After the sudden death of his mother, elementary school student Chihiro Komiya is left with no home and no family. But this changes when he encounters a rich and frivolous stranger who turns out to be his long-lost uncle, Madoka Takatori. Madoka offers to take Chihiro in, but upon arriving at his uncle's high-class mansion, the young boy is greeted by a plethora of dust and garbage. As Chihiro's neatfreak instincts kick in, he sets about cleaning the entire residence.
Shounen Maid is a lighthearted comedy that follows Chihiro as he finds himself dressed in a frilly uniform (handmade by his uncle), receiving a salary, and working as maid of the house.
Shounen Maid is a TERRIBLY underrated show. I can get, however, where the reluctance to touch this show might be coming from, since 8bit produced it and the summary sounds like the premise to some terrible shotacon nightmare.
This is one of those (rare in this medium and industry, I am extremely sorry to express) 'don't judge a book by its cover' cases, though: Shounen Maid is basically a gen slice of life show centering around family, friendship and mourning. And it's done beautifully from beginning to end.
The show achieves the perfect balance between sweet, lighthearted comedic tones, and a more serious approach towards
the emotional struggles of both MCs, both grieving and adjusting to new situations. I can honestly say I've laughed and teared up in almost every single episode.
There's no what one could call an overarching plot, since it's a more episodic in nature show, but there IS a natural flow of events and developments that lead to a satisfying and cohesive narrative evolution.
The side characters are all very enjoyable, and though some could use more screen time, they all still manage to be treated respectfully; at the end of the ride, there's no feeling that any one character could be disposed off and the show would remain basically the same.
The art is perhaps the weakest point of the work, and even then it's just because of how simple and commonplace the character designs could be, but they're truthful to the source material. The coloring is AMAZING: the lighting and shading is great and accompanies the tone of the narrative at all times, making the emotional moments all the more poignant, and the lighthearted ones all the more so. The use of CGI is spot on; I generally cringe at the inclusion of random CGI on shows like these because they stand out and not in a good way, they just look forced and cut the natural flow of the animation, but Shounen Maid uses it sparingly and with great criteria.
The sound is one of my favorite parts of this anime. First off: every voice actor does an amazing job. Fujiwara Natsumi is especially convincing in her role, bringing Chihiro to life outstandingly, being able to convey and portray a wide arrange of emotions delightfully, and making me forget I was actually listening to a grown up woman (which didn't really happen in the dub version, sadly). This is especially notable given that this is her first role! Also kudos to Makino Yui, who was just really fun and easy to listen to.
The opening was DELIGHTFUL. Simply DELIGHTFUL. The song itself was really catchy and fit the mood of the show while the lyrics were attuned to it, which for some reason doesn't happen very often. The ending is really fun and helps a lot towards immersing oneself in the illusion of Shounen Maid (the idols -who aren't main characters- get songs! Plural! And they're pretty good!).
The SFX and ambience sounds are all very well utilized, and the OST is absolutely enjoyable and does its job greatly.
All in all, Shounen Maid is a slice of life gem, and I would very much recommend it to anyone who's a fan of the genre but might be reluctant to give it a shot.
Shounen Maid is an anime series that really caught me off-guard. There's nothing too appealing about the cover and the show's premise sounded like it came from a female fanfiction but what caught me off-guard is this turned out to be a heartwarming slice of life show between a kid and his uncle(There's NO YAOI or Shotacon, I can assure you that)
I actually believe that this is one of the most underrated slice of life anime I have ever seen. I've seen a lot of people who avoided this show because they think the premise is crazy (boy dressing up as a maid, I don't
blame them) or they think it's some gay show or something. Also, this is by 8bit, a studio known for creating a shit ton of harem shows. If you can get over the fact that an elementary school kid is wearing a maid outfit then you'll see the great things that Shounen Maid has to offer. If not then your loss, I suppose
The story of Shounen Maid is basically about a kid named Chihiro, whose mother has just died, was left homeless and now his uncle, Madoka, shows up and decides to take care of him. His uncle then forced him to wear a maid outfit..Heh, I was joking about the last part. He wasn't forced, more like Madoka was just joking around but Chihiro decides to take his joke seriously and he now wears that maid outfit most of the time.
