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[Hanaukyo Maid Team R2 DVD box art]
AKA: 花右京メイド隊 (Hanaukyo Maid-tai), Hanaukyo Maids, Maid in Hanaukyo
Genre: Maid / comedy / sorta-harem
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 15 minutes each
Distributor: Currently unlicensed in North America
Content Rating: 13+ (fan service, slapstick violence)
Related Series: Hanaukyo Maid Team OAV, Hanaukyo Maid Team: La Verite
Also Recommended: Hand Maid May, Mahoromatic, Pia Carrot 2 DX, Steel Angel Kurumi
Notes: There is also a three episode OAV sequel to this series, which is based on a manga by Morishige.

The Hanaukyo Maid Team: La Verite series released by Geneon is a complete retelling using a different animation team (though the same cast), and it is generally considered to be more faithful to the original source material than this initial anime adaptation.
Rating:
 

Hanaukyo Maid Team

Synopsis

Hanaukyo Taro has just lost his mother, so he treks across the mountain on foot (he's just 14 years old, you see) to find his grandfather. When he finds his grandfather's mansion (more like a castle or a palace) he's practically assaulted by the Hanaukyo maid team, all working for his grandfather. And now that Taro has arrived, he becomes the inheritor of the mansion, all maids included.

Review

Oh dear.

Oh dear, oh dear.

I'm not sure whether I should envy or pity our main protagonist his fortune. I mean, we're talking about a palace filled to the brim with maids of all sorts, all of them devoted and willing to do just about anything for their master. And anything and everything they do too, from his schoolwork to making him popular in class. From doing just about any of the menial tasks that he otherwise would have to do himself to just about anything he would otherwise WANT to do himself (like brushing his teeth and do his business at the loo). Even bathing involves having three maids soaping in their breasts and ... I think I'll stop there.

Fan service? You betcha.

And the beginning really throws you off too, with Taro walking over the mountains (in really nice and pastoral forest scenery too) showing that he is, if nothing else, someone who knows how to take care of himself. He arrives at a rather impressive mansion and is immediately assaulted by an army of maids. And then ...

... the intro theme. And, by the gods, that theme wouldn't be completely out of place on a musical or a theatre piece. Granted, the song is mainly about the maids -- the Hanaukyo Maids, that is -- and their pride in their work, but the production values in this song is rather impressive. It's a very nice song too. I don't think I would be more thrown off if Julie Andrews were to appear right there and then, singing with a gaggle of small maid-children in tow.

After that, the main plot goes into effect. Taro learns that his grandfather isn't there any more. (Though it doesn't state that he's dead or anything. Just not there.) Thus, Taro is now the owner of his mansion, all his business and assets and, of course, the maid team, each with their assigned (and specialized) task.

This would be a good time, then, to mention Taro's unfortunate little problem. You see, he's allergic to girls touching him. This is shown by him turning first grey, then blue and lastly green, all in great comedic flair. And with an army of affectionate maids at your constant beck and call, that IS a problem.

Anyway, as things are, that's what you get in Hanaukyo Maid Team. Everything resembling a plot is mostly ignored in favor of nicely animated fan service and nicely animated comedy. It's very episodic, meaning that if you miss an episode or two, you're not really missing out on much, save for perhaps an explanation of the occational, new characters, like Taro's rival, the rather rude and impertinent Jihiyoke Ryuka, or the maid in charge of security, Konai, ninja / samurai maid extraordinaire. I told you they were specialists, remember? ^_^

So yeah, not much of a plot. It's mainly comedy, with the fan service put in, probably in an effort to make the viewer overlook the flaws. As a result, the episodes vary in quality. Some of them make me snicker at times while others are absolutely hilarious. (Like when Konai takes Taro to the mountains to train with her.) It's a relatively fun show, really, and shouldn't be taken as any more than that. It ends almost as abruptly as it starts leaving you with the sneaking suspicion that there MIGHT be more on the way.

So, like most of the titles I've seen recently, it's just a bit of mindless fun. It's perfect for a rental on an evening of your leisure and worth a look unless you're tired of this kind of stuff and want to try something new.

The laughs you get out of this save it from the pits, because there isn't much else to find here.Stig Høgset

Recommended Audience: Teens, I'd say. Whatever violence you see here is slapstick of the highest order, so the rather large amounts of fan service are the main concern of the day. Everything in this title is played out for laughs, so don't take it seriously or anything. ^_^



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Hanaukyo Maid Team © 2001 moe / WOWOW