Ladies Versus Butlers

September 11, 2010

A prestigious school that houses not only nobles and the rich but servants as well? That is possible if you watched Ladies Versus Butlers. It’s like starting them young. Live a life to be served and to serve for the rest of one’s life. Welcome to Hakureiryou High School, some sort of boarding school, where future masters are groomed to take over the lineage and tradition of their wealthy-cum-influential families under the Upper-ed section while their butlers and maids are trained to serve them for better or worse under the Servant-ed section. Can you choose which section to enrol in? Apparently that depends on your family’s financial status as far as I’m concerned. Though school fees are exempted, if your family’s rich and famous, you go into the Upper-ed, otherwise it’s the Servant-ed.
 
Based on a series of light novels, those intending to watch this series be warned that there is quite an amount of fanservice here. I’m not really sure if the TV version has the uncensored version but the edition I saw was the uncensored one. And that was before the release of any DVD or Blu-Ray discs. So seasoned and hardcore ecchi fans may rejoice of seeing lots of panty shots and girls baring their boobs and for the newbies, just beware. You have been warned.
 
As in any stereotypical ecchi romantic comedy series, our main protagonist is of course a guy, Akiharu Hino. He decides to enrol in Hakureiryou after he realized his uncle was after his family’s inheritance. Plus, both his parents are dead. At least Akiharu isn’t a pervert but the unfortunate thing is that he looks like a delinquent. So I guess having such ferocious looks won’t help him win friends on his first day, eh? In addition, he made a bad start in episode 1. He got his hands on a proud noble Upper-ed girl, Selnia Iori Flameheart. First thing viewers would notice is how ridiculously her large blonde hair resembles a drill. Or is it a croissant or cocoon? I think it’s a drill. Man, if looks could kill then she’s one heck of a walking danger. Anyway how did Akiharu got into this predicament? You see, as everyone knows, Selnia and another Upper-ed student, Tomomi Saikyou don’t really get along well. Sure their conversation tone is polite and maintains their ladylike-ness. But I guess you can tell whatever they talk could turn into a nasty catfight soon. As usual another round of verbal catfight on that day as Tomomi is being called to the principal’s office to welcome the new transfer student (Akiharu). While Selnia is taking a walk trying to clear her head over the recent argument with Tomomi, that’s when she bumps into Akiharu. She chides that rude suspicious commoner but he doesn’t give a hoot. To make matters worse, Akiharu calls her ‘drill’ because of you-know-what lah. Because of that taboo word, Selnia gets upset he insulted her beautiful hair and decides to give her death sentence. Not anything near if you ask me. So the misunderstanding has them tripped and Akiharu in a compromising position over her.
 
With her modesty outraged, Selnia isn’t going to forgive him and chases the poor chap all over school. The weird part is that any girls that Akiharu comes across, the girl will faint! I don’t know if it’s his scary face but I doubt it. I was hoping he’s got his zipper down but right till the end, nothing of this incident was explained. Anyway the chase has Akiharu bumping into other girls who will make their supporting appearances as well over the series. Such as the drawing prodigy loli Mimina Oosawa, Chinese girl Suiran Fou, overly clumsy maid Sanae Shikikagami and her stripper sister Saori. Each time Akiharu bumps into them, he ends up in compromising positions so much so in the eyes of Selnia he’s like a serial rapist that isn’t satisfied with just molesting her but other girls as well. Finally he bumps into Tomomi (another hand on boobs? Is this a trend?) who has been waiting for him all day. Selnia and all the other ‘victims’ caught up. Tomomi explains to them about the transfer student and wishes for them to forgive him. Selnia isn’t willing to until Tomomi prompts if she wants him to take responsibility and marry him. I guess the former would be a better choice. Tomomi may seem like a nice girl upfront but is actually a sadist. After explaining Akiharu is her childhood friend, she exposes his embarrassing secret in which his childhood dream was to become a bride! Seriously?! I guess everybody felt so pity for him that they just leave him alone. Too bad Akiharu’s hell has just begun. Because Tomomi notes how from now on it’s going to be a lot more fun. Note her sadistic smile on her face.
 
