Anime of Tomorrow
Mayo Chiki! (review)
Final impression – Sometimes fun, mostly just empty (5/10)
Summer 2011 (13 episodes)
Jirou is a high school student with a fear of women. It can’t be helped. His mother was a pro wrestler and this little sister seeks to emulate her. So she uses Jirou as a punching bag, which has led to a condition where if a female so much as tries to touch him, he gets shivers down his spine and a desire to run away. Things are rough for an adolescent boy who can’t get too close to girls. But things go from bad to worse when he finds out that Konoe, the school’s most popular boy, is actually a cross-dressing girl. She’s doing this in order to train to become a butler for the aristocratic Kanade, because after all…only men can be butlers. Kanade wants very much for her dream to be fulfilled, so in order to ensure that Jirou keeps Konoe’s identity a secret, she insists the two of them become friends. Otherwise, she’s going to make Jirou’s life a living hell.
The trope of someone being allergic to the opposite gender has been done many times and it’s really starting to get tired. Mayo Chiki! can basically be summed up as poorly orchestrated ecchi moe with a side order of comedy. Not the best set of priorities when you’re choosing a theme for your anime. It watches like a cross between Hanaukyo Maid Team and Maria+Holic as told by Hayate no Gotoku with the drawing style of Ookami-san & Seven Companions. It has funny and clever moments, but it’s all just so transparently contrived and unimaginative. That’s not to say there aren’t any fun moments. There are a few clever plays on Japanese words that the fansub groups neglected to explain to the 99% of their audiences who will not appreciate the puns without a significant understanding of Japanese. I found myself cheering for the characters occasionally, but that gets old fast—especially when they don’t grow an inch in thirteen episodes.