Sunday, June 12, 2011
Kaichou wa maid-sama is probably the first unfinished manga that I am reviewing on Review Carnival. Since a lot of mangas are just not ending, I have decided to review them in parts. This review is for all chapters upto Chapter 70.
Kaichou wa maid-sama (The President is a Maid!) is a shojo manga series by Fujiwara Hiro which tells the story of Ayuzawa Misaki- a hyper charged, 'perfect' girl and Usui Takumi- a mysterious and quiet guy who discovers Ayuzawa's biggest secret- that she is a maid in a maid cafe. He however, agrees to tell it to no one, without asking for anything in return. Even at this point, Maid-sama distinguishes itself from other mangas where mostly the discovery of such a secret leads to instant romance or a master-slave relationship which eventually develops into romance.
(Summary from Mangafox.com) Once an all boys school, Seika High, a renowned school full of reckless and filthy students, has recently become a co-ed school. However, with the female population still remaining a minority even after the change over the recent years, Ayuzawa Misaki takes it into her own hands to reform the school and allow a chance for the girls to feel safer in the rough environment.
Training, studying and even becoming the first female student council president of the school, Misaki has gained a reputation, among the male students body as an uptight boy-hating demon dictator and as a shining hope for the teachers and fellow female students. However, despite her tough-as-nails appearance, she secretly works part-time at a maid cafe in order to support her family. Unfortunately, her secret is soon revealed when the somewhat impassive Usui Takumi, a popular boy at school, nonchalantly discovers her in a maid uniform after school.
One of the best things about this manga was that it is the heroine who is 'perfect', not the hero. Ayuzawa is not your typical soft-spoken, eternally klutzy and awkward progtagonist. She is strong, always comes first in the school exams, knows martial arts, studies hard and also works part-time because her family is poor! The romance develops very, very slowly. Even when they kiss, they go back to being 'just classmates' in teh chapters after that, which was a bit disappointing.
But this slow development makes the romance more believable. Usui is a very quiet, mysterious, good-looking (a shojo manga wouldn't be complete without this!) guy, who always comes second to Ayuzawa in school. He id not competitive at all, though. He just observes things and doesn't talk much. His character is actually very interesting, changing multiple times througout the story. He goes from reserved, to bold, to knight-in-shining-armour to lover to rich boy from old family and much more throughout the course of the manga. He actually starts liking Ayuzawa much before she starts liking him.
Ayuzawa, on the other hand, doesn't really change significantly. The manga is very interesting and well-written, with wondeful visuals. Later in the series, Usui's mysterious past provides a much needed change of mood from school-life.
This manga is a must-read for those looking for something different in the shojo world. A word of caution- this starts out as a very stereotypical shojo manga but gradually you will find that it is a masterpiece in itself.
Fujiawara-san has been liberal in throwing in eye candy scenes and plot twists with equal ease. I am really looking foward to reading the rest of this manga!
Pros- Strong female lead.
Interesting twists and sub-plots
Cons- The male lead started out unusal but became 'perfect prince' by half of the series.
Boring initially/ too stereotypical initially