「碓氷、敵に回る」 (Usui, Teki ni Mawaru)
“Usui, Turns Into The Enemy”

There’s been an amazing dearth of volleyball anime since Urano Chikako’s Attack No. 1 from 1968, which always strikes me odd since the sport’s pretty big in Japan. I normally prefer the indoor variety since the plays involving six players are much more exciting, but I’ll take anything I can get at this point even if it’s a Maid-sama episode fully dedicated to a beach tournament. All that was really needed was a pretext to get the games going here, which Nagisa promising to let Aoi cross-dress if he can win the Prince & Princess Beach Tournament providing just that. Apparently, she’s okay with him dressing up in drag if he can first show how manly he is in sport. Go figure. Again, I’m not complaining because Misaki was quick to offer to be his partner after seeing how earnest he was about winning (…and cross-dressing), even though she’s not that familiar with beach volleyball. As they briefly glossed over in the episode, it’s a totally different sport that relies a lot more on positional play and shots than drawing blockers by running tandem plays and powering the ball through. What’s more, jumping on sand feels like it cuts your vertical down to half of what it is indoors on a gymnasium floor, so hitting a ball at some absurd angles on beach isn’t easy if you don’t have the height. Fundamental skills go a long way, but the style of play is completely different when it comes to beach volleyball.

Naturally, none of that really matters when Misaki’s an anime character that can make due in any situation and pound the ball so sharply that no one can dig it up. If she were truly an Asian though, there would be no way she’d get her shoulders that high over the net. It’s just not in Asian blood to grow that tall or jump that high, especially not Japanese blood that tends to be one of the shortest on average. Usui’s an exception of course, since he’s super man. With his green eyes and glistening blond hair, I’m inclined to assume that he’s half anyway, so you can forget shoulders over the net in his case when it’s more like hips. Most Asians would be more like Aoi in terms of height and vertical, and get stuffed by the likes of Caucasian players who put up a wall of a block like Takumi did here. I do applaud Misaki and Aoi putting up the good fight, plowing through the rest of the competition, and making it to the finals as Evil Misaki and Evil Aoi (…now with the Raging Demon). They technically won by default after Takumi injured himself saving Misaki from crashing into the pole, but it was more or less a one-sided slaughter leading up to that. If Misaki and Aoi really wanted to win, the strategy should have been serving Erika all day to prevent Takumi from taking the third ball (and crushing it), but that wouldn’t have been very interesting for us as the viewer. (Also, only volleyball fanatics would probably appreciate it.)

In any case, this was a pretty fun volleyball episode simply because Misaki, Takumi, and Aoi are athletic enough to make things interesting. It wasn’t without its relationship-building moments either, as Misaki blurted out her frustration asking why Usui has to be her opponent. It was funny to see how that got through to him for a second, before he went back to teasing her by saying she’s selfish and asking if she really wants him that much. Upon hearing him say that, my immediate thought was pretty much, “Oh she does Usui. She just doesn’t know it yet.” After all, Takumi sacrificing himself to protect Misaki only scored him additional brownie points towards winning over the tsundere president completely, who actually moved in for a kiss herself this time around. I guess that was an example of being caught in the moment, which was only spoiled by the fireworks in the background. Most people would be saying “Tamaya~!” to that, but I think the correct reaction to the first firework going off in this case would be, “Nooo~!”. It’s not like they haven’t kissed before, but after Takumi said he didn’t like the idea of people exploiting Misaki by dressing her up for photographs if she won the tournament, it felt like the perfect moment to make an unforgettable summer memory. All the exploitation was going to be left for Aoi anyway, who was happily prancing about in his full-out princess get-up.

It’s probably worth noting that these past two episodes only spanned two back to back days during their summer vacation, which is a stark difference compared to most episodes where days fly by multiple times during a single episode. Story-wise, it doesn’t really affect anything, but I found it interesting how we got two beach episodes one after another as a result. The next one looks like everyone will finally head back to school, with Tora and some of the other Miyabigaoka crew making a return as well. What really caught my attention in the preview though is Miko Day at Maid Latte. Misa-chan as a shrine maiden? I’m game.

* It’s weird how only Usui’s last name is used in the versus match-up. I guess it’s because no one calls him Takumi in the show…




  1. I lol’d when you mentioned short asians. I’m asian, a girl, around 172-175 cm, and the shortest in my family. But yes. My school is 80% asian and a lot of them average >five six. Although I have my fair share of tall asian friends.

    And oh Usui. https://randomc.net/image/Kaichou%20wa%20Maid-sama!/Kaichou%20wa%20Maid-sama!%20-%2017%20-%20Large%2036.jpg Misaki is frickin’ lucky.

    Episode made for a nice watch but I agree with Divine when it comes to the volleyball in the beach thing and the sand and whatnot.

      1. lol I am Asian, around 190cm but for my friends they always joke around me being too tall….. and one other thing for tall Asians… its hard to find an Asian girl to match the height…

  2. Also Asian, male, and 175 cm.

    Though you should note Japan is 5th in the world rankings for women’s volleyball and 11th for men’s. China is second in women’s!

    Japan also has the fourth greatest number of medals in men’s volleyball in the Olympics and the 3rd greatest number for womens, almost all of them from the 60s through the 80s when Japanese people were quite a bit shorter than they are now.

