Home > Episode Reviews, School President is a Maid > School President is a Maid Episode 21 – Falling in Love All Over Again

School President is a Maid Episode 21 – Falling in Love All Over Again

I mentioned a few episodes ago that most of Misaki and Usui’s relationship problems would be solved if he simply asked her out on a date like a normal person, rather that resorting to quasi-stalkerish (or overtly stalkerish) antics to show his affection. Usui, frankly, has not been all that honest, and with Misaki in deep denial about her own growing feelings, the relationship is completely stalled.

Soutarou Kanou, however, has noticed their warped interplay, and is getting rather frustrated about it. He asks Usui the same question I just did, only to have Usui blow him off in return. I’ve complained about Usui being depicted as perfect, but here we see a real flaw on display: Usui isn’t capable of lowering his guard enough to have a real relationship with Misaki. And even his current relationship is beginning to wear on him.

Kanou, pointing out that Misaki might be attracted to Usui, learns about the concept of "shoot the messenger"

The main thing keeping Misaki and Usui’s relationship from evolving is that lack of honesty. Usui can’t come out and be truthful because of whatever psychological issues he has, and Misaki is unwilling to admit she’s fallen for a guy whom she thinks of as a perverted, if helpful, tag-along. Something has to break the impasse: an injection of truth. Who knew it came in human form?

The first half of this episode plays like a normal School President is a Maid episode: There’s a conflict between Misaki and the guys, and she is convinced to take a compromise, works her butt off to fulfill her end of the deal, and is then praised in a paternalistic manner by Usui for it. There’s a few variations this time, as it’s Yukimura and not Usui who provides the way for the compromise, but it’s mostly the same old song and dance.

I think more scenes there are in an episode of Misaki angry, the better it is likely to be

The same old song and dance, of course, is rather funny, particularly with Misaki in full rage mode, which happens quite a bit. The side episodes might waste my time, but at least they make me welcome any return to the basic elements that made the show interesting in the first place. Overall, however, there’s no indication that the incident (cooking food for the sports clubs as they clean up their storerooms) will have any lasting effect—or that the episode will either.

Then, as if heaven-sent, a new character arrives, literally falling from the sky. He’s Hinata Shintani, and about the only traits that he shares with Usui is that he is handsome, and weird. Hinata appears to be suffering from a terminal case of hunger, compulsively eating whenever given the opportunity and being absolutely shameless about mooching food from people. What makes him endearing instead of annoying, at least to his new classmates, is his unguarded honesty; Hinata always says what he thinks.

Hinata's food scavenging ability is such that he can ID candy in wrappers by scent

That means that the entire school soon learns of his tragic backstory, losing his parents in a car crash. They learn he was formerly fat and lost weight only by having to live with his grandfather on the family vegetable farm. And they learn that he came back to his childhood stomping ground to reconnect with his one true love—and I’m sure you can all guess who it is.

Misaki didn’t recognize him at first, as he was heavier and went by a nickname. But it’s hard for her to mistake the situation when Hinata climbs a tree and starts shouting his love from the heights, asking her to come out to him. When she accidentally slips out his old name, he puts it all together and all but proposes right there on the spot.

Hinata's embrace is met with shock by the crowd, who is probably wondering why Misaki hasn't laid a smackdown on him yet

One interesting complication is that Hinata knew Misaki when she was young, and thus (I think) before her father abandoned her family. That is, he knew Misaki before the tragic events that made her the indomitable if hardened over-achiever that she is today, back when she was just a sweet little girl. Despite his own tragic circumstances, Hinata is practically immune to angst himself, and offers a path out, if only symbolically, of the struggles that have both strengthened and crippled her.

In this, he’s everything that Usui isn’t: honest, up front about his affections, and in many ways submissive. He’s openly wooing Misaki (to the extend it even occurs to him that he needs to), but only because he promised to follow her; Usui, by contrast, must always be in the driver’s seat. Usui, longtime watchers will know, also has baggage which he most certainly is controlled by, which makes Hinata’s freedom from his own all the more attractive.

We are again reminded (unnecessarily) that Misaki is a practitioner of the arts of lethal cooking, but Hinata seems immune

If it sounds like I’m cheering for Hinata to succeed in his pursuit of Misaki—well, a part of me is, actually. Hinata might need to learn some lessons about impulse control and personal space, but he lays more groundwork for a healthy relationship in a half episode than Usui has done in twenty. Of course, Usui is going to win out in the end. But I’d like for him to take some lessons from his newfound rival in the meanwhile.

What remains is a hope that Hinata’s arrival will force Usui to act honestly for once in his life. In many ways Hinata resembles the Inuyama quintuplets, whose appearance already proved that Misaki is a sucker for open, enthusiastic personalities. Perhaps by coincidence, the Inuyamas were also responsible for the great opening advance of her relationship with Usui, one which the show has more or less squandered since. I hope this serves as a greater impetus than the last one.

Aside from the gluttony, Hinata is an absurdly likable fellow. Some of these guys here were threatening him only moments before

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