So in most episodes you can expect poor Akiharu to get into lots of trouble with the other girls even if it isn’t his fault. Especially Selnia who is a typical tsundere and you can expect her to be scathing towards him but gradually tell she’s falling for him though her pride won’t allow her to admit it. And yeah, Akiharu fans the fire further because he can’t remember her real name and keeps calling her ‘drill’. Bzzz… Tomomi being a sadist will be the main source of Akiharu’s torment. You can tell every time she does her trademark evil smirk. That’s a signal for a big "Oh sh******t!". She must be so bored in her Upper-ed life that she loves cooking up schemes to torture him. Ever thought of reading a book? Ah well, that’s why she’s a sadist. Then there’s Akiharu’s roommate and Servant-ed classmate, Kaoru Daichi. Seems wanting to hide something from Akiharu and always remains suspicious when he’s around. What is it? Let me spoil you. Daichi is a girl pretending to be a boy. Another amusing character is Hakureiryou’s principal, Kaede Tenjouji. In short, she’s childish and immature as she loves playing her eroges and H-games more than running the school! How did she become the principal anyway? She gets excited at the sight of any yuri of ‘youthful’ things and the only person who could keep her in line is the serious no-nonsense teacher, Mikan. Be careful when she throws her fountain pen at you because it could destroy a computer! This gives a whole lot meaning to the pen is mightier than the sword.
 
In episode 2, Selnia still hasn’t gotten over her humiliation and things get worse when Akiharu is put in the same class with her. Note that normal curriculum is mixed between Upper-ed and Servant-ed in the morning. Akiharu makes friends with fellow Servant-ed guys like the perverted Shingo Todoroki and crowd darling Mitsuru Sanke. Though Hakureiryou isn’t an all-girls school, however there are only 5 boys in this entire school, including Akiharu and Daichi (note, nobody knows ‘he’ is a girl). The other guy is an Upper-ed, Touichirou Kazamatsuri. The usual recess has the Servant-eds serving the Upper-eds. Nobody patrons Akiharu’s table because he looks like a delinquent. Because of that, Selnia takes this opportunity to teach him some manners as she and Fou occupies his table. Sure lots of pesky requests that tests that guy’s patience. Their argument could’ve escalated till Sanae clumsily spills curry on him. To make things up, Sanae wishes to scrub his back but you know she’s so clumsy that they got into a compromising position. It would be bad if Selnia sees this. Good thing she didn’t. Bad thing Kaede and Daichi saw it. Kaede loves it. Daichi hates him.
 
For the next lesson, Mikan has the Servant-eds undergo swimming lessons. Having them jump in the pool with their clothes on as training to save their masters if ever such a case happens. Like it’ll ever. But it helps to be prepared, right? Tomomi invites Selnia to watch Akiharu in his lesson (what else?). The usual spat when Touichirou makes his appearance. Now we know why everyone stays away from him. He’s such a narcissist and claims to be the most beautiful creature on Earth. What more self proclaiming everyone admires him. Get real. He can go drown for all they care. The lesson continues as Mikan ups the ante by activating violent waves in the pool (this school is so rich that they can have such facilities). However Sanae starts panicking and clings on dearly to Akiharu like a drowning rat. Selnia tries to throw a float to him but it hit his head. Oops. Akiharu sinks while Sanae continues to panic. Akiharu wakes up in the infirmary with Tomomi by his side. He is suspicious she is up to no good. Tomomi tells of how her mom remarried to a famous entrepreneur when she was transferred and had her surname changed to Saikyou from Suzuhashi. She intends to help him get accustom to life here and also help him graduate. Like would he believe that after knowing her as a little devil? Tomomi knows Selnia is eavesdropping and lets her in though the latter gives excuses she was passing by. Her tough talking is just a camouflage for her concern so Tomomi starts laughing and notes things won’t get boring after all.
 
In order to take a Servant-ed exam in episode 3, Akiharu needs a card from the Upper-ed as proof that he has a partner. Tomomi ‘generously’ gives hers to him. Oh no, that smirk… Up to no good, eh? Well, Selnia wants to give him hers as part of her whatever ego thingy but she was a second too late. Mikan explains the task of this exam is to be faithful to their master. Meaning they have to obey to her whims and fancies. The exam ends at 5pm where they will need to hand a short report. You can tell Tomomi’s evil aura is thinking of all the evil deeds to torture the poor soul but it seems his task is to accompany Mimina for the entire day. Mimina doesn’t like the idea of Akiharu following him the whole day but he’s got no choice. It’s like a victim running away from the stalker, if you know what I mean. Plus, Mimina is having a hard time trying to choose a subject to draw since she got a request to draw for a special edition. And with Tomomi and busybody Selnia watching from afar, yeah this sure is getting a lot interesting. Mimina finally decides to sketch a cat but since it keeps getting away, Akiharu has to chase it down. Though he caught it, it isn’t long before it runs away again.
 
