After watching yet another list of “romantic comedy” anime on youtube, I decided to give Mayo Chiki! a watch. I have seen a few shows that make use of some of the major elements of this series, but the folks behind the series seem to have woven them into an oddly entertaining mix.
Mayo Chiki! is the story of a young male student named Kinjirou that has anxiety related to the opposite sex. His world begins to take on a significantly weird turn when he discovers that the teenaged butler of the richest girl at school is actually a girl. Kinjirou becomes the object of the machinations of a rich and bored girl’s attempts to “cure him”. Did I mention that she is also a huge pervert?
To begin with, this show is over the top and makes use of numerous character archetypes. Ultra violent little sister that likes to use him to test out her new wrestling moves? [Kureha Sakamachi] Check! Long-suffering male protagonist with nose-bleed and fainting problem whenever he gets close to girls? [Kinjirou Sakamachi] Check! Aloof cross-dresser with a violent streak? [Suburu Konoe] Check! A perverted rich girl that likes to mess with people that she cares for? [Kanade Suzutsuki] Check! Big breasted spectacled girl with a Shonen Ai and Slash Yaoi obsession? [Narumi Nakaru] Check! A feisty, sometimes violent girl with a heart of gold? [Usami Masamune] Check! There are other notable archetypes to be found in this anime, but the ones listed are the ones with more airtime. Also, what is with all of these girls (and sometimes guys) not being able to tell that Suburu is actually a girl cross-dressing? I suppose that this “tranny blindness” is yet another anime and manga trope, though. That and the obsessed fan club thing…
To the plot, it is ridiculous but fits into the Ecchi Comedy genre. The series makes good use of fan service, innuendo, comedic violence at the expense of the male protagonist. Unlike the use in several other Anime and Manga series, it doesn’t feel as hit and miss with this show. We know that Kinjirou is a good guy because of how much shit that he is willing to put up with from those around him and subsequently overcome, which makes him a solid main character. This willingness to persevere in spite of the stuff going on around him and to him makes him admirable. Unfortunately, it also makes him a target for nefarious sorts such as the puppetmaster Kanade. This show is neither realistic or logical and doesn’t attempt to be. Instead, it is constantly breaking the fourth wall by way of characters commenting on what is actually going on.
As for the “romantic comedy” tag listed on other sites, I do not feel that it really fits this series based on what I watched in this lone season. The fact is that the proposed love interest picked her job as butler over the possibility of pursuing a romantic relationship with Kinjirou. This does open things up for other potential love interests, such as Usami. However, the fact that the series ends so abruptly irritated me greatly seeing as the story did not end with the thirteenth episode. Nothing was resolved as far as Kinjirou’s problem was concerned, leaving him in a situation where he still cannot have a real relationship with a girl because of his anxiety issue. That feels a little sad for me given that I grew attached to the idiot.
In conclusion, whilst the series was not a game-changer, it was highly entertaining. If you are looking for an over-the-top Ecchi Comedy featuring a long-suffering but good-hearted male protagonist, then this series will likely appeal to you. Do not watch this series if you are looking for something realistic because you will not find it here. If you decide to give it a run, I’d love to see what you thought of the series.