Posts Tagged ‘kaichou wa maid-sama’
|Maid Sama Collection 1
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Up until recently, Seika High was an all boys school with a reputation for being a little rough around the edges. With times growing harder and the population shrinking, the school eventually opened its doors to females but retained it’s rough around the edges reputation creating a not incredibly welcoming environment for the female population.
Enter Misaki Ayuzawa, the man hating, fire breathing girl who wants to see the school as a place where boys and girls can coexist. Working hard to get the role of student council president, Misaki manages to achieve her goal by working to comical lengths and earning the trust of the faculty along the way. That’s just one side of her life however.
On the other side, she’s working in a maid cafe while struggling to pay off the debt that her deadbeat father left her and her family with. As she is attempting to keep her double life a secret, she is discovered by the most popular, laidback boy in school named Usui. Seeing it as a chance to keep a fun secret, the series spends the next thirteen episodes exploring the always teasing, often Misaki infuriating relationship that grows between the two.
Good and the Bad
At the risk of spoiling the rest of the review, let me just say this now: I love this series. I have loved this series in the past and I will continue to love this series in the future. It is a deep unabashed love and I can make no secret about it.
What makes this series special is a clever mix of visual humor with sharp writing that keeps each episode fresh while slowly creeping things forward. From episode to episode, the series maintains a fresh new level of fun events occurring within the president’s life. In one episode she may be dealing with students from a richer school picking on her own students while in another she attracts a quintet of brothers who wish to emulate her incredible work ethic. In yet another her best friend falls in love with an underground rock star forcing them all to go on a lunch date together. No matter what is happening in the foreground however, Maid Sama is always delivering in the background.
It doesn’t matter what is happening right in front of you, what keeps this series intriguing are the ever changing movements being made in the background. Weaving an excellent and ever changing relationship between Usui and Misaki, each episode deals with these characters while always ending in an increasingly predictable ‘Usui saves Misaki from Situation A’. Despite this, the display of emotion from these characters as Misaki attempts to figure out how they feel about each other is always hilarious thanks to sharp verbal (and sometimes physical) jabs inserted along the way.
What makes this series frustrating at times however is that this relationship is really only half this set. Making up the other half of the series, Maid Sama stands apart from other series for really taking the time to develop its supporting cast. From their interests to their histories, everyone from Misaki’s best friend Sakura to the ones who are lovingly dubbed The Three Idiots get some time on screen to become real characters. Even the other girls working with Misaki in Maid Latte are given a little time to be more than just moving props.
While occasionally you’re going to hear a very status quo type of piano theme for background music, the main impression that one takes away from the music is the often ironically rich themes that fill the series. Inside Maid Latte there are very Victorian string themes that fills the room every time Misaki tries to be moe. However be warned that in every single episode you’re going to hear Misaki’s victory theme play at least once in one form or another which will either put a smile on your face or make you want to fast forward until it stops playing for the thousandth time.
With this release, Sentai Filmworks grabbed a winning series. Filled with heart and humor, this will be a favorite in my collection for years to come. This one can’t be recommended highly enough.
If you couldn’t tell by every blogger and their uncle posting summer previews this week (mine is… on its way), the new anime season is just about ready to begin. Every quarter, Dengeki Magazine polls its readers to find out which shows for the upcoming season they are expecting to be the best. Keeping in mind how moe friendly readers of this magazine tend to be, it should be no surprise that taking the top two spots are AIC produced Strike Witches 2 and Ookami-san to Shichinin no Makamatchi (Mr. Wolf and His Seven Friends) from J.C. Staff. The rest of the list rounds out like this:
1. Strike Witches 2
2. Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi
3. Sengoku Basara Ni
4. Nurarihyon no Mago
5. Amagami SS
6. Digimon Xros Wars
7. Sekirei ~Pure Engagement~
8. Kuroshitsuji II
9. Seitokai Yakuindomo
12. Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu
13. High School of the Dead
14. Asobi ni Iku yo!
15. Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin
16. Shukufuku no Campanella
I’m actually kind of surprised that viewers are expecting so little from titles like High School of the Dead (Madhouse) and Shukufuku no Campanella (the debut production for animation studio Bridge… which may explain things a bit) and yet so much from the romance title from people with no romance experience, Amagami SS (ZEXCS).
Simultaneously to this poll, readers were also asked to name which spring series they liked the most. As opposed to the summer list, this list contained a few surprises (numbers in parenthesis represent previous expectation rank) beyond the battle of the exclamation marks in the top 3:
1. (2) Angel Beats!
2. (1) K-ON!!
3. (3) Working!!
4. (6) Ookiku Furikabutte ~Natsu no Taikai Hen~
5. (3) Durarara!!
6. (4) Arakawa Under the Bridge
7. (18) Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (The Tatami Galaxy)
8. (17) Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou
9. (5) Mayoi Neko Overrun!