Akiharu treats Mimina to a drink when her pals come by. They start jumping to conclusions that he’s a scary pervert and should leave before they get harassed too. They wish Mimina luck and will be looking forward to her finished work. Mimina seems gloomy when she trips and injures herself. Akiharu takes her to the infirmary and treats her. Mimina feels Akiharu is different because he didn’t make a big fuss when she’s injured especially her precious fingers. As they go continue searching for the cat, Mimina reveals how she had a weak body and spent most of her time in hospital. To ease her boredom, she began drawing. When her father’s friends note how good she is, she started participating in competitions and even gets paid to draw. Gradually, demand for her drawings grew but she felt depressed for not being able to draw what she liked. Mimina’s pals come by again and tell Akiharu to put her down, lecturing him he doesn’t know Mimina’s value and her mission to draw art for the world bla bla bla. But Akiharu tells them off that she has no obligation to draw for them and should draw what she likes. After her pals go away, Akiharu cheers Mimina up by saying if people still force her to draw, he can help get rid of them just like that. They finally find the cat as Mimina continues to draw happily. At the end of the day as Akiharu carries tired and sleeping Mimina, Tomomi comes by. He has a feeling it was all part of her scheme. True, she needed someone who is unfamiliar with her drawings to accompany her. Plus, Akiharu knows Tomomi and Selnia were following him all day long because they’re being noisy. When Mimina’s interview article comes out in a magazine, she hints Akiharu as her favourite place to rely on.
 
How did Akiharu got engaged to a Middle Eastern Upper-ed lady, Ayse Khadim in episode 4? Apparently he accidentally walked into a classroom while she was changing. Due to her strict family law, any guy who sees her pure body will have to be killed unless they’re family. I’m sure Ayse’s loyal bodyguard, Hedyeh would love to kill Akiharu anytime but if Ayse didn’t stop her, he would have seen his maker. I’m not sure if Ayse is so shy that she can’t speak so much so Hedyeh has to act as her voiceover, which sometimes doesn’t turn out as what Ayse wants and usually all made up. Especially if Akiharu’s around. She just can’t wait to get rid of him. For instance, life saving CPR lessons, poisoned bento during lunch and dropping dangerous objects on him. Thankfully, erotic Todoroki bears the brunt for each of them in Akiharu’s place. Serves him right in all of them. Seems Akiharu-Ayse’s scandal has been the talk of the girls as poor Akiharu gets kidnapped to Ayse’s tent. She serves him tea but Akiharu escapes faster than a cockroach when he senses Hedyeh going to cut off his head from behind. Selnia is getting vexed by the minute though she still denies it has anything to do with her (yeah right). Till Tomomi suggests the reputation of this school tarnished by it that Selnia used that as her reason to stop them. Daichi tells the duo that Akiharu has been kidnapped once more so the trio go in search of him. I guess Kaede got so excited that she joined them too.
 
Akiharu is being chained up by the bed and descend into manhood if totally naked Ayse gets her way. For once she speaks that she’s not doing this because of her family law and loved him since the time she first laid eyes on him. That heart-warming speech turned into one of insult and you know that could only be the work of Hedyeh’s voiceover. The seduction continues with Akiharu now tied up in a spot when Selnia and co busts them. How did they know where they are at the infirmary? Seems there are only 2 places to do lewd things. The infirmary or the gym store room (looks like this one was occupied by a pair of yuri girls). Hedyeh isn’t pleased that outsiders are interfering with the family’s internal affairs. Tomomi has studied the family laws well enough to know that Akiharu’s case is an exception as accidental cases don’t count. That means Akiharu has a choice whether to accept her marriage or not. Hedyeh knew it all along but was doing it for her milady’s sake. Before they leave, they apologize and Ayse hugs Akiharu one last time as she hopes she’ll receive his love one day. Things go back to normal, including the Selnia-Akiharu spat. So still thinking of protecting this school’s reputation and couldn’t care less about that commoner’s future?
 
