The best character of any anime is a topic for debate. Rarely will one character stand so head and shoulders above the rest. However, in Seitokai no Ichizon, throw all of that out the window! Everything you are about to read is entirely factual and absolutely none of it is based on personal biases towards a certain character. Shiina Mafuyu is objectively the best character in Seitokai no Ichizon and nobody can tell me otherwise. With that out of the way:
Student council – start!
What is Seitokai no Ichizon?
Seitokai no Ichizon (Student Council's Discretion) is a series of light novels written by author Aoi Sekina, which debuted in early January of 2008. It received an anime adaptation in 2009 that aired for twelve episodes, a sequel in 2012 that ran for ten episodes, and finally, a single episode OVA that aired in 2013.
The story revolves around Ken Sugisaki, a member of his school’s student council, as he desperately and overtly tries to forge a harem with the other four members of his team.
Mafuyu & Mentality
Shiina Mafuyu is the student council’s treasurer. A year younger than her peers, she is outwardly timid as well as incredibly naïve about life. These character tropes shift drastically, however, whenever Mafuyu discusses her two greatest joys in life; games and Boys Love (BL) literature, of which she converses passionately. Mafuyu uses both of these as vices for making sense of the world around her.
Mafuyu & Melancholy
Mafuyu admits that, aside from the other members of the student council (including her older sister), she is friendless. This could be perhaps due to her seeming lack of a personality. Mafuyu likens herself to an NPC character so much so that, when she removes her only distinct feature (a bright pink bow) even her own sister, Minatsu, struggles to recognize her.
Mafuyu & Monogamy
This is where Sugisaki debuts. Motivated, mischievous, and anything but monogamous, the two have a purely platonic relationship at the outset. Sugisaki claims that, due to her frail demeanor, she would be the easiest out of the other members to conquer romantically.
Mafuyu & Master Debating
Mafuyu is completely indifferent to Sugisaki, harboring arguably negative feelings towards him at this time. The one common ground they both tread, however, is their love for erotic media, as Sugisaki is obsessed with Gyaru Geemu – a genre of video game where the main character attempts to win the heart of one or many love interests, in a parallel to Mafuyu’s obsessions.
Mafuyu and Sugisaki’s relationship differs from his interactions with the others. Where he openly flirts with Chizuru, Minatsu, and Kurimu, Mafuyu often receives the brunt of Sugisaki’s argumentative side, as they quarrel about love and same-sex relationships.
Mafuyu & Morality
Indistinct at first glance, Mafuyu’s levels of empathy are leaps and bounds ahead of her seniors’. One instance of this occurs when Minatsu wants to return to the mainland, so both she and Mafuyu can be with their mother. Their absentee father was replaced while the two were infants and Minatsu has never approved.
After maturing, Minatsu decides her rationale was too hasty and wishes to reconcile with her family. Mafuyu never states that she had ever harbored any ill will toward either her mother or father in law. Yet, she accepts Minatsu’s wishes, despite this meaning she would effectively lose the only friends she had ever had. She reassures her soon-to-be ex-classmates that she will follow her sister but luckily, thanks to Sugisaki threatening to visit the pair every day should they move, the transfer is postponed until the following year.
Mafuyu & Mutual Respect
Despite playing the part of the reserved underclassman, Mafuyu is very confident in herself. Where the others take great shame in the passing jabs Sugisaki takes on their character (Kurimu often breaking down as Sugisaki and the well-endowed Chizuru mock her childlike figure), Mafuyu retaliates and argues her case, understanding that people are uniquely perfect and shouldn’t be ashamed of the little faults that others point out. Her reluctant classmates, for example, scold her addiction to BL and video games but that does not stop her from proudly showing off her collection or openly completing blog posts for game walkthroughs (offering advice to those in need). However, she never forces Sugisaki to indulge her. She admits that forcing her hobbies onto Sugisaki is detrimental to their relationship but exclaims that, one day, she hopes he could come to enjoy her hobby as much as she does. Did I mention yet that Mafuyu is a literal angel?
An early quote reads; “(Mafuyu) would heal a monster and be killed herself, rather than have the monster come to any harm”. Truly a woman of her word as she goes above and beyond to ensure her monstrous friends are kept smiling.
Mafuyu & Men
Mafuyu states outright that men terrify her. One of the initial reasons that invokes her disgust of Sugisaki is his insatiable libido. On a particularly hot Summer day, the girls are forced into their bikinis and obviously, Sugisaki is blindfolded. Minatsu tells Mafuyu that if Sugisaki knew what they were wearing, he would do anything to see. Mafuyu then reaffirms her dislike for this traditionally manly trait.
Pure speculation, but perhaps this hatred of men’s willingness to do anything for a glimpse at some cleavage, is intrinsically linked with her absent father. A marriage torn apart by a cheating husband is mirrored in Sugisaki’s soon to be revealed infidelities?
Mafuyu & Misgivings
Something quite unexpected occurs in such a light-hearted series as this. Sugisaki is revealed to have been two-timing during his younger years. Upon further interrogation, Sugisaki confirms that the two women involved were currently happy and had moved past the incident.
Mafuyu wrestles with her desire to accept Sugisaki after this jarring proclamation but gradually warms up to him. This is in part due to Sugisaki showing time and again his willingness to partake in Mafuyu’s hobbies (completely writing a BL fanfiction for her starring himself and the charming Nakameguro-kun for example). Where the others slate, tease, and torture Sugisaki for his libido, Mafuyu meets Sugisaki on equal ground and tries to find the good underneath.
Mafuyu & Moving Forward
As the season progresses, the two grow closer until an episode in the latter half where the group supervises a school festival.
Happening upon a myriad of forgotten items, Kurimu brings into question whether their classmates had fun, seeing as they so carelessly neglected their personal belongings. Mafuyu argues that were they to clean up completely, the festival would truly be over and nobody wanted it to end. Kurimu scolds her classmates for “dragging it out” (looking at the past when they should be looking toward the future).
Where Sugisaki usually works overtime allowing the girls to go home, in this instance, they decide to stay and help him. Mafuyu is the first to express her enjoyment, stating that she likes spending time with him, while the others offer excuses (Kurimu acknowledging her role as President and expressing an obligation to work late as part of that role).
The final shot of episode ten shows Mafuyu staring longingly out the window. The others question her but she brushes them off. It seems she has realized the change in herself. Thanks to Kurimu’s words, Mafuyu shows her first signs of interest in Sugisaki and expresses those feelings audibly, unburdened by her past and looking to create a brighter future involving men.
Kurimu and Minatsu possess the typical tsundere tropes and were never in contention for first to act on their feelings for Sugisaki. Chizuru is the most forward but, unlike Mafuyu, she fails to follow through with arguably the most important part of falling in love.
Stay tuned for the gripping conclusion of our discussion and let us know what you think so far!