The show doesn't really have much of a story but rather, it's focused on the heartwarming and amazing relationship development between Chihiro and his uncle. That's the main reason why I love Shounen Maid. Well, there a few more reasons why I love the show. For instance, the comedic aspect of the show is really good. I really love the character dynamics between Chihiro and Madoka because most of the time, it leads to hilarious moments like Chihiro being the mature kid and having to take care of Madoka and Madoka acting like a dumb little kid. The characters are also fun to watch but I'll talk about it more in the "Characters" section.
This is my first time watching an anime from 8bit because most of their shows are harem and I'm not a big fan of harem. The visuals looks good and the animation is a-okay. The character design felt a bit weird to me at first because of their big eyes (KEY's character design still takes the number 1 spot for having big-ass eyes) but I got used to it after a couple of episodes.
I love the show's OST, especially when it comes to the dramatic scenes with a dramatic OST playing in the background. Those sad and dramatic soundtrack are one of the reasons the emotional scenes were effective at gripping my heart and making my eye tear up from time to time. Now the OP and ED theme song(s)
The OP theme song is "innocent promise" by TRUSTRICK. I honestly fell in love with the Opening Song the moment I heard it on the first episode. The singer's voice is beautiful and the song's melody was great. The ED theme song is "Zutto Only You" by Uchouten BOYS. I'm not a big fan of boy's idol song. I don't like them, I don't listen to any and I don't think I will. I mean, I'm a straight guy, after all. The ED theme song is my guilty pleasure. Even though I don't like Boy's Idol songs, I somehow fell in love with this song and I've been listening to it for like the past 2 months........
"It's not like I'll listen to more boys idol songs in the future, idiot..." -Me
The characters is what pulled me into this show. They're one of the main reasons why I fell in love with Shounen Maid.
The main protagonist of the series, Chihiro Komiyo, is a character that I really adored and if I ever decide to have kids (I doubt I will), I'm sure I would want my son to be the same as Chihiro. Chihiro is an elementary school student who loves to clean, cook and do all the housework. Haha, Chihiro is like the first kid I've ever seen who likes to do chores. When kids these days are asked if they want to do chores, they're going to be like "Nope" and they'll back to playing video games or whatever. This is what I love about Chihiro. He's a hardworking sweet young kid who's different from a bunch of kids I've met within the past few years of volunteering. Chihiro's personality can be a bit of a tsundere sometimes and his personality just kills me.
Then we have, Madoka Takato, Chihiro's uncle who decides to take care of him. Wow, I didn't know Madoka gave up being a God and switched genders just to go back to this world and take care of a sweet young kid? I'm just joking, this ain't Madoka from the Madoka series. Anyways, he's a dress designer and he's a lazy guy who barely knows how to clean his own mess or barely knows how to cook. He always messes it up and Chihiro always comes and scowls him for it. Madoka is surprisingly a very nice guy and not once, did I see him get angry nor did he ever get on a mean streak with anyone.
Then there's the rest of the supporting characters. We have Keiichiro Shinozaki, Madoka's assistant who makes sure that Madoka is on a right track in terms of his schedule and also makes sure that he makes his costume. I really love how he's able to put up with Madoka's laziness and his other shit. There's also Miyako Ootori, a cheerful young 16 year old girl who also works as a maid in Madoka's house and she works under Chihiro. She's a maid but she's surprisingly not good at both cleaning or cooking but she eventually improved after Chihiro decides to teach her how to cook and clean. Some maid she is. I really like her character and her cheerful personality.
One final character I want to talk about is Chihiro's mother. Yes, she's dead but she makes an appearance (more like in Chihiro's flashbacks) from time to time so we, the viewers, get to know more about her and how great of a mother she is instead of just some mother who died. She is a hilarious mother and a kind mother who, despite the hard life that she had, never gave up on his son and still took care of him until her death. I honestly shed a few tears whenever she appears in one of Chihiro's flashbacks.
