Chihiro is a poor elementary schoolboy who lives with his mother in a one-room apartment, and unfortunately for him, she dies one day. Not only that, but she leaves him with the least helpful will in the world, a letter that basically says ‘things will work out somehow lol’. With no known relatives, Chihiro is at a loss as to what he ought to do…although it turns out he actually did have a ludicrously wealthy uncle all this time – apparently his mother had been estranged from the family and refused to accept her brothers’ help no matter how tough things got.
Although his uncle Madoka is happy to take Chihiro in, the boy is angry and has no desire to accept the pity of someone who didn’t help his mother, let alone be indebted to them. However, he is quick to notice that Madoka’s house is absolutely revolting and due to both a love of cleaning and a bizarrely supernatural ability for it, begins to clean things up. Due to this, Madoka gives him an offer- figuring that if he wont accept his help for free and become indebted to him, he can be the live-in cleaner. With a special frilly maid uniform, of course.
Alright so…I’m kinda on the fence about how I’m meant to feel about this show. And I really need to admit something off the bat which has unfortunately kind of…er…’coloured’ my perception on it. Alright, so…there’s an actual for real genuine shotacon porno anime with this exact goddamn plot and with almost the exact title. (If you must know, It’s ‘Shounen Maid Kuro-kun’, and if you must know, the only reason I regrettably know about that awful travesty is because it’s slightly infamous among people like me who enjoy laughing at shitty yaoi because a)the art is absolutely hideous and b) there are some very interesting gifs that tend to make the rounds on sites like tumblr. Also, I think it existed long before the manga of this did so there’s every chance in the world people searching for info on this one are gonna end up with the completely unrelated but unfortunately similar one) So, yeah. The whole time I was watching this, I kept thinking of that, which aside from making the show a lot creepier than it was probably ever intended to be, made me recall things that I thought I had safely repressed in the darkest recesses of my mind. God damn it.
So to nip it in the bud, no, no Shounen Maid is not like that. I’m not saying it can’t come across as creepy, because it still kind of can – I mean there is literally no reason for the weird uncle to have given Chihiro that maid outfit (I say ‘outfit’ rather than ‘dress’ because as you can see in the screencap, it’s not technically a dress) other than the fact that he thought it looked cute and ‘he really loves frills’. It seems a little bit…odd to have an elementary school boy – I have no idea how old Chihiro is actually meant to be, but he’s tiny and he can’t be older than 12 – working as a maid, even if they do at least make sure to point out that he genuinely enjoys cleaning. I feel like how much I enjoy this depends on how much I don’t try to think too hard about it. Because on the surface, it’s quite benign and harmless – it’s a cute little boy who likes cleaning. If Chihiro were a girl, this would probably be a completely bland average show, after all – so it feels hypocritical to feel like there’s an undercurrent of ‘creepy’ when it’s a young boy that the uncle is dressing up and having work for him.
I also found the mother’s character to be…troublesome. While Chihiro is mad at her at first, throughout the episode he starts to think back on her with fondness and take her lame parting words as being some amazing wisdom. Just…come on. She literally said ‘lol you’ll be ok probably whatevs’. It’s kind of hard to sympathize with her at all – especially when she seems like such a ridiculous character. I guess I should probably be glad that she died instead of ‘racked up a massive debt and then left the country and left the debt to the son’ like which bizarrely happens in a lot of anime where a poor kid ends up in a rich household.
Again, I’m predictable, and I like adorable little anime boys, so I’m probably going to watch this but believe you me I’m noping right out of this as soon as things get shotacon-y if they do. (By which I mean, more than it definitely is already, because I feel like the entire show is about how adorable Chihiro is)I did take a look at the MAL page just to make sure it wasn’t in the BL category, and thankfully it isn’t, but I’ve got my eye on you, Shounen Maid. At any rate the art and animation look nice, the background work is attractive and it has a pretty relaxing slice of life kind of feel to to it so far. Next episode will be introducing a cute female maid, so I’d like to see what she brings to the show and how things develop from there.
Since I feel like I should mention it, the ending theme to this completely threw me for a loop because I honestly thought for a second that there had been some airing error and I was seeing the ending for a completely different show, because I don’t know who any of the characters were. It’s a 3-boy idol group, doing things 3-boy idol groups tend to do, and it had absolutely nothing to do with anything I just saw. I imagine those characters might become relevant eventually (it kind of reminded me of the ending for Samurai Flamenco in that regard) but seriously, talk about a confusing transition.