10.(20) Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
Three series ended up over performing jumping up as many as 11 ranks while Kaichou wa Maid sama (which is still criminally underrated in my opinion) managed to dark horse their way in jumping up to rank 10. Not quite as surprising is the dominance of Angel Beats and K-ON!! (though does the switching of positions indicate a slow evolution in viewer preferences?) and the disappointment of Mayoi Neko Overrun. Because it was TERRIBLE.
Good news, earlier this week Kaichou wa Maid Sama began its streaming premiere for subscribers of The Anime Network! Better news, now it’s available to all registered members! I haven’t made much effort towards hiding how much of a fan I am of this series. I even consider it one of the best shows of the spring and was surprised when a simulcast wasn’t announced. Once May had passed I had pretty much given up on it happening and shifted my hopes towards a DVD release down the line instead. So thank you Anime Network for picking it up!
But for those of you out there who aren’t familiar with the series or aren’t sure what to expect, here’s what you need to know:- Misa and Usui = Extreme Power Play
Kaichou wa Maid Sama thrives on the relationship between its leads. Luckily for everyone it works. With the two personalities serving as such polar opposites, Usui gets to play the perfect deadpan punch line to Misa’s hyperactive setups.
- Just pray that it doesn’t get repetitive.
I’m an open mark for this one but even I can admit when it gets repetitive. Certain elements such as Usui’s ability to be heroic and the amount of time it takes Misa to get to something even vaguely resembling a point can be difficult to sit through.
- J.C. Staff doesn’t slouch (well, at least here they didn’t).
From the studio who brought us Azumanga Daioh, Cat Soup, Excel Saga, The Familar of Zero, A Certain Magical Index and its spinoff A Certain Scientific Railgun; Kaichou wa Maid Sama is a well put together series just chock full of moe goodness. You’d think that the maid theme would get tiresome after awhile but it’s amazing how tame something can become once you attach the word ‘job’ to it.
- Push through the filler.
It doesn’t take long before the series feels the need to kill some time with a couple of filler episodes. Do yourself a favor; push through it and know that better things are waiting for you on the other side.
- Romantic Progression, it exists!
One reason why I don’t watch more anime romantic comedy is because of the lack of actual romantic story progression. If I’m watching a series about a guy and a girl finding feelings for each other for the gods sake can they please just find them and do something about it?
Thankfully for viewers, Kaichou wa Maid Sama appears to be going somewhere even early on. No promises on where it ends up but early on at least the story looks like it’s actually moving in an intentional direction.
- DVD Release
It should have one. Please?
There! Everything you need to know early on to enjoy one of the better (best?) shoujo series of the year. Now go watch and come back to share your thoughts on episode 1 in the comments!
Alright Anime Network, you promised us a big surprise announcement this morning. Let’s see what you got… come on, try me. Make me excited. I dare you.
Wow, that’ll do it!
This announcement is proof that The Anime Network loves the world and wants it to be happy. Well… the section of it that watches anime on this half at least. Fresh off the virtual presses, The Anime Network has announced the streaming premiere of Kaichou wa Maid sama (Student Council President is a Maid!) for later this month! The shoujo romantic comedy produced by J.C. Staff premiered this past spring and has since gone on to become wildly under appreciated.
Based on the manga, Maid sama follows a very poor student council president, Misaka, who is in charge of a school that only recently started mixing genders after formerly being an all girls school. Quickly developing a reputation as a ball breaking bitch, she has to hide her part time job working in a maid cafe to keep it that way. Of course, the popular and quiet Usui finds out her secret but agrees to keep her secret.
The first episode will be available to premium subscribers starting June 15th and registered users on June 17th. After that new episodes be going up weekly on Thursdays. I don’t have a premium Anime Network membership at the moment but I think this announcement has given me a reason to change that.
Every season I attempt to do a season wrap up and every season I find myself sprinting towards the finish line after an exhausting month. There were over 30 shows premiering this season and as always, I spent the last month previewing as many of them as I could. In the end, I previewed 15 series from the new season and have compiled those into a list of highlights and things that I absolutely couldn’t wait to be done with. If you look past the subtly in many of the entries, I think you’ll figure out which ones belong where.
Trying to sample as many different genres as I could, the thing that I seemed to notice the most was a change in mood and presentation. Series set in earlier eras and retellings of classics were popular this season as well as series with a notably higher level of artistic merit (House of Five Leaves, Arakawa Under the Bridge). There was still plenty of moe (K-ON!!, Mayoi Neko Overrun, Shin Koihime Musou) and ecchi shows (B Gata H Kei, KissxSis) to go around but more chances were being taken which was a nice change of pace.
However the summer season is only a couple of months away and there have already been almost a half dozen moe or eroge adaptations announced. Would things be better if the industry as a whole could find a direction and stuck with it for more than one season? Possibly but I’m not here to throw out random solutions that I haven’t actually thought out. I leave that to people who know what they’re talking about while sitting in the peanut gallery making sarcastic comments.
