posted at Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 12:00 AM | Manga Reviews, Young Adult
Published by TOKYOPOP on September 5, 2006
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance
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 »Usui’s part of a wealthy family and kidnapped to England by his family, where Misaki has to go rescue him because he’s stopped communicating. Oh hey, I’ve read this plot line before. « Hide 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: