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Maid-Sama! Complete Collection (Bilingual) Anime DVD Review

5 min read

Maid-Sama HeaderAdd Maid-sama to the list of really good shojo.

What They Say:
Things aren’t easy for Misaki Ayuzawa. Not only is she the first female student council president at the formerly all-male Seika High, but she also works a job on the side to support her family after her dad leaves them in a mountain of debt. But Misaki doesn’t just work any job—at night this straight-A student is secretly a waitress at a local maid café! When Misaki’s cool, aloof, and oh-so-handsome schoolmate, Usui Takumi, discovers her big secret, Misaki’s double-life is in danger of being exposed to the whole school! Can Misaki convince Usui to keep her secret for her, or will the feared student council president be made into the student laughingstock? It’s a triple serving of romance, comedy, and schoolhouse drama, with a dash of danger for flavor. And it’s all served with a smile in Maid Sama!

The Review:
Audio:
The audio ain’t too bad. This is a pretty low-key series so it doesn’t warrant perfect sounding audio, just one where you can hear everyone.

Video:
The video is serviceable without any particular flaws in it.

Packaging:
This is about the same case as all the other Sentai titles I’ve reviewed, but the thingy that holds the discs in the middle (I’m technical!) is actually fairly nice. I’ve seen some that just kind of fall out and break immediately upon opening, or perhaps breathing, on them, but not this one.

Menu:
The menus are a cute maid theme with the characters on the other side of the episode selection. It’s pretty pink.

Extras:
The only thing on here is the omake dayo thing. I gotta say, it’s pretty cute. Sentai even dubbed it, but it’s basically a full episode of fluff. I think it’s basically an excuse to show Misaki’s sister and mom in the maid uniform, but no complaints here. Wait…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I’ve always heard about Maid-sama; how cute it was or how shojo it was. These are, of course, keywords in my vocabulary and if a show is described as such, I will really want to check it out. By the time I heard about it though, it was about halfway through its run and I didn’t want to catch up on it. Five years later, I finally dive into it with no regrets. It’s about the right time to too; Viz recently put out the first omnibus for the manga.

Maid-sama is pretty typical boy likes girl, but is way too cool to show it, and girl is way too dense to notice that she likes boy. The girl is Misaki, student council president and working at a maid café in secret, and the boy is Usui, a pretty boy. Shojo like this isn’t appealing because of a sprawling story or even a particularly interesting story. In fact, a lot of shows can learn from shojo (and shojo can learn from a lot of shows…). The characters in shojo manga / anime are paramount and, without them, the shojo isn’t nearly as good. It can also hurt if there’s just some bad characters (like Boys Over Flowers almost managed).

Misaki and Usui carry the show brilliantly. Misaki, from episode one, proved that she can handle herself in most every situation. She’s become the first female student council president in a formerly all-boys school and, despite the school being mostly boys still, she keeps everyone in line. Usui, while a little overprotective, allows Misaki to do things herself and only intrudes when…well when he feels like. But it’s typically just in situations she can’t handle herself.

It’s only in the last few episodes that the underlying theme of the series became evident. Throughout its run, Misaki has been trying to hide that she works at a maid café and outright denying her feelings for Usui. But come the later episodes, she embraces her job at the café and, by the final episode, her love for Usui. It’s young love at its cutest and Maid-sama knows how to be ~tsun tsun~ about it. It’s an important to note that Misaki is one of the strongest characters around and she’s still insecure about things. It’s ok to feel that way and it’s ok to let your secrets into your closest friends. But it’s also ok to have a few to yourself.

Sentai, in my experience, has actually done really well with dubs in shows like this. By shows like this, I mean mainly comedies that focus more on silly performances than actually good acting. Sentai’s actors and directors can sometimes make it go a little too far, but it always works for me overall.

The two leads are mainstays Monica Rial and David Matranga. I’m off my dub game because I didn’t recognize Matranga at all, but his voice is a little different than Aoi Ogata in Special A, Tomoya in Clannad, or Sanzo in Saiyuki. He’s using a higher-pitched voice, which I think I’ve never heard before, and it really works for the character. His maturity works well with Matranga’s younger voice.

As for Rial, I don’t think she’s really ever been bad in an anime…Her vocal range basically makes it so she can play anything competently with a decent script and director. Even the incidental characters aren’t terrible, which is usually the weakest part of any dub. I guess that’s just a testament to the consistency of the Texas vocal talent.

In Summary:
I love shojo like this. It doesn’t take too much effort to take in and it’s adorable all around. It’s like eating a cake when you feel down and great for a lazy Sunday afternoon. I could basically just veg out and watch Maid-sama or Special A or Kodocha all day. It’s great to watch young love bloom and blossom. It’s like the most adorable thing ever.

Features:
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Omake dayo Animated Short, Clean Opening & Closing Animations

Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B-
Video Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B

Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: January 27th, 2015
MSRP: $79.98
Running Time: 675 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

Review Equipment:
PS3, LG 47LB5800 47” 1080p LED TV, LG NB3530A Sound Bar

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