Seika High School was an all-boys school, but it has since turned co-ed. Misaki Ayuzawa is the first female student council president of the school, eventually earning the nickname of the "Demon President" due to her mastery of Aikido and imposed iron rule.
However, Misaki harbors an embarrassing secret—she has to work at a maid café to support her family. If anybody from her school was to find out, her reputation would be utterly destroyed. And after Takumi Usui—the most popular boy at school—discovers her secret, that might just happen. Kaichou wa Maid-sama! follows their story as they spend more time together and eventually begin to understand each other's secrets.
Kaichou wa Maid-sama! won the 31st Hakusensha Athena Newcomers' Awards in 2006 and received a drama CD adaptation.
The manga was first published in English by Tokyopop as Maid Sama! with 8 volumes released from April 7, 2009 to March 1, 2011 before publication was discontinued. VIZ Media re-published the series under the Shojo Beat imprint in 2-in-1 omnibuses from August 4, 2015 to August 1, 2017. The series has also been published in Spanish by Ivrea since September 2015 and in Polish by Japonica Polonica Fantastica since November 2013.
Kaichou wa Maid-sama is my guilty pleasure—specifically, Usui. -- how’s that for a review opening? Too soon?
As many other reviews have already mentioned, the premise of this manga is cliché. I’ll admit that. It is. A “tough” girl actually works at a girly place and *gasp* of course she just HAS to be discovered by the hottest guy at school. She has to keep it a secret, and of course, with secrets, there’s blackmail. There are plenty of cliché situations in this manga but Maid Sama approaches these clichés really well and in ways that kept me interested. I never really rolled my eyes
or got bored with what was happening.
I happen to like Hiro Fujiwara’s style of drawing. The characters are attractive and are distinguishable from one another. The backgrounds are drawn nicely too and some panels where Usui is giving you a smoldering look gets you squealing most of the time. Scratch that. ALL THE TIME.
Alright, now it’s appropriate to say it: Usui is my guilty pleasure. No matter how Gary Stu he is, no matter how copy and paste he might be, no matter how real guys might scoff at him, Usui Takumi is perfection in the form of a manga character. I’ve read about a thousand characters like Usui, so why? Why is he the epitome of perfection out of all the other guys? I HATE Gary Stus, but I LOVE Usui! The man could be picking his nose and scratching his balls and I’d still swoon for him! SOMEONE ANSWER ME! WHY?!
It’s a mystery. Usui’s a mystery. Mysterious guys are hot. Usui’s hot. Conclusion: Usui Takumi.
…(In the process of picking up my brain pieces and putting them back together)
Alright, let’s move onto the main character: Misaki. Ultimately, Misaki is the reason why I love this manga and she’s probably the only thing that’s not cliché in this whole story (besides her acting like a tsudere occasionally in front of Usui). But that’s what makes this manga so durable. Misaki is what holds it together. What I love about her is that her personality never really changes, but she does indeed get character development.
I’ve read reviews where people are hating on Misaki for being a man-hater and honestly, her attitude sort of turned me off from reading as well. But I gave it a chance because at least she wasn’t a typical stupid shoujo heroine. And boy am I glad I continued. Misaki gradually changes for the better, but she still maintains her tough and hardworking personality. And the entrance of THE PERFECTION OF USUI doesn’t turn her into a fumbling, bumbling, constantly-blushing idiot! In practically every cliché shoujo, the heroine automatically becomes someone entirely different in the presence of the hot guy, but Misaki keeps her composure and only loses it when Usui does the smolder, and who wouldn’t?
Misaki’s a girl, she’s human too y’know.
But maybe this answers my question as to why I love Usui’s character—probably because he has Misaki as his partner and they bring out the best in each other.
As for the other characters in this manga, a few of them are for comic relief (idiot trio pops to mind), but I’m never bored when they appear so I appreciate their presence.
(In replacement of Enjoyment…) Romance: 9
The interactions between Misaki and Usui are surprisingly not cheesy. I don’t really remember cringing, but I definitely remember squealing and fanning myself. I’m a fan girl, what’d you expect? Anyway, speaking of fan, there’s a good amount of fan service in Maid-sama. And what I mean by fan service isn’t ass and tits, but Usui and Misaki playing the pocky game and other “that shouldn’t be sexy, but it is” moments.
Misaki and Usui not only make a sexy couple, but a badass couple as well. The two of them can hold their own individually, but when they’re together, let’s just say anyone who messes with them better watch out for any glass shards.
And though I mentioned that Misaki sometimes acted like a tsundere, it’s never extreme and it doesn’t happen so often that it becomes annoying. She also eventually begins to accept her feelings for Usui, which in this case, is something I can respect of Misaki, considering she never previously cared about romance and was a man-hater. And no this doesn’t happen in a matter of chapters. The romance actually takes its time to develop, which I enjoyed—especially when you could see the sparks igniting between them and their chemistry working together.
I know 100% that if Misaki had been replaced by a meek shoujo heroine who wasn’t as unaffected by Usui, I would’ve probably dropped the series long ago and Usui wouldn’t my guilty pleasure. The fact that Misaki is slightly unaffected by his charms only adds to the romance and their development.
I wouldn’t call this a slow romance, but it is paced appropriately.
In the end, Kaichou wa Maid-sama is full of clichés, but it’s as if Fujiwara knew our limits and backed off just before it got too annoying. How she does it, I don’t know, but she’s good at it. Maid-sama (and Usui) to this day remains a guilty pleasure of mine, full of its clichés and perfection. And I love it.
