Saturday, April 4, 2015

Kaichou wa Maid-Sama

Kaichou wa Maid-Sama is a slice of life anime series adapted from a manga.  It’s a romantic comedy centered around a high school girl and boy, Ayuzawa Misaki and Usui Takumi.  Misaki is an all-star student who is also the student council president of a rough, mostly male, high school called Seika High.  Seika High used to be male only, and has a reputation for being rough and unsafe.  Misaki’s primary goal as student council president is to rein the school in, making it safer for girls and less rough and tumble.  As such, Misaki is adored by the instructors and her female student friends.  However, she is mostly feared by the male student population as a boy-hating, rule-following, cold, demon student council president.

Misaki’s family is poor and she has a part-time job to help out.  Her personality is straight-forward and aggressive at school, and her secret is that her part time job is at a maid café where she works as a maid.   Because this job is so at odds with the tough, boy-hating persona she wears at school, Misaki keeps it a secret.  Usui discovers the secret in the first episode and begins to frequent the café.

Usui Takumi is a somewhat mysterious, good-looking, smart, athletic and popular boy, and he is attracted to Misaki from the very beginning of the series.  So basically this series is their love story, as he works to bring her around to accepting him.  Once he discovers her secret, he uses it to get closer to her, but he basically spends all his time supporting and protecting her. 

The story line is not much more than that.  It follows their everyday lives, including what’s going on in the maid café, at the school, and in the lives of their friends and family.   Misaki gains a following along the way and even when some of the boys learn her secret, they keep it for her.   Some episodes focus on Misaki’s family, some on Usui’s family, and some focus on things their various friends are doing.  And of course, during the series, a love rival for Misaki’s affection shows up.

There are some plot elements added by a rivalry with an upper-class high school and its snobby students.   Misaki is offered a scholarship to the upper-class school, which her friends worry that she will take.  Along the way, the upper class high school’s student council president, Igarashi Tora, discovers Misaki’s maid secret, and then tries to take advantage of her when he gets her alone.   When she refuses him and his school, he tries to force her.

This is one of the several times that Usui rescues Misaki.  In fact he spends a lot of time pulling her out of tight spots.  At the end of the series he finally gets her to admit that she wants to be with him, even if she doesn’t fully understand her feelings for him.  

This series is definitely not one with a fast-paced, intense plot line.  There are no cliff-hanger episodes, no twisty, unexpected plot devices.  It's just a nice, even-paced love story, following two main characters with fairly normal teenage lives.  The animation and character style is really pretty though, so it's nice to watch.  Plus nobody dies and the main characters get together.  As a slice of life life anime, it's worth watching.

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