Tag Archives: Maid/Butler

Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven is a Place on Earth

Type: In my day, movies were a lot longer

Hayate no Gotoku Heaven is a Place on Earth Movie DVD

Synopsis: Hayate and crew go on vacation. It’s hot. The ghost of Hayate’s grandmother shows up. I’m not really sure why this was called a movie, but hey, just go with it.

Pros: I like Hayate.

Cons: What constitutes a movie? Websters defines a movie as a recording of moving images that tell a story. But by that definition, commercials and television shows are movies. We could limit the definition to recordings that only show up in theaters, but that would still count trailers and teasers. To me, a movie has to be longer than an hour, and it has to tell a story you can’t really tell in any other medium. The Hayate movie fails on both counts. It feels more like an hour long special to an especially dull episode of the anime. It’s very slow, and the story is practically non-existent.  It lacks any of the original humor of the show in favor of a semi-emotional story that never really takes off. Yes, it was interesting to meet Hayate’s grandmother, but it was more interesting to believe that his entire family were just his comedically greedy parents. I know that anime movies traditionally like to break out and explore new story conventions, but this definitely felt like a step in the wrong direction.

Watch it?: No.

MVP: Someone

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I’m pretty sure someone was it.

Best Moment: The scenes between Hinagiku and Hayate were still cute

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Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail

Type: Image if Black Lagoon had 5 more episodes, which were awesome.

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Synopsis: Tell me if you heard this one before. A Japanese salary man is hired by wealthy South American boy to help find his missing maid, whose gone on a killing spree after the death of the boy’s father. The Japanese man needs to contend with the American Army Unit the maid is hunting, as well as the crime lords trying to keep their city from becoming a warzone. Still funny, right?

Pros: Everything you loved about the original Black Lagoon is still here. The show has maintained is high levels of excitement, drama, and style. The characters of Roberta and Rock particularly shined. Roberta was a beast, and Rock really played the chess master role well. For a minute there, I really thought he was ganna Break Bad on us. Despite the five year gap between Blood Trail and Black Lagoon, the quality and tone of the series has not suffered one iota. I would wholeheartedly support Black Lagoon releasing periodic OVAs from now on.

Cons: In the same way that everything you loved about Black Lagoon is still there, so is everything you hated about Black Lagoon. The show is still as bleak as hell, with some content not suitable for younger viewers (or some adults). While I would like to say that this story could stand on its own, it really can’t. You need to have watched at least the first season of Black Lagoon to understand this particular story.

Watch it?: F@#$ Yeah! Its more Black Lagoon! (5/5)

MVP: Rosarita “Roberta” Cisneros

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Death Poppins

Best Episode: Ep. 3 “Angels in the Crosshairs”  (shit gets disturbing)

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Magikano

Type: Too many witches

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Synopsis: Haruo Yoshikawa goes to school and briefly runs into a blonde girl. Then, for some reason, the blonde girls hires herself as the Yoshikawa’s live in maid. Then, for some reason, it turns out she’s a cursed witch Then, for some reason, it also turns out that Haruo is the only one who can lift the curse. Then, for some reason, we learn that Haruo’s sisters are all witches and won’t allow Haruo to know that magic even exists. Then, again for some reason, a robot and time travel happen.

Pros: Magiko has some really funny and really clever humor. For example, to convey sudden switches from joy to anger, the voice actresses will change the pitch of their deliver, going from normal to deep. It doesn’t sound like much, but the fact that every character does this really made me laugh. Each character also have one dimensional gags that work surprisingly well. My favorite was the youngest sister’s love of money.

Cons: Magiko is a show without substance. The show throws a lot of plot elements at you, and you’re just expected to care. So what if Haruo doesn’t know magic is real? So what if Ayumi is cursed? Who cares! The show loses sight of all this “have a plot” nonsense by the halfway point anyway. I really think it would have worked better if the show lost one or two of its plot devices. Have Ayumi be the only witch, remove the curse angle, have Haruo actually know about magic, anyone one of these suggestion would have made the show tighter. As it is, however, Magiko is left feeling like a generic anime with abnormally quality laughs.

What it?: It may be good for the occasional laugh, but you can live without it (2/5)

MVP: Fuyuno Yoshikawa

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Dolla’, Dolla’ bill y’all!

Best Episode: Ep.3 “Are They Really a Pair of Dangerous Siblings?” (that girl ain’t right)

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Maid Sama!

