Story: Basic premise consists of a high school student council president Misaki originally disliking guys because her father abandoned her mother and daughters, leaving them in debt. She now works at Maid Cafe in order to garner an income for her poor family and doesn’t want anyone at school to find out about her part-time job because she's afraid her reputation will be ruined and she won't be taken seriously as the student council president. I’m really not giving anything away by stating that the hotshot in school finds out her secret because it happens within the first episode and that the show mainly revolves around the relationship between the two.
This anime is directed towards those who loves shoujo and romance and comedy. The plot is somewhat predictable and generic but still fairly entertaining. It’s decently well-paced switching between romance and humor but there are quite a bit of fillers that drag out the anime. The ending was also lackluster and left much to be desired. It was rather abrupt and unclear and so many questions were left unanswered. I wished more episodes had been devoted to past histories and backgrounds and pushed the relationship forward so it was more defined as opposed to having meaningless fillers. All in all however despite the lacking closure at the end, this anime remains entertaining for the most part mostly due to the crazy characters.
Animation: The animation was probably the worst part about this show. It was just so horrible that it actually took away some of the enjoyment from watching the anime. I would watch the anime and then remember just how abysmal the art was that I would cringe from the scenery that looked like a 5 year-old painted it in ten minutes. Most of the backgrounds looked like cheap watercolor paintings or hideous combinations of colors mixed around to create some strange looking backdrop by elementary school students or students doing art for the first time. Sometimes I would see the food or flowers done nicely but that was a rare sight to see. The background animation was simply atrocious.
Now the reason why I gave the animation score a 4.5 as opposed to the 2 it would otherwise have gotten was because the character design was beautifully done. So much attention was given to the characters, their expressions, and their physical outward appearances. The colors were rich and vibrant and everyone was so cleanly animated. The glaring difference between the character design and the scenery is just so ridiculous that I had to wonder what kind of a budget the production had. There is no excuse for such a horrid background when the characters can look so stunning. I understand that the focus of the anime is on the characters but when the background looks like it was done by a toddler, there’s a problem. I was actually hugely surprised and disappointed when I found out that J.C. Staff, who usually do an all-together exquisite animation in both character and scenery design for most of their animes, was responsible for this pitiful excuse for animation.
Sound: Extremely generic and lackluster. There was no piece that I immediately wanted to go look up and add to my music collection. Sometimes the scores would heighten the mood but every now and then, it would detract from the seriousness by playing some cheap sounding elevator music that I think was supposed to sound seductive but I just found it humorous and out of place. The opening and ending were entertaining and catchy but not hugely memorable or noteworthy.
Characters: The reason why the show stood out to me. While the other aspects were either bland or embarrassingly dismal, the characters made me enjoy the show and prevented the story from being too mediocre despite the unoriginal settings and plot lines that took place (beach scene, maid café, sports day, etc…).
I’ll start with Misaki and how I loved the fact that she is quite a strong female lead. She’s actually smart, which is an incredibly hard trait to find in females especially in shoujo (for some reason, most girls are just failures at school who can barely pass and I just don’t find that endearing or relatable), has highly capable physical strength, and is willing to change her ways if her flaws are pointed out to her. She avoids relying on others and opts to be independent most of the time though she is willing to accept help when the situation calls for it. She cares about the people who are important to her and often puts their priorities above her own. One quality about her that I was not particularly fond of was that fact she continually denied her feelings toward Usui, the guy she clearly likes. Her stubbornness in refusing to admit how she truly felt about him was rather frustrating because she gave no reasons for why she should deny it besides maybe being embarrassed about it. Usui on the other was humorous as a pervert, constantly teasing Misaki, but sweet in showing her how much he cared about her though he as well stubbornly refused to admit that he liked her as well. That in essence was the main flaw between the two. Their refusal to admit their true emotions drags their relationship all the way to the vague, unclear conclusion.
The other characters were somewhat lackluster. Her two friends were fairly generic but everyone in maid café was highly entertaining, especially Aoi. The three idiots actually had more substance than it seems at first glance. I also wanted to find out more about the president from the competing high school who seems fairly mysterious, with dark secrets of his own. Sadly, these characters don’t really get fleshed out and so though they may be entertaining, they somewhat lack in depth. Misaki’s elementary school friend, who has always loved her, had more attention given to him and his background and so had more substance. I wish maybe some more of the characters could’ve have been given that chance so they could shine as well.
Overall: It is a fairly entertaining though the premise may not seem to be the most original. There is plenty of romance and comedy to balance out the flaws in the anime. The two main characters are fairly well drawn out that they manage to carry the anime all the way through to the end with the help of plenty of supporting characters. This anime may not be spectacular or one-of-a-kind, but it is enjoyable so for anyone who loves shoujo and romantic high school drama with teenage angst, then this will do decently.