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DVD Review

DVD cover

Mahoromatic - Something More Beautiful
Volume 1 - Maid in Training


Starring (voice): Ai Shimizu, Ayako Kawasumi and Fujiko Takimoto
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 07 June 2010

Mahoro, once a deadly android constructed by Vesper to counteract an alien incursion, now has an equally difficult task to undertake, to clean and take care of Suguru as his live in maid. As her body clock ticks down to termination she has to deal with teenage life in all its forms...

Mahoromatic Automatic Maiden: Something More Beautiful (2002) is a science fiction romantic comedy, directed by Hiroyuki Yamaga, from an original Bunjūrō Nakayama manga. The show’s comedy is very broad indeed - a show whose tag line is "I think dirty thoughts are bad" is bound to provide enough material to spark these thoughts in the first place. Automatic Maiden is in fact the second series of Mahoromatic.

The reason that Mahoro wishes to take care of young Suguru is that she feels some responsibility for his father’s death and wishes to make amends before her limited time clock finally runs down. If you have not seen the first series you may well struggle to understand what is going on as the show spends almost no time in recapping what has come before or re-setting up the characters and their relationships, in this way it feels very much like walking into the middle of a party and trying to work out what exactly is going on.

The single disc contains the first five episodes of season two, strangely for an anime disc there are no extras at all and the audio is only English 2.0 or Japanese 2.0 with subs. The story is not deep so either track is acceptable. The picture is an 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer and is pretty sharp.

Episode one: Return of The Maid, and things have settled into a sense of normality, even Ryuga appear to have given up his old ways and like Mahoro is intent in discovering what it means of be human. As for Suguru, he has returned to his collection of female erotica and his never ending quest to keep them away from Mahoro. However, no peace lasts forever and a new girl, Minawa, appears to be taking a keen interest in Suguru.

Episode two: From Today On, You Are Minawa, and the mystery girl turns out to be yet another android. Like Mahoro, Suguru takes Minawa into his home and turning her into a maid. I have no idea why, its just the way the show's internal logic works. Here things become a little complicated. Minawa is an android who has absconded from The Management, a group bent on opposing Saint (that will be the aliens), unlike Mahoro who worked for Vesper.

Episode three: Dreams Should Be Grand, and the whole episode is based around various characters obsession with large breasts, including the androids. This also brings up the worrying spectre of Suguru’s teacher, who not only has large breast, and is a little more than obsessed about them, but also has a thing for Suguru, which is a bit creepy given how old he is.

Episode four: Mahoro Goes To School, and Mahoro is sent undercover to Suguru’s school to avert a possible bombing.

Episode five: Will I Catch A Cold Tomorrow?, And in truth nothing much happens in this episode, it is more of a filler.

Overall the show is showing its age. Also, it just does not seem to know what it wants to be and veers between fan service teen show to alien invasion. In the end I don’t think that this matters as the show is played for laughs. Given that humour is a pretty personal thing you’ll either love or hate this show.


Charles Packer

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