Home > Episode Reviews, School President is a Maid > School President is a Maid Episode 24 – Breaking the Spell

School President is a Maid Episode 24 – Breaking the Spell

Has it really been this long since we’ve had a special costume day at Maid Latte? Perhaps realizing that there are still quite a few known fetishes for the staff to run through before the series ends, we get the first cafe-centered episode in over a month. This time, the maids are going all out with a matching a Sunday morning magical girl show, which involves lots of short skirts and ridiculous incantations.

The moment I realized the premise, I was bracing myself not to like the episode, but once again the show manages to freshen up old genres and plot devices. As surprising as it is for me to admit, the stolen lines from the made-up magical girl show are surprisingly well-integrated into the storyline as a whole.

Misaki pulls an all-nighter watching through the whole series. The (made-up) show seems ridiculous even by the standards of anime

That’s not to say that there’s no lingering oddness or otaku pandering in the premise of the episode. After spending most of its run emphasizing the normality of maid cafes, School President is a Maid now insists on the normality of magical girl shows. Everyone on staff seems surprised that Misaki isn’t familiar with the series, and a couple of the (college age, mind you) girls know enough about the show to give recommendations about which episodes to watch for learning how to act in character.

Likewise, not only are the idiot trio thrilled by the ridiculous antics of waitresses cosplay act, but ordinary looking customers as well. I know maid cafes are slowly growing more mainstream, but I don’t believe that ordinary non-otaku adults are yet at the get-up-on-Sunday-morning-and-watch-cartoons stage—or that they’d be happy with having the normal sophistication of the cafe disrupted for this. Or maybe I’m just channeling.

I understand normal women wanting to feel they are rich enough to afford their own maids. But why is this fantasy appealing to them?

In any case, both Usui and Hinata attend the event as costumers, and Usui is far more subdued than normal, even though an embarrassed Misaki is giving him ample opportunity for teasing. Hinata, meanwhile, is his open and honest self, freely asking Misaki for her love (under the guise of a spell to defeat his rival, Usui), and otherwise acting normally.

Earlier in the episode, he by the contrivance of the writers finds himself in Misaki’s home, where he is welcomed with open arms by her family. Watching him play out old gags with Misaki’s sister, or hearing her mom talk about how he had a crush on her even back then, I’m again struck by how right they seem together, if only Misaki could get over Hinata’s childishness. Alas, that doesn’t seem likely.

I could give an explanation for this screenshot, but I think it's better left to your imaginations

Still, it’s Usui who comes up for special commendation in this episode, finally taking some steps to clear up the misunderstandings and deceptions that have plagued his usual approach to romance. Not actively teasing Misaki is a start, but ultimately he has to press the question since Misaki hasn’t: What have the two of them come to mean to each other over the course of the year?

Here, he’s helped by Aoi, who is still jealous and annoyed. Aggravated by not being able to participate in the cosplay event, he finally pressures Misaki to explain straight out how she feels about Usui. She’s unable to answer, and leaves the restaurant only to find Usui waiting for her—having heard the entire conversation.

Aoi is sulky and prone to tantrums, but that's when he does the most to advance the plot

Usui, too, really wants to know the answer to that question, and under badgering Misaki cracks and tells him that she has fallen for him … well, actually, she blushes uncontrollably and throws an easily blocked punch. But, for a violent girl who can’t lie anymore—to herself or to anyone else—that’s the only way she can avoid answering the question. That she feels a need to avoid it makes it clear what the answer really is.

Usui takes advantage of her attack to pull her into an embrace, which is where the episode leaves them. She still hasn’t openly expressed her feelings for him; he certainly still needs to play things a little more straight with her, both with his own feelings and with his backstory. But the wall of deception between the two of them is being torn down, and Usui is, if still maintaining dominance, at least being more gentlemanly about it. Changes are in the air.

This is probably the least intrusive romantic physical contact the two of them have had for the whole series

All this doesn’t mean that Hinata is just going to give up, however. He spends most of this episode searching for a cherry tree deeply entwined with his past history with Misaki; the episode ends not with our official couple but with Hinata, having found the tree, affirming that fate itself has reunited him with his first love. Hinata still thinks he’s in the fight, and he won’t go down quietly.

Given the title of the next episode is titled “Hinata, Misaki and Usui,” I think it’s rather likely that next episode will finally bring Hinata’s challenge to a definite end. Will that mean we’ll get some opportunity to explore Usui’s backstory and discover what makes him the superman he is today? Probably not. But we can at least hope that Usui, having forced a proper confession out of Misaki, will start being truly honest himself. Now that would be magical.

Usui again has absurd amounts of knowledge about the minutiae of upper class life. I'd prefer to hear that story now and not in a sequel

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