Night Raid 3, Maid-Sama 4

In Senkou no Night Raid 3 Yukina gets a letter from her missing brother, asking her to meet him at a certain place, but she and the team are distracted by some bombs in department stores and a guy who can both read minds AND teleport. Hey, that’s not fair!

He wants Yukina to come with him to see her brother. I’m trying to puzzle it out. Why is the guy hanging around the bombs, anyway? To keep the team from finding them? To find Yukina when she didn’t show up for her rendezvous? No matter, the hunt for the bombs, coupled with his interference, was gripping enough. Our suspicions are raised when we see his gun raised in scenes in each store. Even if we can’t see his face, the uniform is the same. We wonder how he gets around like that, then put two and two together. Then there’s the lost little girl they throw in to make Aoi’s life even more complicated. Though I had to laugh as they manage to get two of the bombs safely away just seconds before they go off. The team knows something about dramatic timing.

What doesn’t work so well is the final confrontation on the roof. Oh, the literal mind games bit was fine, it was his request for Yukina to leave with him to see her brother which stumbled. The guy had just planted four bombs (not to mention a balloon full of poison, his final gambit) and battled with her guys. There was no way she was going to go off with him at this point. No suspense there. Well, no matter. It was an exciting episode, or maybe I’m just a sucker for disarming bombs shows.

Kaichou wa Maid-Sama 4 starts with a potentially annoying scenario which is done rather well, followed by some random scenes which work okay and finishes with a nice conclusion. It’s all about the boss’s niece, Aoi, darling Internet idol, and actually a boy.

That last part, when revealed, is only a small surprise. Aoi wants to work at the cafe, then sees Usui, and naturally falls for him. It’s here we have to wonder what is motivations are. At the time his real sex hasn’t been revealed, so we work with that assumption, but if he’s really a boy, is he a cross-dresser, or is he gay? Aoi talks a lot about the power his cuteness has over people, so I’m going to assume the former. The fun is that Usui doesn’t pay attention to him at all, and his barbs at Misa fall on deaf ears, too. They just don’t care what he thinks.

I found this refreshing. No “bratty kid causes trouble at the cafe” scenes here. But it takes up a little more than half the episode. For the second half the outed Aoi drags Misa around, ostensibly because he’s going to find her feminine stuff to wear, but he doesn’t try very hard. Here’s where the random scenes come in. They talk. Misa stops a purse snatcher, how unfeminine of her! She has an obligation to be girly, right?

All right, it’s a shallow moral: “Be yourself.” But it’s brought home to Aoi nicely, that he should accept others for what they are as well. It was a surprising and satisfying conclusion to this episode. I’m still not in love with this series, but it’s working better than I had first thought.

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