Written by Ross Locksley on 27 Jul 2021
Distributor Yen Press • Author/Artist Wakame Konbu • Price £10.99
Reading like the introduction to a children's book, every chapter opens with the young master of the house remarking "The Maid I hired recently is... mysterious".
This is a really charming book. The repetition to the opening of every chapter really does lend it that young persons perspective and as a father of a daughter who, at time of writing, is not even 2 years old, it really does feel like a book she'd enjoy if I read it to her. While the young man narrating the tale may not recognise his initial feelings of attraction to an older girl, the reader can enjoy his confusion at his budding interest in the fairer sex.
For her part, the titular maid (who reveals her name later) enjoys teasing her young charge at every opportunity, never denying that she's placed a curse on her master or indulging in any of his other imaginative explanations as to just why he finds her so interesting. Of course, he's so lacking in any filters that he often flusters her with his insights into how her beauty, care and attention are causing his unease. It's quite the entertaining battle of wits between the two, who are both innocents in their own ways.
The coloured highlights are a beautiful but subtle detail
The artwork is quite straightforward, with the few backgrounds inserted usually done to set a scene or a mood - banter between the two protagonists is usually without much in the way of extra details, but the expressions are fantastic and there's a real sense of emotional connection thanks to some great page layouts and framing of the pair.
What is unusual is a simple infusion of extra colour onto the pages. The Maid's eyes are always depicted in purple - it's a great effect and really brings life to the book. The occasional extra details, such as text or sound effects are also highlighted in this colour. There's nothing better than art that's playful, and given the story, it's a perfect touch. I have to applaud Yen Press for printing the book this way, it's a detail that would have been easy to do away with and lower costs, but YP had enough faith in the title to do it right, and that's greatly appreciated.
This is a lovely book to have in your collection. The short chapters make it an easy read, the characters have oodles of charm and it certainly has elements that remind me of when I first started to notice girls. Forget alien hordes, demonic armies and power-hungry warlords, the real battle of wits is within these pages. You can't help but hope they both win.
Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time.
posted by Ross Locksley on 09 Mar 2023
posted by Ross Locksley on 19 Jan 2023
posted by Eoghan O'Connell on 03 Jan 2023
posted by Ross Locksley on 31 Dec 2022
posted by Ross Locksley on 22 Dec 2022
posted by Ross Locksley on 07 Nov 2022
posted by Robert Frazer on 28 Oct 2022
posted by C. C. Cooper on 30 Aug 2022