Yumeiro 24, Maid-Sama 2

Yumeiro Patissiere 24 (and probably the next couple as well) is all about the love, or in Kashino’s case, too much of it and at the same time not enough of the right kind. The next Grand Prix round’s theme is, you guessed it. And it has to be a chocolate cake, thus posing a problem for Kashino. He’s fine with chocolate, but isn’t so great with the love, being pampered and even stalked by girls for years. It’s kinda creepy considering he’s a middle-schooler.

So he grows up afraid or suspicious of the opposite sex. He goes off in a huff, quarrels with Chocolat, and work on the cake design goes on without him. Worse, he stupidly agrees that if he loses to Ojou’s team he has to join them. Why he does it is anyone’s guess. Why does anyone take on stupid challenges when they have nothing to gain?

Things work slowly this episode; I suspect the story arc will require two more. They’ll lose and fall into despair (this is a safe bet, considering the next episode is called “Goodbye Kashino”), then turn things around in the one after that. So for now we can examine two further complications.

Leon, chocolatier and Broadway chorus costume designer.

Ojou has brought in Monsieur Leon, famous French chocolatier, to train her. Kashino admires him. This certainly adds pressure, but on the other hand, if he loses and joins Ojou’s team, maybe he’d be able to work with him. This could work to your advantage, Kashino! On the other hand, Leon works Ojou to death, meaning he’s a Good Guy, really. There’s also Youko Ayukawa, a quiet, serious girl who tells Ichigo there’s nothing fun about becoming a pattisier, leaves—then tells Ojou what Team Ichigo’s cake is going to be. She is going to be the troubled one that Ichigo will eventually befriend. The only question is what her backstory is. The very fact that I’m confidentially predicting this shows the rut this show can fall into. Well, that’s always been the case. The stories have all been highly predictable, but often excels in the details.

Kaichou wa Maid-Sama 2 also falls into a routine, and I’m not sure they’re not playing their cards too soon. One of the best things so far has been that Misa hates men and wants to feminize the school—at the boys’ expense. Already, they seem to be settling that.

Not all the boys' suggestions are helpful.

It’s school festival time, and Misa shoots down every one of the boys’ suggestions, instantly accepting the girls’ half-hearted suggestion of a cafe. It isn’t that the boys aren’t trying; they’re just coming up with things boys might like. Misa won’t accept that. Naturally, it leads to resentment. They boys in class 2-2 decide to hijack the cafe by adding combat cosplay. Meanwhile Misa gets two lectures, one on how to have fun with everyone, and one by Usui about alienating the opposite sex. It all comes to a head on festival day, until Usui manages to rescue the beleaguered cafe, using his naval officer uniform to charm the girl customers.

The disgruntled boys return and are mostly nice to the customers. … And Misa learns to lighten up … a little. But is this the end of the boy/girl conflict? I hope not. I will say that this was a better episode than the first one and gives me more confidence in the series. I enjoyed that the three thuggish boys who could have blackmailed Misa have turned into her biggest admirers. Misa has a nice array of scary faces. It’s possible this won’t be an early drop, after all. We’ll see if it can succeed, like Yumeiro, in being entertaining even while being routine.


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