Sunday, March 12, 2017
Review: MAID-SAMA! 2-IN-1 Edition Volume 2
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia
[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]
MANGAKA: Hiro Fujiwara
TRANSLATION: JN Productions
ENGLISH ADAPTATION: Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane
LETTERS: Annaliese Christman
ISBN: 978-1-4215-8131-6; paperback (November 2015); Rated “T” for “Teen”
384pp, B&W, $14.99 U.S., $16.99 CAN, £9.99 U.K.
Maid-Sama! is a shojo manga from Hiro Fujiwara. The series focuses on Misaki Ayuzawa, the female president of a predominantly male high school, Seika High School. Takumi Usui is the handsome male classmate who discovers that his school's president works at the maid café, Café Maid Latte, something she wants to keep secret.
In Japan, Maid-Sama! was collected in 18 graphic novels. In 2015, VIZ Media began publishing Maid-Sama! in its 2-in-1 omnibus edition, which collects two graphic novels in one paperback. Each volume of VIZ Media's edition of Maid-Sama carries a print MSRP of $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN. Maid-Sama! 2-in-1 editions are also available digitally via VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App, as well as from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and GooglePlay stores.
Maid-Sama! 2-in-1 Edition, Vol. 2 collects Maid-Sama! Vols. 3 and 4. As Maid-Sama!, Vol. 3 (Chapters 10 to 15) begins, Misaki is not sure how she should participate in Seika High's school sports festival. Everyone else knows what they want from her, though; they need her to dominate! Also, Café Maid Latte has a series of themed events like “Maid Rangers Day” and “Little Sister Day.” Misaki struggles to play the little sister type, and things are further complicated when Usui starts working at the café.
Maid-Sama!, Vol. 4 (Chapters 16 to 19) opens with Misaki and Usui dealing out some justice to first-year student, Soutaro Kanou, who launched a plot to keep more girls from enrolling at Seika High. Plus, the whole gang heads to the beach for some summer fun, but Usui decides that this is the best time for him to make his strongest romantic move on Misaki, much to her chagrin.
[This volume includes two bonus stories, “Peach Boy is a Maid Too!” and “And While We're at It, the Idiot as Maids!”]
Last year, my VIZ Media rep sent me a copy of Maid-Sama! 2-in-1 Edition, Volume 2. I had heard of the Maid-Sama! manga, and I have to admit that I was curious about it, if for no other reason than the name. Over the last decade, I have read a few manga set in the world of the maid café, which seems to be a “thing” in Japan.
This series features a lot of slapstick and frantic comedy, and the art is deformed to one extent or another, depending on the needs of the narrative at a particular moment. I like how creator Hiro Fujiwara tends to draw in a “straight” or non-deformed manner when he wants to emphasize the moments between Misaki and Usui that are meant to be taken seriously, usually romance. I think that this is when the story has its best moments.
Other than that, Maid-Sama! is up-and-down and inconsistent. Some subplots and story arcs are fun (the beach adventure; Kanou's plot against female students). Others flit between wacky/funny and serious too much for my tastes. Still, I'm curious to see where Maid-Sama! takes the obvious love story of its leads.
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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