Five Leaves 10, Maid-Sama 12

Another episode of House of Five Leaves where the intrigue mixes in with everyday life to the sound of accordian music.

Yaichi (the present-day one) has told Akitsu not to hang around with Yagi, but he must know that this won’t happen, so he gives him some rules for behavior. Indeed, everyone in this show can read Akitsu like a book. And in spite of pretending to be weaker than Yagi in sword-practice (in front of Sachi, his sister), Yagi can tell what is really going on. It all has to do with Yaichi’s past, and we actually learn some stuff this time. It turns out he was befriended by Yagi and the older Yaichi as a boy.

Yagi sees through Akitsu's well-intentioned lie.

What’s more, it’s possible he was the one who betrayed the Bakuro gang all those years ago, and that his name was Seinoshin. No doubt he took the name Yaichi in honor of the servant who befriended him. So now he’s got a man with a scar on his face (Jin, I believe), hunting for him out of revenge, and Yagi the cop is on to him, too. No wonder Yaichi’s so depressed this episode.

The more everyday story belongs to Sachi and her experiences in Edo. She decides to go home after all, because she’s homesick. This is a running theme in the episode, as some prostitutes ask Akitsu about his hometown, because they’re homesick for theirs, prompting Akitsu to buy them some sweets to cheer them up. He says it’s Yaichi’s influence, but I can’t see it that way. It’s all layered together, one side of the story quietly alternating with the other. But I have a feeling we’re going to have some genuine threat next time, now that Jin has shown up.

Kaichou wa Maid-Sama 12 is all about the sports festival, the twist being that the winner of each event gets a specific prize. Since the school is mostly boys there’s only one girls’ team, and one of the prizes is a kiss from the terrified Sakura. You can guess how Misa feels about this.

It goes as planned, the only problem is in the obstacle race, the one for which the kiss will be rewarded. Another contestant tries to cheat, but Usui, ho-hum, saves the day and hands the prize to Misa. I’m just reciting the story here, but there’s nothing much to say about this part at all. I just enjoyed Misa’s distorted facial expressions as she competes.


And when you hear that the second half is going to have a costume race, you already know what’s going to happen, right? Happily, they add some twists. Misa indeed accidentally gets the maid costume (Why does it matter? It won’t expose her. I guess it’s the cruel irony of it), but with a mixup in the changing room the costume winds up with vice-president Yukimura, a nonathletic boy who nonetheless is dying to participate in this one event he has a chance in. But now finds himself wearing a humiliating costume, tripping over his skirts and being jeered by the other boys. Naturally this pisses off Misa all over again.

It’s a nice enough moment. The show of solidarity Misa and Usui demonstrate with Yukimura was nice. It’s good to see Usui in particular work to help a male classmate. But as a whole it has some problems. Most of the other contestants are wearing stupid costumes, too. Yukimura should have expected this. The changing-room scene takes way too long. But at least they added a few twists to what could have been an incredibly predictable episode.

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