Readers are likely to be familiar with the author Wakame Konbu thanks to The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! which currently has an anime airing and its manga available in English, but today I’m here to talk about a different title – The Maid I Hired Recently Is Mysterious.
The story follows Yuuri, who has been living in his big mansion all by himself since his parents passed away. One day, a young woman called Lilith turns up on his doorstep offering to work as a maid in exchange for a place to stay, a deal that Yuuri is happy to agree to.
The trouble is that Lilith is so good at her job that Yuuri finds her presence very mysterious and suspicious. He doesn’t understand why a woman as pretty and as good at her job as she is would want to work at his run-down estate, especially when she’s not even being paid a wage!
Because Yuuri is so interested in knowing more about Lilith (and worries she may be up to no good!), he spends his days keeping a careful eye on her which almost always leads to him being teased by her. However, Lilith’s teasing often backfires and leaves her embarrassed by her actions, resulting in no real progress in getting closer to Yuuri and doing nothing to alleviating his worries about her.
It’s clear to us as readers that Lilith has romantic feelings for Yuuri and although he doesn’t understand this, he does also appear to harbour feelings for her. This means a lot of the comedy is quite similar to what we’ve seen in this season’s The Duke of Death and His Maid, but the difference is the provocative comments there land much better, thanks to the main characters’ feelings being mutual.
The other problem with the set-up in The Maid I Hired Recently Is Mysterious is that Yuuri does appear to be quite young. Neither character is ever given an age in Volume 1, but it wouldn’t be hard to imagine Yuuri is a preteen while Lilith is closer to 16-17. It’s not a huge age gap, but it’s enough to potentially feel uncomfortable to many and does mean there is quite a gap in maturity, if nothing else.
Putting aside Yuuri and Lilith as characters, I have to admit this manga isn’t all I was hoping it would be. Coming in at only 125 pages, there isn’t a great deal of content here and, given it’s broken up into thirteen very short chapters, none of the storylines has much room to breath. Everything is boiled down to Lilith doing something mysterious, Yuuri investigating and then her teasing him until she breaks down in embarrassment.
It’s not just the fact these are very small slices of content that is an issue though, it’s also the fact that these stories are very repetitive. Lilith is almost always cooking or doing housework when she sets off Yuuri’s suspicions and you’d think eventually her actions wouldn’t bother him anymore! Some longer and more emotionally charged storylines would go a long way in developing both the plot and the cast, as well as making sure the reader stays on board long-term.
Having said all that, I do like the artwork and Yen Press have even gone out of their way to have Lilith’s eyes printed purple in every panel. This also stretches to any sound effects of hers, which is a cute touch. It’s not a particularly bright shade of purple for her eyes, but given her darker skin tone it blends in well without being distracting. The panels throughout the book are fairly empty aside from characters, but as they’re mostly on the smaller side, this doesn’t prove an issue since a focus on the cast’s expressions works well.
The Maid I Hired Recently Is Mysterious Volume 1 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and has been translated by Christine Dashiell. The translation reads well with no issues to note. The series is ongoing in Japan at five volumes and Yen have Volume 2 of the English releases scheduled for December.
Overall, The Maid I Hired Recently Is Mysterious is an interesting concept but with no room to really let loose. Given the little (and repetitive) content on offer here, it’s difficult to recommend unless you’re very sold on the core storyline.