The brash Hotori Arashiyama is a far from regular girl with the lofty dream of becoming a genius high school detective, but for now she is working at the Seaside maid café to earn some extra money. Unfortunately the establishment itself is deserted and the teen is far from being the epitome of a gracious maid. Enter Toshiko, Hotori’s friend and classmate, whose expertise and passion for maid cafés – as well has her interest in Sanada, one of the few regular customers – leads her take on the quest to turn Seaside into a bistro to be proud of. However, can a cafe owned by an elderly woman whose solution to everything is curry and staffed by a clueless, foolhardy teenager really become a success, or even attract more than the usual four patrons?
In present day Japan, the life of a school girl is never dull. The easily-bored Konata never finds time to study because of her otaku habits, which frustrates hard-working Kagami to no end. On the other hand, laid-back Tsukasa always manages to go with the flow, while Miyuki is concerned with keeping her status as resident know-it-all. Join these four girls as they muse and meander their way through everyday events such as eating chocolate cones, doing homework, gaming, and trips to the beach galore.
When thirteen-year-old Hajime goes to stay with his grandfather he gets lost and wanders into the Ark Cafe. There he meets Arashi, a sixteen-year-old girl with a big secret, and is immediately drawn to her. When a large private detective clad in camouflaged trousers and dark sunglasses walks into the cafe looking for Arashi, Hajime manages to help make him back off - for now. In thanks, Arashi goes to shake his hand but as she does so the pair connects and Arashi takes Hajime back in time to show him how the town used to look... while she was still alive! Now, after being ‘won' in a bet by the con artist currently managing the cafe, Hajime is working alongside the ‘ghostly' Arashi and fellow middle-schooler Jun who also suffered the same losing fate. As his life takes this unexpected turn, Hajime's stormy summer filled with strawberry bombs, moped races, and plenty of time travelling is only just beginning.
The studious and uptight Chiaki is well-known as the top pianist of his school, and dreams of becoming a world-class conductor like his idol, Viera; but his fear of flying (which makes studying abroad impossible) combined with a recent break-up and dismissal from his piano instructor causes that future to seem both bleak and unlikely. After collapsing outside of his apartment, drunk, Chiaki inadvertently meets a young woman named Nodame who, while quite talented at the piano, is unclean, clumsy, and haphazard. Despite being almost polar opposites, the two begin to grow closer and work, together, to overcome the obstacles in their careers.
Incensed at the damage done to the sea and its wildlife at the the hands of humanity, Squid Girl rises from the depths of the ocean to enslave humanity! Her mission proves more difficult than it first seems, however, when she gets dragooned into working at the Aizawa beach restaurant. Will the easily distracted, blissfully ignorant, and slightly thick Ika-Musume convert her managers' humble house into her base? Will she use the power of her mighty tentacles to bring all of humanity to heel? Or will she at least learn how to properly wait tables?
Both deal with everyday matters and are episodic in nature but follow a timeline of sorts and with them being slice-of-life, they have a pleasant, relaxed feel about them. Both are comedic at heart and just go with the flow, hardly rushing things and where most episodes are split into segments. They have their serious and potentially sad moments at times but not often enough to warrant it as a secondary trait and they doesn't interfere with the comedy too much.
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru has a more mature feel about it than Shinryaku! Ika Musume but the comedy and laid back nature of them both help bring them together.