After 12 volumes, it’s great to see Misaki and Usui’s relationship continue to develop. With this two-in-one collection number 6, author Fujiwara splits her focus between creating tension in the main story while also adding amusing side stories/vignettes. It does make for a lot of filler but the quality of the storytelling continues to excel.
Story: Usui’s family connection are increasingly becoming a problem as pressure mounts for him to assume responsibilities. Misaki is torn – she wants to define her and Usui’s relationship but at the same time it feels like the world is telling her that she’s not good enough for him. But a trip to an Onsen, appearance of Usui’s half brother, a special party at the Butler Cafe, and a very persistent Walker family servant all create both conflicts and opportunities for our persistent couple.
The side stories were cute – from gender bending by turning the girls to guys (a female Usui is scaaary) to more development in Misaki’s sister. All the same, for me it’s about the main plot so I tend to skip very fast through all the side stories to find those great Usui-Misaki moments interspersed throughout Maid-Sama.
Fujiwara’s artwork is, as always, superb. She has such a great way of showing emotion through subtle expressions. But more importantly, I really like the reasons why our hero/heroine like each other. Usui respects Misaki’s honesty and strength. Misaki appreciates Usui’s sense of humor and quiet confidence. It makes for a great romance so different from the silly tsunderes or overly genki shoujo heroines. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.