Maid-Sama 10, Neko Overrun 9, and predictability

Kaichou wa Maid-Sama 10 is completely predictable, yet as an episode it’s okay. This time the show focuses on Misa’s friend Sakura, who’s in love with Kuuga, singer with a boy band who has been flirting with her onstage and outside the theatre. And now she’s actually been invited to meet her idols for a meal. Bring friends!

You know what’s going to happen. The boys will turn out to be total dicks and Sakura will get her heart broken. You can tell because they spend nearly half the episode showing Sakura delirious with joy. Also, she comes off as totally innocent when it comes to these things. The question is how it will play out, that is, how will Misa handle it.

Oh, they throw in a couple curveballs. Misa’s fanboys work at the restaurant and are thrown into a jealous rage when the band shows up. Usui appears out of nowhere to intervene when Kuuga makes a move on Misa (You KNEW that would happen, right?), and then proceeds to play more mind games with her. And while Kuuga does the expected and starts hitting on Misa, in full view of the slowly falling-apart Sakura, the other band members are taken aback. Sure, they consider meeting their fans like this just good PR, but they don’t actually want to hurt any of them.

Misa explosion in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

But in the end, it’s what we expected. Actually, Sakura blows up before Misa does, though her tie-grabbing threat scene comes right after. It’s satisfying to watch. You know Misa’s going to get righteous when her theme music kicks in; it’s something I rather enjoy. Misa getting mad is maybe the show’s greatest strength. It’s when she doesn’t, or Usui steps in, that the show fails. So I’m satisified with this one.

I guess every show like Mayoi Neko Overrun! has to have a beach episode, right?

This one is routine. Everyone thinks Nozomi wants to go to the beach, so they do. Actually, she just wants everyone to have fun together, but let that pass. They do the beach things, watermelon splitting, volleyball, girls splashing each other in the water (“A classic,” says Ieyasu—even the characters know how routine this episode is). They even add the broken swim suit strap bit. They even run out of cliches, and the episode is only half-over.

So they go for another chestnut and give it some depth. Fumino has been troubled much of the time, and Takumi is trying to figure out why. He’s fully aware that she says the opposite of what she means. So when she thinks renting a boat is a stupid idea, off they go! And it begins to rain, and we get a beach episode variant—two characters with possible romantic interest in each other get stranded on an island for the night. In fact I just saw this exact same thing in Kimagure Orange Road, a show from 1987. What rescues it is its concentration on Fumino, and Takumi’s realization that she has feelings for him, and what an ass he is for not noticing. Of course, she confessed to him several episodes ago, but we’ll let that pass, too. We see some genuine pain in her character, her feeling that she will be constantly disappointed for her entire life. Of course, the whole thing is leading to a kiss when …

It even ends like Kimagure Orange Road.

So two predictable shows tonight, but they both manage to hold up.

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