Maid-sama 5Posted: February 17, 2011
Hiro Fujiwara – Tokyopop – 2010 – 12+ volumes
It has been a long time since I read the last volume of this. I’m sorry for that, because this volume was really, really great.
There’s a short story at the beginning of the volume that deals with Misaki having fun with some of her friends on the student council and getting harassed by some jerks, but it wasn’t very good. Of course Usui rushes in with the save, Misaki snaps and tells the boys off, and everything turns out okay. Cute, but pretty par for the course.
The second story takes up the rest of the volume and is the best thing in the series yet. A butler cafe threatens a hostile takeover of Maid Latte. The owners of the restaurant turn out to be none other than the rich student council members from the rival school that Misaki spited earlier in the series. The butler cafe has “Footman Tryouts”, and Misaki decides to enter with one of the other Maid Latte maids in order to show them that Maid Latte is every bit as good as a butler cafe.
This story pulls out all the stops. You have to audition as footmen in pairs, and several side characters enter the race. This is mostly for comedic value, but there are still some good moments. Of course Usui secretly enters the race, and eventually he and Misaki are paired up and in the finals. There are some really great scenes between the two, including one where Misaki proves her masculinity to the judges, some close moments between the two, a couple hints about what Usui is really like and who his family might be, and a wonderful finale that brings out the best in both Usui and Misaki. It’s really great stuff, and unusual as far as tournaments go.
The last chapter is semi-related, and features Misaki… well, basically acting as a personal maid for Usui, just as he wished at the beginning of the volume. Except the context is very serious, and it’s one of the sweetest scenes between the two yet. Almost one of those game-changing moments, really. Can the story back away from the tension the last pages of this volume showed us? I wonder.
Luckily, I have two more volumes of this to find out.