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Title: Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama!
Author: Fujiwara Hiro
Artist: Fujiwara Hiro
Genre: Shoujo, School Life, Comedy, Romance
Summary: The class president has a little secret she’s keeping from the sexy bad boy in school… As President of the Student Council, the overachieving feminist Misaki really socks it to the guys in an attempt to make the former all-boys’ school attract a more female student body. But what will she do when the sexiest boy in class finds out Misaki’s after-school gig is in a maid café?! It’s love at first fight in this shojo romantic comedy–with a whole new look at the battle between the sexes! –TokyoPop
So now I’m going to deal with one of the most popular shoujo mangas of the present – Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama; and a warning to Maid-Sama enthusiasts, I’m a sceptic. When I first read Maid-Sama, I quite enjoyed it; in fact I really liked it, so much that I almost loved it. Now, I’m left with a little sour taste in my mouth when there was once something really sweet at the beginning. What I’d applaud is the relatively original idea of using maid-cafes as a central theme in the story, it’s quite refreshing and it’s done wonderfully so that we don’t get any tacky and perverted outcomes that are so associated with this culture. Instead, I think Maid-sama actually helps us to appreciate this ‘exotic-ness’ of maid-cafes and its relative businesses.
My doubts are created from the strong link between Maid-sama’s equally popular predecessor Special A. I find so many similarities between the two and mind you, in shoujo manga it’s hard not to find similarities between different stories. I think the core issue here though is regarding the main characters of both mangas. I just find them incredibly similar – even in terms of character design – that it sort of puts me off. I found some sequences a bit, well, let’s just say there was a part where I just wanted to hide myself under a pillow out of embarrassment. I do have my doubts but I will not deny that Maid-sama is a pretty good manga in its own right, plenty of dreamy fantasies for you to gaze in awe and read over – I’ll call it shoujo cliche moments reworked and improved.
I find the art similar to mangas like Special A – minus lots of exaggeration and having a much cleaner look. If it were like cooking a dish it would be – adding just a pinch of serious-ness, taking out the guts of flashy details, and voila, you have Maid-Sama! It’s lighter and fresher in a good way.
I wouldn’t call it a big stray from your shoujo manga, but a more original idea compared to other mangas in the school life genre. Funny moments and a blossoming romance is what I’ll say if someone asked me what kept me reading. If you like/love or detest Special A, you’ll like Maid-sama.
Take note I didn’t take the Omake included in volume one into account.
Overall rating & any additional comments: 3.8/5.
ratings edited: I changed my rating about three times. I entered 3.8/5 the second time but I felt as if I was pressured by the popularity of the manga to grant a higher rating so I returned to 3.7/5