Reading the premise alone is enough to turn most people away, on paper, it looks like a disaster. Imagine Home Alone, and Kevin is a half-Russian, half-Japanese second-grader, whose parents are absent a lot. Replace the wet bandits with a former JASDF officer turned maid who is capable of accomplishing almost anything she sets out to. The twist here is the only thing the maid is trying to steal is the second grader’s heart, yes, the maid is a lolicon freakazoid. The young Russian girl is constantly coming up with plans to fight our muscle-maid brute’s attempts to get closer to her. This is pretty much the show, in a nutshell, it’s a home comedy with some controversial themes.
Before we get into the meat of the controversy, let us talk about these characters. The story centres around a young girl named Misha Takanashi. Her mother passed away some time ago, prior to the beginning of the main story. This affected her in many ways, she struggled to trust others, developed a bratty attitude and become a NEET who did her absolute best to scare away all the maids her father hired to help take care of her and keep the house in order while he is at work. This is where that former JASDF officer enters the fray! Tsubame Kamoi is the definition of a superwoman. Everything she does is done in a professional-like manner and she has super speed and strength. We are talking about a lady who has muscles in places where I didn’t think were possible, she also has abs that put Matron from the Seven Deadly Sins to shame. As mention before, she is a hardcore lolicon, the gist of the show is about the antics between Misha and Tsubame. These interactions lead to some of the most hilarious segments of this Fall season.
Everything about Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru! (UzaMaid) is absurd from its setting, right down to the dark humour. Now, this show can be either a hit or miss, there will be those that find it repulsive and those that enjoy the hijinks. And to be fair, its deserved, especially when you have Tsubame who literally says, and I quote, “I only like girls who haven’t begun to menstruate.” There are a few sketchy and questionable moments, but I like to point out that UzuMaid has a lot more to offer with its style of comedy as opposed to being a lolicon bait. The humour is based on absurdity, so taking it too seriously would be equivalent to taking a show like Nichijou as some grounded Slice-of-Life. This style of comedy works because of how insane, brash and disdainful it is. I think it is important to remember that you can find things that are abhorrent and hilarious simultaneously—that is what you call, black comedy. It never tries to make you accept these ‘pedo’ vibes from Tsubame’s thoughts or actions, the reason why these interactions with her and Misha are amusing and funny is that we as the audience know that it's so over-the-top, outrageous and taboo. It doesn’t condone this act at all, rather it goes out of its way to do the opposite while having fun with it.
You have other characters that point out how wrong and distasteful Tsubame’s actions really are. Someone like another former JASDF soldier with a strong fascination for her fellow comrade Tsubame. As ridiculous as her character is, she keeps Tsubame in check. Speaking about Midori, she is the one responsible for having her crush quitting the air force for her masochistic obsession. She makes up a lot of the hilarious moments when she is introduced later in the series. I don’t think anyone can roast her. You also have Misha’s friends in Mimika “Washiwashi” Washizaki, a very shy girl, kind-hearted and admires Misha. Yui Morikawa plays the one-sided rival to Misha. When you have people on the streets, questioning Tsubame’s motives and acts, you clearly see in no way does the show attempt to normalize lolicon. I don’t think that Tsubame actually likes girls in the way that most would think, rather her fantasies are based on the purity and innocence of youth, she even states that early in the show. There is an episode that sums up my defence for the show, its where Tsubame disguises herself as someone else in an online game where you can choose your own avatar that Misha plays. That is one segment you cannot miss.
UzaMaid really shines with its comedic timing and when you have that with the addition of amazingly funny visual gags, its comedy gold. Like when Tsubame unintentionally exposed her true identity to Misha in an online game, the toilet paper consumption scene, the camping scene, panty segments, the unexpected drone, etc. There are also light-hearted comedic moments with Misha having a snowball fight with her friends or the hamster scene with her classmates. There are varying levels here, but it’s not all laughs and smiles. The show knows when to step back for some breathing space and shift the mood of the show to some more serious moments without completing upsetting the tone. UzaMaid’s story has a few interesting layers to peel back and dissect. The other part of the story is more of a ‘moving forward’ type for Misha as she is slowly learning to break out of her shell after the tragic loss of her mother. And unknowing to her, one of the sources of her overcoming her grief is Tsubame herself, there is also more to her character than usual dubious ambitions. She guides Misha into taking chances with others, making new friends, being more open to her father and loving life again.
Doga Kobo’s is a match made in heaven for this type of show, they really know how to execute their best works into moe anime. Again, the visuals gags are amazing and hilarious, there is a lot of fine detail into the background art, the colour scheme is perfect and the animation is so fluid that scenes where Misha is doing something simple as brushing her hair look abnormal. There is no stiffness or sharp movements, it just looks natural. It definitely is giving Tsurune a run for its money. In terms of fanservice, the ‘best’ or ‘extreme’ that you’re going to get is Tsubame’s rock hard abs. OP and ED are fun, energetic with some fun visuals. The score is fitting for an anime like UzaMaid, they even have some Russian music in between the upbeat and relaxing tunes. These days, most castings are great so there are no complaints here, although there are those who do their roles exceptionally well. So, a shout-out is warranted to Tsubame’s voice actress in Manami Numakura who makes the character the heart of the show while Mao Ichimichi nails Midori’s masochistic persona perfectly.
While comedy is subjective, I’d like to mention something to those who condemn black comedy. When we laugh at a joke about a controversial topic, we aren't laughing at the controversial topic itself. More so we’re laughing at the joke about the bad thing. It isn't paedophilia as a concept which is funny but how over-the-top and absurd the anime presents it. The shenanigans are what makes it hilarious, not the thought of it. It would be a stretch to say that you cannot be mildly uncomfortable while watching UzaMaid but I’d be loath to let something like that ruin the show. All in all, this is one of the best comedies of 2018, filled with many moments that turns your stomach into looking like Tsubame’s.