I still don't understand it. I probably never will either. I'm talking about how the concept of "robot maid aliens" can actually be a pretty big genre in the land of the Rising Sun. Though granted, this is also the country that invented panty sniffing, so I guess everything is relative, just like Tammi with an "I"'s home county. But I digress. I'm basically here to talk about my thoughts on the most recent maid/robot/alien show to cross my desk (by "desk" I mean Takashi's Imperial Anime Castle that I steal shit from on a weekly basis): Mahoromatic (seasons 1 & 2).
The first season of Mahoromatic was 12 episodes long and it told the story of Vesper's battle android (Vesper being a secret organization that seems to be trying to stop Saint [an alien force] from blowing shit up on Earth and killing lots of peoples), Mahoro, and her quest to live the rest of her short life-span to its fullest. It starts out with a zippy-bang-bang action sequence between Mahoro and some Saint robots, and it never slows down from there!.... No, that's a lie. Right after the major opening battle the action stops and the comedy begins. Trust me though, this is all good. See, Mahoromatic is brought to us by the Incredible Gainax Review (makers of fine anime like Nadia, Evangelion and FLCL), and so far they've yet to let us (or at least me) down even once (Abenobashi was really only kind of a "stumble" or "trip"... The ball was never completely dropped per se). Now where was I? Right, beginning of comedy. So Mahoro (the "V1046-R Type Vesper Hyper Soldier" battle android built like a cute 19 year-old with flowing purple hair) is told by her superiors in Vesper that due to her hard work over the years and her short life-span (that they can't extend), they're going to give her an option on how to live the rest of her life until her ultimate expiration: She can either remain in full battle-mode, and remain functioning for a little over a month, or she can disarm, retire and follow a dream she might have and live for well over a year. Being the smart little cookie that she is, Mahoro chooses to live her dream. And being that this is an anime made for a country full of costume-fetish freaks, she chooses to live her remaining time as a maid.
It's not really what you might think though. See, Mahoro chooses to become the housekeeper of one Suguru Misato (your average, family-less 14 year-old boy) because of who his father is... or "was". She feels that the least she can do with her remaining days is to make Suguru happy. She kind of sees it as her duty. And it's her sense of military duty that causes the most amount of humor in the first few episodes as she tries to get used to life outside of Vesper. But soon enough we get a bunch more characters thrown in for good measure and more comically humorous situations. There's the cute girl at school who has a crush on Suguru, this other cute girl at school who has a crush on Suguru, that cute blonde girl at school who has a crush on Suguru, the big-tittied homeroom teacher who wants to get Suguru in the sack, and two guy friends of Suguru's who can't believe all the luck their hapless friend has with the ladies. Can't you just SMELL the harem comdey a-brewin'! Well, if you can, just forget about it. Mahoro ain't no harem show. It's pretty obvious from the start who Suguru's gonna fall for.... And no, it isn't the bouncy pedo teacher. Sorry.
For the first season's 12 episodes we mainly follow Suguru, Mahoro and Slash (Mahoro's kick ass, cybernetic, talking panther partner) as they go about their daily chores, have fun with the gang, insult Ms. Shikijo, the teacher, to her mooching face, fight a Saint android who doesn't understand that Mahoro is retired, and compare breast sizes (this one is basically regulated to Mahoro and the girls... not Suguru or Slash).
What was that about a Saint android?! Jeez! Don't get so worked up. But yeah, Ryuga is basically Mahoro's counterpart in the alien Saint organization, and even though he's been handed his own ass by Mahoro over and over again throughout the years, he's been assigned to study her in her new (inexplicable) assignment (being a housemaid and all). But he just can't seem to understand why his Earthly nemesis is doing what she's doing, and so he starts provoking her in the hopes that she'll throw away her peaceful life and start fighting him again.
It may sound kind of blah, but you're just not picturing the Gainax magic helping this thing become as fun as it truly is... Or perhaps I just suck at reviewing things and can't get my point across. Well fuck off, if that's the case!! Just go over to Anime on DVD or something if you want a review that actually "makes sense". Sod off, the lot of ya!
