Enter: The Rival
After the full-blown hijinks of the Butler Battle in Maid Sama! Volume 5, Hiro Fujiwara brings us back to earth with a more serious focus on the characters in “Maid Sama Volume 6.”
This volume starts with a typical set-up, having Misa put in charge of supplying refreshments to the sports teams while they are cleaning up their practice space. Misa is, of course, a terribly bad cook but she puts her heart into anything she tries, and Usui is there to lend a hand as usual. This storyline had some nice revelations about Misa and Usui, including Misa’s acknowledging that the only reason she thinks Usui is interested in her is because she Is the only girl who says no to him, and that she goes on rejecting him because she is afraid of losing his interest. Their relationship is growing nicely, and there were some touching moments in Volume 6.
But of course, in the period of greatest sweetness, there shall come a rival. In this case it is Hinata Shintani, a cool-looking transfer student. Hinata moved away when he was very young, but he has finally returned with the sole goal of reuniting with his childhood sweetheart. Who could that be? And is Usui going to be happy to hear the news?
There are some other great moments in Volume 6 as the class goes on a camping trip that actually turns out to be intense training at a Buddhist temple. This had one of my favorite scenes in the series, where you got to see the girls through the eyes of “Boy Vision.” Yeah, it’s true. Then there are some other heavy moments, as Aoi pesters Misa for being too boyish, not realizing that he is doing to her exactly what everyone does to him regarding his cross-dressing. Aoi thinks it is OK for a boy to dress girlish, but not for a cute girl to dress boyish. Finally, Yukimura’s little sister becomes obsessed with “Prince Usui” and wants to go on a date, but Misa concocts a fiendish plan to set things right. How far will she go to play her role?
“Maid Sama” is one of the most consistently best manga out there, and is always a good time to read. I liked the more-serious tone of this issue, but I know it won’t be too long before the usual wackiness takes over.