Home > Episode Reviews, School President is a Maid > School President is a Maid Episode 25 – Learning New Tricks

School President is a Maid Episode 25 – Learning New Tricks

Rather than offering a climax, this episode of School President is a Maid instead offers multiple distinct vignettes, advancing the growing conflict between Usui and Hinata in only incremental amounts before setting up for the next episode. Were I in a less forgiving mood, I might take a page from my co-blogger and complain about the lack of direction and the failure of this episode to stand on its own.

Even still, that the parts of the episode don’t quite gel together doesn’t mean the narrative isn’t advancing, or that we aren’t seeing some serious character development from the leads. This is mostly notably the case with Hinata, who gets several flashback scenes exploring the depths of his obsession with Misaki, but also in a crucial—and necessary—way with Usui.

Hinata carried around a wrapper from a candy Misaki gave him for years. In real life that might be considered creepy; here it's earnest

The Maid Latte event of the week is a fortune teller, and for once it doesn’t require Misaki to dress up at all (beyond the usual, obviously). But Erika, playing the part of the fortune teller, either really is communing with spirits, or is serving as the mouthpiece of the author, because she captures the state of affairs perfectly. When Hinata asks about his chances with Misaki, Erika tells him that his relationship is an inflated balloon; Hinata interprets this as meaning he just has to reinflate it.

Usui decides to give the crystal ball a try himself, and I doubt anyone was expecting the response that comes: that he and Misaki are completely incompatible, and that only by “overcoming a great obstacle” could let them come together. If by that she means that Usui has to learn how to actually lead a dance rather than hunt a trophy when it comes to romancing Misaki, then I couldn’t agree more.

Erika takes her role perhaps a bit too seriously, but then again she nearly always has something wise to say

That might just be me channeling my own oft-repeated opinions on their relationship into the show, but Usui seems to have the same impression. Even more than last week, he completely avoids the usual harassment techniques and instead switches to gentlemen mode. I can’t think of a single point where he crosses a line this episode or takes an action that demeans Misaki or forces her into playing the role of his property.

In spite of, or perhaps because of that, Misaki herself is increasingly aware of her own feelings for Usui, and increasingly embarrassed by them. She’s clearly taken aback by the fortune telling just as Usui is, and makes a Freudian slip admitting it. Not aggressively following up on it is another way Usui shows how far he’s come, but the admission itself is something that formerly only came from Misaki when she had a gun to her head.

Misaki finds herself arguing with Usui for taking Erika so seriously, only to realize that she doesn't want him to give up on her

Hinata is very aware of all this, and redoubles his efforts to show himself to be a better man than he used to be. A small mistake gives Usui a chance to swoop in, however, and Hinata is aware by the end of the episode, even more than when it started, how much he is outclassed. Ironically, it’s also Usui who encourages him not to give up, albeit through a very roundabout fashion.

The episode ends, however, with Misaki at neighboring Yumesaki High School, attending their culture festival with Sakura, Shizuko, and Usui. A few plot contrivances later, she’s separated from all but Usui, placed in the situation of an accidental date, with Hinata nowhere in sight.

Hinata's attempt to prove himself dependable to Misaki only soaks both of them, giving Usui a chance to play the gentleman for a change

Unfortunately, simply due to time constraints, we will likely not get into Usui’s backstory this season. (And we don’t know when or if a second one will be coming.) Given Hinata isn’t even attending the cultural festival with them, it may be that even his romantic bid for Misaki won’t get resolved next episode. That is, the conflict will have developed, but not have been resolved.

This is, once again, a problem with adapting a long-running manga to a short-running tv show, so to some extent this was unavoidable. (To another extent it was very avoidable, however, which I’ll cover next episode review to the extent that it’s relevant.) That doesn’t make it any less disappointing, or weaken the overall impact the romance could have had.

I don't know why Hinata and Usui have picked up on the dog metaphor for their competition, but Hinata's defiant bark in response to Usui's shows that, however outclassed he is, he's not done yet

But put that all aside for the moment. I’ve been complaining since at least episode seven that Usui has been dishonest, inconsiderate, and borderline abusive in how he has been wooing Misaki, and that sooner or later the show needs to call him on it and get him to reform. The longer the show has gone, the more I’ve grown wary that the show might like Usui being exactly what he is, and the audience of girls for which it is intended feels exactly the same way.

This final arc, whatever is does or fails to do, has put into stark relief what Usui is doing with what Misaki (and any well-adjusted girl) wants him to do. And it has finally started pulling Usui out of his manipulations and brought him to the point of an honest romance. As much as I still would prefer for Hinata to win out, I am coming to the opinion that Usui won’t pull through just because The Plot Says So, but because he does take the steps that makes him deserve to win. And that won’t be so bad.

The band from episode ten reappears as well, and apparently the lead singer has reformed his jerk-ish ways. I'm guessing this is meant as a parallel to Usui's own growth

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