Selnia wants again blows her top in episode 5. Seems she lost out to top spot once again to Tomomi for the exams. Then there are some who needs to resit the exam like Akiharu and Saori. With Selnia and Tomomi not on their usual ‘talking’ terms, I guess it’s up to Akiharu to lighten the mood. He talks to them, treats them cake (although the food here is free) and learns both girls don’t like to lose especially to each other. Who doesn’t? Sure Selnia may envy Tomomi for her grades but it seems Tomomi herself has something to envy about Selnia. Let’s just say it’s her physique and ability to make friends. So some flashbacks on how their relationship goes a long way back when they’re first years at Hakureiryou (Selnia’s ‘drill’ doesn’t seem intimidating at that time. My, how they’ve grown). With the school’s heating system down for a week, those who intend to take a bath will have to use the natural hotspring bath behind the dorms. You guess what is Todoroki thinking? I don’t know why he has to drag Akiharu but if not for Mikan, Todoroki could’ve seen his paradise. On another night, Selnia and Tomomi took a late bath so they’re alone. The door gets jammed so they’re locked in. Mikan is busy intercepting Todoroki’s perseverance probably why she didn’t notice the trapped girls. Both girls talk and you could say they make up. Not entirely friends exactly. Still frenemies. Akiharu and Sanke are having their late night bath too. The girls hear his voice and plead for help. While Sanke go get help from Mikan, Tomomi feints Selnia in big trouble and for Akiharu to hurry. Akiharu breaks down the door, slips and got his hands on Selnia’s boobs. Deja vu? Mikan saw this and he got painful butt smacks. His torment continues on the exam retake the next day when Selnia sees him on top of stripped Saori. He was trying to help her retrieve her dropped eraser but do you think they’d accept that answer. And why is Kaede so happy taking snapshots of them with her handphone?
 
A ball will be held for the Upper-eds and the Servant-eds will support them in episode 6. As part of Kaede’s sick fetish, Servant-eds are to cross-dress as dance escorts except for Todoroki and Akiharu (she thinks no one wants to look at them as girls). We learn about Daichi’s past of how she enrolled in this school for 3 years under her strict dad’s orders to graduate as a boy. Seems like an easy task till that annoying Akiharu showed up. Not to mention the many occasions when Akiharu just walks into the room with Daichi semi-naked but thankfully he is so dense it feels like Daichi’s identity is never in threat. Oh yeah, she’s a flat chest too. That helps a lot. I think. For the cooking class, Daichi is paired with Akiharu and Sanae. You know who is going to make a mess out of things. Though Daichi is pretty skilled in many of the cooking area, it’ll take just a second of Sanae’s clumsiness for Mikan to fail them. Then another few identity-exposing moments like in the shower together with Daichi and the judo lessons whereby Akiharu tackled Daichi so rough that to a girl it would seem like molestation. He got beaten up real good. The butlers bring the dresses and shoes to the ladies. Daichi remembers her past when she was a child when a group of pretty ladies hand back her ball in front of her house. Probably she’s still a girl deep down inside and thinks of wearing a dress. To her horror, Akiharu spots her holding one. If you think this is where Daichi gets busted, think again because he thinks Daichi dislikes the idea of having to cross-dress and that the principal should’ve considered their feelings too. Daichi runs off and Tomomi sees this.
 
On the day of the ball, the ladies look splendid in their dresses. Akiharu is dressed as some cupid while Todoroki as a lion statue. Good idea to put him there. Daichi still has second thoughts on wearing the dress so Tomomi helps her out by giving her a bra and help put some make-up on. Daichi comes in as a pretty maid and attracts everyone’s attention and compliments. We can all ignore Touichirou by the way. Too bad he was too taken in by Sanke’s pretty maid dress that he starts chasing him for a date. Sick guy. At the end of the day, Daichi felt that today was disastrous but somehow found renewed spirit to continue if she tries her best. Then as she comes out of the shower, she comes face to face with Akiharu. Her top is exposed so she thinks she is done for. Good thing he was too tired to notice as he heads into the shower. Daichi looks at her flat chest and wonders if she should feel happy or sad. I think it’s the latter.
 
Late one night, Akiharu saves some magical girl wannabe from falling off a branch in episode 7. She is Pina Suforumukuran Estoh and the next day she realizes she lost her magic wand. She gets a call from Kaede’s office and gets embarrassed to see her wand in the hands of Akiharu. He picked it up last night and didn’t know who it belonged to and asked Mikan for help. And she was right though Pina denies everything. But it soon turned into an otaku talk and her passion for the magical Diva in which no one is interested in thus the reason she felt lonely. Later when Akiharu learns Pina is a real princess from a northern European kingdom of Suforu, Akiharu panics that he used informal language on her. This gives Tomomi another opportunity to screw with him. Yeah, she’s conjuring the effects of the school’s fate if this escalates into an international matter. Pina makes good friends with Kaede since they both clicked in the otaku area. Pina wants to make a Diva doujinshi. Kaede is willing to help out but you know Mikan, so she can’t do much. So who will she get help from? Of course Akiharu. He’ll help out in exchange she forgets his rude behaviour.
 
