「メイド様でもフットマン」 (Maid-sama demo Futtoman)
“A Footman Even as A Maid”
I thought I was watching a show about a student council president who’s secretly a maid, but got a footman instead this week. It wasn’t exactly what I was hoping to see after Miko Day at Maid Latte, but turned out to be a multi-episode arc involving the return of Miyabigaoka’s Tora. His arrival didn’t come as any surprise thanks to the preview last time, but his new way of hazing Misaki through his vice-president Maki Kanade (Maeno Tomoaki) was to a degree. However, if there’s one thing that I hate more than rich arrogant guys pushing their fat wallets around to ridicule commoners, it’s them doing the same thing under the guise of civility. I’d much rather them be a jerk the entire time than go for a roundabout method to achieve the same result just for their personal entertainment. This episode was a prime example of the latter when Kanade waltzed into Maid Latte and expressed interest in buying the cafe since the owner refused to sell the building to him. Kudos to the old man for backing up his tenants and telling Kanade and the big name “Maki Dining” corporation that his father runs that he isn’t selling to them, but I did enjoy seeing Satsuki in a daze from the thought of her business being pulled out from underneath her feet. I have a whole new-found respect for Toyosaki Aki after finally getting around to finishing the last few episodes of the fan-service-filled Seikon no Qwaser and seeing her MC the K-ON Live Event that took place at the end of last year, so her voice work in any role is always a pleasure to watch, even when she’s not saying a whole lot because Satsuki’s in shock.
On that note, it’s probably not a very convincing proposition, but if you ever wanted to hear Fujimura Ayumi in tsundere role where she gets manhandled, she delivers just that in Seikon no Qwaser alongside Aki. For the more innocent variety, Misa-chan proves she’s just as good though when she makes Usui touch her breast to fool all the other participants at the “Footman Audition” into believing she’s a guy. Now it could just be me, but I find there’s something really alluring about her determination to save Maid Latte and refusal to let things play out like Tora and Kanade want when she’s willing to use her own body to that end. It’s not quite the same as letting some Russian boy rip through her clothes and drink her “Soma” as he pleases, but for a clean series it’s right up there in terms of providing some subliminal form of stimulation. What I found equally surprising from that turn of events was how Usui seamlessly followed up by saying she’s as “flat as a board” and not reacting any way whatsoever. Well, not externally anyway, as he didn’t give any indication of the thoughts that were probably racing through his mind from the cheap feel that was initiated by Misaki herself. He was cool as ice, even when he was touching the breast of the one and only Misa-chan.
Incidentally, Misaki’s decision to take part in this footman test was to try and save Maid Latte from being torn down and rebuilt as some high-class British-themed butler cafe, which led to some good laughs when Naoya and Ryuunosuke suddenly popped up to show their support by taking part as well. The Kanou and Yukimura pairing on the other hand was a bit unsettling, because my visions of a potential Soutarou x Sakura pairing were quickly shattered by a yaoi one I could have done without. In terms of other unexpected participants, it didn’t come as any surprise that the two masked one were Usui and Aoi. There was no way that Usui was going to remain on the sidelines when Misaki’s going out on a limb against a tyrant like Tora. As such, I couldn’t help but feel how it would have been an absolute breeze if Misaki asked Usui for help to begin with, upon learning that this butler competition required the participants to enter as pairs. It’s just too bad that asking Usui for help is probably the last thing Misaki will ever do, especially when she feels heavily indebted to him already. What’s more, confiding in him would be exactly what Usui wants, which goes against Misaki’s internal struggle of falling head over heels in love with him. In lieu, it was nice to see Subaru step up to the task and use bandages (i.e. sarashi) to help conceal her breasts, but in reality I still wanted to see Misaki pair up with Usui and completely dominate the competition.
Lo and behold, Aoi getting disqualified for being underage and Subaru for being a woman led to just that, thanks to Tora’s suggestion that they let Misaki and Usui pair up if they meet the age and gender requirements. It goes without saying that Tora is well aware that “Misaki-kun” is Misaki since he invited her to take part to show how serious she is about working in the service industry, so the determination she showed to win his stupid test somehow felt like it only added to his personal entertainment. At the same time, his surprise in seeing Misaki make Usui touch her chest looked like it made him even more infatuated with her. As mentioned above, it worked wonders on me since it reiterated Misaki’s fiery spunky personality, plus set things up nicely for a follow-up next time. I have no idea what we’re in store for, but will say that the preview shot has me really looking forward to what develops from Misaki pairing up with Usui.