Pimp that Manga: Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

Let me start off by saying tsundere heroines are not my typical preference in my mangas. Never have been, never will be. That’s one reason I didn’t like Hana Yori Dango and its ilk. I find the hate-not/hate-like-love progression rather exhausting in a manga medium, whereas I enjoy it at times in dramas because the bickering has the 3D sizzle to it. So let it be said that Kaichō wa Maid-sama! (The Student Body President is a Maid!) must be doing something right, because this manga has a tsundere heroine and is like a mash-up of about a bajillion predecessors (most notably Ouran High School Host Club), yet it manages to rise above it all and create its own unique identity that I actually like. Maid-sama is like an otaku’s wet dream, except it really has a sensible and decent nugget of goodness within that aims beyond creating something amusing. Anytime a manga makes me want to marathon it in one night, I know its doing something right. Currently serialized in LaLa, fourteen tankoubans have been released in Japan so far but I have an inkling the story is nearing its conclusion so this won’t be a drawn out process of following along for years on end.

The manga centers around Ayuzawa Misaki, the female student body president at a high school with predominately male students due to the school being formerly an all-boys institution. Misaki is physically strong and mentally tough so she sets out to bring the delinquent male students in line so that the minority female student body can feel safe and secure attending this school, plus it’ll allow the school to attract potential female freshman who might otherwise be afraid of attending. All of this makes Misaki public enemy number 1 of the male students, and garners her the interest of the cutest and coolest guy in school Usui Takumi. One day Takumi discovers Misaki’s Big Secret, which is that this uptight boy-hating upstanding student body president actually works a part time job at a Maid Cafe (where she wears a cute sexy outfit as a waitress pretending she is the maid to the customers who visit the cafe). Takumi ends up keeping Misaki’s secret and helping her each step of the way, during which our OTP fall in love and the encounter even more unforeseen obstacles (*psst* Takumi’s background is the same as Suoh Tamaki in Ouran). This might sound silly except the execution is surprisingly awesome.

Unlike Ouran, Maid-sama! isn’t really an ensemble piece. The leads begin and end with Misaki and Takumi, and they are the OTP without a doubt and there is never a genuine third wheel in the mix. But they are surrounded by relatively well fleshed out side characters that add quite a lot of color and heart to the proceedings. Because its set in high school, there is almost always the requisite lesson to be learned after each story segment, but its never too heavy handed. A rival rich kids high school adds some competition to the proceedings but it never drags on or stays stagnant. What’s so refreshing is watching Misaki grow and change. She always accepts that she’s wrong and actually makes the effort not to repeat the same mistakes. Takumi starts out a little too mysterious and perfect, but once his back story gets revealed and he truly falls for Misaki, you see his walls come down and his vulnerabilities come out. That when he encapsulates heart-thumping angst like you wouldn’t believe.

I really appreciate how the whole Maid Cafe part-time job wasn’t turned into something tawdry, but instead is given the same deft treatment Ouran gave the Host Club. The maids work at the cafe because its a well-paying part time job, and for Misaki she needs to earn the money because her dead beat dad left them high and dry. All the maids are professional and work hard, treating their job with respect and in turn the customers are merely living out a fantasy but is not meant to hint at anything darker. The writer cutely has special dress up days at the cafe and there are many times Misaki is totally clueless as to what she’s supposed to do. This isn’t a manga about sexing up high school students, but instead about how kids may be asked to shoulder heavy burdens at a young age but hopefully they can still be carefree high school students at school.

What I adore about this manga is how there is honest-to-goodness forward movement on the love story, with tsundere Misaki slowly falling for Takumi and then DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT! As opposed to pretending nothing is happening and leaving the readers completely unsatisfied. Not to mention Takumi is pretty much the perfect hero ever – talented in everything, ridiculously good looking, and has a wicked and perverse sense of humor that really undercuts the silliness of this all. I find Maid-sama! totally addicting and sweetly endearing. This one gets a highly recommend from me, and I confess to liking it way more than the manga Ouran. I hope a live-action is made soon though I have no clue who would be perfect for the roles of Takumi and Misaki. I wouldn’t say this manga lingers after reading it, but its entertaining and well-written.