I came in to this show with no expectations whatsoever and at the end, this show really surprised me. It made me laugh and it made me cry from time to time. I really enjoyed this show.
"Shounen Maid" is one of the most underrated anime I have ever seen and I already stated my reasons above as to why not a lot of people have watched this show. It's just a heartwarming story between Chihiro and his uncle and there's like no Yaoi in this series at all. I also forgot to mention the show's target audience is female but I'm a straight guy who still manages to love the series so.......
+Heartwarming moment between Chihiro and his Uncle
+Amazing Relationship Development between Chihiro and his Uncle
+Comedic aspect of the show is well done
+Great Emotional Scenes
+Nice Soundtrack and Great OP and ED theme song
+Amazing Cast of Characters
People beware, despite it doesnt have explicit shounen ai, you can feel the implied shounen ai in the behaviour of characters, is obvious main characters of this anime are gay (or bi), even when story never develop any romance between them. I don't care about it and actually I enjoy this show, but I am surprised to read reviews which can make you feel this doesn't have anything to do with gay characters, when it does. I mean, this is not kuroshitsuji (which already have some "almost gay moments"), no, this is closer to loveless or super lovers, believe me, if you don't like shounen
ai you would feel akward watching this anime in so many moments.
Shounen Maid. A series that literally translates to "Boy Maid" on the outside seems like quite an odd show. I mean, the show is about a boy who is a freaking maid. (Trust me, Chihiro isn't hot on the idea either) But, underneath the seemingly comical exterior, we get a show from 8bit that despite their rather mediocre track record, is a heartfelt comedy that is really more than meets the eye.
Story: Komiya Chihiro is a 5th grader who has been dealt a rather bad hand. With his mother now dead due to heart failure, Chihiro is now both homeless
and penniless due to not his mother not having any connections to any of her family members. Left with a note from his mother telling him to move on in life with the motto "Those who do not work shall not eat", Chihiro one day meets a man chased by a dog, a man by the name of Madoka who is not only his uncle, but offers Chihiro a second chance by allowing him to live with him with a condition, to act as his housekeeper for his rather messy mansion home.
The majority of Shounen Maid is a character-based story that focuses on the connections between family and friends. Every episode follows the tale of Madoka and Chihiro as they live by each other's side and taking care of each other with a whole host of side characters that come in and out of the story to make the seemingly mundane and bland story idea more plentiful and bright, a surprise that is even greater when the show gives us steady progress that by the end is nothing but heartwarming. In addition, the show uses the duality of comedy and gentle, caring moments in order to show us the connection that these characters have, adding more to the kind of care and respect that these characters have for each other.
In addition, the show has a lot of flashback moments in order to tell a good chunk of the story. The show uses Chihiro's mother quite often in the series as a link between the show's two main characters, as Chihiro's mom has a lot to do with how these two are as characters. These flashback moments help create even more of a connection and overall adds to the heartfelt qualities that this show has to offer.
However, this show has one major flaw that it does not seem to have any way of solving, and that comes with the majority of the questions in regards to the series's familial relations. There're a lot of loose ends at the end of the series that don't really explain anything. It's explained how Chihiro's mom has no relation to the rest of her family, but doesn't explain why. Madoka has a lot of problems with his family too like his sister does, but there's no concrete reason as to why. For this reason, the story takes a huge pitfall cause no one likes to be hung out to dry like that. It's poor because we get no answers and spoiled the quality of the series's end regardless of how kinda tearjerking the ending is.
+ Well-paced character based show
+ Shows connections between the main characters
+ Uses a variety of ways to show connection
- Has a few loose ends that hurt the series in a major way
Characters: Characters more or less fall between two categories of main character and side character, which basically mean you're either important, or you just help add flavor to the series.
