Polishing off Maid-Sama, Yakuindomo

The Kaichou wa Maid-Sama finale did what you might have expected, bring together Misa and Usui as a couple, and they actually do it pretty well, but everything around them felt off.

Misa came to this festival because she wanted to keep an eye on Sakura, who’s there for the UxMishi concert, i.e., their lead singer Kuuga. But they get separated. Most of the episode concerns Misa and Usui as they kill time until the concert’s over, including a “love-trial” contest, where they must do a number of things around the festival while holding hands. Not only are these scenes fast and silly (Maid-Sama’s specialty) but they exhibit the couple’s weird dynamic. First, they are holding hands; second, Misa isn’t sure how she feels about that, third; Usui is doing his best deadpan teasing at the same time.

But there are things that didn’t pan out. After the concert Kuuga is to be escorted around the school grounds by Sakura. Misa runs into him beforehand. It’s an odd scene. Misa is looking for changes while Kuuga says he likes Sakura for how she sees right through him. I don’t buy that at all, but at least it shows he has no nasty intentions this time. But, face it, the reason he’s in the episode at all is so he can comment on Misa/Usui. He says stuff about enduring someone, then poof, he’s gone. We never see how Sakura’s tour went. I guess she wasn’t that important to the episode.

And then we get the big confession scene, the characters dressed in old fashioned costumes for some reason, waiting for fireworks, Kuuga’s “enduring” concept rears its head again. I must say that I had not been looking forward to this scene because I thought it would mean Sakura simply giving in to Usui’s charms, but the real scene is, happily, two-sided. She asks if he is enduring HER, and why, and Usui, taken aback (which was satisfying in itself) gives out a splendid, honest rundown of the things he loves about her. He teases her because he loves to see her expressions was my favorite bit because I like those moments too, but there are other good things here. And then he uses the L-word. Then its her turn to rattle off a sort of confession, Misa-style. Another good speech. She’s letting out her frustrations and insecurities and telling him how important he is to her. Usui is almost shocked. He’s unsure what to do! For once, in a romantic setting, he shows vulnerabilities we hadn’t seen much of before.

Well, it was good to see him soften a little at the end. It was not good that we don’t see Hinata until the closing credits; I expected him to play some role in a finale. That’s another reason why the episode felt incomplete.

And now it’s over. Will there be a sequel? I mean, they’ve confessed now. If there is I’m not sure I’ll watch it. The show did some things well. At its best it had great energy and a good set of characters bouncing off each other. I liked the ensemble acting very much. Misa was terrific. Usui had great moments when he wasn’t being smarmy. But I don’t know if I need to see any more of this story. Maybe I’ll feel differently when the time comes.

Seitokai Yakuindomo 13 ends with nothing at all.

A typical Takatoshi reaction.

Let’s see. There’s a small earthquake, the student council visits the robot club, Suzu is short, Aria shows off her family album, back to the robot club, Dejima’s driving skills, Kaede has trouble with mushrooms, Takatoshi has to write another essay for the school paper, Kata wants childhood photos for the paper (Suzu is short), Mutsumi and Takatoshi are on day duty, Suzu spills tea on Aria’s cell phone, Takatoshi is nervous about giving a speech, and then there are closing credits, only they involve Kotomi … and the episode is only half over.

Takatoshi's idealized beach scene.

I was worried at first. The Student Council all start to reminisce about the past school year. That means flashback time. However the show decided to give us variations of the memories based on the characters’ dreams and fantasies, which made it slightly more tolerable. However, the fantasies did little but stick the character in their ego-driven dream world (Hata as undercover photographer, Mitsubi fighting off goons, etc). Not much imagination there.

And the episode STILL isn’t over, so they talk about next year, break the fourth wall by comparing a year in anime time to three months, then invent a new magical girl show, then plug the time slot’s actual next show: Hakuouki Heketsuroku, which I must say is pretty decent of them. I’ve never seen one show plug the next one before.

Don’t ask me why I watched this all the way through. I simply don’t know.

One more of the Student Council.

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