Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama! Vol 1 – *Updated Version*

Title: Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama!

Author: Fujiwara Hiro

Artist: Fujiwara Hiro

Genre: Shoujo, School Life, Comedy, Romance

Status: Ongoing

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

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‘Seduction of a Feminist.’

When I first read Maid-Sama, I quite enjoyed it; in fact I really liked it, so much that I almost loved it. Now, however, I’m left with a little sour taste in my mouth that you might get after eating something delicious.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.

Cliche events are what you are going to encounter in Maid-sama – in terms of originality, it isn’t the best. On the other hand though, shoujo manga has pretty much explored everything that could possibly happen in the ‘normal’ school life genre – school festivals, summer fireworks, someone get’s a fever etc. However, there are plenty of dreamy fantasies for you to gaze in awe and read over. This manga is designed to make girls squeal and maybe even shout as opposed to feeling warm, fuzzy, blushing red, or something sweet. I think it’s actually a little over-rated. There aren’t any real deep motives in the story so far and I think it jolts up in popularity because of this reason. Sometimes people just want to have a laugh.

My biggest doubts are created from the strong link between Maid-sama’s equally popular predecessor Special A. I find so many similarities between the two – mind you, in shoujo manga it’s hard not to find similarities between different stories – but I think the core issue for me 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 in a bad way(as did some parts in Special A).

There’s not that much intricate detail in the art and compared to many other shoujos out there. In that aspect, Maid-Sama will not actually stand out. As I’ve mentioned above, I compared the art 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 might not have that extra detail but it’s lighter and fresher in a good way.

It isn’t exactly ground-breaking, 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 want a good laugh and read about a hot growing romance from  a well-executed shoujo manga, do check out Maid-Sama. It has all the ingredients of a good shoujo. Also, if you like/love or detest Special A, you’ll also like Maid-sama.

Take note I didn’t take the Omake included in volume one into account.

Rating

Plot: 3.7/5

Art: 3.8/5

Characters: 3.5/5

Execution: 3.7/5

Overall rating & any additional comments: 3.8/5.

Chungky: I’ve updated the review with additional comments especially regarding the content which I found lacking in the previous. Apologies.

Click here for first version of this review.

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