DVD Review: Maid Sama – Part 1
04/12/2015 1 Comment
Just how difficult is it being a part-time maid; well if its anything like Maid Sama then it should be pretty complicated if not downright hilarious! This aside for the time being what did we think of MVM’s latest DVD release? find out in our DVD Review of Maid Sama – Part 1.
Getting sent to Seika High School is scary enough if you’re a guy, but now that the notorious former boys’ school has gone coed, the unfortunate girls who’ve been enrolled there have only one goal: getting through each day as it comes. But into this untamed and testosterone-filled wilderness comes a girl on a mission, a girl who’s not afraid of any male and is willing to take them on in that most deadly of all arenas: the Student Council!
As Seika’s first-ever female president, Misaki Ayuzawa talks the talk and walks the walk, but after school hours she morphs into something rather different… a waitress at a maid cafe! So when cool, aloof and handsome Usui Takumi discovers Misaki’s secret, things are going to get VERY interesting, very quickly!
Have you ever watched an anime series not expecting anything from it but then found to truly enjoy what it offered? Well to me that’s what Maid Sama is; a deceptive show that – from the cover at least – looked like a potential ecchi filled series but instead offers up a slice-of-life styled comedy with everything to provide a good laugh; including a half-reasonable English Dub by Sentai Filmworks.
This first instalment of Maid Sama introduces us to the extremely strict Seika High School student council president known as Misaki Ayuzawa; a girl who aims to turn the school from a delinquent’s paradise to a top performing school that both boys and girls can attend. Her persona at school is one of strict discipline, making other students abide by the rules and punish those who dare challenge her – each of which bring their own amusing situations. Outside of school however, and unbeknown to her class-mates, is that she is a part-time maid at the relatively popular Maid Cafe Latte and it’s a secret she wishes to keep.
That is until the Zac Efron look-a-like teenage heartthrob known as Usui Takumi walks past and discovers that the strict school president is non-other-than a maid at a cafe; and its here where the comical adventure of unfortunate circumstances lead to endless fun and blossoming love between two characters; or that’s the prediction at least. Of course i’m getting ahead of myself; as after Misaki’s well-kept-secret becomes known to Usui he starts attending the cafe on a daily basis. At first Misaki assumes the worst and that he will share his secret at school and that her image as a strict school president will be gone, as Usui is extremely popular, but in actuality he visits the cafe just for his own personal amusement of sharing a secret with a girl.
It’s a relatively bizarre situation but from here the episodes that follow lead to all-sorts of comical encounters. For starters bullies at the school uncover Misaki’s secret but after Usui steps in to help they become her biggest fans; meanwhile Usui constantly keeps a look-out-on Misaki and as a result co-workers at the caffe believe they are a couple, when in fact they aren’t. In terms of episode content then each-one acts as an individual storyline with something new being added to the overall equasion; be it the cross-dressing internet sensation annoyed at Misaki for not dressing like a girl, a group of new students following Misaki’s every move or stalkers preying on helpless (or in Misaki’s case not so helpless) maids – its all completely bonkers but at the same time completely fun and realistic. All of this is something i didn’t expect from Maid Sama; and when a rival school starts taking interest in this ‘high-strung’ president things get even more interesting, but ironically enough thats the least of Misaki’s worries. It’s all fun and
When it comes to bonus features then Maid Sama – Part 1 can be considered a barebones release as the only bonus content included is a selection of trailers on the first DVD disc.
The trailers in question are Outbreak Company, The World God Only Knows: Goddesses, Engaged to Unidentified and Golden Time; each of which are the opening animation played on top of clips from the show. It’s worth noting that Outbreak Company is the only show licensed by MVM Entertainment; as the other shows, excluding The World God Only Knows, have been licensed by Animatsu Entertainment.
Media: DVD 9 x3
Running Time: 1:42:44 (Disc 1), 2:08:25 (Disc 2 & 3)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
Maid Sama is a series that took me by surprise and i thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it; as it offers something relatively new but familiar at the same time and fans of Kamisama Kiss will no doubt have fun watching it – as it gives off the same type of vibe. Maid Sama is a series that follows the student council president Misaki Ayuzawa as she attempts to lead a normal, but hectic, school life will working part-time as a maid to help pay off her families bills; but when class-mate Usui Takumi walks past she believes her lifestyle may have come to an end… or so she thought.
Usui keeps Misaki’s secret to himself and from here we see the two characters grow closer together through a series of events; be it bullies from school, stalkers preying on maids, a rival school or fans of misaki – he aids in all of her troubles without a care in the world. Misaki isn’t the ‘lovey-dovey’ type and, for now at least, it doesn’t seem like Usui is trying to win over her affections – but to everyone else watching, including the co-workers at the cafe, something is definitely up. This is where the fun is had; the outbursts from Misaki, the cool, calm and collective nature of Usi combined with the weaklings of support characters makes it for one fun show that cares more about the viewers entertainment than an ever expanding storyline. Sure enough the story does move forward; but from a progression perspective each episode is individual with only minor things being brought forward.
In regards to this DVD release by MVM Entertainment then it’s pretty much as you would expect it to be; except this time the episode content has been spread across three DVD discs as opposed to two. The result, just like with Infinite Stratos II and Flowers of Evil, is that the picture quality remains consistent throughout with no jagged edges or pixilation to be found. It’s also worth mentioning that this release is ‘dual-audio’ and as such we are treated to both English Dub, with the dub produced by Sentai Filmworks, and Japanese with English subtitles. Interestingly both audio languages are great, with the Japanese track providing the better audio presentation, however while the subtitles are presentable there is the ‘odd’ occasion where part of the text cuts off at the side of the screen – which is relatively bizarre but it was a long piece of dialogue (just like this sentence). Everything else however, be it menu navigation, content and audio-quality, are all as you would expect it to be from a DVD release – if not better.
Maid Sama is a show I wasn’t expecting to like but the episodes contained within this first instalment made me realise that I do like what it offers; sure enough there is no ‘end-goal’, such as saving the world, but the combination of great characters, tales and amusing situations leads to a fun viewing experience thats all about watching the events unfold rather than figuring out a secretative plot. If you enjoyed the comical side of Kamisama Kiss and Noragami, with its different animation styles and outbursts, then you will most likely enjoy what the first half of Maid Sama has to offer.
Maid Sama – Part 1 will be available on DVD from the 7th December 2015.