President of the Student Council at the almost-all-boys Seika High School, the hard-as-nails Misaki Ayuzawa works every day to make life easier on the small population of co-eds who have enrolled there. Though an unholy terror to all things male during school hours, in order to provide for her impoverished family, she secretly works after school at a maid cafe in Akihabara. However, when campus hottie Usui Takumi wanders into the restaurant during her shift, suddenly she finds her reputation in school at his mercy...
Incredibly mediocre for a series that seems quite popular, always mentioned when someone asks for a good romance to watch. The story was perhaps the least interesting of any anime I've seen. Absolutely nothing happened. Every episode was a minisode, filler, dull. Nothing amounted to anything save for one of course which was the worst part to watch. It is essentially a story of a guy forcing himself on a girl who eventually caves. There is no develpment whatever from Misaki. Her secret is never revealed, she never wraps things up with the love triangle and she never overcomes her hatred/fear of men before she gives herself to Usui. I expected her to at least overcome her humiliation of being a maid in 26 episodes and tell her secret. I suppose that's what has made me so angry, how little managed to happen and develop in such a long series. In an anime less than 20 episodes, I would be gracious and assume that it simply caught up the manga and had to tie up loose ends on it's own in a hurry, but I can't make excuses for this one. I did not even enjoy the romance. It was awkward the way Usui kept touching and harassing her and forcing himself on her and the actual moments of real romance were cheesy and put in specifically to evoke spastic fangirling at how hot Usui was. It was cheap romance and did not touch me in the least. Nothing good here at all in the end, Misaki is a strong female character and it's the only thing worth mentioning.
The title, Kaichou wa Maid-sama, tells you exactly what this story is about. The Student Counsel President is a Maid, translated. Misaki Ayuzawa is the female student counsel president of an almost all male high school. To support her family that has come into hard times she is secretly a maid at a maid/cosplay cafe. This fact puts her in a pinch as it could very well change the other students' views of her, loosing their respect and her strict, hard-ass persona. What makes matters worse for her is that the top male student, Takumi Usui, finds out this little secret and uses it to torment her. But you know what that means, when a guy picks on you... right? Everything about the flow of story is like a standard romance Shoujo tale for the most part. You have a very realistic situation which can help you clean your palette of the usual magic girls, mecha, ecchi-comedy. Having said that it is quite clean and has minimal sexual situations, the lack of which can be refreshing but if you are in it for ecchi you'll be fairly disappointed. However the Moe (as hard as it is for me to use the term) is quite high what with the cosplay cafe aspect. The girls at the cafe are always changing it up a bit for an excuse to give a variety of service to their customers and the viewer gets it second hand. The story progresses well. You don't feel the pressure of waiting a week to see what happens next (the DBZ effect) but you also won't forget about it by any means. The worst I can say about it is that it's a bit generic. The plot lacks a lot of twists and you will be able to expect the same thing for the most part. The little jokes and romantic developments are what keep it cute and fairly interesting. Kaichou wa Maid-sama is very colorful. It's fun to look at and you won't notice the non-animation parts much if you are watching somewhat passively. The characters keep proper proportions but there is a fair amount of chibi and girl-hits-guy-into-orbit action, represented by simple cutouts and lazy backgrounds. There's a lot of girly, flowery emotion particles and fun stuff like that. This tends to get on my nerves a little as it reminds me of a young girl's doodles but it fits the genre just fine. The art is fair and won't leave you going nuts generally but it won't disappoint you unless you are very picky. The voices are good and match the characters. I don't have a firm enough grasp on the Japanese language yet to truly appreciate Japanese VA, but I can certainly appreciate the amount of effort I hear and it sounds great. The music you'll hear is standard for anime these days. There is a band in the 10th episode but the artist that does their music escapes me. There maybe more variety on that but it's not a music anime so I doubt you'll see a lot of artists showcasing here. Standard catchy J-pop OP and ED. The characters are very cute. Lots of cute girls and one cute boy (no spoiler). The other guys are drawn with the handsome sharp eye look most of the time. Often sporting the generic Shoujo hot boy pose, slightly cocky profiles with eyes closed and the smarmy smirk. All of the characters have different personalities making it easy to want to get to know them. There are some characters that follow each others generic flow but the main characters and the other girls at the maid cafe are pretty unique and enjoyable to watch. The romance is pretty good between them. It portrays the frustration and warm feelings or attitudes that should accompany this type of story. You'll probably like the characters more than any other aspect by the end. This is a satisfying anime to me. I can't say much more than certain generic issues are bad points. I can't expect too much more than a fun romantic romp. I genre bend fairly often so I feel I have a fair grasp of Shoujo, for a male. It's cute and funny with a really fun and warm romantic feel to it. I think anyone can enjoy it due to it's inclusion of many social types and it's not overly sappy or silly. I would also suggest you follow the recommendations laid out for this anime. They seem to be pretty spot on as I have also watched most of them and enjoyed them much the same way.
