Maid-sama! is a shojo manga series written and illustrated by Hiro Fujiwara; the series was published in North America by Tokyopop until the company closed its doors in May 2011. According to the rating published on the back of the volumes, this series is rated “T” for teens 13 and up, and I believe this is an accurate rating for the Maid-sama! manga series.
Maid-sama! Volume 3
Written by: Hiro Fujiwara
English Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: December 29, 2009
The main protagonist of Maid-sama! is Misaki Ayuzawa, the 16-year-old student council president of the formerly all-male Seika High School. Misaki hates boys, and does what she can within her power as student council president to make things better for the girls who are now attending the school. However, Misaki has a secret: she works as a maid at a maid café to help support her family, and she keeps this fact a secret from the other students to help protect her tough reputation. Unfortunately for Misaki, a popular boy she doesn’t like named Takumi Usui finds out this secret. He doesn’t share her secret with anyone, but he does “blackmail” her from time to time. As the series has progressed, Usui finds himself attracted to Misaki, and tends to help her out of dangerous situations.
Volume 3 starts out by following Misaki and the other students at Seika High School as they compete in their school-wide sports day. The final event is the Dress-up Race, where the students who aren’t athletically inclined usually compete, and it’s a race that’s not taken seriously. Misaki and Usui, however, decide to compete in the race, as well a student council vice president Shouichirou Yukimura. Misaki encourages Yukimura to do his best, and she ends up coming to his aid when he’s being teased by other students during the race.
At the maid café, the owner decides she wants to have a “little sister” theme day; however, Misaki thinks she can’t convincingly do the theme and tries to get out of work that day. One of her coworkers calls her on it, and challenges her to learn how to be a “little sister” character within one week, or she will be fired. The maid café’s relative, Aoi Hyoudou, an Internet idol, is introduced, who was an eye on Usui. Aoi becomes jealous of Misaki and tries to get in between Misaki and Usui. The final chapter of the volume focuses on a mysterious boy who has problems with girls being at Seika High, and is causing strange things to happen; these strange events even have an effect on Misaki.
The story of Maid-sama! continues on, with a lot of the writing being what I have come to expect from this series; however, Fujiwara did manage to throw in a surprise during the chapter about Aoi. I also appreciated seeing school council vice president Yukimura getting a little more development and seeing him starting to become a more important character than he had been in the previous two volumes.
When it comes to the art, I really have to give Fujiwara credit for drawing Aoi’s curly hairstyle; there’s so much detail put into this style, unlike the “messy” looking hairstyles that many of the other characters in the series possess. Aoi’s clothing also has a lot of detail to it, even more so than the maid outfits. There are also a couple of close-up drawings of Misaki and Usui’s faces that are very expressive and really stand out in comparison to a lot of the art included in this volume. When Fujiwara really puts the effort in, she can draw some fantastic art. I wish this quality would show a little more in the Maid-sama! volumes.
While Maid-sama! isn’t necessarily a series I would go out of my way to purchase, I would still be willing to find future volumes through the library in order to find out where the story goes. This volume of Maid-sama! ended on a cliffhanger, so if you’re really invested in the story by this point, this ending will make you want to find volume four in order to find out what happens next.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of Maid-sama! Volume 3 that my older daughter checked out through the King County Library System.
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