So they go round recruiting for help for the project including Selnia since her ego didn’t allow her to back out. After watching a short clip of the Diva anime, Pina feels they are still short of a trump card. She sees that in Mimina, who isn’t too fond of joining. Pina pursues and begs but Mimina just couldn’t comply. Then Selnia finds out the doujin involves taking photos in embarrassing photos and pose so she threatens to opt out if its contents aren’t changed since this will tarnish her family’s name. So leave it to Akiharu to beg so Selnia agrees to help Pina. That night Pina leaves a letter and several pages of the manuscript for Mimina. Next day, Akiharu shows the doujin work to Todoroki and Sanke. And because Todoroki approves it in a big way (he’s lower anatomy is going to burst so much so he needs to excuse himself to the toilet) you can call it a success. Mimina seeks Akiharu’s advice on Pina’s invitation so he says if she’s interested, just do it. Mimina searches for Pina and agrees to publish doujin with her. She shows her manga drawing but to her dismay, the doujin is a cosplay photo gallery instead. Pina is quite happy with the outcome and decides to the same people for a live photo shoot!
 
Selnia beats Tomomi this time to give Akiharu her card to follow her back to her summer home for summer vacation in episode 8. Wow. A long line of maids. The cheeky maid head, Anna seems to tease Selnia about her new boyfriend :). Even her dad who takes time off work to return via helicopter to greet his precious daughter. Selnia takes this opportunity to order Akiharu around but he points out the Servant-eds are only to follow their masters home and watch and learn. So he doesn’t have to follow her selfish requests. Plain failed. So she takes him around the house and tells her about the burden and family honour she has to uphold once she takes over. Meanwhile Tomomi has Daichi take her card. Looks like she knows her secret. In her home, she shows Daichi all the naughty deeds she did to poor Akiharu when they were young. Akiharu is on a winning streak against Selnia in chess. Anna interrupts to inform them that they have to spend the night in the same room. Haha, I know what they’re thinking. Selnia starts panicking and even more when Akiharu starts acting strange. Seems he got drunk when he ate that chocolate filled with whiskey. Now he’s like a pervert. He pushes himself onto her and for the first time calls her by her first name. Her heart beating fast. But all that mood ruined when he fell asleep on her. Too bad, such disappointment for Anna and her eavesdropping maids. Akiharu wakes up the next morning not remembering anything that happened last night after the chess game.
 
I guess Tomomi was bored so she and Daichi pay them a visit. The gang get into their swimsuits to have fun in the sun on the private beach. Except for Daichi who is so obsessed in protecting her identity, is clad in her butler outfit. So hot… Selnia is trying to taking her mind off things by floating in the shallow section of the sea. But you know she’s not feeling particularly happy when she spots Akiharu friendly chatting with Tomomi. Suddenly she experiences cram. Luckily Akiharu spots her and rescues her in time. Bringing her back to land, I guess this is the much anticipated CPR moment so much so Anna even has a video camera in hand! Even if Tomomi tells him to kiss, I mean give CPR, she feels startled when he actually was going to do it. Good thing Selnia got up in time and he got a big slap. That evening, Selnia talks to Akiharu and feels gratitude as she sincerely thanks him. As a noble, she feels she can’t be a lowly person who only cares about her face value. Akiharu compliments her and changes his opinion on her. Selnia decides to return the favour for his noble deed and kisses him. Woah!
 
Seems Tomomi saw that in episode 9 so she too has many things running through her mind. Is she finally falling for the object of her torment? Back at Hakureiryou for the second semester, Selnia must be regretting her actions as she gets overly flustered. But Fou thinks she seems more happy than worried. Like she’ll believe that. She intends to silence that guy before things get out of hand. However Tomomi has made her first move. She requests Akiharu for a date. Of course that guy is still suspicious of her ulterior motive but she assures him there is no trick. Like he’ll believe that. Anyway he’s too nice of a guy since he was made to go out with her while Selnia follows them. During her spying, she comes into Sanae and Saori so I guess they too got nothing better to do than to observe the lovebirds. So far nothing suspicious happening at least to Akiharu. Seems like a normal date. Drinking together at a cafe, watch a movie (Selnia got kicked out for being too noisy – I guess it’s over for the Shikikagami sisters so it’s Pina and Mimina turn to go with Selnia), help her shop for clothes (what’s with that Pina boobs molesting on Mimina in the dressing room?!) and playing the crane machine (Akiharu has to try harder to get the soft toy or else…). Selnia who initially didn’t want to play some dance game eventually got into its fever and sets a new high score. Sure everybody applause her but for that, she lost Akiharu and Tomomi who have long gone. All hard day’s work gone. As Akiharu and Tomomi walk back, she thanks him for going out with her as it made her understand lots of things. We see that it was Tomomi who made naive Akiharu then to write his dreams of becoming a bride and be a laughing stock of the class though she didn’t tell him to write it down but that’s just an excuse. So when Tomomi asks him whose bride he wants to be, he replies Tomomi because he probably had her in mind and thus the reason he wrote that dream essay. This causes Tomomi to blush for real. No acting.
 
