With this volume, we get more insight into the backgrounds of several characters, include Misaki herself. Usui’s patient but particular wooing is slowly breaking down Misaki’s defenses and making her doubt her own perceptions of her classmate.
Story: The maid cafe has a Halloween contest – one that Misaki offers to secretly join in so she can help a coworker rebuff a customer. But the prize will entail visiting a carnival – with Usui in attendance. Can they defeat the lovers’ challenges hand in hand – or will they kill each other first? Hinata, however, still muddles through his unrequited love for Misaki. And a chance encounter on the subway results in Usui being invited back to Misaki’s home – giving him a chance to see why Misaki is the way she is and reinforcing why he wants to be with her. With school elections coming up, will Misaki still be the student council president?
8 volumes in and I’m still really liking the characters here. Usui’s quiet self sufficiency and insouciance contrasted with Misaki’s sense of duty and dogmatic adherence to rules and order. Clearly, they are opposites but that’s also why they fill in each other’s emotional holes. I have to appreciate that Misaki never turns into a moron from all the romance and Usui is never actually mean or cruel to her. Fujiwara has done a beautiful job of clearly defining their personalities. It’s really a shame the anime so completely changed the dynamics of the characters, converting pathos into cheap laughs. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.