Young Hanaukyo Taro’s mother has just passed away, leaving him alone in this world. Having nowhere else to turn to, Taro decides to set out to find his grandfather who lives in Tokyo. Taro has never spoken to his grandfather before, let alone even seen him. But as Taro nears the end of his journey, he is in for a big surprise. It would appear that there is a lot about his grandfather his mother never told him.
As Taro walks towards the doors of the magnificent mansion that stands before him, he is overwhelmed by the sudden sound of rushing feet. Just as quickly as it had started, it ends. Standing before him is a company of maids further than what the eye can see. And they are all calling him master.
As the head maid, Mariel explains, it would seem that Taro’s extremely rich, eccentric and lecherous grandfather has decided to retire to some island resort – leaving all his possessions to Taro – including the mansion’s cadre of maids. The house’s maids are all assigned specific tasks in the house, but they all share a single purpose – to serve their master with all their hearts.
But for a girl-allergic, innocent young boy like Taro, just how much ‘service’ can he take?
Hanaukyo Maids is a silly little romp promising you cute maids, a boy who is allergic to girls as the master, lots of laughs and plenty of fan service. In fact, lots of fan service. There is a storyline buried under all the fan service and laughs, basically revolving around young Hanaukyo Taro whose mother recently passed away. Left alone in the world, Taro sets out to find his grandfather living in Tokyo. But what he finds is a grandfather that’s left of retirement and a huge mansion full of maids waiting to please their new master. The new master of Hanaukyo mansion, Taro is now responsible for everyone.
This show plays on the tired story about cute maids who serve their master with all their hearts. Of course, serving their master includes certain other ‘services’ as well, something that Taro’s perverted grandfather seemed to enjoy quite a lot. Of course there are the specialised maid divisions, meaning that there is certainly a large cast to choose from. Certain maids are highlighted and given more characterisation to bring them up as a supporting cast for poor Taro. Caught in a world of only woman, just how is the kind-hearted girl-allergic Taro going to cope?
The stories are really silly, pretty much as they were intended to be. The show has its comedic moments, but to be honest, pretty much all the gags are so dated by now that they fail to draw many laughs. There’s plenty of fan service to go around and lovers of cute/sexy maid costumes will surely get a kick from this title.
The animation is pretty good with simple lines and bright vibrant colours. A lot of exaggerated facial expressions and body postures are used to emphasize the show’s humorous moments. The girls are all beautiful, sexy and cute and Taro is perfectly represented as being a little bit dorky and a bit of a runt. The trick of not drawing his eyes works perfectly for his character.
The voice artists are of a high standard, but be prepared – there aren’t many male voices present in this show! The music track is fun and upbeat, suiting the mood and atmosphere of the show perfectly.
Hanaukyo Maids is good for a few laughs and a bit of fan service spotting, but it really does seem like a tired genre and more experienced otaku certainly won’t get much out of this title. Nevertheless, it does have its funny moments. Be warned, this show is definitely not aimed at women!
(Historical Note: This was written back in September 2004. Thankfully my writing has improved greatly since then.)
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanaukyo_Maids