Anyway, onward to Mahoromatic Season 2: Something More Beautiful. The first 2/3rds of this series pretty much holds the same tone as the first. It's light and funny, with some ecchi and combat scenes sprinkled throughout. The main cast (including the teach) are all part of one Mahoro-family now, as is a new member who has just joined their ranks. It seems that Minawa (or android 370) has just escaped from the secret global organization known as Management and has come seeking Mahoro for unspecified reasons.... Management... You know, the secret society that secretly runs the world and covers up its secrets with more secrets. Haven't heard of them?! Well, neither did I until SMB. This is just one of the many layers that starts to fall off the (what turns out to be) large hidden storyline of Mahoromatic. See, it goes a little something like this: Saint came to Earth looking for friends in the vast cosmos. Saint kind of fucked up on the initial close encounter and unintentionally started an interplanetary war with Earth. This was was kept secret from the general population for decades though, as only Management and some world leaders were privy to the goings on in order to keep the planet from pooping its collective pants in the face of such a prickly predicament. Soon though, a new organization was formed when an agent of Management fell in love with a woman from Saint and they got married and had a kid. That Earth man went on to form Vesper, which as it turns out is really only trying to stop the war by keeping both sides under control and from committing the genocide of an entire people. Hairy stuff indeed. It's kinda like when my brother tried to break up a fight in grade school but got shoved into a brick wall himself and had part of his skull cracked in due to a jutting piece of concrete. But at least the ex-Management agent was getting some alien poon-tang out of the whole deal and didn't need 6 stitches in his scalp.
So it's a three-way war, and Mahoro's smack dab in the middle of it despite her retired status. What does this mean for we, the viewers? Well it certainly means more kick ass fights and much more tension near the end of the show. And considering it's Gainax we're talking about, the last episode had to take place in space. And to be quite honest with you, the only reason I'm writing this review at all is to talk about this final episode. There's been a lot of chatter in the (retarded) fan community about this final act. It's 50/50 about who thought it was the "greatest ending that could have ever been made for Mahoromatic," or whether it was the balls-out worst. I'm here to talk about it and ensure you that it truly is rugged. Cut-ASS rugged, to be exact. So if you haven't seen it yet, go out and watch it now. If you have or simply want to have the ending completely raped for you, well, let me tell you something:
SPOILERS OUT THE BUTT
The final episode takes place twenty years after peace comes to the forces of Earth and Saint. In the previous episode Mahoro had sacrificed herself so that Suguru could continue to live, but in doing so left him all alone in the world again (utter loneliness being the one thing that he feared and hated most in life). See, Suguru was only just able to start living again because he had somebody to live for. Before Mahoro he was all alone for the longest time and he had learned to lock his feelings up inside and become a bit uncaring to everything in the world. So, after being betrayed by Mahoro (who had just promised him again that she would never leave him), he kind of cracked. And then he went bad. Bad ASS, that is.
So, twenty years after the peace accord, Suguru is on a colony world created by both Saint and Earth and he's hunting down the remaining Management androids who escaped Earth when the truth was revealed about the whole alien fiasco and the assassination of the American president. Suguru is now 34, bitter, scruffy, about 1/2 machine himself, and more sarcastic than Dennis Miller and Don Rickles' love child on a bad day. After getting stabbed in the back with a lightsaber by his only "friend", Suguru makes it to a food stand and proceeds to get shit faced while he goes over how his life turned out the way it did. He confides in the cook that he was betrayed by the only person he ever truly loved and that he's now taking out his hatred of "false humans" by killing all of the old androids with bounties on their heads.
During all this we also get a glimpse of what Saint truly is, as well as a look at the organization's mysterious leader, Matthew. Matthew it seems is planning to go out into the cosmos again to search for more life, but first decides to leave a little present (a piece of him/herself that he/she will not need during his/her loooong trip through the void of space) for somebody whom he/she felt got the shaft in the whole messy situation caused by the war. So, the part of Matthew that is human emotion (and essentially Mahoro) is broken off and sent to the broken Suguru. Suguru sees Mahoro appear out of nowhere and thinks she's either a dream or the Angel of Death. Then he turns away from her and says the bestest line in the whole damn show: "I think I'll head over to the red-light district and try to get laid... If I'm still alive in the morning I'll go to the doctor and get stitched up." Which of course causes our out-of-place Mahoro to bust out with her "Ecchi thoughts are bad" slogan which of course makes Suguru realize that it truly is her, and they hug or some mushy thing like that. Happy happy joy joy.
