Home > Episode Reviews, School President is a Maid > School President is a Maid Episode 7 – False Pretenses

School President is a Maid Episode 7 – False Pretenses

A theme which School President is a Maid has touched on many times before is that of being true to oneself and honest about who one is. Usui has always made it a point, whenever he’s actually being serious, to emphasize that Misaki should do what she wants to do, and be who she wants to be, without necessarily caring about the approval of others or maintaining a particular image. This time there are two challenges to that, one with Usui himself, and the other with the introduction of what looks like the villain for our first real plot arc, if not for the season.

Misaki is doing her normal thing at the Maid Cafe when she gets a call from a frantic friend from school: some of the students from Seika have gotten into a fight with students from Miyabigaoka Academy, the local private school where all the obscenely wealthy kids go. She arrives on scene to find that two of her students (men, of course) have punched a Miyabigaoka student, who demands an official apology to avoid making it into an incident.

For someone who's been slugged in the face, he seems rather pleased with himself. Maybe a few more socks to the jaw would help

Misaki, of course, strangles her students into submission, but when heading to Miyabigaoka to give the offical apology she learns why they were so ticked off. They were looking into a store front that happened to be owned by the Miyabigaoka student’s family, and he had insulted them—plebian students from a worthless school—for having the gall to even admire what the shop was selling.

Quick excursion: the portrayal of super-rich middle and high school students is rather common in anime, as demonstrated in my co-blogger’s reviews of Mayoi Neko Overrun, and also in shows such as Hayate the Combat Butler and Ouran High School Host Club. In real life even the heirs to the conglomerates that make up Japanese industry don’t attend schools as opulent, or have access to the resources and funding, that they are commonly shown to have in anime. But anime, of course, has very little to do with real life.

Actually, this isn't nearly as large or ornate a school as rich boy academies are typically depicted. Then again, we aren't shown the grounds either

The super rich might just be portrayed as wholly ignorant of the lives of those without mansions and full serving staffs at their beck and call, but just as often they are shown as actively malicious and self-important, and this show falls firmly into the latter camp. I wasn’t expecting Misaki’s humble circumstances (and that of the school itself, which Misaki attends because the tuition cost is low) to become a major plot point, but it looks like it will.

Misaki’s response to all this is to insist, firmly, on a dual apology; the Miyabigaoka student should apologize for his words even as Misaki’s student apologizes for the punch. He refuses the compromise, thinking his words completely accurate and appropriate, but counter-offers with a challenge of a chess game, with the loser providing a solo apology. After Usui—who was tagging along for “sociological observation”—hands his head to him, he gets even more infuriated and kicks them out.

Well, it's nice to know that not everyone rich will be stereotyped as a cruel, self-entitled jerkface ...

The next day the Miyabigaoka student council president, Tora Igarashi, arrives at Seika with a full retinue … only to apologize for his student’s boorish behavior and offer to have him expelled. After Misaki gratefully declines the offer, he brings up the other reason why he’s come: to invite Misaki to join the student council of Miyabigaoka.

Misaki, Igarashi explains, has managed to take Seika from being a place for rejects and delinquents and turn it into something functional. (That Misaki reflexively clotheslines a couple misbehaving students right in front of him doesn’t seem to turn him off.) He wants Misaki’s talent for his own school, and is willing to provide for her educational costs and admission if she is willing to come along. Misaki is left seriously considering his offer.

... ur, scratch that.

Of course, he has his own sinister reasons for all this. Any front of politeness for Misaki drops the instant he’s back in his car, mocking the state of the school and asking for his VP to dig up any dirt on Misaki he can. Why exactly he wants her at Miyabigaoka is not yet clear, but it seems safe to assume he’s not looking out for her long-term health and well-being.

What makes Igarashi’s offer all the more compelling is Misaki’s growing weariness with Usui’s antics. Misaki was greatly unnerved by Usui’s kiss last episode, and was beginning to take his advances somewhat seriously. In order to undo this, Usui kisses the (male) student council vice-president right in front of her, which lets her reclassify his kissing her as just a further form of harassment, which he applies on an equal opportunity basis.

I refer readers to my comments in the review of episode four about the fantasies of many female anime watchers

Why Usui does this isn’t completely clear. Certainly, he was getting worried, at the start of the episode, at how much his declaration of love was disrupting Misaki’s normally composed demeanor, but his previous advances have thrown Misaki off her game before and he never cared. It might be because it was affecting his ability to interact with her normally, but that’s mainly because she’s still uncertain about his intentions. So perhaps it is he who is not ready to bring the relationship to the next stage; he gets noticeably concerned just watching Misaki get noticeably flustered at his presence, and if there’s one thing that Usui doesn’t do well, it’s lose his cool. Maybe he just wants to bring things back to where they were.

But of course things can’t go back to the way they were, and Misaki’s been toyed with enough. By the end of the episode and after Usui’s latest flirtation disguised as harassment (or harassment disguised as flirtation, take your pick), she tells him off for toying with her so much. As much as I know Usui’s advances are genuine and that he’s gone the extra mile to help her over the course of the series, I can’t say I blame her. For all of Usui’s arguments that Misaki should be honest with and about herself, he isn’t being honest with her. And the show is right to point out that there are consequences for that.

Misaki seems to have enjoy her work much more when it's about servicing female fantasies rather than male ones. Her tune might change if she knew what they were fantasizing.

The problem in the end is that Misaki has clearly communicated what she wants, as recently as this very episode: a gentleman who is polite, refined, and treats women with respect. (Rather ironically, she gets to put this into practice herself when the cafe does a female customer-only “host day” and has the entire staff dress up as men.) Usui, for whatever reason, isn’t willing to do that; he’s very aggressive and alpha-male bad boy-ish whenever he expresses his feelings, which is in line for many romantic interests in fictional material catering to girls (made in Japan or otherwise), but not what Misaki wants.

Of course, Igarashi isn’t what Misaki wants either, even though she doesn’t know that yet. Both Igarashi and Usui are deceiving her, although the way Usui is doing it makes him seem worse than he probably is, just as Igarashi comes off as much better. I hope that, when Usui rides in on his white horse to save Misaki from whatever Igarashi has planned, that he’d learn to take his own advice about honesty. But that might be asking too much.

Let's just say this is never a good sign and move on

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