I like to think that I’m pretty open-minded about most anime, but there are certain archetypes that dispel any possible interest I might take. One of these is the maid stereotype. Japan has this odd fascination with maids, as evidenced in their abundant maid cafes and in most anime harems where the shows make up any excuse they can to stuff their female characters (and sometimes male) into maid costumes. And when I say maid, it’s definitely not your modern janitor type of clothes, but the classic, Victorian-era, British maid look.
Maids and butlers–it’s all about service, right? Exemplary service is expected to both household and its occupants. This means the utmost hospitality, graciousness, grace, manners, and the awareness to make one’s self invisible unless called for. Nothing is more unbecoming than a servant who does not know his/her place (think of Umineko’s servant Kanon and his notion of “furniture”). In the case of most anime’s depiction of maids, another term comes to mind: MOE. They are objects of appreciation who do all they can to please the master(s). Since we’re considering the show Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, let’s narrow the focus down to specifically cafe maids:
- Super unrealistic anime-like voices
- Some skirts may be ridiculously shorter than advised for the practical purposes of a maid
- Some dresses may be ridiculously more flamboyant than advised for the practical purposes of a maid
- Additional skills of dancing and singing?
- Pandering to the desires of the customer, be that spoon feeding or paying special attention to him or her (omelets with requested messages, anyone?) with bidded appeals of “-sama, -niisan, etc.”
While I don’t really find the above attractive in an anime since I see it all the time, I wouldn’t mind trying it out in real life once or twice for the experience and fun. Taking the cafe in SoreMachi into light, we get the FAILED EXPECTATIONS of the customer. All those above bullet points are nowhere to be found. It isn’t so much a show about maids, but about everything anti-maid.