Fifteen series were reviewed this season including every simulcast released by Crunchyroll, Funimation and The Anime Network. The wrap up will be divided into three parts with some highlights along the way. Be sure to chime in along the way with what you thought about the new shows this season!
More below the cut
Misaki is the first female student council president in a school that was previously all male. With the guys constantly pushing the girls around, Misaki has become determined to make the school safer for the girls by being a man hating bitch who isn’t afraid to lay down the smack when she needs to.
However, away from school she lives with her mother and sister in a house that is falling apart. After being left with debt by her father, Misaki had to start working at a maid cafe to help the family get by. When the charismatic male rival Usui finds out about her secret, she spends most of the episode in a paranoid fit about when and how her secret is going to be revealed.
Good and the Bad
I’m really not sure what I was expecting from Kaichou wa Maid sama before I started but I have to admit, it wasn’t this… and I’m not complaining. Containing a sense of humor reminiscent of Ouran High School Host Club, the jokes in this first episode were amusing because of their coy nature. While there are a few typical reaction gags thrown in occasionally, a lot of the jokes in this episode are more character based than anything.
The premiere of this series does an amazing job of setting up the story and relationship that is centered on Misaki and Usui. While the first few minutes are spent establishing Misaki’s personality, the rest of the episode mostly centers on her obsession with Usui finding out her secret and what he is planning on doing with the information. Lately a lot of series have felt like the first episode is nothing but over the top sight gags with the intention pulling in viewers that way. Seeing Maid sama spend the episode setting up relationships and characters felt like a really nice change of pace that really works in its favor.
Spending an entire episode on the growing relationship between these two was a great move and kept things moving at a nice pace. While the first few minutes can drag a little (by the time Misa’s first appearance at the cafe is shown I was certain that I was at least halfway through the episode when I actually wasn’t even close), I really enjoyed spending the rest of the time not only getting to know these characters and actually feeling like I had genuine reasons to start emotionally bonding to them. It’s always difficult to get audiences to connect to characters on more than a surface level but this felt like a success after only one episode.
Along with the visual humor, the animation from J.C. Staff paired with character designs from Yuki Imoto just creates a really nice episode to look at. While occasionally the series will jump in for a close up, the gentle look of the series matched with a not overly bright color scheme creates a nice world to get lost in as you watch.
I enjoyed this episode more than anything else I’ve watched so far this season (admittedly this is only the fourth series I’ve checked) and I’m actually pretty happy to check out more. Perhaps the biggest fault right now is that Usui is a very laid back character which will make him seem distant at first and possibly boring to some. Those who like their comedy over the top or more direct might find this one a little harder to sit through. At this moment though, this is starting off as one of the better shoujo-ish romances I’ve seen in awhile and I can only hope it doesn’t lose its direction along the way. This is one to watch.
I’ve only been following Tokyo International Anime Fair for a couple of years but in that time I’ve learned one important thing: it’s all about the trailers. Announcements are great when something big is coming but show me some trailers from upcoming series and I’m one happy little blogger. As with previous years, most of these videos were shot from the floor of the show by someone at the show so keep that in mind as you try to ignore all the background noise and distractions. All of the trailers are listed in order of premiere date since it’s never too early to start mapping out your anime viewing for the year.
Now that we’ve that out of the way, follow me past the jump to see all the new trailers and features then leave a comment and tell me which ones caught your attention the most.
First announced earlier this year, two series are finally having some details revealed via magazine articles. First up, Anime Nation linked to a report that the January premiere of Chu Bra will have animation produced by ZEXCS (who are also doing Onamori Himari this winter) and be directed by Hiro Yukina (Gakuen Heaven). I’d like it noted right now that this is a comedy about junior high schools in a fancy underwear club. It will also be airing on the Satellite network AT-X which made news earlier this year for refusing to censor the hentai disguised as action series Queen’s Blade. Once again I am reminded of the quote from Futabasha when the announcement was first made called this series a “slightly H girls comedy” and wonder exactly how slightly are we talking here?
Meanwhile, there’s no release date yet but the first crew members for Kaichou wa Maid-sama has hit the net as well. Animation is going to be handled by J.C. Staff (Karin, Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile), Hiroaki Sakurai (lots of Di Gi Charat but Nanaka 6/17 and Kodocha as well) will be directing and Yuki Imoto will be doing character designs.
Image via Anime Vice
So who wants more maid anime? Come on, you know that you need more… and if you don’t that’s ok because it’s being made regardless. A TV anime series has been green lit for the manga series ‘Kaichou wa Maid-sama’ from Hiro Fujiwara. The story centers on a girl who spends her days protecting the girls of her school from the disgusting male population of the school while working at a maid café after school. When the school boy toy finds out her secret, the two keep the secret while getting to know each other. So yeah, romantic school comedy with a maid café theme thrown in for funs. The announcement will be made official in the October issue of Lala but no details were made available regarding cast, crew or release date.