© 2012, ockoala. All rights reserved.


Comments

Pimp that Manga: Kaichou wa Maid-sama! — 35 Comments

  1. awww…I adored the anime based on this manga…very cute and fluffy…I haven’t read this manga yet but I might check it out if it’s nearing the end of its run

    • You will never regret reading this manga it’s so adorable and try reading it beacuse in the last update usui will go to another school or country……so misaki will be lonely…….I really am an otaku so i kow about manga a lot……………

  2. Hmm, I stopped around chapter 65 but will gladly pick this up again if a conclusion is in sight ;) Misaki is one of the few manga heroines I genuinely like (I can be … picky) and Takumi is just pure awesome for all the reasons you listed above.

    • same, I stopped somewhere in those chapters too forgot updating myself with the latest :/ but I was really addicted before with this esp. the anime. Was even hoping they would continue the anime updating from the manga.

      miss K thanks for reminding me! il get back with this since it’s already nearing an end. I’ll try to occupy myself with other stuff while waiting for NG :)) I wonder how this manga would end

  3. Unni, the last time you raved like this I went and spent a whole day of Christmas break reading Faster than a Kiss and subsequent days catching up instead of paying attention in (admittedly boring) class. Guess I’m going to have to go check this one out, too. ^_^

    • In some ways, I like FTaK more, especially when Maid-sama! gets a tad too cluttered in the pages. But in other ways, the story has much more forward momentum, so that’s always a pleasure to see. Character growth! We loves it and want more of it.

  4. I remember when Borders went out of business my friend went on a frantic hunt for these mangas. Except Tokyopop had also gone out of biz which means there are only 8 vols anyway. So I took the easy path and watched the anime instead. Liked the OTP, but everything else is blah blah HS set up, which I think I might be over by now at my age.

  5. I remember loving the anime so much that I looked up the manga adaption. It’s been a whole since I read it so I don’t remember much but because the ending is near ill probably marathon it soon. Right now I’m obsessed with the manga Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun and its anime adaption. It’s really really cute and I think you will like it. I love the heroine and hero together and seperatly.

    • I’m watching Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (anime) too and just actually finished watching ep 3. Makes waiting for Mondays (when it comes out at the website I follow) really tough LOL! I love the 2 leads and it’s just really funny but with a lot of heart. Also love that the heroine isn’t a loud, whiny, abrasive or helpless girly girl type.

  6. How great! I didnt know that you enjoy KwMs and FTaK too.. I visit your website since NG and everyday after, and this is my first comment.. Hajimemashite..

  7. Usui Takumi is one of the rarest guys in the manga history that equals perfection:D

    i think i would second Skip Beat’s Tsuruga Ren:D But Ren is still being mysterious and maid sama have a happier atmosphere:D so Usui is top 1 :D

    but i love when there is a manga post here in you playground Unnie! :D keep it:D

  8. Omg I love this manga to pieces and I check everyday for updates @_@ if the anime adaptation is finished I may just go watch it…when I have time of course :P

  9. i haven’t read the manga, but OMG i was totally addicted to the anime. It was just like 1 of the drama that i need to watch every week that came out, first raw then with English sub. Sometime i re-watch it. if u haven’t watch it…it’s HIGHLY recommended:)

  10. I also haven’t read the manga but I watched the anime last year out of boredom and I surprised myself by really loving it. The tsundere heroine isn’t normally my cup of tea either, usually because the one side is so violent and the other so creepily calm/perfect, but here the heroine has a good reason for being tough at school and cute at work. Plus she so often fails spectacularly at the latter and ends up being her awkward tomboy self at the maid cafe. Especially when she has to dress up in the costume of the day.

    I loved the OTP’s relationship too. The hero has whatever normal issues that hero type usually has, which are nothing new, but at the root of it he’s just a very lonely person, and it’s really sweet to see how the heroine fills a part of his life that was empty before and brings down his walls. And likewise for the heroine he gives her a part of her life where she’s not just the caretaker for others, but just a girl enjoying her teenage years.

