A tale cannot be supported only by subversion as a literary tactic. If there is no further content, it is difficult to keep the audience’s attention. You may captivate an audience with a huge twist or stunning surprise early on. The forward-facing maid-café aesthetics of Akiba Maid War make it apparent to us from the very first teaser that we may anticipate some subversive twist. The twist is not so much a twist as it is the premise, so that turned out to be an even more suitable meta-spin than we may have expected. Here, its depiction of late-1990s Akihabara’s maid cafés serves as a cover for organized crime.. It’s as if someone saw the Roberta-centered Black Lagoon episodes and (accurately) said, “We could build a whole show out of this.” I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome as a great fan of both Black Lagoon and the conceit of stupidly confident/stupidly confident anime.
Because of its utterly serious, stone-faced devotion to The Bit, Akiba Maid War’s confidence is one of the main forces for its success. The Maid, or “Meido,” in the title may alternatively be interpreted as “Underworld,” therefore it appears that the idea came from simple wordplay..” Thus, it faithfully recreates the brutal crime thriller of the 1990s, with the exception that every time the Yakuza appear, they are replaced by maids, and they continue to make adorable jokes in their conversation while engaging in shootouts and hurling grenades at one another. It implies that while the joke can be made only on the level of dissonance alone, the show’s real plot can still stand on its own. As opposed to attempting to pull a whole season’s worth of amusement from this pony’s one specific trick, the criminal genre itself offers plenty of possibilities for a strong range of narratives.
Naturally, some of the dissonance is a little dubious. In this alternate reality, it appears that the existence of Akihabara’s network of otaku-catering businesses as a sizable criminal underworld is widely accepted. For example, residents of the city avoid the waitstaff out of fear, and newscasters routinely report on overnight brawls at maid cafés as if they were regular updates on gang violence. Newer characters, however, have character arcs that are especially focused on them not understanding the actual nature of the maid industry until they joined it, such as Nagomi or Zoya from the third episode.. The fact that, despite witnessing a maid matron being shot in the first episode’s opening, we still follow Nagomi’s shock as a bunny girl in front of her is struck by a bullet to the head and splatters blood all over her apron (complete with an adorable tweety sound effect, because the creators of Akiba Maid War are actual geniuses) is all done to further the central joke.
It’s a vast array of jokes, not just one. Even once the metaphorical cat’s out of the bag, that type of subversion remains Akiba Maid War’s mainstay (or omurice and ketchup). In the backdrop of the second episode, Chief has clearly established herself as an utterly ineffective failure at attempting to traverse this frilly underworld. The teaser also provided us with shots of the Oinky-Doink Café’s Chief looking badass outdoors while taking a little smoke break.. Before she completely botches her effort at a Jotaro-Kujo-style bluff and they must conclude the episode with a shooting, Yumechi spends the whole hour supposedly demonstrating her expertise at illegal gambling. The central topic of the third episode is whether Ranko can be characterized as “cute,” despite the fact that we all instantly fell in love with this 35-year-old murder maid at the start of the first episode.
According to the story, Rako is endearing because of the sincerity with which she appreciates Nagomi’s gifts of hair ties. This attitude is present throughout the entire production. Akiba Maid War understands it can’t just coast with its crime-thriller theme, even with the adorable coat of paint as a gimmick. The third episode, which has several betrayals of mafia bosses and instances involving fake anime girl figurines, is one where there are still real, effective twists and turns driving the stories.. While delivering all of that, it also sets the stage for Zoya’s joining the Oinky-Doink team (the opening theme gamely trying to hide her recruitment by obscuring her face for these first few episodes). Despite sharing screen time with the genuinely galaxy-brain episode premise of “Maid Fight Club,” this subplot excels. It’s the exact tip of the amusement iceberg, with carefully crafted postcard recollections and an onslaught of Ashita no Joe references. And the actual bouts themselves are all beautifully animated!
Akiba Maid War was able to establish the viability of this idea from the very first indication of the prophesied twist. The intriguing narrative of The Sopranos would still be present, but with the possibility of animal-themed jokes or outrageous musical numbers if it were performed by the crew of a Chuck E. Cheese. I sincerely hope that the first episode’s wota-choreographed musical firefight, which was a jaw-dropping highlight, serves as a benchmark for future events. The third episode gets close to that with two cross-countering MMAids debating the virtues of cuteness in hair-tie-hinging arguments. Zoya’s full-time hire to the team portends the possibility of additional mayhem of that nature.. But I also see the potential for a real continuous narrative as we learn more about what may be Ranko’s desire for retribution for what she saw in the show’s frigid opening. It suggests that a decent thriller with adorable maids and ridiculous animal jokes may be on the horizon for a whole season. Having these ladies greet me is wonderful because it makes me feel as though I’ve returned home.
Streaming on HIDIVE at the moment is Akiba Maid War.
Chris is a free-spirited freelancer from Fresno who loves anime and has an excessive number of Transformers on his shelf. He may be seen wasting much too much time on Twitter and posting to his blog seldom.