As an android created by the secret organization Vesper to fight an alien threat, Mahoro now faces an even greater battle: cleaning up Suguru’s house! As the days Mahoro has left to function count down, she chooses to spend her remaining time as a live-in maid with Suguru. Misato Suguru, a junior high school student who lost his parents years before, is happy to have her company. What is the connection between Mahoro and the Misato family? And will Mahoro enjoy her remaining days?
summary by Madoka
Highs: Likeable characters; due attention to back story
Lows: No resolution in the end; too much ecchi for some
This is a story all Academy students have heard before: boy-meets-alien/goddess/witch/android/maid/girl, and hilarity ensues. In this case, it is an android maid who comes to live with our young protagonist, but surprisingly a background and likeable characters are offered beyond the clichéd premise. There is the obligatory overdose of fan service and an unsatisfying ending, but Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden is still an amusing diversion for shounen fans.
With a cute maid and combat android in one, a horny teacher always good for laughs and a bishounen voiced by Koyasu Takehito, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a character you don’t like. Although Suguru is little more than the generic lead for this type of show, the story gives him enough emotions to grant him a personality. Suguru’s teacher may provide most of the comedy, but she also supplies most of the fan service, and more than one viewer might find her fascination with the young Suguru a little creepy. Expect to see breasts, breasts and more breasts in this series, as Shikijo-sensei frequently flaunts her assets, and Mahoro is slightly obsessed with her own.
While a little distracting and probably too perverted for some viewers, the ecchi is thankfully toned down by the end of the series. The last episodes concentrate on a battle between Mahoro and an old enemy, and, to my surprise, spend the proper time to explain the war and why the conflict between the humans and aliens exist. The suspense is built up for a final fight by the last episode, but the conclusion ends up being too feel-good and abrupt to really pay off. The more interesting confrontation between Suguru and Mahoro… about Mahoro’s past and unavoidable future… never occurs, giving no real resolution to the end of the story.
Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden is Gainax’s take on the tried-and-true shounen formula, with fun characters, fan service, flashy visuals and real voice talent to boot. It’s unfortunate the series didn’t follow Mahoro’s own catchphrase advice, “I think ecchi is bad!”
Highs: Protagonists make for a unique take on a tired genre; steady theme
Lows: Needless ecchi; ending is far from conclusive
As most anime fans know, Gainax has a penchant for throwing a spin on convention. They did so with FLCL and then with their next major project, Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden.
When you think of the maid genre, titles such as Hanaukyo Maid Tai and Amazing Nurse Nanako might pop up in your mind. The formula goes like this: have a stereotypical guy, add a quirky maid, throw in an eccentric cast for additional comedy. However, Mahoromatic defies the ordinary with its characters. Mahoro might appear to be just some maid with a military background, and Suguru comes off at first as being a shy geek, but when their psyches are dug into, they’re revealed to be far more than mere stereotypes. The result of these characters is an action-oriented twist on a traditionally all-comedic genre. This brings out a grittier and harsher side than what most people would expect to see and makes it far more interesting. Yet, the constant theme of this anime is aimed at Mahoro’s set number of days left in her life and how she must enjoy what little time she has remaining. Ultimately, this speaks volumes by saying that people should fully enjoy the life they’re given, even though they may not have a set time limit.
It’s understood that much of the ecchi moments are used for comedic purposes or to gain additional perspectives on characters, but quite a bit of it really has no purpose at all. The lecherous crab and many of Shikijou Saori’s antics are just two examples of ecchi that are unneeded and unwanted. Additionally, the final episode ends with Mahoro having many more days left to live, and anyone who wants to see a more proper conclusion will be forced to watch Something More Beautiful.
When it comes to the maid genre in anime, Mahoromatic is the king of the hill. With action, comedy and well-rounded characters, it’s got what is needed to satisfy just about any anime fan.
Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.