Reading through the several episodic posts on the 8th episode of romantic comedy Kaichou wa Maid-sama! I was struck by the fact that the above image was in nearly all of the posts. While I am being completely hypocritical by including it in this post, it raised a few questions. These started with the rather mundane questions about the other bloggers before moving onto a hypothetical about what I would do before going back to the larger appeal of this imagery.
Why include this image in a post?
That was the first question I thought of when I was thinking it through. Objectively, it comes right before a crucial moment before Usui arrives to rescue Misaki, so it would be important from a plot perspective. However, there’s probably a better choice of image which conveys the struggle she has fighting off Igarashi Tora closer to the climax of the episode.I’ll revisit this image later on, but moving on, does it mean that the bloggers of this episode have a fairly similar taste in images from this episode? That seems far too simplistic an explanation, and in the posts filled with tons of images it was bound to show up anyway. I guess I’m stuck a little on this question actually.
If I Were Blogging This Episode, Would I Have Used It?
This was the second question I thought of as I was internally debating this issue. Based on the fact that I put it up top, I’d actually say yes. It’s a fairly appealing image of Misaki to be fair, and combined with the fact that she is actually turning down the offer to transfer makes it important from a plot standpoint.
So What Exactly is the Problem?
This was actually one of the questions I was able to answer pretty quickly. Taken completely out of context the imagery is pretty clear. Money equals power over a woman. Added to that is the clear first-person perspective which I think is troubling. The second picture conveys everything needed from the scene; Misaki is in trouble while being restrained by Tora and she needs Usui’s help, but the first-person view puts the viewer in the same position. It’s as though the defiant girl is now subject to the viewer’s whims.
On second thought, I am probably over-analyzing this a ton. People post the image because it is nice to look at/comes at a crucial moment in the episode. I probably would have done the same thing without thinking about it if I had written about the episode. Then, the reason it was even put into the episode was because it provides dramatic tension for Usui’s rescue in the episode’s denouement.
Just a few questions for readers of this particular post. Does anyone else notice commonalities in episodic posts going beyond the actual description of the episode? Can some types of fanservice cross a moral and/or cultural line? Finally, does this type of thing generally pass people over as I think it might?