Disclaimer This Review Contains Talk of Pedophilia and Sexual Harassment I dont normally say the whole I dont have a problem with people who like this show spiel before I criticise something. I always found stuff like that condescending personally. That said given the nature of this particular show and the specific things that I want to criticise it for I will make an exception and say it. No you are not a bad person if you like UzaMaid I mean...not by default anyway. Maybe you just like this show as a dark comedy. Or maybe you just dont assign the same kind of morality to anime that you do to real life. Basically there are noncreepy ways of enjoying this series and if you do good for you. Now that thats out of the way lets talk about the actual show. 260https://i.yt.com/vi/pZhIEhJE5o/maxresdefault.jpg When I first heard of UzaMaid and read the plot synopsis Ive immediately written it off aslets just say not for me. Honestly a part of me still cant believe that I actually did sit through the whole damn thing in the end. So why the change of heart? Well you see Ive actually heard some people on various websites coming to the shows defence and voicing a belief that UzaMaid is actually just an incredibly dark comedy. And so I took some interest in it wondering if it would be possible to get something funny out of a premise so uncomfortable. I can honestly say that I approached this one willing to give it a chance. Truth be told after the first two episodes I was not exactly hating it. Was I having a good time? Not really as most of the humour made me cringe more than laugh but I could see where the appeal of lied. It seemed like the people defending this show as just a bit of dark humour were not wrong at least. And then Episode 3 happened. Something in that episode made me feel more uncomfortable than all of the pedo jokes from the first two combined. Because it was in this episode where the show started to portray the titular maid Tsubame Kamoi as a sympathetic figure. That becomes a theme running throughout the show. Every few episodes we get a moment during which we are clearly expected to be happy about her and Misha getting closer. Whether it would be Misha beginning to realise that she is missing Tsubame when she is gone Tsubame saving Misha from a bear or generally acting as an emotional support for the little girl. The intent is clear. We are supposed to view Tsubame as a not entirely negative force in Mishas life. Someone who may be kind of creepy but ultimately capable of making a positive change. Perhaps even filling the void that was left by the death of Mishas mother. And once I realised that I could no longer laugh at all. 260https://i2.wp.com/www.animefeminist.com/wpcontent/uploads/2018/10/uzamaid3.jpg?fit=9582C529ssl=1 Even if Tsubame would not go as far as to force herself onto Misha that does not make the things she does do to her any less wrong. She keeps sexually harassing this kid and thinks up multiple elaborate grooming strategies throughout the show yes stupid ones but still. Despite the shows gross halfassed attempts at arguing otherwise Tsubame is a selfish manipulative pedophile and the idea of her being an okay influence on Misha in the end is not just insane it is also disturbing. To those who want to tell me that Im taking this show too seriously Im pretty sure the show itself would disagree with you. I wont go into spoilers but the entire final episode is highly dramatic and attempts to talk about Mishas trauma caused by her mothers death seriously. And Tsubame is presented as her wise concerned friend and ally. So no I dont think the defence of this relationship not being meant to be taken seriously on any level works here. Perhaps the show itself should not have taken it seriously if that was the intent. As a result of all that whatever development the writers wanted Misha to go through becomes dead on arrival because it all ends up being directly connected to her grossly tonedeaf relationship with Tsubame. Which is a shame because Misha is actually a character I can see myself liking if she were in a better written series. In the scenes that she does not have to share with Tsubame she is pretty entertaining. Her sass and deadpan snark got a few laughs out of me when it was not being portrayed as her being tsundere for a fucking pedophile. And yeah I certainly couldnt care less about whatever sad backstory they tried to give Tsubame. Look none of that changes the fact that she is a child molester that the show tries to portray as just kind of quirky. Once again the sheer tonedeafness of that alone is enough to kill any possible investment I could have had in her automatically. 260https://cdn.jkanime.net/assets/images/animes/video/image/jkvideo23847748eee5d7ce4dbc6f462fdfbe46.jpg The other characters are a mixed bag at best. Mishas stepfather Yatsuhiro gets some moments that would probably be charming in a different show. His main struggle comes in the form of trying to act as good parent to his stepdaughter after the death of his wife and Mishas biological mother. He is in an awkward position as he has to look after and raise a kid whom he has only really known for a little bit and who does not resent him but does not seem to acknowledge him as her father either. I love the idea behind Yatsuhiros character but I just find it difficult to take this story about the difficulties of parenting seriously in a series the main premise of which is watching Yatsuhiros daughter get sexually harassed behind his back and that harassment being portrayed as endearing. 260https://pm1.narvii.com/7210/66f0123e77e3f7e0d80cbea2abce9aa8555475dar11280720v2hq.jpg 260https://manga.tokyo/wpcontent/uploads/2018/11/5bda8f9c9742a.jpg Then there is Mishas school friend Mimika Washizaki and her frienemy Yui Morikawa. Mimika is largely a nothing character without much of any personality to speak of outside of being obnoxiously cutesy. Yui is the better of the two but still not great. She is a fairly typical tsundere being aggressive and bratty but having a sweet side. Her primary gag is her frequent challenging of Misha to different sorts of contests due to her jealousy of how her peers seem to view Misha as cuter than her. Remember how Riko from Dragon Maid was when she was first introduced? Well Yui is basically that but for the entire show. Is it funny at least? Sometimes. Because of how onenote her comedy is it grows old rather quickly but I wont deny that her ridiculous levels of arrogance and pettiness can be occasionally endearing. Especially in contrast with her sweeter side whenever it shines through. 260https://pbs.tw.com/media/DuxFQzV4AAY3mb.jpg There is one character in UzaMaid whom I can honestly say I found consistently enjoyable and that is Midori Ukai. A past acquaintance of Tsubame who has been obsessively in love with her ever since. A lot of the comedy she provides is similar to that of KonoSubas Darkness as she is a raging masochist who gets off on just about any form of physical as well as emotional abuse you can think off. Her overthetop perviness does make for plenty of laughs. Outside of that she also gets a few moments of being a pleasant and helpful person during some of her interactions with Misha and Tsubame. An allaround fun and charming bright spot in a show that is otherwise largely devoid of either fun or charm. 260https://i.pin.com/originals/bf/d5/0b/bfd50b9ab4b5909d7c8560459129f606.jpg I will give the show credit that it is quite well made. The animation is very fluid and filled with energy and the art style is nice albeit nothing too remarkable. The music is catchy. Especially the shows ED which I found surprisingly hard to skip. The voice acting is also solid across the board with Haruka Shiraishi Manami Numakura Mao Ichimichi Shiori Izawa and Masayuki Katou all capturing their characters very well. So did Sayaka Harada the voice of Mimika though she was sadly not given much to work with. Still no amount of technical competence or voice acting talkent can save a story as poorly conceived as this. If UzaMaid wanted to be a weird creepy comedy fine. But the moment it tried to be more than that it crashed and burned as it did so in just about the worst way it possibly could have. As I said at the beginning of this review if you are not bothered by the stuff that I was bothered by and you can just see UzaMaid as a bit of ridiculous fun thats great. The intent behind this review is not to guilttrip anyone. Still for me it was a chore. I have watched UzaMaid in 2020 and while not the worst anime Ive seen that year it may have been the one I was the happiest to be done with. And one that made me hate my annoying inability to drop shows once I started them the most.
30 /100
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