugs her close, before whispering a ‘spell’ in her ear that prevents her from lying. The epi ends with some shots of Hinata appearing to find the cherry tree that he has been looking for, with him commenting that this must be ‘fate’.


Thoughts:

Like last week’s desserts-themed-event-focussed epi, this week’s Magical Girl-themed-event-focussed epi allows us to bring together most of our favourite cast members to comment on the key character and plot development of late, before once again zeroing in on the café as a focal point for all the tension, and comedy. And though it wasn’t for very long, it was nice to see a bit of the Yukimura & Kanou double-act again…

Ah, gentlemen, you’ve been missed!

…as it was seeing Sakura & Shizuko again, albeit in scary fangirl mode. And reuniting Hinata with, what he no doubt hopes will be, his future in-laws provided us with some nice mirroring (c.f. Usui’s encounter with Casa Ayazawa) and several chuckles due to the ladies’ behaviour around him and vice versa (Suzuna being on fine form again, I thought, with the random musings about replacement fathers and weird food-themed childhood games). And, later, the cosplay stuff was quite impressive this time around, not least of all Misaki’s devotion to studying that random crappy show, as well as her rather fabulous and energetic interpretation of her role, as encouraged by those lovable bakas.

LOL.

The Magical Girl idea also earns brownie points for allowing us to see a particularly psyched-up Trapaoi-chan, whose trademark waspishness was both funny and pushed the whole MisakixUsui-will-they-won’t-they thing in the right direction, complete with a very kyaarific moment towards the end.

I’m thinking that this must be very ticklish… in a good way. XD

Even Hinata wasn’t as hyper as he was in the last few epis, probably because of that mysterious cherry tree he’s also preoccupied with finding, which I expect is the same one that he once fell from in such a spectacular fashion, and probably the same one he’s seen standing underneath during that dreadful ED. [Yes, I still hate that. Nuff said.]

But to focus on that kyaarific scene; yes, that ‘spell’ was a smooth move on Usui’s part. However, and call me a sadist (as I seem to be becoming more and more so in relation to this show, for some reason), I like the fact that said smooth moment came after some not so smooth moments earlier in the epi, i.e. the jealousy, worry and insecurity we glimpse from Usui around his rival and when Misaki is interacting with Hinata. In other words, as much as I love Usui’s random moments of awesomeness, he’s thankfully, just as interesting during his more human moments, and thus really makes me want to see more of this vulnerable and yet determined side of him.

Finally, to focus on the specific words used during that last screencap, the whole ‘lying’ thing seems to have become a recurring issue: Hinata being told by loli Misaki not to lie, evAr, even about his feelings; Misaki in turn, unable to bring herself to lie to Hinata; and Usui forcing Misaki to confront her true feelings towards him. Clearly, yes, lying = BAD. However, the importance these epis are putting on not lying/ being true to one’s feelings is interesting for at least one other reason, I think, for this is presented as being an extremely difficult thing to do, throughout the series. From lying about moonlighting as a part-time maido waitress, to lying (to oneself) about how much one can and should take on by oneself; to lying about one’s real feelings… It seems, as is embodied particularly by Misaki, that character development and personal growth and maturity in the face of various outside pressures and responsibilities can only be successfully achieved (and is thus of any value) through complete openness with and support from others. Not that any of this is easy (especially for sixteen year old boy-hating, fatherless Kaichous with barely two yen to rub together), but the fact that the ‘villains’ in the show so far can all be linked by their contrasting preference for solitude, loneliness and/ or selfishness (e.g. the rich evil Prez, Kanou in pre-bespectacled bunny mode, that Indie Band lead singer, etc.) seems to be an unmistakable wider message.

Anyway, with only two epis to go, let’s see if any of this messege filters through to our fair maido, on the romance front, that is. If not, I guess we can always ask Black Honoka to give her a kick up the arse…

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10 Comments

  1. ectholion
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Yukimura & Kanou and trapaoi oh how i have missed you three… for shame we havent seen much of you all lately but at least the fall of hinata is imminent with usui and his delecration of hands off my maid and he seems to be more active in his stalking again.

    • Posted September 18, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      I hear ya, I literally Thank Godded when I saw them… re: the fall of Hinata, lol, I hope you don’t mean literally, that cherry tree looks pretty tall… and knowing Usui’s luck of late, Misaki’ll probably be right there to nurse him again, LOL. Seriously, though, with only 2 epis to go(!) I hope you’re right and that Usui’s new and improved/ more intense stalking works its magic – I prefer Awesome Usui to Emo Usui any day!

