Mayo Chiki!

“I love those decadent wenches who do so trouble my dreams.” – Rembrandt.

There are plenty of fan-service filled anime out there, most of which vary in quality. If you are making an anime that is full of the stuff, you have to make sure it pays off in an entertaining way. Mayo Chiki! manages to do just that.

The male lead at the centre of the series is 17-year-old schoolboy Kinjiro Sakamachi who suffers from gynophobia, a fear of women. Whenever he is touched by a girl his nose bleeds (no surprise there for those of us who know our anime tropes). This is not helped by his younger sister Kureha, who, like their absent mother, is very good at fighting and often beats him up.

At their school the most popular boy is Subaru Konoe, who serves as butler to Kanade Suzutsuki, daughter of the school’s principal. Subaru is adored by just about every girl in the school to the point of madness. One day Kinjiro discovers Subaru in the boys’ toilets wearing girl’s underwear. Thus he discovers Subaru’s secret: she’s a girl.

Subaru has to pretend to be a boy because her job of butler is a male one, and Kanade is very keen on keeping her as butler. Thus Kanade strikes a deal with Kinjiro – if he will keep quiet about Subaru’s gender, she will help cure him of his fear of women. The problem with the deal is that Kanade is something of a sadist and is keen on making Kinjiro feel uncomfortable while trying to cure him.

It is very easy to dismiss this series as just being rather trashy and predictable. Indeed there are the standard things you come to expect from such anime. There are episodes set on a beach, at a pool, and so on. But let’s be honest; no-one really buys these series for the plot, but for their more salacious nature.

Luckily, the fan-service here does work. There is the right amount of it for a show of this kind, and quite a bit of it is amusing, mainly because the ideas and images shown are just so ridiculous.

There is also a good mix of characters. Other than the ones already mentioned, there is also tsundere Masamune Usami (nicknamed Usagi/rabbit), ganguro fujoshi Nakuru Narumi who has a fetish for glasses, and Subaru’s overprotective head-butler father Nagare.

On the downside there is very little in the way of extras. There are only trailers and textless opening and closings. Also, this series is only available in subtitles.

Other than this however, if you like your fan-service, then this is definitely a series to go for.

8 / 10

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and was also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. His debut book, CLAMPdown, about the manga collective CLAMP, is available now. Outside of anime, he is data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, has written questions for both The Wall and Richard Osman's House of Games, and has been a contestant on Mastermind.

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