Daichi receives a letter from an Upper-ed lady, Sakurako Benikouji in episode 10. At least it’s good to know that not all the girls here are lesbians. Oops, sorry. While Selnia and Tomomi have their usual confrontation (their feelings for you know who), that seems secondary as this episode focuses more on Daichi and her dilemma whether to reply the love letter. She intends on ignoring it but her butler pals deemed it rude and disrespectful. Still not sure, her pals promise to help her out. First with Todoroki giving his lecherous mood lecture, followed by Sanke’s family plan (WTF?! Including 30 year home loan?!) and Akiharu’s direct approach (he broke down after relating his own personal tough experiences. Poor chap). Hey, isn’t Daichi interested in knowing how to break up with her? The trio start fighting that their plan is superior and this causes Daichi to become upset and run away. At the park, Akiharu cheers Daichi up and advices her to tell her true feelings (why is Tomomi and Selnia eavesdropping from behind the bushes? Do they need this ‘advice’ too?). Daichi meets with Sakurako and politely rejects her though he can’t tell the reason. Sakurako isn’t happy with her answer and starts crying. She thinks Daichi is in love with someone else. Daichi wanted to deny but somehow she can’t as flashes of Akiharu’s face come to her mind. She realized she may be in love with Akiharu! Because Sakurako sees this expression of hers for the first time, she knows she is in love and will give up and happily support her. I guess the annoyance has gotten enough of them so Selnia and Tomomi confront each other near the fountain and they conclude that they should make it clear.
 
As gratitude, Pina gives Akiharu a pair of tickets to Try Aqualand, a large theme park in episode 11. Akiharu is pondering who to bring along when he spots the Selnia-Tomomi confrontation. So in a classroom, the cat is out of the bag as both ladies spew what they know about each other like the kiss and the date with Akiharu. Poor Akiharu gets smacked in the middle of their war as it turns into one who will receive his other ticket half. Sure slick Tomomi has Akiharu give it to her and questions Selnia’s reasons for wanting one. Even so, the method for who should get his ticket is debatable till Kaede suddenly announces a sports festival. That’s right. The winning team that they’re on will get the tickets. And I don’t know how the rumour of the main prize got twisted into Akiharu surrendering his mind and body to the sports festival winner. You know those communication interference theories, right? During the sports festival, a flashy and expensive air show (damn!) to start the event off as Selnia and Akiharu are on the same team. As usual, the sports feel more like perverted versions of its counterparts. What is Kaede thinking? She must be enjoying it as she and Pina are the announcers. We have Touichirou jumping down the crowd to grasp his beauty but he can land hard on the dirt for all they care, Hedyeh still trying to kill Akiharu, Selnia got slippery eel in her pants in an event, slippery and wet tug-of-war, Selnia borrowing Mikan’s clothes in a borrowing race (Mikan looks hot in tight clothes!), a three-legged race with Akiharu being paired with Saori but the clumsy girl slipped on the first step causing Akiharu to accidentally pull down Fou’s pants and the furious crowd throwing things at him. Then the 100m race which pits Selnia and Tomomi. Akiharu notices how both girls aren’t themselves since Selnia is too worked up and Tomomi is showing too much emotion. In either case, both girls can’t afford to lose no matter what.
 
Seems Selnia lost the race in episode 12. Maybe if her’ ‘drills’ were lighter… Just kidding. Akiharu talks to her and who wants to hear her story high expectations and becoming a perfect lady till that girl showed up? Since Akiharu also went to talk to Tomomi, who wants to hear her difficulties enrolling in this school till she meet that girl who seemed so flawless. Anyhow, Akiharu is dense not to read between the lines. The final event is the kibasen and Kaede announces the winner will earn his/her team 1000 points! An outright overall win! What were all those scores for anyway?! Selnia has Akiharu and Sanae on her team. Surprisingly Sanae isn’t clumsy compared to the other ‘weak’ girls who fall off once the race starts. A side distraction with Touichirou stripping naked for everyone to admire his ‘beautiful’ body. Mikan disqualifies him. Good riddance. So the event filled with faceboobs, facebutts and near-kissing-face-to-face position has the remaining 2 team of Selnia’s team against Tomomi-Daichi team (her sly strategy was to wait for everyone to wipe out each other). A little struggle ensues to take the other’s headband when both girls seemingly fall off. But Akiharu catches Selnia. And in her hand, Tomomi’s headband. Yup, Selnia wins it for her team. Because Akiharu still calls her that excavation tool, Selnia promises to call him by his first name rather than commoner and the likes.
 
