Forget Shiina, Haruka better watch out for her maids — they’re going to steal Yuuto if she’s not careful. He’s just too smooth with the ladies. As such, this week gave me flashbacks of season one when Yuuto could do or say no wrong.
This means that we have our sappy love story series back if you’ve been waiting for it. Oddly enough, I don’t mean that in a bad way, given the overly fan-service direction this season had taken. This week was pretty shocking actually; there were no pantsu in sight! The fact that I’m thrilled about that has to say something about (how messed up) my expectations are here. However, there is a huge upside to their approach here. While Yuuto may be seen by some as “lame”, he can really teach kids some life lessons with the way he handles situations. To put things in a real world perspective, I have teacher friends who tell me dreadful stories of how uneducated teenagers are nowadays. By that, I don’t mean they’re plain stupid, but that they lack proper family/friendship values and common sense (which could be interpreted as dumb). While the shift towards reality TV shows and localized shounen anime are probably to blame, we could definitely use more “value-teaching” shows like Nogizaka Haruka to balance things out.
So for our life lesson this week, we have douchebag Shuuto Sutherland making a reappearance to the series (why god, why?). As you probably recall, he’s the one that stirred the shit pot at the end of the first season. This time, things are all about the 95th annual maid and butler year-end party, which Yuuto gets invited to because of his previous job with Touka. In the process, we’re introduced to the other top ten Nogizaka maids for the very first time. There’s an air of mystery around the missing rank #2 maid, but the rest are: #4 Kusamoto Minamo (Mizuhara Kaoru, Yomi in GA-REI -zero-), #6 Nagikawa Koayu (Igarashi Hiromi), #7 Rokujou sisters Ayame (Moriya Satomi), Sara (Ishikawa Momoko), Juri (Yahagi Sayuri), #9 Munakata Rio (Iguchi Yuka, Index in To Aru Majutsu), Hinasaki Iwai (Hikasa Youko, Mio in K-ON!). Hazuki, Nanami, Maria, and Alice round out the group as #1, 3, 5, 8 respectively. The appearance of the other maids was undoubtedly a big part of the episode, but they were overshadowed by Yuuto protecting Alice from Shuuto’s asshole behaviour.
As punishment for what he did at Haruka’s birthday, Shuuto’s been forced to understand people better by working as a butler. During the party, Alice accidentally bumps into him with a drink in hand, causing him to lash out at the poor girl. He goes as far as shoving Alice over, trampling on the frog toy Yuuto won for her in bingo earlier, and even spitting on her. Instead of knocking Shuuto out right there and then, Yuuto actually gets on his hands and knees to apologize on behalf of Alice. However, he makes sure to let everyone know that maids are much more than just servants to him and questions how Shuuto can consider himself a master with the way he treats them. Unsurprisingly, Shuuto resorts to violence in response, but the Nogizaka maids step in to put an end to his crap. Minamo gets Shuuto’s father on the phone, who apologizes to everyone and tells them to punish his stupid son however they see fit. Afterwards, Alice says a few words of Japanese, thanking Yuuto for the frog and protecting her. She even goes on to call him “bruder” (“onii-chan” in German).
As the maid who specializes in security, Alice could’ve killed Shuuto and his escorts, but probably felt guilty about bumping into him. I mean, she’s able to take out Gentou singlehandedly, so those scrubs woud’ve been nothing to her. However, it was nice to see Yuuto’s mature way of handling things, where he’ll protect others even at the cost of his own pride. It was also nice to see him pick the frog bingo prize over the rice cooker for Alice, even though he obviously wanted the latter. See where I’m going here? Take it from Yuuto on how to be a better person!