「林間学校オニごっこ」 (Rinkan Gakkou Oni Gokko)
“Outdoor School Game of Tag”
The bitter tradition of lying about how glamorous the five-day, four-night, Seika outdoor school trip may have crushed many of the guys’ expectations, but its true purpose seemed to be starving them and taking away their manhood in order to create law-abiding and docile citizens. All in accordance to the Japanese education system? At one end of the spectrum, we get the desired result of individuals fit to work a mundane and repetitive salaryman jobs, and on the other we get deranged psychopaths who commit heinous crimes because they feel suppressed by society. There was even indication of how the male students’ view of women was completely twisted in the latter case. Naturally I say all of that jokingly, but it’s kind of scary how there’s an element of truth behind parts of it. And here I thought I was watching an episode of Maid-sama, not the secret inner workings of the Japanese government and how they brainwash their citizens. It’s a conspiracy!
Regardless of how much one reads into any of the above, it more or less sums up what this episode involved. I could probably go on about how monks and religion were used to that end; however, the real matter at hand with Usui feeling jealous towards Hinata’s childhood relationship with Misaki makes for much better and relevant discussion. To put things bluntly, I can’t see Hinata in any serious contention for Misaki’s highly sought after heart unless the series plans to completely oust Usui as the male lead. Still, I enjoy his addition to the story since he adds an air of silliness and helps stir things up between those two love birds. The sad truth is that his aspirations of getting together with his childhood sweetheart are unlikely to come to fruition, and he’s probably going to become nothing more than a stepping stone to bring Takumi and Misaki closer together.
It’s a sub-character pattern that’s been used time and time again, but at least least I won’t feel too bad for Hinata when that time comes due to his eccentric personality. Incidentally, he’s already acknowledged how cool Usui is by saying he’d probably fall for him if he were a girl, and even asked him directly if he likes Misaki and is going out with her, without giving any indication that he’d try to take her from him if that were the case. In addition, the brief amount of time he spent locked in the storehouse with Misaki made it pretty clear that he’s well aware that she probably doesn’t like him, suggesting that Hinata wouldn’t interfere if Misaki picked Usui over him. As such, he’s even more suited to fill that sacrificial catalyst-type role and go on to reiterate that “nice guys finish last.”
Be that as it may, he’s currently the only one that can match Usui’s superhuman abilities to a certain degree, so I’m hoping he won’t fulfill his role too quickly. After Misaki, Hinata, and Usui scared off the pack of rabid wolves formerly known as the male students of Seika, I’m left wondering if that might already be the case though. Upon hearing Misaki say that she’s worried about him more than Hinata since he’s more troublesome, Usui looked like he had completely written off Hinata as a cause for concern. That was the face of one ridiculously relieved high school stud no matter how you look at it, which would suggest that Hinata’s days as an effective catalyst are numbered. Admittedly, I’ll be somewhat disappointed if that proves to be true, since Takumi and Misaki’s relationship didn’t really progress from his involvement. The next episode looks like it’s going to involve Hinata and Maid Latte with no hint of Usui being on edge around him, but hopefully he’ll still be able to mix things up in some way.