Not the Typical Romance
Maid Sama! takes place in a recently converted all boys high school. The boys don’t take too kindly to their newer female classmates. Fights, teasing and overall sexism plagues the school. It is a place of great turmoil and sorrow for the minority females. Things are looking rather bleak until Misaki Ayuzawa takes the school by storm. The self-appointed student female body president, Misaki is determined to change the culture of the school to be more accepting and tolerable for girls. And she does so, with great prejudice. Motivated, driven and a born leader. Misaki quickly demonstrates that she can handle anything the boys throw at her. Misaki personality is that of a walking volcano. Many of the boys compare her to a “demon” or even an “evil overlord” as almost anything can set her off into a physically and verbally abusive rampage. As soon as she begins to raise her voice the boys start to head for the hills. And rightfully so, for when she does manage to catch some of them in the act of doing something she deems “not school regulation”, she beats them to a bloody pulp. Enter the female “Drill Sergeant”.
On a deeper level, looking into her character, Misaki comes from a family that has split apart. Her father is shown to have left her mother when Misaki was very young. It is because of that she has such distain for the males at school. She is also taking it upon herself to become even more masculine than the men so that she can be better than her father ever was to her. This constant pressure of wanting others to see her as more masculine and more “adult” wears on her heavily. She constantly overworks herself to keep up her image. On the flip side, things are going quite well for Misaki. She is comfortable as the president. She enjoys telling people what and when to do things. In no way is she afraid to get her hands dirty and take on her fair share of the work. Her workaholic attitude gets her through most situations. She believes with enough hard work, anything can be done. Misaki is an A type personality if I ever saw one.
Everything seems to be going quite well for Misaki until she meets Usui Takumi. The man, the myth, the legend for the boys of the school. Usui would never acknowledge it, but he has the respect of every single boy on campus. Smart, witty and not too bad on the eyes. It seems Usui is lusted after by almost every girl in one way or another. Except for Misaki. She hates him. She hates the way he says “no” every time a girl asks if he likes her. She thinks that he has something against women–he doesn’t– he just knows that many of them only desire him for his looks. But that does not matter to Misaki, she sees him as an academic and personal enemy.
Even with Misaki’s hatred for him, comically enough, Usui starts to stalk her. Not in a super creepy way, altough it may seem that way to Misaki. Usui becomes infatuated with her and tells her quite openly pretty early on in the show. However, Misaki won’t have any of it. She has big plans for the school. She wants to be at the front of her train for gender equality. With the planning for the big “gender equality campus visit” coming up and trying to find a part time job, Misaki has her head buried deep in work. It’s not until Misaki takes on a job at a maid cafe that Usui finds a chance to really get to know her. Or as I’d like to say, stalk her from a closer distance. Since all he ever really does is order something small and just watch her. Now that I think about it, he is quite the creep, but as a guy I found it charming. You may disagree… just watch the show.
Maid Sama! is a great rom-com because of the way it portrays romance without being overly sexualized. Yes, there are a great number of innuendos and sexual jokes made by Usui and the other boys. But it never just becomes full on nudity. It’s refreshing to say the least. Watching two people, who, from the start don’t seem to get along very well. Slowly start to develop a deep and very intimate connection to each other. Seeing that invisible bond grow into something of a relationship was quite enjoyable for me. Usui changes Misaki. Even though she may not know it, he shows her that compassion and listening are powerful characteristics. Since she just thinks she could plow through anyone with her hardheadedness and intense work ethic. Usui shows her that to win over the boys at the school, she can still be a hard worker, but that doesn’t have to mean she has to be a “hard” person.
I really connected with Usui from the start. I found many of my traits inside him as well. At least in the sense of how he approaches and acts around the woman he likes. It’s really hard to tell when he is being serious and when he is just teasing her. Which is a communication art form I have mastered myself. So seeing Usui pull Misaki’s strings just to get her all riled up was satisfying. In another way, Usui is just a super casual soft spoken kid. He never claims to be the best, I would never say he is a cocky kid. He just is who he is, and the boys at school have idolized him for it. Granted almost everything he does–especially in the eyes of Misaki– he excels at. It may be jealousy, since she has to work so hard for others approval, but for some reason Misaki hates his guts. But that is probably because she doesn’t understand him or what his true intentions are.
All in all. Maid Sama! is worth the watch. It’s full of relational conflict, spicy love scenes, and hilarious encounters (The basis for all good relationships). In my humble opinion it is the funniest and most touching of all romantic comedies I’ve seen.