Later in the bath, Tomomi admits defeat to Selnia and they’re both gracious and respected each other. At the end of the day Akiharu gives the ticket Selnia. Then he gives HIS ticket to Tomomi. What does this mean? Well, he saw how the girls were doing their best and wanted the ticket so much, he decided to just give them both. Obviously the girls aren’t happy because this defeats the purpose. Looks like he has been downgraded from dense to retard. I don’t know how but all the other pals are watching and I’m not sure if they understand what’s going on because they start criticizing Akiharu like he’s the bad guy and how disappointed they are in him. By the way, Akiharu is still blur. For once, Selnia and Tomomi both agree to do the only thing left to do. They both simultaneously slap him a cheek each. Is that enough to open his eyes? Don’t think so. Life resumes for everyone. This includes the bickering between Selnia and Tomomi and Akiharu getting dragged into it even if his intentions are to calm them down. Perhaps you can sense a change in their relationship because though they admit they won’t lose out to each other, they call each other for the first time by their first names. Frenemies is more like it.
 
Haha. So it ends another mediocre series. At least that’s what I felt. To borrow a line from Pina in those final scenes, "Seriously, what a crappy ending". How crappy? Well, Akiharu is still dense-cum-retard when it comes to a girl’s feelings. But I can’t blame him because he has been living a good part of his younger days being torment by Tomomi so there’s always this suspicion towards her. Selnia herself is prideful so maybe Akiharu isn’t into those kind of girls. Didn’t that kiss they shared at least changed him a little? I mean he’s still the same lethargic guy doing his butler job just because he’s fated to do so. In most animes whereby the main guy gets kissed, I’m sure there’ll be moments where his mind will be clouded with thoughts and what-ifs, thinking nothing and trying to reason behind their lips locking incident. So do we see Akiharu like that? Disappointing or what? Sometimes I can’t help think sometimes Selnia’s hair is really a drill because it really does spin whenever she’s mad or annoyed. Buzz… Doesn’t your hair feel heavy, milady? Another thing I noticed is that the girls don’t fear Akiharu as much as they do at the start. At least there’s some good news. Other than that, I can see Selnia and Tomomi’s friendship taken another step further even if they’re still quarrelling or being tsundere. But some things don’t change like Tomomi’s evil grin and Selnia’s outburst at the slightest annoyance.
 
As for the other characters, I felt they were so minor that their role was to fill up the number of episodes in the series. Don’t get me wrong but although the series is mainly focused on Akiharu-Selnia-Tomomi, I just felt the rest could have had a little more prominent roles to play. I was expecting that Touichirou guy to have some impact like maybe a love triangle or whatsoever but he’s just an annoying narcissist and the series could’ve gotten by without his presence. Nobody wants to see your ‘beautiful’ body, mister. Get over it. We have single episodes dedicated to Mimina, Ayse, Pina and Daichi but that’s as far as those characters go. So Daichi realizing that she may be in love with Akiharu, is she really going to admit that and break her strict father’s rule to graduate as a boy? I don’t see Hedyeh trying to kill Akiharu in every subsequent episode. Must be torn between her love for her master and hatred for that idiot. Why couldn’t just Ayse give an order to back down assuming if she doesn’t want to see Akiharu hurt? Too shy to speak? It’s also odd to see Hedyeh even dressing Ayse right to her undies. I’m not sure if she’s that incapable or Hedyeh just wants to do it. I don’t know, but I feel that Mimina and Pina are really odd together considering they’re close friends now. What is with Pina as she’s infatuated with ‘molesting’ poor Mimina?
 
Kaede has got to be the most amusing weirdo. Do you think the school will be a better place if she was fired as the principal? But it won’t be more fun without her. She’s like a classic example of an adult who doesn’t grow up. Or maybe it’s that otaku thingy. I guess even Mikan gave up in putting her in line since I don’t see her putting her foot down when she suggests those outrageous ideas. Yeah, she’s the head anyway. If Tomomi’s smile indicates her evil sadist side, then Kaede’s smile indicates her perverted otaku fetish. As for Sanae, I felt her existence was to provide ultimate fanservice and nothing else. How can somebody trip so clumsily many times? Maybe it’s the maid outfit. Tripping and revealing is her destiny. Perhaps a sign that she’s not cut out to be a maid? Same case for her sister Saori. If she had made more appearances, you’ll be getting to see free shows in just about every episode.
 