    I might read the manga once it’s completed, now that you’ve recommended it. I remember wanting to see more of these characters after the anime ended in typical low-key fashion. It was a good ending but you could tell there was a lot of story still to be told.

    Thanks for this post! :)

  11. Ugh, I’ve started reading this years ago back in high school (I am now graduating soon from uni) and never finished it. I wasn’t that into manga then and just chanced upon reading this with a friend. Huhu, I miss it! I think someone has to re-read and catch up! :D And yes, I love the fact that this manga is not about sexing up high school kids. :)

  12. LOL I am never going to read it. So may I kindly ask what happens. Ms Koala is dangerous I have learnt to ration what she likes, so I can get things done. Real life I mean. But since some of you mentioned volume 8 and there is a chapter 65- horrors.
    So what happens in the end?

  13. i started this a while back out of curiousity of its top ratings. now i follow it out of loyalty more than addiction, due to long waits and the story has its ups and downs. the idea of a maid cafe was pretty bizarre at first, but its wackiness as well as the wacky personalities are part of the charm. my favorite part is definitely usui’s humor. he’s too perfect, until he enters alien usui mode with a funny cartoon face. she’s very serious about everything she does, but his silly jabs lighten her up and make her more endearing; her passion, determination, and warmth are a source of motivation for him, who has it all but is restricted by his family ties. i could do without some stuff like the social class gap, but the OTP complement each other well and they’re the focus of the manga.

  14. aiyeeee! finally! i am really waiting for you to make a post about this manga. I started reading Maid sama last year and Usui and Misaki is one of my favorite otp in the manga world. Now all we have to wait is for a live adaptation to commence. ㅋㅋㅋ

  15. watched the anime and LOVEEEED veryyy much , it’s one of my favorite , this I willwill give the manga a try , at least starting from the end of the cartoon :)

  16. I started watching this in Asia Animax which broadcasted it almost simultaneous to its Japan broadcast, but since it is aired on a weekend, in which I am always out, I wasn’t able to watch is continously. I’m glad that it is nearing its completion ( which I really really hope) so that I can just marathon it. and then as Eun said, “wait for a live adaptation to commence”.

  17. Your article above tackles things I have no clue about but the title reminded me of a famous MTV show about cars hosted by Xzibit. The mere thought of his sense of humor and contagious laugh brought a large grin on my face. Thanks Mrs Koala. :-)

  18. I’ve never read manga, but i’ve watched anime based on it. I know for some it may sound like a blasphemy, since they’re not equal, but i found anime very fun and interesting. Manga is probably even better [as you say :D, so I’ll have to read it too. Even though I’m not that big fan of manga itself :3

    Sorry for my crappy english, it’s not my native language,so…:D

  19. I started reading this and enjoyed most of it, but there was a story arc in there which went on for a couple of chapters which bore me to tears…so Ouran High School will always be the best manga of all time in my books.

    But when I get the time I might continue the manga later.

  20. I started reading the Manga yesterday since Mdm Koala pimped it and as at typing time today – I am at chapter 41!!!

    While reading – I keep churning ideas on who in kdramaworld would fit. It’s fun. Wanna join me>

    So far – no one i thought of has given me an AH! moment.

  21. I decided to check out the anime yesterday because I don’t like having to read manga online, and now I can’t stop! I have 2 exams, a lab report, and an essay, along with some other homework due tomorrow. I SHOULD be doing work. Guess what I’m ACTUALLY doing?

  22. I read this article yesterday, check out the anime, and now I can’t stop! Thank goodness today is Friday so I can marathon it tonight. Now, it is just a serious bitch to concentrate at work. I’m at ep 6 (not shure how many eps are there) and I love Misaki’s energy and her dedication to improve humankind. Usei is too perfect at this point, but I love his dry humour.

  23. Excuse me!anu>..Do you somehow know the anime name Vampire Knight…….it’s a very romantic manga and the characters are very handsome nad fantastic………………

  24. Excuse me!anu>..Do you somehow know the anime name Vampire Knight…….it’s a very romantic manga and the characters are very handsome and fantastic………………wish you read it and support it to released more update and chapters.

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