Shiki 4, Maid-Sama 18

You could say that Shiki has decided on three main characters, two of them concerned about the mysterious deaths, and right now unable to do much about it. The deaths hit them all at a personal level, the unconcerned character most of all.

Every time Seishin picks up the phone it's bad news.

The first part of the show has more people dropping dead, nineteen in all. Seishin, who has the least power to act, can only bow his head and prepare for another burial. Toshio, the doctor, who in a secular world would have the most power, can only look for symptoms and speculate about the cause. Since we know that it’s a bunch of vampires doing this it looks like he’s maybe not so powerful after all. I would like to think the show will give him something useful to do, somehow make this “epidemic” something he can partially treat. Since they’re lavishing time on him (a nice staff meeting scene and other bits) I expect he’ll do something.

Back to Seishin. I said he has the least power, but he has an “in” that the others don’t have: his little friend Sunako. For the second episode she pays him a little night visit where she talks about things little girls don’t normally talk about, such as death being unbiased and random, and in doing so treating us to a lovely, colorful series of images. I rather look forward to her appearances. Seishin again takes it all in without comment, hardly blinking an eye, and I wonder what he’s thinking about. Is he coming to conclusions of his own? I wish he would open up, but of course, to whom? He’s dealing with a spiritual matter. If he does have an idea he just can’t rush to the police, or Toshio.

It’s Natsuno, the one who wants no connections, who considers himself outside of events, that finds himself deepest in it. Interspaced with the other characters’ scenes, we see him having trouble sleeping, imagining Megumi outside his window, waking up, falling asleep, over and over as Megumi gets closer, and closer. The next day she’s on the bus with him. No wonder he’s exhausted. Then we get the scene I expected, though it actually happens a few days after I thought it would. Megumi and Tatsumi invade Tohru’s bedroom while Natsuno is sleeping over, and we get our cliffhanger.

A couple interesting things. Megumi’s line in the screenshot above suggests that while she is a vampire now she still seems to have her human feelings attached. Also, Natsuno doesn’t move while she goes for Tohru’s throat … is he paralyzed, or just scared? I will add that I was a little disappointed that Megumi’s doing the fangs-on-the-neck cliché. I had hoped with a show this sophisticated that they’d come up with something more interesting. Another good episode, and if it takes its time that just gives me more to speculate about in these posts … And I didn’t even talk about the mysterious moving company …

Whenever Kaichou wa Maid-Sama brings up that other high school, especially Tora, the class president who once assaulted Misa my stomach starts to churn. For all its usual lightheartedness this show can get ugly. So I wasn’t looking forward to their return in episode 17. Turns out it wasn’t as bad as I had feared.

Miyabigaoka’s vice-president, Maki, son of a restaurant conglomerate owner, intends to buy out Maid Latte and turn it into a butler restaurant, and apparently he’s only doing it because Tora wants to mess with Misa some more. Misa and Usui are the only ones aware of this. The other workers and tenants in that building would be innocent victims. So it’s up to her to fight this. … Um, first of all, I don’t see Maki or Tora using any actual leverage to gain the lease. The owner flat-out refused them. But the cafe’s owner, Satsuki, is a bit of a spineless sort. And so we go to Misa’s counterattack. Her fortune told her to repay her debts, and so she’s going to repay Tora for the abuse, by gum! She’s going to try out for Maki’s butler competition! … You may well ask what good this will do, and I will ask with you.

The competition is silly enough. Misa and Suburu are in drag, of course. Also, for fun, other regulars also participate. Two of the three idiots do it to support Misa, Kanou and Yukimura because maybe they just want to. And who are the two in the masks, as if we didn’t know? It devolves as you would expect. Soon various participants are forced to state their age and sex.

Misa proves she's a guy.

It’s a nice little bit, not only because it’s Misa putting Usui’s hand on her chest(!), but because of the reactions from the others in the know. For once Usui is taken aback! He does well in this episode, not trying to control Misa, but simply watching, ready to step in if needed, confident she can carry this off. The secondary characters are all used well. As I said, a better episode than I had feared.

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