Lesley Aeschliman

Manga Review: Maid-sama! Omnibus Volumes 1-2

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Maid-sama! Omnibus Volumes 1-2 collects the first two volumes of the Maid-sama! manga together into one release.

Maid-sama! Omnibus Volumes 1-2

Maid-sama! Omnibus Volumes 1-2

Written by: Hiro Fujiwara
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 4, 2015

The main character of Maid-sama! is Misaki Ayuzawa, a 16-year-old girl who is the student council president at Seika High School. This school went from being an all-male school to a co-ed school a few years prior to the start of the series, but the student body is still 80 percent male. Misaki hates boys, due largely to her father abandoning her family and leaving them with all his debts. To help support her family, Misaki works after school at a maid café, but keeps it a secret from the other students at school. She has a reputation for being tough, and she’s afraid that reputation will be ruined if her classmates find out about her job.

Takumi Usui, a 17-year-old boy who is the most popular student at Seika High, discovers her secret. However, he surprises Misaki by not saying anything to anyone at school. As the two volumes included here go on, it’s revealed that Usui has developed a romantic interest in Misaki.

Misaki turns out to be quite an interesting character. She’s a very strong and tough person most of the time, but the reader gets to see a gentle side to her when she’s at her job. Misaki is also smart academically, but is actually rather naïve when it comes to romance and relationships. It’s this dynamic to her character that helps drive the tension that exists between her and Takumi. There are times when Takumi takes actions to help demonstrate her naivete to her that can come across as a little creepy, but it’s made clear that he doesn’t have any intention of taking advantage of her. Even with Takumi’s quirks and the tension between him and Misaki, I still found myself wanting to see these two become a couple by the time I finished Maid-sama! Omnibus Volumes 1-2.

Misaki finds herself encountering some very awkward situations, which include being stalked by a couple of customers at the maid café, the president of another high school’s student council trying to take advantage of her, and dealing with some of the boys at Seika High who try to circumvent Misaki’s rules for the school festival. But for all of these situations, Takumi always seems to show up in the nick of time to save Misaki from any injury or embarrassment. In some respects, Takumi’s coming to the rescue does become rather predictable as the volume goes on. But even with this predictability, Maid-sama! presents an interesting and compelling story that makes a reader want to continue with the series in order to find out what will happen to Misaki and Takumi.

When it comes to the art style in Maid-sama!, Fujiwara relies on many of the artistic tropes associated with shojo manga, such as sparkly screentones, less detailed drawings of the characters when they have shocked reactions, and giving many of the male characters a “bishonen” (beautiful boy) look. But the story is interesting enough that the reader doesn’t necessarily notice how often these tropes appear in the art.

VIZ Media has put together a fantastic release for Maid-sama! Omnibus Volumes 1-2, and I think these 2-in-1 omnibus editions are the way to go. Back when Tokyopop had the license, they only managed to release eight out of the 18 volumes of the series. By doing these new omnibus editions, VIZ will be able to get all 18 volumes released in a shorter amount of time.

Maid-sama! Omnibus Volumes 1-2 is a great starting point for readers to check out this manga. The series should appeal to manga readers who enjoy romance series set in high school and have an appreciation for the concept of maid cafes. I would also recommend that fans of the Maid-sama! series should pick up VIZ’s new omnibus releases so they can have an opportunity to own the entire series in their manga library.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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