Type: Class President by day, Maid by night

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Synopsis: This girl that kinda looks like Rukia from Bleach is the class president of a school that is transitioning from an all-boy school to co-ed. She works part time as a waitress at a Maid Cafe. One day, she is accidentally discovered by this guy that kinda looks like Ichigo from Bleach. She peaks his curiosity and he starts hanging around her/flirting/romantically cornering her. So its basically Bleach fan fiction.

Pros: This show was very enjoyable to watch. The premise is relatively simple. Girl meets Boy and they spend the next 26 episodes dancing around each other. The show’s target audience is female. The protagonist, Misaki, is a strong willed and hard working individual, pretty without trying, but still shy when it comes to romantic stuff. Her main love interest, Usui, is a tall, handsome, strong, smart, romantic, and rich boy from school. Hell, he even made me swoon a couple of times. The show’s also legitimately funny with a good supporting cast (my favorite being the Moronic Trio).

Cons:  This may be because I’m a man, but I found that show’s message a bit, well, condescending. I mean, you could say that the show is about Masaki learning to rely on other people. But I felt that a lot of the episodes revolved around Usui reminding Masaki that she’s a girl and needs a man in her life. Then again, 90% of romantic comedy movies revolved around that same premise. Overworked female, charming man, overtures of romantic gestures. You could have replaced Masaki with Jennifer Aniston and gotten the same result.

Watch it?: If you’re in touch with your feminine side, you’ll like it. (4/5)

MVP: Naoya Shirakawa, Ikuto Sarashina, and Ryuunosuke Kurosaki

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The Idiot Trio

Best Episode: Ep.9 “A Maid, as Far as Momotarō Goes” (Momotaro!)

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Ladies versus Butlers

Type: Bouncy-Bouncy

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Synopsis: This kid named Akiharu Hino enrolls at this school that trains servants and teaches rich girls. On his first day he accidentally gropes the resident blonde rich girl, and is immediately labeled a sexual deviant. He’s almost lynched, but he gets saves by his childhood friend who mentally traumatized him because she had a crush on him. Then a bunch of nudity happens.

Pros: The biggest laughs usually come from the fan service jokes. I don’t want to label the show a “sex comedy,” but it comes pretty darn close. It’s certainly liberal with its censorship (just shy of full frontal). But what really popped out at me was the animation. The backgrounds are extremely well done. Its an aesthetically beautiful anime.

Cons: I really did not like the inclusion of a “little girl” character (19 my ass). I also felt that the anime was a bit lacking. You don’t really get attached to any of the characters expect for maybe the blonde one (Selnia Flameheart) and the roommate (Daichi). The rest are one dimensional.

Watch it?: Sure. Bouncy, Bouncy. (3/5)

MVP: Selnia Iori Flameheart

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Blonde Drills. Classic.

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Boy Versus Lady” (What a horrible first day!)

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Kamen no Maid Guy

Type: Insane Superman Maid

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Synopsis: Fumiwara Naeka has big boobs and her grandfather is a billionaire. So obviously she has enough problems to deal with. But add a super yoked male maid/bodyguard named Kogarashi, and you got yourself a recipe for a nervous break down.

Pros: A lot of stuff. Basically all of it. Its one long boob joke that surprisingly never gets old thanks to the crazy antics of Maid Guy.

Cons: The one flaw is anything having to do with Elizabeth K. Strawberry. She’s annoying and has a hard on for her brother. Her existence taints an otherwise excellent anime.

Watch it?: Its basically everything you think it is, so of course. (4/5)

MVP: Kogarashi, “Maid Guy”

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Insane Superman Maid

Best Episode: Ep.11 “A Midsummer Night’s Breasts” ( I only have eyes for you…and your breasts)

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He Is My Master

Type: Two broke girls resort to manual labor

Synopsis: These two sisters, Izumi and Mitsuki, run away from home because their parents won’t allow them to keep their alligator. As luck would have it, the local child millionaire, Yoshitaka, is in need of a few maids after his parents died and left him all their money. Better yet, Yoshitaka is a huge pervert with a costume fetish, and Mitsuki is an evil genius, thus ensuring the that the well developed Izumi never has a dull day.

Pros: Very gag oriented. This show never really relents on its comedy aspects. It’s the type of show that employs the classic mislead technique. No matter how many times it happens, you always think that the show’s sweeter moments are real. Because aesthetically, it screams cliche. But ever single time, it pulls the rug from right under your feet by turning the sweet moment into a funny one. Its all thanks to the duo Yoshitaka and Mitsuki, who constantly torment the protagonist Izumi (her own sister even started a naughty fan page behind her back).

