Home > Episode Reviews, School President is a Maid > School President is a Maid Episode 15 – Walking in Their Shoes

School President is a Maid Episode 15 – Walking in Their Shoes

Ok, anyone who was expecting that Misaki actually fell asleep last episode and thus fell under Kanou’s hypnotic trap to doom her relationship with Usui forever, please raise your hand. You can go and review appropriate entries on tvtropes on standard romance conventions. (I’d start with this one.) For the rest of you, yes Misaki does stay awake thanks to Usui’s efforts, although she acknowledges it only through insulting him. Which means Kanou is suddenly exposed and without any remaining defenses.

Given certain other conventions common to the genre, that means we are treated to his rehabilitation this episode, instead of his brutal smackdown at Misaki’s hands. While to a certain extent that makes the entire plot unnecessary (she could have just gotten him expelled and moved on), learning the reasons for his actions, and how he comes to rethink them, does dovetail well with the themes of the show. And since such reflection comes through and not despite Misaki’s chosen punishment for Kanou, that reflects well on her too.

Not that she isn't trying to scare him. Misaki's patented death aura makes a strong comeback in this episode

Not that it seems like Misaki is doing anything for Kanou’s benefit at first: Her idea of appropriate restitution is for Kanou to help at the very open house he was trying to sabotage—through helping the girls of the school run a rest area. Thus, the female-allergic Kanou is stuck spending days of planning set-up with several cheery and friendly girls (most of whom think he’s cute), but also welcoming the very students he wanted to scare off.

This sort of poetic punishment, however appropriate, isn’t just for revenge. Misaki, while making sure to keep him from running off, also is keeping a close watch on Kanou’s interactions with the girls. Despite all he’s done, she’s still treating him like a student under her care, and helping him to feel normal around women is an important part of that.

The girls decide to wear costumes as part of their service, and Kanou doesn't get out of it. This also lets Yukimura get put in drag again

While we the audience learn about his aversion to all things feminine (his mother left his idiot father when Kanou was four and dad blamed it on her frailness, causing Kanou to avoid any relationships with women to avoid being hurt like that again), it’s nice that Kanou doesn’t relate the story to anyone else; he’s a private sort of person and I appreciate the show doesn’t violate that aspect of his character to make him give an appropriate confession. Rather, Misaki picks up on enough clues to determine the basic idea, and then lets his experience with real girls ease him out of his concerns.

By the end of his time, he manages to overcome his fear of girls enough to help encourage a prospective female student not to be afraid of guys (although whether he uses hypnosis to do so is unclear), a nice turnaround of his initial situation. He also manages to realize, through Misaki more than anyone else, that girls aren’t as frail as he thinks they are, which comports nicely with the quasi-feminist messages of the show.

Whether through hypnosis or just looking ridiculous in bunny ears, Kanou cures a girl of her fears, and he of his own

But what of Usui and Misaki, you ask? What about the relationship I’ve been complaining was off center stage for weeks, and which just came back to prominence last episode? How does that fit into all this?

Well, it doesn’t, for the most part. Usui’s contribution to the open house is being volunteered by Misaki to help the rather incompetent sports clubs offer an attractive face on their proceedings. Although I’m annoyed that Usui, as usual, winds up being perfect at everything, he does get run ragged by the constant activity, and the mere fact that Misaki successfully corralled him into helping shows she’s slowly learning how to give as good as she gets. But it does mean that any relationship building between them has to wait until the end of the episode.

Usui's had that sort of put-out expression on his face before, but this is the first time Misaki's directly caused it. Good for her

After the open house is over, Usui drags Misaki off and insists on being thanked for his efforts on behalf of the open house. And not the sort of half-hearted declaration that she starts with: He wants to be thanked properly, as Misaki herself would want to be thanked. And so she, in a mirror to Usui’s preferred method of encouragement over the course of the show, rubs his head while telling him he did well.

One of the few relevant bits of character development in the otherwise forgettable tenth episode dealt with Misaki’s slow realization that Usui’s head pats were genuinely meant as encouragement and not harassment. With this, she’s finally acknowledging that she is encouraged by it, and thus is opening herself up to be more welcoming of it when Usui pulls it out again.

Note the parallel between this shot and the last in the episode ten review

If Kanou had to come full circle and relieve the fears of a androphobic girl to get over his own fears, it may be that Misaki had to be put in Usui’s role as an encourager, if only for a moment, to realize what Usui’s encouragement has truly meant. The episode might not devote much time to their relationship, but this is arguably the most important development between them since Usui kissed her. So long as the writers don’t undo this event as they did the last one, that makes this episode a worthy addition to the show.

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