Please note: my positivity in this review only extends to season 1 of Mahoromatic. I did not enjoy anything in season 2 and regard my time spent watching it as wasted. Season 1 is worth watching on its own, but if you’re not the type to leave series unfinished then you may want to avoid it anyway.
#1 Adorable robot maid
Anime about cute maids are no rarity. To the point that you could argue that its a genre in and of itself, with its own subgenres within it. If we follow that logic, then Mahoromatic falls within the curious subgenre of “cute robot maid” anime. In fact, it may be the genre’s most formidable title to date.
This is in no small part thanks to the anime’s adorable protagonist. Mahoro is a retired combat android, who has decided to spend her final days working as a humble housekeeper. She enters into the service of orphaned teenager Suguru Misato, who is immediately smitten with her. Likewise, the audience is certain to fall in love with Maharo before the ED ever starts playing.
She is enthusiastic and upbeat, always bringing energy into any scene she is in. She’s as caring and dutiful as you’d expect from a maid, though often going far beyond what you’d realistically expect from someone in this line of work. Mahoro does have a clumsy side to her, but this only adds to her charm. Add in her precious expressions and you got a character that people can’t help but adore.
#2 Ecchi romcom antics
Being that he is a teenage boy, Suguru is a bit of a pervert. The traditional anime kind who has more hidden magazines than different sets of clothes. As he and Mahoro begin living together, “incidents” become unavoidable.
A lot of the comedy throughout the series relies on ecchi jokes, which are often delightfully over-the-top. Like a visit to the beach being disturbed by a monster that specifically targets swimsuits. There is also Suguru’s math teacher, who is herself a pervert that prides herself on her large breasts. She becomes something of a rival to Mahoro, as she resents how the boys are more interested in Mahoro’s kind charms than their teacher’s sex appeal. Putting aside for a moment that she’s utilizing that sexiness against teenagers half her age.
This ecchi content also benefits from being largely uncensored. It adds something of a finishing touch to the jokes that amplifies their impact.
#3 Gainax level action
The background story of Mahoromatic involves a war between Earth and alien invaders. Kept out of sight of the general populace, forces headed by the mysterious organization Vesper are clashing with the robot armies of Saint. Mahoro may have formally retired, but the war rages on. And old enemies have not forgotten her.
Mahoro is frequently forced to briefly resume her days as a soldier. She regularly fights giant machines and rival androids, both of which look amazing. Especially considering this is supposed to be a cutesy maid anime. Production of Mahoromatic was handled by a cooperation between Gainax and Shaft. Action may therefore not be mainstay element, but this power duo ensures that it looks amazing whenever a fight does come up.
#4 Fun friends
Besides Mahoro and Suguru, Mahoromatic shines in its support cast. Suguru’s friends from school are frequently around and back up the comedy with their fun banter and gags.
Of these friends, my favorite ended up being Chizuko. She is a simple person whose only passion in life is food. She is so calm and laidback, until the very moment any food is offered to her. She literally screams her reviews at people the moment she gets to chow down. Reviews that include absurd descriptions that she realistically couldn’t possibly know about. Her dedication to being a foody transcends any limitation. I also love how she’s often in the background of events, looking perpetually confused about everything. She’s adorable.
All the characters click together really well, which adds to their interactions with each other. Mahoro fits into their dynamic perfectly. Everybody fawns over her and goes to great lengths to make her feel welcomed. This, in turn, makes even the most relaxed episodes a joy to watch.
#5 Ridiculous episodic stories
As some of my description in this review may have betrayed already, this show gets wacky. A lot of episodes are isolated stories which tend to get very crazy. The example of a monster invasion breaking up the obligatory beach episode stands out, but is hardly the silliest Mahoromatic storyline.
I actually ended up enjoying the episodic stories more than the main plot of the show. Their premises are creative and it gives all the character room to shine. Whereas the main story is mostly just Mahoro. World-building and lore are also the weakest aspects of Mahoromatic, both of which are largely absent in these episodic stories.
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Chobits: Unique robot girl finds love.