7 Oct 2011

Manga Review: Kaichou Wa Maid-sama

Before I begin the review, please note that I will be doing Manga Review on individual title basis from now on due school commitment. Sorry!

Kaichou Wa Maid-sama
Author: Fujiwara Hiro
Status: Ongoing

As implied from the title, our main protagonist, a 16 years old girl who works at a maid cafe, is also the school council president. With this "split personality", Usui fell in love with her. The storyline is not fantastic but it is not too shabby either, with humour injected occasionally.

But what impressed me was the style of panelling which had evolved and improved over each chapters.
The overpopulated bubbles and panelling

In the first few chapters, Hiro Fujiwara Sensei had the tendency to squeeze all panels and dialogue bubbles into one single page, which I personally doesn't like it. However, it doesn't give the readers much difficulty in reading.

As the story progress, Fujiwara sensei became more generous with her panelling area. This means better background, more tones, and bigger detailed drawings of the characters. These elements definitely play a much more important role in shoujo manga compared to shonen manga, portraying better emotions of each individual character.

In the context of character development, there are not a lot of surprising elements. However, there are some significant character development for Ayu-chan. From once an independent, "determined-to-kill-all-guys" and "Tsundere" to someone who slowly opens up her heart and enter her first maiden love. All this traits are nicely reflected in the pages I have extracted.

The artwork is consistent throughout (Design of Ayu and Usui since chapter 1 till now) and definitely pretty, much more attractive than what shonen titles offer. However, Maid-sama committed the same crime as most shoujo manga: the slow, looping and predictable plot. That's a huge demerit point. The recent chapters are pretty dry and huge chunk of dialogues are back again. Also, I really hope there are more coloured pages of maid sama. Nonetheless, I still look forward to its monthly release.

3.5/5 Stars

Victor's comment: I started following this manga after finishing the anime. Loved some parts of it, but hated some slow parts. Right now the manga is back to a sloooow progression again. Like what the main protagonist of The Tatami Galaxy, "nothing else is as boring to tell as a story of successful love". The upcoming story arc carries some promise of shaking things up a little.