School President is a Maid Episode 11 – Getting the Runaround
After a slow couple of episodes, School President is a Maid is starting to pull the attention back to where it belongs, firmly on Usui and Misaki. Even with this change, however, there hasn’t been that much to happen between them even so. I’m getting the feeling that the show is in its mid-season slump.
The episode starts promisingly enough, with Usui helping Misaki’s mother out, seemingly at random, and getting invited to the Ayuzawa residence as a result. This naturally freaks Misaki out when she learns about it, but in her haste to get him out she doesn’t notice that Shizuko and Sakura are outside observing her.
The episode could have gone in a “friends caught up in a misunderstanding” direction, but Misaki explains the situation without too much trouble. However, the thought of Usui visiting Misaki’s house leads Sakura to ponder the question: Where exactly does Usui live, anyway?
Sakura and Shizuko then decides to tail Usui, and when his path leads to Misaki’s employment, she has little choice but to take the day off and pretend like she wanted to join them. Their observation leads them to a series of very upscale establishments, where Usui moves around like regular, but after Misaki looks somewhat unnerved at the prospect that Usui might be meeting another girl for lunch, Usui—who may or may not have noticed this—leads them on a spree of seemingly random activies, which eventually wears them out just trying to follow him around.
After her friends leave, Misaki heads up to talk to/laugh at Usui as he tries to rescue a stray cat. Of course, Usui knew they were following him for some time, but he was actually pleased that Misaki was interested in learning something about him. He gives her his address and offers to tell her anything she might want to know, but of course she rejects it out of hand, as she has yet to admit that she has reason to care about him.
Only at the end of the episode do we find that Misaki did, in fact, keep a hold of the address note, apparently handwritten and on hand for Usui to hand to her at any time. We also see the apartment itself, a penthouse set-up remarkably devoid of life.
If this episode serves to do anything, it’s to remind up about how little we know about Usui. We can’t take anything on his trip as being part of his normal day, as we don’t know when he noticed his stalkers and how early on he decided to start leading on a wild goose chase. Theoretically, it’s possible that he does all the things he was shown to do as part of a daily routine, but that would be pressing the perfection boundary even harder than male leads in these sorts of romances typically go.
There’s been some hints that he might come from money before (in one previous episode he mentions that he hadn’t ridden a bus in a while, which is a hard thing to avoid in Japan without money or a car), and however much of his post-cafe trip was faked, it would still require a whole lot of cash for him to successfully pull it off. His rather spacious apartment is obviously worth money too, but it reveals more than that: Given the dark emptiness of the place, it seems that his might be a solitary life.
Of course, if he is a rich kid, that raises the question of why he’d attend a trashy school like Seika, unless he’s been eying Misaki for longer than we’ve been given reason to believe. Quite likely, there’s a tragic backstory of some sort to explain him living alone and isolated, which the writers are content to tease us about right now. Unfortunately, the last serious arc removed any patience I might have for such teasing.
It’s as if the author, realizing that the plot had accelerated a little to fast, put on the breaks to allow the series to keep going, but didn’t really have anything to keep things simmering at a low boil. The show functions best when Misaki is overcoming challenges with the help (and harassment) of Usui, but, for the third episode in a row, there’s little of either of that. What we do have is a set of occasionally entertaining diversions, with hints now and then of greater development down the road. But there’s little reason, in a properly paced narrative, why “down the road” can’t be “now” instead.