Cons: The endings are repetitive. It always ends with Mitsuki looking at images of that weeks show, and Yoshitaka maliciously designing sexy costumes for next weeks show. This show borders on cliche. Heck, in some lights it may already be too far gone. The animations not impressive and the jokes rely on physical humor and wacky situations (conflicts are usually resolved through Contests). But the core characters manage to save it though their two dimensional selves. Izumi hate perverts, but has a crush on Yoshitaka. Yoshitaka is shallow, but doesn’t want to replace his new maids. Mistuki looks sweet, but is actually a master manipulator. Even innocent looking maid Anna is actually a crazy sex maniac (which is very funny by the way).

Watch it?: Yes, especially if you’re missing that old school anime feel (3/5)

MVP: Mitsuki Sawatari

Would you like to play a game?

Best Episode: Ep. 4 “Couples Formed Under Extraordinary Circumstances Don’t Last Long, You Know” (live free, die hard)

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Mayo Chiki

Type: Butler girl who would do anything to keep her secret (anything)

Synopsis: One day this guy goes to the restroom and accidentally walks in on this girl, who he thought was a dude, being a very naked girl. He freaks, she freaks, somebody tries to kill somebody else, blah, blah, blah. Guy wakes up in the nurses room next to the girl’s even hotter employer. They make a deal to keep the butler-girl’s secret in exchange for attempting to cure the dudes fear of women (though, death threats and extortion don’t help).

Pros: This show is very funny. It really shouldn’t be so funny, but it is. The character that really sells it is the butler-girl Subaru. Her quick turns from badass to obsessive to girly in mere moments are to die for. The whole plot of solving the protagonist’s, Kinjiro’s, girl problems often led her to being displayed in naughty images that are so over the top that you’re just left with your mouth open in astonishment and joy. Then their’s Kinjiro, the out of luck protagonist (not original, but still good), and Kanade, the evil mastermind behind most of the show’s antics. These three, especially Subaru, are what make the show work, and work well.

Cons: A bit melodramatic at points (it is based on a light novel after all). I’m also not crazy about Masamune (rabbit girl) and Nagare (Subaru’s dad). Masamune is a bit too annoying for my taste, and Nagare is kinda unlikable. And like most animes with a strong core cast, the episode plots fall short on originality (date, beach, and school festival, motivations explored, etc.)

Watch it?: Oh dear me, yes. (4/5)

MVP: Subaru Konoe

She just needs a chance to let her hair down

Best Episode: Ep2 “I Fell in Love!” (baaaah)

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Hayate the Combat Butler

Type: Poor kid gets hired by a young girl to be her butler/bodyguard.

Synopsis: Hayate is just a normal poor kid until one day he finds himself homeless for maybe reasons involving the mafia (or Yakuza in Japan). He saves this blonde girl who turns out to be a rich heiress. Hayate is hired, and needs to spend the rest of the show proving himself by fighting robots, mercenaries, and other butlers. Then he goes to school, and meets a pink haired girl that apparently everyone in the Hayate audienceverse loves, so I loved her too. But no homo. (Maybe a little homo).

Pros: This show is huge, with multiple seasons (like 2), so its strengths are inconsistent throughout the entire series. The first season is very much a parody anime, with references to shows like One Piece and Yugioh. This part of the anime was very funny. The second part of the anime is more tied to the show’s particular style of humor, which luckily is strong in itself (but not as strong as its parody elements). The show has a sort of self-referencing and running gags style that really works. Hayate is also a very strong protagonist, especially given the fact that the anime has some harem-esque traits that become more pronounced later in the series. Hayate is your regular humble and supernice guy, but this is used to amplify his backstory. His unending positivity in the face of his harsh life is so damn funny (He calls his parent’s loan sharks “the really generous people”). But his demeanor also helps make him a very sympathetic character, especially when you learn that he had to drop out of school due to his poverty. He’s strangely one of the more well-rounded anime character’s I’ve come across.

Cons: Like I said, the move away from parody made the show slightly weaker. The show’s also very long (first season is 52 episodes), so it may not be for everyone. There’s also a blandness issue in episode plots due the show’s length and somewhat cutesy style. One nit-picky issue is the character Klaus, the elder butler. In a world where butlers are supposed to be super strong, I wish Klaus was more than a comic relief character. Another weird thing is that the pink hair girl mentioned above,  named Hinagiku is more likable than the main heroine, and quickly gains equal if not more air time. That’s not necessarily “bad,” but still kinda off. Just saying.

Watch it?: Yes, but maybe in chunks. (4/5)

MVP: Hayate Ayasaki

Our century’s Japanese Tiny Tim, only funnier and more mobile.

Best Episode: Ep1. “In English, ‘Unmei’ Means ‘Destiny” (best origin ever)

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