      • ectholion
        Posted September 19, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        im not sure if im alone in this but im starting to tire of these shōjo series that do not develop beyond i think your cute… i love you… lest date, i think its time to rewatch nana or Bokura ga Ita or even honey and clover. I mean if this series didnt have such awesome side characters i would probably would of dropped it. I mean childhood friend… girl who doesnt realize she is in love… misa gets into trouble and usui saves her… over and over again… almost 26 episodes and they are still not a couple… though it is better than kimi ni todoke. in that series they spent the whole 26 episodes and we didnt even get a kiss out of it… yea thats my rant… and i dont want hinata to fall out of the tree, i want him to fall out of this silly childhood friend dream thing and i await to see his bitter tears of sorrow when her does realize that he does not have a chance… :)

        • Posted September 20, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          I have to say I hated BgI, so the less I say about that the better. KwMs!’s plot, when you put it like that, sounds pretty awful I guess, but it’s strength is definitely its cast, like with KimiTodo, although that was a little more feathery in its overall touch (plus Sawako was just so charming :) ). I assume most shoujo that’s for the Japanese 14-19 year old girls market can’t really afford to be particularly groundbreaking plot-wise, as the depiction of more physical relationships would either be discouraged or push the whole thing into the Josei category.

          Re: Hinata, nice to see you don’t want him to actually hurt himself lol, not physically anyway… Either way, I really hope there’s a satisfying resolution for all his issues given that they have brought him in so late in the series and the fact that there’s only a couple of epis left…

          • ectholion
            Posted September 20, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

            yeah well BGI isnt a very loved series and its quite tragic. i got a love hate relationship with it im torturing myself with the manga now in hope that out after all the bad thing that have happened and how screwed up all the characters are a happy ending will come out some where or a semi happy ending. yet but the whole KwMs thing is really just me up set that i didnt get to see my favorite arc from the manga animated this season… :( that and hinata is annoying me more here in the anime than the manga… he is too happy… lol as strange and evil as that sounds. and i get the bit about the audience it is intended to is 14 -19 year old girls but with that said the absence of any competent adult figures in this series and in KnT. i mean teachers like pin or teachers that plan events that could lead to gang rape…… makes me wonder about the education system in japan…

  2. fathomlessblue
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Glad to see the slapdash editing/scene changes back in full force in the last two eps following the slightly boring spiritual training ep, Sakura and Shizuko popping out of nowhere was brilliant.

    Also nice to have Kanou and Yukimura back in it as well. I find Kanou’s mindset in having Yukimura as a friend/companion amuses me no end, if you’re too scared to form a relationship with a girl just hang around with the most effeminate and trap-suitable guy in the school; it sorta counts right? At least thats what I think whenever I see the two together.

    I gotta say I really enjoyed this ep, despite loathing all that magical girl/sailer moon b.s. Guess the enthusiasm of the cast carried it though. Maybe Misaki will be forced to think long and hard about Usui following the kyaarific ending. Probably won’t though, theres been more than a few instances like this (e.g. the end of the beach story) where it look like somethings finally gonna happen, and then the story reverts back to the set formula. Hopefully we’ll get a cast iron revelation from Misa-chan before the end though.

    Oh and maybe find out ANYTHING about Usui other than annoying teaser info from the eds. Not too optimistic about that particular one though…

    In conclusion, more Ayazawa family scenes please!!! XD

    • Posted September 18, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Yesss, there needs to be more Sakura and Shizuko screentime too. And Kanou is probably my favourite side character, for similar reasons to the ones you’ve given.

      Funny what you say about the Magical Girl stuff; I normally can’t stand that kinda crap, however, as you say, it was all done in such an enthusiastic, and tongue-in-cheek, way that I found it completely charming and hilarious.

      What you also say re: the aftermath of the beach volleyball arc is a pertinent point; I guess it had the summer romance feel to it on the one hand, which is why Misaki might have ‘forgotten’ about it after wards. However, her red faced mumbly-ness when Usui entered the cafe in this epi makes me think that she clearly remembered the kiss (or whatever she thought Usui did to her) at the end of the previous epi, so hopefully the evidence is finally stacking up enough in her mind for her to give Usui some kind of appropriate response soon…

  3. Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Yes, smooth~ I like the point about Misaki’s lying. The truth will set her free, but she’s very resistive and afraid it seems. Poor girl.

    • Posted September 18, 2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Ah yes, I guess it all might come back to her hatred of men/ fear of male abandonment and rejection. Poor girl indeed. At least it makes for strong characterisation and development, a rare but appreciated thing in shoujo heroines, eh!

  4. joyce
    Posted October 2, 2010 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    i like the point that usui kiss misaki….and i like the episode tha misaki tell her feelings to usui

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