Sports Festival and Battle Maids!
With volume three “Maid Sama!” (Japanese title “Kaicho wa Maid-sama!” or “Student Council President is a Maid!”) continues to be one of the best shojo series currently being released.
The basic set-up has tough-as-nails, ultra-feminist student council president Ayuzawa Misaki moonlighting as a subservient maid in a Maid Café. Her double life has been uncovered by Usui Takumi, the school heartthrob with a perverted streak who is naturally good at everything, and can have any girl he wants except for the one he wants, Misaki. Hijinks ensue.
In volume three, its Sports Festival time at school, and the over-achiever Misaki is doing her best to make sure that the girls come in first at the male-heavy Seika High School. Misaki will suffer any hardship to ensure success, even participating in the “Cosplay Race” designed to humiliate the least-athletic members of the school. Could a maid costume be waiting for Misaki? Then, Maid Café Latte has been thinking of some special events designed to attract customers. First up is Battle Maids night, themed after the Sentai Rangers series, and then it is Little Sister night. Misaki, who hates to fail at anything, gets put on the spot by her boss for not giving her all at work, and gives her the ultimatum of becoming the cutest Little Sister around or being fired. Into all this comes internet idol Aoi, who dresses in frills and lace and wants to work at Maid Café Latte. Only Usui sees Aoi’s secret.
Series artist Fujiwara Hiro keeps “Maid Sama!” lively and fresh, and at times almost a parody of typical shojo manga. Unafraid to break the fourth wall, she has a trio known as the “idiot trio” whose main job in the series is to appear between the panels and complain that they aren’t drawn better. Background characters will appear and yell at Fujiwara for forgetting their plotlines, or how they didn’t realize they were only intended to be minor filler characters. At one point, the rest of the cast is trying to figure out exactly what kind of shojo heroine Misaki is, saying that she doesn’t fit the usual stereotypes of a shojo love interest.
The art is lovely as well, and Fujiwara easily switches between the tom-boyish “demon president” Misaki and her alter-ego the sparkly-eyed Misa-chan. Usui comes off as a typical smug bishonen, but you quickly see that there is more to him than meets the eye, and that he is the perfect foil for Misaki.
A great series overall. If you aren’t reading “Maid Sama!” then you really should be!