Some people thought that the major change in storytelling was too jarring and unnecessary. That it should have ended after Mahoro's explosion. Others liked that it continued but felt that bringing Mahoro back after her destruction negated her sacrifice. Normally I'd agree with that kind of thinking. I hated Angel for bringing Spike back after his incredibly heroic demise in Buffy's series finale, and I utterly refuse to play FFX-2 just because I know that the ending of that game has Tidus coming back after his perfect offering and swan dive at the end of FFX. But here... Mahoromatic's ending is different. We get to see the suffering and pain that Suguru went through because of Mahoro's death, and this (at least in my mind) earned her resurrection. Watching three polygon-bimbos collect dresses for thirty hours of gameplay does not earn the resurrection of a dead lover. But watching Suguru condemn himself over what he couldn't stop or help in the least made me feel that not only did he deserve to get his Mahoro back, but he needed some massive redemption of his own.
The characters changed sure, but that's what was so great about it! It didn't just revert to how things were before all the shit hit the fan and covered the room in stinky glop. Suguru became a totally different person, the world around him kept turning. But, there was also the hope that he could get a bit of his old life back if he really really wanted it. Right before getting Obi-Waned by the lightsaber, Suguru ran into his old big-tittied teacher who was conducting a field trip for her new class on the colony world he was on. Through her we can see that the personal hell Suguru has accepted as his own reality was only just that... his reality. The future world still held the promise of friendships and a life relatively free of pain, if he would only try to find it. The teach is obviously disturbed at what her former pupil (and love interest) has done to himself, and she's actually a bit scared by the fact that he's carrying around weapons like his Berserk Sword in public. That's how we can see that the future world that Suguru was leading us through was only sucky in his own mind. Everybody else we knew was continuing with their lives and enjoying the fellowship of their friends and families without him. Suguru was only a victim of a self-imposed torture that nobody else thought he deserved. So, when Mahoro shows up and rescues him, it becomes a happier ending than even if the writers had completely copped out and didn't have her die in the first place, or had her come back to life almost immediately after saving Suguru when he was 14. Either of those endings would have just sucked. So thank you, Gainax, for telling a story right.
END OF SPOILERS.... Pansies.
Conclusion: Mahoromatic has it all. Great comedy, characters you really like, fan service, battle androids, secret societies, fan service, lots of titties, some good mysteries to be solved and well... titties. Gainax really knows how to treat their fans proper-like.
This is such bullcrap. I know I say that a lot, but this time the trash that the Rossman made me watch really got to me. Seriously, talk about unempowering women... So, this Mahoromatic girlie was the world's best fighter and alien killer. That's cool. That's good stuff. That's called "giving girls today a good role model". BUT, then they tell her, "Oh no! If you keep on fighting you won't live for much longer. Is there something else you'd rather do to use up the rest of your pretty little life?" And she's all like, "Yeah, fer sure! Make me a maid!" A fucking maid!!!
Why didn't they just make her a goddamn stripper or something. Why not turn her into a dominatrix or something in her spare time. But no, she wanted to spend the rest of her non-dying life in the service to some punk-ass bitch who's father she let die years before. Screw this. I'm gonna make the Rossman watch my Beaches Extended Edition after I sew his butt to his sofa. Let him feel a bit of what I felt sitting through this garbage. And I'll put dead cockroaches in his popcorn.
I remember when I tried to make an "automatic maid" of my own once. I got all of the proper parts: a french maid's uniform, some high heel shoes, a blow-up doll, and the robotic skeleton of one of Robot Pedro's ex-compatriots whom the Rossman pretty much blew up two years ago after he tried to stab the Rossman in the back of the neck for some reason or another.. I don't ask too many questions. I've learned that can get messy. Anyway, so I got a human brain, put it in the robot's skull, put the robot's skeleton in the blow-up doll that I got from the MegaPlayboy, and then dressed her up all pretty and dainty. Then I flipped the "on" switch. Whoooooa Nelly! Apparently the dead hooker brain merged with some of Robot Tito's remaining circuitry and turned my little maid into a sexy assassin who loved to walk up to people on street corners and say, "Hey, man! You want sucky sucky? Well, who the fuck cares, I'LL CUT YOU LIKE A FUCKIN' FISH, MAN!"
I'm just glad that the only name the police could get out of her was the name of the nimrod who originally killed her, Jimmy Jammer. And not that he purposefully did her in, mind you, but apparently when she first saw who ordered her for the night she pulled out a butterfly knife from her pink purse and sliced open her belly like they did to that shark that they mistook for Jaws in the original movie. That was a good movie.
Anyway, so they took Jimmy Jammer away for a while and he didn't even get to try out his hooker the second time, even after he paid her pimp up front for her.