Comics / Manga

Maid Sama! Volume 5

By Chris Zimmerman
July 26, 2010 - 06:27

Seika High School is notorious for its disorderly male students whose over-the-top antics are usually at the expense of the female population. Fed up with living in fear and taking matters into her own hands, Misaki Ayuzawa decides to create a reform that sets her at odds with her male peers. Despite earning the reputation of being the strongest girl at the school, she secretly works at a maid café to make end meet. When her secret is discovered, her reputation is threatened by Usui Takumi, one of the school’s most popular boys, who unexpectedly takes an interest in her.

Among the most difficult aspects of shojo manga is maintaining an interesting dynamic between the main characters as the main question of ‘will they or won’t they?’ is usually the hook that brings readers to the table. Logic dictates that the couple will eventually get together by the end of the series but the how and why of the matter is what determines whether the wait was worth it or not. The main problem that too many shojo series experience is the prolonged game of cat and mouse the two characters play before they discover that they are meant for one another.

Maid Sama! falls into this category but not for lack of trying. The series has taken the time to flesh out Usui’s and Misaki’s relationship, bringing them closer together as they grow more comfortable around each other, but the series main detriment lies in its main character’s inability to change. Misaki’s dislike for men is established and no longer has a reason to be featured as it only rehashes on what has already been stated ad nauseum. Thankfully, the final chapter gives readers a brief glimpse of the story moving forward as Misaki is forced to care for an injured Usui, resulting in her constantly worrying that she isn’t up to the task. She displays genuine feelings of regret at not being of more use to him, going a long way in properly portraying her character in a sympathetic light.

While Maid Sama! provides a unique shake up to the shojo genre, the excruciatingly slow development of the plot is sure to turn away more than a few readers before the series can hit its stride. Though the two central characters are no closer to hooking up than they were at the beginning of the series, Misaki’s display of girlish emotion toward Usui is a step in the right direction.     

Rating: 7 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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