    As always Usui’s ridiculous ability in every sport is irritating. It frankly doesn’t make any sense (no way anything other than his getting smeared in Judo and Kendo is realistic), though it’s implied in this episode that he’s played beach volleyball before…

    1. I’d agree but putting up a male who’s without any true faults is something that women just gobble up. He’s like the anime version of Edward from Twilight. The series is more tongue and cheek about it but the concept’s the same “Surprise, look at Usui doing something perfect . . . again.”

  3. Japanese aren’t that short on a genetic level, its the food. Living on rice and veggies wont make you tall. Japanese in the past used to live on starvation levels basicly and thus got stunted. The food culture is not totaly changed thou so Japanese still tend to be lean and slightly shorter, even more so for dieting girls.

    Its the same reason why northern europeans tend to be tall while americans tend to be obese, despite being of the same genetic background. Milk and sturdy meals vs fast food.

  4. Usui’s an exception of course, since he’s super man.

    Lol. Indeed he is. I wonder if there’s anything he couldn’t do at this point. I have yet to watch this episode and last episode was so lovely that I watched it twice just to hear Usui said “Mada kowai?” and “Shittenai yo…” as he held Misa-chan. Lol. [I have no idea that Okamoto Nobuhiko can sound so sexy! XD]

    Lil' Lilly
  5. Fuck yeah volleyball! As someone who’s played the sport since fifth grade, I wholeheartedly agree with your vb analysis, Divine (especially the height of their jumps… I barely get shoulders over an indoor net!). Did you ever play?

  6. Show Spoiler ▼

    Lol… as if Misaki didn’t want him to kiss her. Geez, even if she wasn’t attracted, hot guy right in front of her emanating pheromones.

    1. Recessive alleles doesn’t mean they won’t appear in offsprings as a dominant. There’s been cases of black couples with white grandparents on one side giving birth to a completely white kid with blond hair and blue eyes. Or mixed black/white couples giving birth to siblings which were black, mixed and white in that order.

      Kinny Riddle
      1. It simply doesn’t work that way. For a recessive trait to show up so must it come from both parents unless there is an genetic defect involved, this can happen in theory, but highly unlikely. But its quite possible for a recessive gene to pass through several generations without showing up. The problem with that is that Japan have been so isolated that its very rare that you will find any european ancestor if you go way back in time and thus there is little chance for some random blond japanese to show up that doesn’t originate from a recent ancestor.

  7. lmfao I was looking at the last few screenshot and was like, “Who’s that new girl with the blonde hair?” lmao I keep forgetting about Aoi’s hobbies. xD *still can’t believe I was caught off-guard like that*

  8. Rika
  9. Did anyone else notice the “Prasident[sic] is Maid” banner behind the tournament announcer when he was doing the introductory speech? I thought it was a nice/hilarious touch. <.<

  10. i was cursing and swearing @ the fireworks for ruining the moment >_<

    It looks like Aoi is getting rather jealous of Takumi's and Misaki's relationship too haha. Misaki certainly doesn't mean it but she's getting guys to fall for her left & right. Much to Takumi's dislike XD

  11. Divine, tall Caucasians have not stopped the Chinese women’s team, an Oriental Asian team, from becoming one of the top teams in women’s volleyball, you know?

    Anyway, back on topic, fun to see Aoi-chan shine as both a normal boy and as a cute trap.

    Usui participated partly out of jealously at losing out to a cross-dressing brat, though I sense he’s also playing just to trick Misaki into saying out loud “Why’re you my enemy?!” Which was pretty much a confession to me. I LOL’ed at her realizing her Freudian slip. XD

    Kinny Riddle
    1. Oh yeah, I still have a video of China beating Russia back in the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics. That was pretty epic. The much smaller Chinese women’s team beat the huge Russians with quick plays and solid defense.

  12. I had expected Misaki’s hickie to serve part of the episode, otherwise it was just left open-ended. When Usui got his own bruise, I foresaw the parallel to what happened to Misaki, but I suppose the episode didn’t focus on that.

    And I must say, I am warming up to Erika, now that she’s had scenes outside of the maid crowd. And I adore her hair.

  13. Well as for our super man we have seen a flaw: jealousy (the Ed implies he may have separation issue too). Though so far the jealousy was mild, in these beach episodes it has gone up a notch. However they still make a hot couple. That kiss was so close I feel robed by the fireworks and had a deja-vu nogisa purezza shiver down my spine.

    Island Esper
    1. Yeah, but every character in the show is cute anyway! 😀 Must be the eyes…

      I’m not too miffed about Usui having flaws. If anything, it makes him more human and appealing.

  14. Aoi is soooo cute… I can’t believe Divine didn’t get a screenshot of that adorable face after Nagisa tells him congratulations…

    This was actually a pretty good episode. I wonder what Misaki and Aoi did for training since they were radiating killer vibes throughout the whole tournament…

    And it would have been more romantic if they actually kissed and the fireworks came up at that exact moment instead of being early…

  15. not to be a prick or anything, but the more “modern” asians are actually much taller… I’m asian and I’m 5’11”, my sister is 5’5″… just saying because what you said about asians being short is quite stereotypical and rude… otherwise thanks for posting!

    Risen~N Seraphim

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