When I first watched the series, the drawing and art immediately reminded me of Kanokon. Those cute character facials like the pinkish cheek blush and such. Well, they’re both produced by the same company, Xebec, so it’s no surprise. Yeah, a maid version of Kanokon, I’d say. But I give them points for the hue because it’s pretty nice when you see sunlight through the leaves being shone against the characters. Even the water effects are cool too. Considering the ecchi and fanservice level of the series, I was surprised that the mid-intermission did not contain any ecchi visuals. Such would have been expected of ecchi genres but instead we have the series’ logo which is the form of a big ‘X’ while a random character says the name of the series. You need good ears to grasp the next episode preview. That’s because it is a cacophony of 2 characters trying to speak and narrate at the same time! If not for the fansubbers, I don’t think I could make out all that gibberish. Not that my Japanese is good anyway.
 
Speaking of fanservice, if you buy the DVD, expect to get extremely visually horny ecchi clips. Dangerous enough to make jealous wives and raging girlfriends to break up. I’m not sure how many specials are there as I have watched a handful. Out of curiosity lah! Seems each special lasts around 3 minutes and pits a pair of the series’ girls in some Sexy Appeal Battle. What does that mean? The girls will flash their undies, do fanservice poses and flaunt their top assets much to the applause of the crowd (that’s us viewers). Special 1 has Tomomi and Selnia, Special 2 has Sanae and Saori, Special 3 has Mimina and Pina while Special 4 has Hedyeh and Ayse. ‘Viewers’ were disappointed when Special 5 pits Daichi and Fou together but were too shy to undress. Eventually they had to… Why are they doing this if they feel embarrassed? I thought Special 6 would be Mikan and Kaede but they only make short appearances as this final special also features all the other previous girls. Can’t forget about them, eh? And I’m sure both are ‘winners’ at the end, right? Because the viewers are expected to ‘enjoy’ gawking at them.
 
Then there’s a special music clip. Much more dangerous than the special. So dangerous that the safest picture would be the opening which happens to be the series’ logo. Then there’s that ‘warning’ to have other people and children out of the room, an ‘excuse’ for this experimental clip intended for people restricted to OO years old. Heck, not for everyone is that what they’re trying to say? What could be so possibly so dangerous? Amidst the tango background music, it shows still pictures of the girls in positions that could stem from hardcore H-games. Yup, it looked like rape scenes like the girls being tied up, posing in enticing positions and topless. Some crying, some in pain and some inviting. Still intend of watching? You have been warned.
 
Ayako Kawasumi voices Tomomi and in my opinion she sounded like an ‘evil’ version of Nodame from Nodame Cantabile. Must have heard too much "Gyabo!" and "Mukya!". Mai Nakahara is equally convincing as Selnia when she blows her top. Definitely not near Clannad’s Nagisa or Sola’s Aono. Ami Koshimizu does Sanae and her screaming every time her character goes into clumsy mode is perfect. Maybe her previous role in Tenma in School Rumble helped her. Maybe. Marisa Ise as Kaede (Cruz in Needless, Ringo in Air Gear) was convincing when she sounded childish or hyped up over her fetishes. I thought Ayse and Hedyeh were voiced by the same person but I found out it isn’t. Kana Hanazawa as Ayse (Sora of Mahou Tsukai Taisetsu Na Koto: Natsu No Sora) probably has only 2 or 3 real lines since her character doesn’t even make any noise. Haruka Tomatsu does Hedyeh and probably voicing characters with such personality like Akari from Nyan Koi, Ayame of Asu No Yoichi and Yumiko of Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou made her suitable for this mad can-kill-you-anytime bodyguard. And another veteran seiyuu which I couldn’t recognize: Rie Kugimiya as Daichi. Epic fail. I don’t know what to say anymore. If I don’t hear her trademark loli voices then… Other casts include Kazuyuki Okitsu as Akiharu (Tasuku Fujiomi in Seikon No Qwaser), Mai Goto as Pina (Mika in Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu), Yuko Goto as Saori (Asahina in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu), Rina Hidaka as Mimina (Kaede in Penguin Girl) and Kumi Sakuma as Mikan (Seina of Gokujou Seitokai).
 
So if you ask me about a school for training ladies and butlers, I don’t know. Just like many other professions in the world, being a butler or a maid is a noble profession. Until anime and manga came along, that is. The whole perception and definition for it sure took on a whole new meaning. In fact I gained lots of insights in addition to my stereotypic views on many things. I never knew that being clumsy while wearing a maid uniform could be such a turn on. I never knew higher-ups who play games all day get to run an educational institution and still be there. I never knew setting up people, playing pranks on them or scheming could be so much fun without any repercussions. And I never knew that a drill can be such a hair-raising hairstyle concept.
 

Ladies Versus Butlers