Maid-sama! – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

 

Similar: Ouran High School Host Club

Special A

Please Teacher

My Little Monster

 

Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: High School Romance Comedy

Length: 26 episodes, 2 OVA

 

Positives:

  • Easy to enjoy.
  • Frenetic protagonist creates funny conflicts.

Negatives:

  • The guy is a forgettable love interest.
  • Above point leads to little relationship drama, even in a comedic sense.

(Request an anime for review here.)

Misaki attends a school that until recently was boys only. Despite efforts to increase female recruitment, the student body is still 80% male, all of whom seem to be goofballs. As student president, Misaki makes it her mission to entice more girls to join. However, little does anyone know, this hard ass girl with the reputation of a boy-hating dictator secretly works in a maid café! Then popular boy Usui discovers her secret and takes an interest in her.

I like this premise, but Maid-sama doesn’t use it to its fullest, largely due to Usui. For a prominent love interest, he isn’t interesting in part to a lack of a gripping quality, unless you find him hot, which isn’t a substitute for substance. In fact, he’s borderline Mary-Sue. He has no relevant flaws, solves problems without effort when participating, and succeeds in most activities for free.

Compare this with Misaki, who has an endless series of challenges, owing in no small part to her many flaws and other minor male characters. The dichotomy between her dictatorship at school and maid café work is ripe with conflict. When Usui is the focus, it’s neither as interesting nor as funny. What’s most strange about this problem is that in anime rom-coms, the love interest is usually the more interesting of the two. Please Teacher, Ouran Host Club, Ah! My Goddess, and so on, have better lovers than protagonists. Even then, the aforementioned anime’s protagonists hold their own, at the least – Usui doesn’t. Misaki carries Maid-sama.

Another factor is that Maid-sama has little romance – not necessarily bad, just something to be aware of beforehand. I made the mistake of expecting more romance like Ah! My Goddess and other sudden-lover-appearance anime. Maid-sama leans towards the Ouran Host Club balance of comedy and romance, with only a few late episodes dedicated to be romantic.

In the end, Maid-sama is your typical enjoyable anime romantic comedy. Nothing outside the protagonist stands prominent, but that doesn’t stop it from being a fun experience that appeals to most anime viewers.

Art – Medium

Maid-sama filled the romcom slot of its time, so wasn’t given a great budget, but worked with what it had. Don’t expect greatness. Some good visual comedy through chibi art.

Sound – Medium

Good acting, though I find the English better, as it gives Misaki more energy and anger, which makes her mood swings funnier – great translation for the jokes as well. Serviceable music.

Story – Medium

The hard ass student president secretly works in a maid café! Her school rival uses this to thwart her. Funny and enjoyable, but could do with a stronger male lead.

Overall Quality – Medium

Recommendation: Try it. If you want a fun, easy-to-watch anime, look no further than Maid-sama!

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Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None

Negative: None

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