Manga Review: Maid Sama! by Hiro Fujiwara

Manga Review: Maid Sama! by Hiro FujiwaraMaid Sama! by Hiro Fujiwara
Published by TOKYOPOP on September 5, 2006
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Brilliant and overachieving, Misaki Ayuzawa is the President of the Student Council at Seika High School, formerly a boys' school. Unfortunately, most of the students are still male and stuck in their slovenly habits, so man-hating Misaki really socks it to 'em in an attempt to make the school presentable to attract more female students. But what will she do when the sexiest boy in school finds out that after school, Misaki works in a maid cafe!

Oh Maid Sama!, I’ve been waiting for this day. I started up a manga-reading project with Debby (Snuggly Oranges), Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) and Steph (Cuddlebuggery), and I’m so glad that we did this, because I have got my manga back and you have NO idea how much I missed it. For a couple of years, I read a whole lot of manga (thousands of volumes is likely not an exaggeration) and I think I sort of burned myself out with that pace. Then I just got out of the habit of reading it. Now my mojo is back and I can finish some of the series that weren’t complete back then, start new ones and reread my favorites. This, my friends, is a beautiful thing. Anyway, Maid Sama! is one I started reading from my library back in the day, but never finished because I was waiting for the next volume to be purchased by the library…only apparently they never printed any volumes past that one so it’s a good thing that I stopped waiting. Maid Sama! is a seriously fun series with delightful shippiness, and I am not just saying that because Debby might kill me otherwise. Oranges can be vengeful fruits.

NGL, my favorite thing in manga is a good ship. Okay, that’s not THAT different from my preferences anywhere, but I think it may be even more important in shojo manga. I mean, if I am going to wait 10-18 volumes for a ship to pull away from the dock, it better be a damn gorgeous and sea worthy vessel, if you know what I mean. Maid Sama! has ships to spare. Literally, as, in addition to the main ship, which is quite shiny, there are awesome ships for the secondary characters.

Misaki, the heroine, is the student council president of her school, and known as the Demon President. Seika High School just recently allowed female students and Misaki is on a crusade to make the boys straighten up and fly right, so that the girls can feel more comfortable. Misaki dominates in strength and academics, but she has a secret: she works at a maid cafe (which is exactly what it sounds like unless you think that it’s a cover for prostitution, which I would imagine is sometimes the case but is not here).

In the first volume, several people discover her secret, namely the guy who has just taken the top academic score from her and the three bad boys. Sacre bleu! It’s okay though, because Misaki charms the pants off them (not literally, unfortunately) and her secret is safe. One of the most hilarious elements is the three bad boys (henceforth known as the idiot trio) who are tamed and become obsessed with the maid cafe; this is, in fact, one of the few chibi-izations of characters I approve of. The manga’s really over the top and ridiculous, but almost entirely in a good way. I even laughed out loud quite a few times, and I’m not especially demonstrative when I read generally.

Usui and Misaki comes really close to being annoying for me as a ship a lot of times, largely because Usui is perfect at everything and that gets old. Can’t Misaki best him in SOMETHING? That trope of “anything the heroine can do, the hero can do better” needs to die in a fire. However, I still ship them like mad because Usui is SUCH a weirdo. He totally looks the part of the sexy, alpha male lead, but generally he acts like a total goober. It’s adorable. He essentially has no interest in other people, except for Misaki, and his weirdness softens my heart…and hers. Misaki calls him a perverted space alien, and this is a nickname I am totally non-grossed out by. My favorite ship might be Kanou/Yukimura though. THANK YOU FOR SLIPPING THAT IN THERE, HIRO FUJIWARA. YOU ARE MY HIRO. (I’m sure that doesn’t get old.)

The early part of the series I loved all the way. Still, I do think it ran on too long. The plot goes in some unnecessary directions. I liked when it was just weirdness in high school, but everything about Usui’s past ended up making me roll my eyes. It just got VERY Boys Over Flowers (View Spoiler ») and Christina don’t play that.

If you’re a shojo manga fan, this is a must read. If you’re new to manga, I’m not sure if this is where I would recommend starting because it’s rather weird and probably has more cultural things to adjust to than some other options. But, yes, hilariousness and romance = happy Christina.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

This mostly doesn't sum up my feels, but I am craughing so whatever.

This mostly doesn’t sum up my feels, but I am craughing so whatever.

6 responses to “Manga Review: Maid Sama! by Hiro Fujiwara”

  1. Bahahahaha I love how you make me out to be so violent xD it must be doing wonders for my reputation πŸ˜› BUT YAY THIS SERIES AND THIS REVIEW

    Usui is pretty much a goober -> pardon me, I just died laughing but PERFECT DESCRIPTION.

    Yeah. The plot dragged and the Boys Over Flowers storyline needed to die but ALL THE FEELS IN THE FIRST HALF EEEEEEEEE

    Now I want to watch the anime again. Did you ever get to that btw?
    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…Adventures in AudiobooksMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Pretty sure bookish people get murderous intentions for book opinions. πŸ˜‰

      HE IS. He would be awful if he weren’t so silly because he’s good at everything. Like, he’s so not traditionally swoony most of the time which makes him being so perfect otherwise okay. If that makes sense.

      Yeahhhh, no to Boys Over Flowers. It is not a thing to imitate, even if it is oddly compelling.

      Nope. I tried it right after I finished and it was so similar I wasn’t in the mood. I will at some point!

  2. Liis says:

    I LOVED this manga when it first started coming out years ago, but I agree, it went on for too long and I kind of lost interest in it when waiting for new chapters, plus the whole family mess, which has been done a million times already, kind of bored me.

    Still, this an incredibly cute manga and as you mentiond it has a great ship to hold it up. One of the best couples in newer shoujo manga by far. I agree, the ship is everything πŸ˜€ I heart Usui πŸ™‚
    Liis recently posted…Review: Slow Burn by Nicole ChristieMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Yeah, the start was amazing and I specifically remember volume 9 as being totally boss. Sadly, I do think there was a drop in quality as the drama went up, but still a good series overall.

      Usui is an adorable perverted space alien.

  3. I was obsessed with manga in middle school! I just started reading it again this summer.
    I’ve seen Maid-Sama in stores and online so many times, but I haven’t read it yet. Your review makes me want to give it a shot though πŸ™‚
    Dana @ The Nerdy Journalist recently posted…TGIF Weekly Recap | Aug. 15, 2014My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I think it’s definitely worth a try, though the end does go downhill. Still good overall. The main ship is pretty adorable and the guy is unique in his attitude.

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