No rest for the wicked, let’s get right back into this! For those unaware, this is a continuation of a two-part exploration as to why Shiina Mafuyu is the greatest character in Seitokai no Ichizon. Be sure to check out Part 1 before reading this and then come on back!
Mafuyu & Malice
Finally! One episode before the climax of season one, we are blessed with a Mafuyu centric episode. Her empathy and growth with men will culminate in these final two chapters.
The premise of this episode is that Sugisaki has suddenly fallen sick. Mafuyu is the first to suggest that the gang visit him, while the others refute her suggestions and claim that her naïve kindness is wasted on someone like Sugisaki (before eventually visiting him anyway). On the way, they are confronted by a pair of persistent boys who invite them to karaoke. Mafuyu retreats behind her sister initially, this being her first interaction with a man other than Sugisaki.
The pair reveal themselves to be from Sugisaki’s middle school and confirm that he did two-time and cause lots of trouble there, before warning the girls to steer clear of him. The boys continue to badmouth him until ultimately, Mafuyu can take it no more. She lashes out - violently swinging her bag at one of the assailants and knocking him to the ground.
“Sugisaki isn’t like you guys! Don’t group him with you!”
Finally reaching the milestone she had been longing for, Mafuyu has both grown to loathe the men she despises and defend the man she cares about. She has grown to differentiate the men in her life, rather than boiling the entire gender down to a specific algorithm. A truly great moment for Mafuyu and the series in general. The only thing left to do is thank the man who helped her get there.
I will never forget the moment that I heard the words fall from her lips.
I’m sorry; did…did someone just…confess? In my slice of life romantic comedy anime!? It’s over, somebody get Miyazaki on the phone; tell him it was all a mistake. Burn the manga, smelt the figurines, I want every last copy of Spirited Away recalled and its online presence wiped from the internet!
Upon hearing this confession, the others ask for more clarification, as to whether Mafuyu intends to date Sugisaki or not. She answers bluntly with a resounding, ‘no’.
Mafuyu & Milestones
You see, It was never about winning Sugisaki’s favor. Mafuyu’s feelings developed naturally and were not progressed artificially by envy. Mafuyu is one who rarely acts jealous, unlike her ensemble cast (during Chizuru’s hand holding fortune telling for example).
She came to the conclusion on her own and made the courageous decision to announce as such, in front of not only her beloved but her potential rivals as well.
Mafuyu has reached a significant milestone in her quest to understand men. Developing such a strong bond with one that ultimately led to a faint spark of romantic attraction. Her confession was carried out more so as an acknowledgment of her achievement and to express gratitude.
She is by no means prepared enough to enter into a relationship by this point, having only made the first step. But what a first step indeed, summoning the mental fortitude to do what none of her competitors could do themselves throughout the show’s run.
She had always possessed courage when it came to things important to her. It’s hinted that each of the girls had an encounter with Sugisaki before he joined the student council and these interactions were what led him to join.
So, what did they do? You know the usual. Minatsu offered some words of encouragement. Chizuru helped mend his broken heart. What did Mafuyu do? Oh, just save his life that’s all!!
Having a petrifying fear of men yet still moving a disheveled Sugisaki out of the snow and into a place of warmth. Her bravery in displaying her passions and in following her moral compass has now evolved into bravery that allows her to speak her mind as well.
Mafuyu’s Role in Seitokai no Ichizon Lv.2
I think that will do; wouldn’t you agree? Any longer and even I would struggle to come up with interesting subheadings. “Part Fifty - Mafuyu and Mayonnaise: One time, Mafuyu ate a sandwich with mayonnaise and I also like mayonnaise so she is the best character. Fight me”. I would like this piece to retain some modicum of dignity even if it is essentially nothing more than an elongated fanboy squeal.
Seitokai no Ichizon Lv.2 steered more towards the fantasy daydreams of the cast and explored more plot-centric episodes (with fewer smatterings of character development occurring behind the scenes). We also get some new characters including the return of Sugisaki’s ex-girlfriend and the introduction of his younger step-sister.
Mafuyu definitely seems more confident in this season - scolding her useless teacher’s lack of diligence for example. Presumably, the writers thought Mafuyu’s degree for growth had plateaued at the end of season one and now her role was best suited as the driving force for most of her Flanderized jokes.
There is a funny skit where Sugisaki and Mafuyu act out the role of newlyweds but it’s merely used as a punchline for Mafuyu’s gaming addiction.
This approach works well for season two. Mafuyu was already the most mature character featured in season one and this peaked upon the season’s climax. I’m perfectly comfortable with Mafuyu receiving some well-deserved rest.
Similarly, the OVA sees Mafuyu with even less screen time, as all the girls attempt to give Valentine’s chocolate to Sugisaki. Amusing, but incomparable to the savoury deliciousness of season one.
Mafuyu’s Influence in Seitokai no Ichizon Lv.2
The other girls more or less affirm their feelings for Sugisaki and some even act on it (Minatsu kissing Ken at the end of episode four). Mafuyu however will always be the first, acting as the catalyst to jumpstart her classmate’s motors.
Mafuyu’s influence on her female peers to be confident in themselves is amazing to see and her transformation of Sugisaki is also capped off by his final words spoken to her at the end of the last episode. Sugisaki ultimately wishes Mafuyu luck after she transfers to her new school and concludes by telling her that, despite not enjoying them himself, he enjoys watching the enjoyment that her hobbies bring to her.
I wonder where I’ve heard that empathetic mentality before?
I’ll leave you with a nice speech Mafuyu gives in one of the early episodes of season two.
She explains that; clearing a game grants you nothing of value in real life, akin to how the student council achieves nothing on a daily basis with their constant distractions. Yet, she enjoys playing them due to the pleasure of completing random actions and the personal sense of achievement that comes with it.
Mafuyu has always been a superstar. She strives to better both herself and those around her and does so effortlessly, without stamping out the traits making that person unique. She is undoubtedly the greatest character in this series and anyone who disagrees with me should directly message me their address so they can plead their case to Mr. Baseball Bat.
Joking aside, let us know what your opinion is on Seitokai no Ichizon down below!
Student council – finito!