Class 1–7 Soutarou Kanou’ — “Maid Sama!”

In “Maid Sama!” (“Kaichō wa Maid-sama!” or “The President is a Maid!) student class president Misaki Ayuzawa is the first female class president of Seika High School, quite an achievement as the school used to be male-only but was recently converted to a co-ed school. An exceptional student and athlete, she is determined to reform the boys of the school, who are still unaccustomed to the new girl students, and make the school a better place for both sexes.

In episodes #14–15, ‘Class 1–7 Soutarou Kanou’ and ‘School Visitation Association & A Glasses Rabbit’, Misaki is hard at work getting the student council to help plan and coördinate a successful open house. However, freshman student Soutarou Kanou, who is extremely withdrawn and even terrified and hateful of girls, wants to sabotage Misaki and the open house, and the best way he knows is through hypnosis.

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Although it isn’t apparent, Kanou begins his campaign by first hypnotizing (or drugging, hard to tell) the student council treasurer and secretary, but that’s only the beginning: his true target is the student council president herself. By broadcasting drowsy music over the school public address system, Misaki is lured to the broadcast control room, where, in her sleep state, she is hypnotized (by means of the classic swinging coin). Once under, she is given a post-hypnotic suggestion to act as though she is drunk. Fortunately, Takumi, the person at the school she is in a off-and-on ‘friendly’ relationship with, happens by, sees her asleep and carries her off to the clinic to rest. When she awakens, she starts following the suggestion, doing things like trying to strip and even asking Takumi to undress her, all of which Takumi witnesses and even captures some of which on his phone.

The next morning, Takumi shows her the evidence. Misaki is mortified. She thought it all was a dream. She does remember being in the control room and seeing Kanou, but he wore a mask and habitually wears a hooded sweater and glasses so he was impossible to identify. Takumi is certain she was hypnotized and her person who did it wanted to destroy her, and knows who that person was. Takumi approaches Kanou, who tries hypnotizing him into hating Misaki (dramatically over the commercial break) but it doesn’t work.

Once Misaki discovers Kanou’s identity, she confronts him, as Takumi is running around, trying to find Misaki. Just as Takumi find them, Kanou claps his hands, breaking Musaski’s train of thought, then tells her that if she falls asleep any time over the next 24 hours, she will immediately hate Takumi. For the rest of the day and night, Takumi follows Misaki, even to going to the maid café and phoning her in the middle of the night. The next morning, Takumi is waiting for Misaki at her house when she leaves for school and stays with her all the day. Seeing that his scheme is about to fail, Kanou meets Misaki’s friend Shouichirou, the council vice-president and hypnotizes him to offer Misaki a painkiller with the side effect that it induces sleepiness. At the end of the episode, Misaki has her head in Takumi’s lap just as Kanou approaches.

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Misaki demonstrates that she was able to stay awake, if only by listening to Takumi’s talk, and that Kanou’s hypnosis didn’t affect her. As punishment, Misaki has Kanou assist the girls running the cafeteria at the school during the open house, where he is to wear a formal outfit and bunny ears. Even though he tries to escape, no matter where he runs, waiting for him is the baleful gaze of Misaki, even the one time he tries to hypnotize someone to take his place, even Kanou is sure she’s someplace else.

But it all has a happy ending: because of Misaki’s efforts and the company of the girls in the cafeteria, Kanou finally begins to see girls and women as something other than he thought before, and that includes Misaki.

Commentary: The standard media-type hypnosis, but carried out more fully than most appearances. The scene in the clinic where Misaki acts drunk is quite amusing.

Recommendation: The series can best be described as light-hearted and amusing and pretty stereotypical, especially in the relations between Misaki and Takumi, these two episodes are cute and amusing.

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