After a pretty weak second episode, I feel like, while still not comparable to the manga, the Kaichou wa Maid-sama anime finally does something right. I definitely laughed a lot and only had qualms with Usui’s voice (again).
So, with the first two episodes kind of beating the premise of the story into you, the viewer, with a frozen fish (Misaki works at a maid café because her family’s poor, but she has a very one-sided sense of justice, while Usui enjoys teasing and tormenting her for his own amusement, but mostly just helps her out), we finally get to learn more about some of the other characters. We discover Honoka’s crazy dark personality, as well as her keen otaku sense, Yukimura is touched on a bit more than just “he exists,” we meet the other café maids, and, I think most of all, Satsuki’s character is expanded a lot. She was kind of depicted as a happy-go-lucky boss who acted like a high-school girl, but we find out that she does have some sense in her and cares for Misaki quite a bit.
I think it’s pretty refreshing to hear Toyosaki Aki’s voice in a non-cutesy fashion; with Najimi in Akikan!, Yui in K-On!, Koyoi in Hastukoi Limited, Lisa in Blacksmith, Uiharu in To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, and the first two episodes of Kaichou wa Maid-sama, the only way she voiced her characters was as a young, cute girl who’s somewhat (or very much so) an airhead to some degree, having a weaker resolution than other characters and just kind of laid back in general. The characters were all middle school/high school aged girls, so the feeling behind the voice acting called for pretty much the same thing in each role. With Satsuki, for me, this is the first time I’m hearing her voice an older character. Sure, she acts airheaded a lot of the time, so, again, the first two episodes had the same kind of voice lent to her, but, in this episode, she displays maturity, which brings out that aspect of Toyosaki Aki’s voice acting.
Usui still sounds more or less flat, voicing very little emotion, although there’s enough inflection in his voice and enough going on that it’s less noticeable. On the last point, again, I like that they’re finally not trying to ram the story’s schtick down your throat anymore and spending more time on what goes on in the characters’ lives. Sure, Misaki is still shown juggling her schoolwork and maid job, but you see more of her character as she struggles with Honoka’s criticism. Unfortunately, she’s really the only character whose situation is explained; all the other characters are just shown as filler to commentate on Misaki’s progress. Since I do follow the manga, I know that the other characters get a lot of fleshing out as time goes on, but it’s a little disappointing in watching the anime that Misaki is the only character with real story behind her at this point.
Once again, I’ll continue to follow the anime, especially since it seems to have gotten better. I see fewer annoying onomatopoeia, and the ones still in make more sense and fit the whole shoujo manga feeling rather than “here, let’s distract you from the boring backdrops” approach.