Granted Kaicho wa maid sama was one of my very first shoujo manga/anime and thus I am slightly biased towards it But to this day after reading so many shoujos, Kaicho still remains one of the best.
1. The Art is awesome
I dont know your defination of good art but Kaicho wa maid sama is one of mine. Even at the beginning of such a long manga when the art is usually bad compared to the ending, kaicho's art was still levels above other 5 chapter shoujo mangas. No cring worthy awkward postures and it kept gettting better.
Art is crucial to a visual entertainment such
as mangas and even if you come for the story, the art and pacing of the panals are very important as those are what causes the most impact. Not to mention just the good art itself makes you reluctant to drop it.
2. Ayuzawa sempai is bae
Ayuzawa Misaki sempai is bae no matter what anyone says.
I'm a man of simple taste, give me a main character I like then I already like the story. Misaki's character is supposed to be a hard-working young girl not afraid to stand up for herself, and a man-hater feared by the males. Her strong personality and the martial strength she has to back her up (unlike the countless all talk no action female leads) really touched me. Best of all, she wasn't born strong but obtained the strength to implement justice through hard work (unlike countless female leads who let their gender determine their strength).
Misaki sempai isn't perfect, and that's what makes it good. She over estimates herself and later her man-hating is shown to be biased but through her interactions with the male lead and her surrounding people, she gradually improves her faults. THIS is character development in case some mangas weren't sure what the hell it was.
3. Then they brought Usui Sempai
Just Misaki would have been enough for kaicho to be a good manga, and when the author brought Usui, you knew it was going to be a great manga.
You wanna know what Usui Takumi is, he's the epitome of perfection; paired with the awesome art in the later chapters made him feature in every fan girls' wet dream. His mysteriously cool alpha male aura along with his superior specs and face contrasting with his indifferent casual personality to everyone except Misaki, made all fan girls go kyaa...including me.
The manga is longer than it should be, with room for shortening. A lot of large conversation dialogues make you feel dull at the beginning and personally even if the entire maid cafe cast were deducted, the manga's rating would not have suffered but improved. The romance progressed slowly but surely but sometimes large arcs would make you hungry for OTP scenes. The trope itself was somewhat cliques but it was nicely done.
These aspects made it loose a star in my dictionary but still weren't enough to prevent it from being one of the best.
This was one of the very first mangas that I had started to read when I had gotten interested into reading manga so much. It's a great story with great characters and to me it's an original piece of work compared to other soft shoujo mangas. I latched onto it immediately and loved it!If your looking for a first time read then this is definitely the one your looking for.
ART-The art is beautiful, and not messy looking.
STORY-The story is cute, simple like a teenagers everyday type of life going to school and whatnot. Introducing a wide range of feelings to the reader and it makes
you feel what the characters are feeling,
CHARACTERS-The characters are cute, fun, and thankfully none of them seem to be annoying! You'll come to love them all!
Overall, I would give this manga a 10/10!
Kaichou wa Maid-sama! is a feel-good kind of shoujo manga for anyone who enjoys a happy ending and prince-like male characters.
I watched the anime some many years ago and decided to read the manga lately because I wanted to see how the couple ended up. For anyone who's watched the anime, I strongly recommend reading the manga because there are more characters and the story has more depth (yet with the same amount of clichés).
Story: Maid-sama has a bit of a Cinderella vibe to it. Misaki, the female protagonist, comes from a lower-class family who slaves away at school as School President and
then works hard at her part-time job at the Maid Café to support her family financially. Her male counterpart has a mysterious background but known to be from a very wealthy family (with hints of nobility). I guess you could say that there's nothing original about the storyline of this manga. Even the parts where Maid Café holds special days are reminiscent of Ouran Host Club. Originality aside, it's still an enjoyable story without any gaps or missing pieces that leave readers unsatisfied.
Art: The manga is well-drawn. The maid outfits are delightful (especially when they have special events). Most importantly, the males are all handsome. =)
Character: This is where Maid-sama scored the lowest. The characters all lack depth. Every character appears very one-dimensional. Takumi is literally perfect; Misaki calls him an "alien" but his abilities make him more of a god. His superpowers are just short of teleportation, flying and laser eyes. On the other hand, Misaki is an even bigger disappointment. Fujiwara created Misaki as a "tough Prez" who hates males and does everything on her own, always giving her 105%. However, she ends up relying on Takumi a lot and she becomes like any other lovesick chick around him. Worst, he beats her in everything without effort. Or maybe I'm being too critical...
Enjoyment: As a fan of reverse harems, I was kind of disappointed that no other males ever stood a chance in this manga. And that's not to say there weren't some great suitors and potential in there! But I guess that's why Maid-sama isn't categorized as a reverse harem. This manga is strictly a romance between two characters from beginning to end. The enjoyment comes from seeing them endure the hardships and drama to reach a happily ever after.
Final word: A feel-good kind of manga that doesn't stand out in any real way. The most spectacular aspect of this manga would be Usui Takumi... Literally, the PERFECT male specimen. From looks to talent to skill to background to undying commitment to his girl.. WOW.
Kaichou wa Maid-Sama has more to offer than cute girls in costumes. It contains themes of loyalty, hubris, rivalries and that people are more than the front they present. All while managing to put a smile on the face of viewers.