First is Komiya Chihiro, the 'Shounen Maid" of the story. As a fifth grader who lives by the principle of "Those who do not work shall not eat", Chihiro is one of the most hard-working children that you will probably actually see. Living a life of housework due to his mother working long hours in order to make ends meet for them, Chihiro not only has respectable cooking ability for a boy of his age, but has an obsession with cleaning and wants to make sure that everything is sparkling and neat. So, in a sense, he's basically the perfect candidate for a house caretaker. Chihiro's character is one of appreciation and humility, offering to be Madoka's house caretaker in return for a roof over his head, food, and school tuition. As a character, he doesn't really grow very so much as as he grows into the new environment he's placed in.
Then there's Takatori Madoka, Chihiro's new guardian who is a tailor with a very...sporadic and wonderfully childish personality. As well as enjoying making clothes for people that he would find people to but cute in (Mostly Chihiro), Madoka's character takes the brunt of the character development in the series. With Chihiro in his life, the series spends the majority of time wrapping his growth and development around this boy, bringing about a lot of love and care between these two that makes their relationship all the more sweeter.
In contrast, the side characters are mostly unchanging and stagnant background characters that add more flavor to the series, ranging from characters that appear very often like Keiichiro and Miyako, to Chihiro's best friend Hino, to the extremely minor and seemingly unnecessary boy band group known as Uchoten Boys. For the most part they aid in helping to breathe life to the relationship between our main characters more and make the world and their circle of characters a lot more lively and colorful.
Overall, the characters of Shounen maid are a flurry of characters that are wrapped around this relationship between the two main characters. The brunt of this series is about how well the personalities of Madoka and Chihiro work with each other with a bit of Chiyo (Chihiro's mother) to put them together. The problem however is that, on their own, each character doesn't really have much to them and really relies on each other to bring worth to the series.
+ Great relationship between the main cast
+/- Side characters provide flavor to the story without much to them by themselves
- On their own, characters don't really have much to them
Art: Produced by 8bit, the show has a surprisingly good and sharp artstyle with wonderfully detailed backgrounds that from my expereince with 8bit, is better quality than the majority of their works. With a colorful artstyle that is slightly muted in brightness, the overall look of the series is gentle and calm in perspective to the tone that the show exudes. In terms of character design, the show has a largely moe artstyle complete with round eyes with a lot of childish qualities that quite honestly, works for the show, especially since the majority of its cast consists of small children.
In terms of comedic stylings, the show uses a lot of exaggerated facial expressions in conjunction with a lot of situational comedy in order to bounce off the interactions from character to character. (Particularly with Madoka's inability to keep anywhere clean) It also meshes quite well with the series's standard artstyle which is a nice touch.
+ Good, crisp artstyle
+ Well used comedic stylings
+/- Mostly moe artstyle
Sound: The OP for Shounen Maid is a song that really ties into the relationship with its main characters. It's a kind, gentle song that despite it not really being the most memorable thing to listen to, has its merits and fits very well with the show it's in. The ED is a boy band song sung by the seiyuus of the 'Uchoten Boys' characters, and really doesn't have very many qualities that make it special.
Personal Enjoyment: Shounen Maid is a series that I didn't expect to be as good as it was. It's not a diamond in the rough when it comes to anime, but it's a series that was definitely more than meets the eye. The relationship between the two main characters was very sweet and heartfelt, and really drove in the idea that good things come to those who work hard. It was very nice to see Chihiro continue to do his job despite how young he was and was never a spoiled brat, but rather a hard-working young man with a good heart and a clear mind.
Did I like this anime?
Yes. This show surprised me by being so much more unique than I originally thought with the premise of a boy who is a maid. With moments that shined through the importance of family and the value of ambition, Shounen Maid had more personal values to it than I had thought otherwise and as such, gets a thumbs up from me for being both unique and actually kinda memorable.
What didn't I like about this anime?
The show had a few cliffhangers on some of its flashback aspects that were more than just unfavorable. They said a lot of stuff about the characters' past, but never had the guts to put in the effort and actually give us answers. They were teasers and loose ends that really stung, and for that I say, "Damn you, 8bit."
Would I recommend this anime?
If you want a lighthearted and heartwarming anime and don't mind the weird premise, then I would suggest Shounen Maid. In all honesty, this show is one that is both wonderfully weird and memorable. Seriously, give it a shot. I promise you, you won't regret it.