And so ends another high school rom-com in which the focus is on the two most perfect students in the school. Usui is perfect at everything but quickly cracking the tsundere nut that is Misaki, while Misaki is perfect at everything but realizing that someone is in love with her, and she’s falling in love in return. Because why would a perfect guy or girl persue an inferior mate? That would be boring for them and us.
Usui relishes the chase and the constant reproaches. Misaki remains in an agonizing mix of confusion and denial for most of the series, which comes off as denseness to more and more of the side characters (this is appreciated.) The catalyst for her realization finally comes in the final episode, and after twenty-five episodes of turning away, lying, and storming off, she finally leans into a smooch of her own accord. Despite their ridiculous perfection in everything from sports and academics to looks and style, Usui and Misaki stay interesting, and both grow quite a bit, the latter growing more. The series takes its time developing them, with decent results.
Usui essentially knows what he wants from the get-go, and spends the series dispatching rivals and refining and adjusting his charms to suit Misaki’s personality, while knowing when to be firmer and more forward. But Misaki’s transformation isn’t just from an overbearing tomboy to more feminine and mature young woman; due to her role as the perfect backbone of her family, she has never known love period, so it makes sense that it would take a while for her to notice it staring her right in the face.
I had a feeling this series wouldn’t end ambiguously, and in the end, like Usui was with Misaki, I’m glad I was patient with Maid-Sama. The Maid angle is essentially garnish, and always was. The meat of this series is the two main characters, and the steady, measured evolution of their relationship from mutual antagonists to lovers. Rating: 3 (Ending: 3.5)