Story/Art: Hiro Fujiwara
Translation/Adaptation: JN Productions/Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane
What They Say
As if being class president of a predominantly male high school wasn’t hard enough, Misaki Ayuzawa has a major secret—she works at a maid café after school! How is she supposed to keep her image of being ultra smart, strong and overachieving intact once school heartthrob Takumi Usui discovers her double life?!
When Café Maid Latte plans a slew of themed events like “Maid Rangers Day” and “Little Sister Day,” Misaki surprisingly struggles with playing the “little sister”! Later, more shenanigans erupt at the café… Misaki is usually up to any challenge, but how will she handle things when a pretty idol called Aoi decides to make Usui hers?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The first omnibus collection of Maid-sama! was entertaining, and it was easy to see why it was so popular of a license rescue: Misaki. The second omnibus gives us more of the same both in good and bad ways, more butt kicking Misaki and more slightly bothersome Usui. To be fair, Usui is really much different than your standard shoujo love interest, but he gets a tad more pushy and grabby in this volume than in the previous one. For the most part Misaki keeps him at bay (or kicks him when he deserves it) and they do occasionally make a good team. Misaki still remains her strong-headed self this volume too, but she struggles a bit with expanding her maid role and generally keeping the school under control. Thankfully Misaki continues to grow more and more comfortable with being a leader as well as more comfortable admitting when she’s wrong.
It’s worth noting that Maid-sama! has fallen into an episodic groove too, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We get to see various characters come in and out of the limelight, including new additions like high school internet idol Aoi, and the somewhat suspicious Soutaro. Aoi plans on stealing Usui’s heart, while quiet boy Soutaro doesn’t seem to be a fan of the female led Seika High School or Misaki. The series sometimes quietly explores gender and/or relationships between the sexes, such as Aoi preferred style of dress or Soutaro’s avoidance of women, but it still carries a mostly comedic tone. The “idiot trio” still provides appropriate comedic relief, and they somehow seem to get funnier with every passing volume. Chapters move quickly with the occasional two parter here and there, but since it has a mostly episodic feel it’s easy to put the book down and keep coming back to it without missing a beat. Given that this is actually a fairly long series overall — 18 volumes total — and a license rescue, Viz was smart to chunk this out into omnibuses.
Art-wise, thankfully this second volume feels slightly less cluttered than the first. Fujiwara’s art is decent, but I was surprised at the amount of detail Aoi’s character design received as opposed to the other characters, and it was kind of a welcome change. Otherwise panels feel a little less squished, there are less speedlines, and this omnibus in general feels like it’s falling into a workable pattern.
Maid-sama! Isn’t perfect by any stretch, but it’s clear Fujiwara loves her characters — the volume is chock full of bonus side stories — and it’s hard for the reader not to love the majority of them too. Usui is a bit of a rough romantic lead and I don’t expect that to change, but the series is fun enough for me not to put down yet.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: November 3rd, 2015