Manga Review: Maid-sama! Volume One

Maid Sama! Volume 1 is a manga with the story and art by Hiro Fujiwara. Tokyopop held the rights to distribute the series in the United States until the company went out of business in May 2011. As of this writing, no other manga publisher has acquired the rights to this series. The first volume of this series was published in the United States in 2009. This English adaptation, which is presented as an “unflipped” release, was adaped by Karen S. Ahlstrom; the translation was done by Su Mon Hanr. Maid Sama! is rated “T” for teens 13+.

Maid Sama! Volume 1
Written by: Hiro Fujiwara
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: April 7, 2009

The main character of Maid Sama! is a 16-year-old girl named Misaki Ayuzawa. She’s the student council president at Seika High School, which had been an all-male high school until it became a co-ed school a few years prior to the start of the series; however, at the start of the series, 80% of the students are male. Misaki hates boys, due in large part to her father abandoning her family and leaving them with all his debts. In order to help support her family, Misaki has taken on an after-school job working at a maid café; however, the other students at her school don’t know about her job, and she intends to keep it that way. Misaki has developed a reputation at school for being tough, and knows that if the other students find out about her being a maid at the maid café, her reputation will be ruined.

The male protagonist of the series is Takumi Usui, a 17-year-old student at Seika High School; he’s also one of the most popular boys at school. Misaki is in competition with him for the highest grades, and she really doesn’t like him. Unfortunately for Misaki, Takumi discovers that Misaki works at the maid café, and he finds ways to use this fact to “blackmail” Misaki into things. The series follows Misaki and Takumi, and shows how their relationship progresses.

When it comes to the art style of the series, it utilizes many of the tropes associated with shojo: giving the male protagonist a more “feminine” look in the face, some backgrounds with flowers and shapes in the background, less detailed character drawings for shocked reactions, etc. The art isn’t bad for what it is, but it’s not anything that truly stands out from other shojo manga series.

Maid Sama! does present an interesting story, although at times there were some plot points in this volume that were rather predictable; this is especially true for the times in the story where Misaki would find herself in some kind of trouble. The only real difference this series seems to have in comparison to similar shojo titles is the maid café concept; of course, as I start to read more manga, I may discover that this may not be an accurate statement. But even with saying these things about Maid Sama!, I think there could be potential for the story in future volumes of the series. I’d probably be willing to try to find future volumes of Maid Sama! to see if that potential pans out or not.

I wrote this review after my older daughter checked out a copy of this manga volume through the King County Library System.

Additional posts about Maid-sama!:

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