You don’t have to watch much anime to see that Japan has a thing for maid costumes. We’re at a point now where it’s almost difficult to find an anime where at least one character doesn’t dress up as a maid at least one time.
Anime "Best of" Genre List
K-On! is about girls in a music club playing in a rock band together. Maids couldn’t be any less relevant, but this still manages to happen.
But this isn’t about anime in which some characters dress up as maids some of the time. Every once in a while, you get a series that takes the obsession to its logical conclusion and the whole series is about maids.
Here’s 10 examples of exactly that.
Kaichou wa Maid-Sama!
I mean, what else could have led the list? By far the most popular and highest-quality show to heavily feature maid characters, Kaichou wa Maid-Sama is also one of the few shoujo series to use the maid angle.
Misaki Ayuzawa is actually very good at her job at the maid cafe. She has some dedicated fans and is pretty competent in terms of serving and performing. And she needs the job to pay her tuition, because her family is poor.
Problem is, she’s also the strict disciplinarian student council president at her high school, which explicitly forbids any part-time work, especially something as questionable as a maid cafe.
So when Takumi Usui drops in and recognizes her, she’s obviously a bit concerned for her reputation. But he takes the opportunity to get closer to her by promising to keep her secret.
You assume maids are going to be human, right? Well, not always. Sometimes they’re alien-fighting androids, like in Mahoromantic.
Mahoro is the titular character here, a hyper-powerful battle android who has decided to move away from the alien fighting life in an attempt to conserve what little (battery) life she has left.
She decides to move in with Suguru Misato, a messy middle school kid whose parents have passed away, and take care of him as his maid. For reasons.
Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma
If you’d ever wondered about what the cross-section of anime and a Jane Austen novel might look like, it might be this.
Emma is a maid in Victorian England who serves a wealthy family. She finds herself attracted to the family’s eldest son, William. He reciprocates her affection.
That would be fine, but 19th-century England isn’t exactly okay with nobles and servants getting married. So there is naturally some familial and societal pushback on their budding relationship.
Being as this is the only known anime that actually uses the Victorian maid outfit in a Victorian setting, you might wonder if this even counts as real anime at all. But nah, it totally does. It comes via Studio Pierrot, which also produces Naruto, Bleach, and Toyko Ghoul.
Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de
But this isn’t so much about him as it is the growing harem around him, which includes all three Kuonji sisters, their other maids, their friends, and of course his little sister.
Not everybody in the show is in a maid costume all the time, but there are certainly enough to go around.
Kore ga Watashi no Goshujinsama
This is almost exactly the same premise as the previous series, but reversed and with an extra dose of creepy.
A poor, runaway pair of teenage sisters find themselves sleeping on the street until they are given jobs and boarding in the house of Yoshitaka Nakabayashi, a 14-year old millionaire who is exactly the kind of spoiled child you would expect a 14-year-old millionaire to be.
Yoshitaka relentlessly harasses the girls with hidden cameras, humiliating tasks, and other stuff that would probably land him in jail for life in reality.
In all honesty, it’s hard to truly recommend this anime unless you’re pretty unaffected by the creepy, young-girls-as-rape-objects side of anime and you really like maid outfits. Because the maid outfits are certainly there, but…so is that other stuff.
Kamen no Maid Guy
Because maids know no gender.
Kamen no Maid Guy, or “Masked Maid Guy,” is about a huge burly dude wearing a maid uniform like a superhero.
There’s more to it, like where he’s protecting the heir to a tycoon’s fortune who will inherit it when she turns 18. But honestly, if you needed more than the image and the name “Masked Maid Guy” to know how you feel about this, you’re probably not going to get it.
Also, this is animated by MADHOUSE, of “One-Punch Man” fame. That is in no way a suggestion that these series are similar in quality. Just stating a fact.
All Tarou Hanaukyou wanted was to live with his grandfather in Tokyo. After losing his mother, living with his next-of-kin seemed like the best option for him.
The fact that his grandfather’s house is a gigantic mansion full of hundreds of maids serving him 24/7? That was unexpected… and honestly unwelcome and overwhelming, from his perspective. Believe it or not, he finds a way to cope with the situation.
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
Another show with the premise that a girl has to work at a maid cafe to pay a debt. Apparently maid cafes pay big bucks in Japan.
This one takes a more slice-of-life approach though, with mystery-loving protagonist Hotori Arashiyama having no idea how to do her job. That’s okay, because her best friend is an enthusiast who will show her the ropes, while multiple love polygons unfold.
The newsest series on the list, Shounen Maid started airing in April 2016 and is still running at the time of writing.
It focuses on a familiar concept – an orphaned child is taken in and given a place to live, in exchange for being a live-in maid.
The difference? The maid is a boy, and the person who took him in is his uncle.
Hayate the Combat Butler
Despite the “combat” part of the title, this is a fairly laid-back series, with as much focus on comedy and shounen-style harem romance as the action parts.