Sound: First things first, I watched this anime dubbed online. I tried four websites and over eitght video players and they were all the same. The audio was bad on every single one and it didn't get better as the series went on. It made me want to stop watching. I don't know if the sub is just as bad or if it's better on dvd but the dubbed version online has a very unclear sound, which since this was made in 2010 and the dub was probably made in 2011 or later, the audio shouldn't be that bad. Animation: As for the animation, it was okay. Again, I only know the quality of the dubbed versions online. Watching it full screen made it a bit less clear and a bit more pixlated. Otherwise it wasn't too bad though. It wasn't top quality, but it wasn't garbage either. The story: The story started out okay. The main character is a 16 year old girl who is class president at her school and works at a maid cafe to help pay her family's bills. She works hard, sometimes too hard, and keeps her job a secret. She also hates men and beats them up. Then the most popular boy at her school finds out her secret and takes a liking to her, but his actions confuse and frustrate her. The beginning was decent. It pulled you in but it wasn't a very strong pull. Still, it kept a good pace up for a while. Then it got stuck. Neither the characters or the relationship moved on. It became mostly filler episodes (episodes that don't contribute anything useful to the main story line, usually more comedic). It went on like that for a long time until the very end. At the very end, the characters and relationship started moving again. It was rather frustrating. The main content didn't even take 20 episodes. They could have made an episode or two about when her father walked out or when the guy came over to her house and saw how run down it was. They could have explored the relationship between the guy and the main character more or taken an episode to explain why the guy lives in a barely furnished place with no parents. It's not like they didn't have any options. Instead they basically used the same idea over and over and over until they got to the end. This is one of those animes that actually SHOULD be 11 episodes. On top of all that, it's a very inconclusive ending. The girl and guy only took a few steps forward in their relationship and certainly aren't on solid ground. The ending basicaly acted like the writers were 100% sure they would have a second season. Even if they did have another season, it would most likely be the same exact problems as the first just continuing and repeating. Characters: We never found out a whole lot about any character. Even the main character wasn't very developed, of course how can a character develop when they just keep experiencing the same thing over and over. "Oh no my secret might be found out", "oh no now the guy is being a jerk again." is basically repeated, so of course the characters don't develop much. New characters kept being added to try to "change things up" but none were well developed. Overall: After reading the summaries online and seeing the cover pictures, I wasn't exactly expecting greatness. It didn't sound like something I would be super excited about, but it had such high ratings and good reviews, I thought it might actually be really good. It seemed to be a well known anime that a lot of people liked and so I thought I would give it a try. I was not impressed. I kept going because I didn't want to go back to searching for another anime to watch. The poor audio may not be a problem for subbed episodes or for dvd's, I don't know, but I'm pretty sure the story is same for all of them and it's pretty amateur. How low of a budget were these creators working with? I'm convinced it was very small. Since I don't know if the dubbed version is the only one with bad audio, I won't give this a two or a three. Still, the story is just poorly written and the animation is average at best. The characters aren't developed either and are repetative. For these reasons, I give this a four.
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