Kamen no Maid Guy
Fujiwara Naeka looks like your typical 17 year-old, but she's actually the heir to her grandfather's grand fortune. The catch, however, is that she can't inherit the wealth until she's eighteen. Fortunately, she and her brother Kosuke are given maids to watch over them. Kosuke's maid is a beautiful, sweet woman, but Naeka's is very different. He, Kogarashi, is a big, muscular guy in a maid outfit and mask, who constantly refers to himself as "Maid Guy" and is the wielder of many techniques and inventions, all of which he uses to protect Naeka from those who want to bump her off.
With an interesting twist on the typical maid comedy anime and an amusing male lead (voiced with pizzazz by Rikiya Koyama, who also did Hakuoro in Utawarerumono), you figure that this would be the anime to end the stereotype that most anime that star a maid in it suck, right? Well, wish all you want, but that still holds true here, I'm afraid. The obnoxious opening song by KOTOKO (which contains such wonderful, profound lyrics such as, "I decided to become both good and evil" and "your 100% isn't good enough") would be probably be the first warning sign for all those curious.
Kamen no Maid Guy could've been good. The concept alone is absurd enough to pique the curiosity of even the most jaded anime viewer, and the first three episodes are actually fairly amusing. And although some of Kogarashi's antics could be seen as perverted, he does everything he does with complete seriousness and nothing but the utmost care (which usually results in his getting the snot kicked out of him). He's only doing his job, however questionable and shady his methods of doing so are. No, the main problem isn't with him. Hell, the series' biggest problem isn't even with the fan service. It's that everyone save Kogarashi himself is either whiny, mean, selfish, or a complete ass.
You see, similar to Doki Doki School Hours, the writers of this series think that the louder and more obnoxious your characters are, the funnier they'll be. Nary five minutes go by in the series without someone groping / pointing out Naeka's well-endowed breasts, to the point that she even has a fan club of perverts in her school whose sole purpose is to gawk her breasts! Fubuki rarely goes more than a couple of minutes without beating the crap out of Kogarashi, typically with a bat with nails and/or blood on it seen afterward. Kosuke is often shown being a pervert who either lusts over Fubuki, or over his hentai dating simulations. Characters seldom talk to each other in a calm, normal fashion, because in the land of Kamen no Maid Guy, that's about as in the times as the corded telephone or the phonograph.
Speaking of obnoxious characters, let's talk about Naeka. Annoying, loud, and just plain bratty, I had a very difficult time putting up with her and her constant bitchiness towards everyone around her, much less sympathizing with her. Then there's the fact that everyone in school (male and female alike) treats her as some sort of wonderful goddess just because of her big chest. Hell, one character in this show exists for little more than the sole purpose of seeing Naeka's breasts with her own eyes. She also has some of the worst "best friends" in anime ever, who constantly belittle her or press/force her to do things against her will. I wouldn't bother to point them out if they weren't almost as obnoxious as she was. And to top it off, Naeka's actress, Yuka Iguchi (Mako, Bokurano) does a lousy job at any sort of emotional voice-acting whatsoever for her character.
Even worse than Naeka is one of her rivals. Her name is Elizabeth (voiced by Saki Fujita, aka Momoha from Manabi Straight), and she's the obligatory American character with blonde hair, but that's not all. She also doubles as a loli, and is annoying and obnoxious about it as well, often calling Naeka a "big-breasted beast" (whose typical reaction is wanting to beat her up, the usual answer for angered females on this show). She also inserts bits of English into her sentences as well to be "funny". But wait, there's more! For a limited time we'll also throw in incest absolutely free! Yep, Liz has the hots for her biological older brother (who conveniently winds up in Naeka's school as her homeroom teacher), but he won't give his sister as much as the time of day despite promising to marry her for the good part of a decade. Why? Because she doesn't have a chest. And once again the series shows how shallow its characters are.
Then there's Kosuke, Naeka's fat, perverted little brother. And, of course, he's a pervert of all things dating simulated, as well as of Fubuki, who he gawks at quite often. Fubuki herself, meanwhile, seems normal at first glance, but is actually the single most violent character in the entire series! And she almost always responds to Kogarashi's strange actions with beating him to a bloody pulp (literally. You can see the aftermath blood gushing out of his head or body most every time!). I guess she's an okay character when she isn't acting crazy or being a wench, but the only person she seems to treat like a normal human being most of the time is Naeka (because "girl power" has to stick together, right?).
To add insult to injury of the series' major shortcomings in the character and writing department, Kamen no Maid Guy is glossy, well-drawn, and decently animated, which is a shame, really; MadHouse could've used the budget they blew on this on a far superior work. It doesn't really mater what; most anything else they've done looks like gold compared to this.
But at the end, Kamen no Maid Guy, while not flat out horrible, is a show that I came to regret watching the further I went in. And that's too bad, because I enjoyed the early episodes. Kogarashi is a very fun character, but it's too bad that he's stuck in a show this loud, obnoxious, and mediocre. If you want a good maid comedy, look at my recommended titles and stay away from Kamen no Maid Guy. And unlike this anime, those two actually have conclusions.
And barely two stars at that, by the way (Kogarashi himself being the holder of one of the stars). A premise that sounds good on paper doesn't always translate to success, and Kamen no Maid Guy is living proof of that. — Tim Jones
Recommended Audience: Older teenagers and up only. Animated blood, violence, fan service, incest, lesbianism, and people being overall big, loud jerks prevent Kamen no Maid Guy from being seen by people any younger (though they'd probably be the only ones, oddly enough, who'd get a kick out of this series).
Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Kamen no Maid Guy © 2008 RRR (Rondo Robe) / Fujimi Shobo / Maid Kingdom
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