The Duke of Death and His Maid

Alt title: Shinigami Bocchan to Kuro Maid

TV (12 eps)
3.753 out of 5 from 2,377 votes
Rank #2,344

When the duke was a young boy, a witch made it so that any living thing he touched died. Unable to cope with such a cursed child, his family sent him away to live in an old mansion. Now a young man, his only companions are an elderly butler and his childhood friend, a buxom, blonde maid named Alice. Despite the fact that touching the duke means instant death, Alice is constantly teasing him, getting close and flirting mercilessly. But even though Alice loves to make the duke blush, her affection for him is the real deal. Can the two figure out a way to break the witch’s spell?

Source: Seven Seas

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J. C. Staff’s 2021 gothic romantic-fantasy was animated by Shogakukan Music & Digital Entertainment and features a main character cursed to live without love. Victor – the young “Duke of Death” - cannot touch another living thing without killing it. The curse was placed upon him by a witch when he was quite young but the reasons for it remain obscure. His family have banished him to their country house where his fate sent him into a spiral of suicidal despair. To his rescue comes the beautiful Alice – his Maid. They were childhood friends and she agrees to return as his maid. Her love for him is over-whelming and brings him back from the precipice. The story mainly revolves around his attempts to lift the curse, for, if not, then he will lose his title to the family estate. Yet he cares less for that than he does for taking his beloved Alice’s hand in marriage. Despite the obvious nature of the tale, it is also quite funny. Alice is atrociously flirtations with the Duke and his reactions are priceless as you can imagine. He lives in constant fear of accidentally touching her and killing the girl he loves. As the story unfolds the Duke befriends two young witches, Cuff and Zain, who agree to help him as best they can. They are joined in their hunt for a cure by the Duke’s young sister Viola and his butler Rob. The mystery grows and grows as we learn the curse has something to do with enigmatic senior witch Daleth and her relationship both with Alice’s mother Sharon and the Duke’s mother Gerbera. The style of animation is a little unusual and not necessarily to everyone’s taste. The mains characters appear to be hybrid CGI/hand drawn animations. As CGI they are quite good yet lack a little subtlety in their design. It is well executed and better than a lot of CGI we have seen yet it still looks synthetic and unnatural on the screen. The original manga was written and illustrated by Koharu Inoue starting 2018 and ending 2022. Season one ends with no conclusion to the story yet it obviously has a lot of mileage and the audience will want more. Season two is expected before the end of 2022 so those of us who loved this story should not have long to wait to learn if the Duke can unravel the mystery behind his curse. Since everyone will want the young couple to be able to touch, we are all hoping for a happy ending. The characterisations here are all adorable and the storyline well-paced and entertaining. Although lacking a little in execution this is a thoroughly decent show.

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