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[R1 DVD art]
AKA: まほろまてぃっく
Genre: Science fiction comedy / action
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 25 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Sentai Filmworks.
Content Rating: R (nudity, violence, sexual innuendo and themes)
Related Series: Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful
Also Recommended: Hand Maid May, Steel Angel Kurumi
Notes: See main review.
Rating: Four StarsFour StarsFour StarsFour Stars

Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden

Synopsis

Mahoromatic, an earlier combat android of Vesper, has been fighting an alien race at the cost of her remaining life span. So when some measure of peace settles, she is told that if she continues fighting she will live for only 37 days. However, if she shed her armaments and starts a new, peaceful life, she could remain operative for another 398 days.

So she selected the second option and became the maid to Suguru, who's father was one of the top leaders of Vesper, something Suguru is completely unaware of.


Review

And what we have here is another proclaimed maid anime, something that seems to be gaining quite a lot of popularity lately. Well, if Hand Maid May and Steel Angel Kurumi is any indication anyway. And Mahoromatic comes off a bit closer to Hand Maid May than Steel Angel Kurumi in this case, as she promptly sets to work turning the house belonging to our main male protagonist into some semblance of order. But she also acts like a replacement mom, constantly chastising him whenever she discover his erotic magazines, reminding him that "ecchi is bad" before confiscating them and throwing them away.

The art and animation in this one is generally good, whether you're seeing the action and drama scenes in all their contemplative glory, or the comedic scenes and the sheer amounts of insanity they display. In any case, I certainly don't have any complaints.

Audio, too, is generally nice. The intro theme is a nice little ditty, well sung and sorta nostalgic, which is the purpose of it, I guess. The ending themes can get kinda annoying, though.

The voiceovers are very good, though. Bonus points goes to Mahoro's voice, for not being either unreasonably meek nor loud and grating on the ears. Although the rest is very good too, even Shikijou-sensei, the rather creepy teacher who continuously fantasizes about Suguru and swings her generously sized chest around, much to Mahoro's annoyance.

So, since we're on this topic, I should state that this title is drenched in fan service. Partial nude scenes, panty shots and breast fetishes are thrown around with such frequent regularity, it dances on the outskirts of hentai city. Though Mahoromatic doesn't really go any farther, sexually-wise, than showing Shikijou-sensei wrap her chest around Suguru's head, which might be unsettling enough for some, I guess.

It is also worth to note that there is violence in this title. Mahoro is a combat android after all, and it goes without saying that confrontations will take place. The first episode features a hostage scene on a bus that already there makes it unsuitable for the younger viewers. (Yes, I know. The amount of partial nudity has already established that fact.) Nevertheless, we never get to see anything really excessive, so those already familiar with the typical action fare won't be affected at all by this.

So, to sum this all up, what we have is a good drama series, heavy on the comedy -- if at times slightly ecchi comedy. It deserves plus points for actually being generally entertaining on the comedic front without resorting to cheap, South-Parky fart/poop jokes. Minus points for all the ecchi scenes, which I thought were a bit unfitting when the main cast is almost all youngsters. More plus points for nice, dramatic contents when it applies, mainly centered around Mahoro and her continuing views and lessons of what it means to be alive. And as such, it lends itself towards melancholia since each episode ends with a counter, showing how many days Mahoro has left to live.

So I do give this one my vote for "good purchases to make." That's what I usually do when a title gives you something to reflect over when it's done. And there are a lot of laughs to be had here too, in between the seriousness. Which is a good thing.

Just like life itself, I guess.

You may remove one or two stars, depending on how much excessiveness you dislike in your helpings of fan service.Stig Høgset

Recommended Audience: Older teens and up. There is a lot of nudity, sexual innuendo, and outright crudeness (especially on the part of Suguru's amusing, but perverted homeroom teacher). There is nothing genuinely pornographic, but Gainax comes as close as it dares at some points, so this is probably not a good show for the kiddies.



Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden © 2002 Nakayama Bunjurou / Ditama Bow / Wani Books / Mahoroba Project
 
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