Manga Review: Maid-sama! Volume Two

Maid-sama! is a shojo manga by Hiro Fujiwara that was published in North America by Tokyopop. According to the rating published on the back of the volumes, this series is rated “T” for teens 13 and up. Personally, I would agree with this rating.

Maid-sama! Volume 2
Written by: Hiro Fujiwara
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: August 4, 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 beginning of Maid-sama!, the student population is 80% 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 takes 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 thinks that if the other students find out about her being a maid at a maid café, her reputation would be ruined.

The male protagonist of Maid-sama! 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 she works at the maid café, and he finds a way to use this fact to “blackmail” Misaki into things. The first volume of Maid-sama! shows the progression of their relationship.

Volume 2 begins with a student from Miyabi Gaoka Academy, the rich kids’ school, coming to Misaki and claiming that two Seika High students punched him. Misaki wants the students to apologize, but they refuse. The complaining student gives them one week to apologize, and that they need to come to the academy to do so. Misaki, the two offending students, and Takumi go to the academy to talk to the student who was attacked. While talking with him, Misaki discovers what really happened, and tries to get an apology out of the Miyabi student. Instead of an apology, the Miyabi student requests a game of chess; it turns out Takumi is the only one who knows how to play.

After Misaki and the others leave, the Miyabi student goes to his student council president, Tora Igarashi, to demand getting a formal apology from Seika High School. Instead, Tora is more interested in Misaki, and goes to Seika to meet her. Tora works at charming her, even going so far as to say that he can help Misaki to get a scholarship to attend Miyabi. Misaki doesn’t make a commitment, but it’s obvious Takumi doesn’t trust Tora. After getting upset with Takumi, Misaka goes to see Tora at Miyabi. Misaka gets more than she bargained for, but manages to get help to extricate herself out of her situation. The volume ends with the start of Seika High’s school-wide sports day.

Maid-sama! does present an interesting story, although there are times in the story where plot points can become rather predictable; this is especially true for the times in the story where Misaki finds herself in some kind of trouble. To me, the only real thing that makes this series stand out in comparison to similar shojo titles is the maid café concept. However, even with saying these things, I think there could be potential for Maid-sama! in future volumes.

When it comes to Fujiwara’s art style, Maid-sama! 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. However, I do have to give Fujiwara credit for the detail that has gone into drawing the maid outfits. Overall, the art isn’t bad for what it is, but it’s also not anything that truly stands out from the art in other shojo manga series.

Personally, I’m willing to continue reading future volumes of Maid-sama! to give it a chance, and to find out whether or not the potential I see in the story ends up materializing later on.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Maid-sama! Volume 2 that my older daughter checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional posts about Maid-sama!:

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