"Hanaukyo Maid Team" Vol. 3 Kind of Messy
The newest maid anime in a long line of maid anime has reached its conclusion. But you wouldn’t know from watching it. In fact, the third and final disc of Hanaukyo Maid Team had me scrambling for information on when the next volume was coming out. Sadly, however, a fourth volume just isn’t in the cards. So, making do with what I have, on with the review.
The second volume raised some interesting questions about blue-haired sweetie Mariel’s origin, and the opening episode shows us just how “off” she is. Taro and Mariel’s first date doesn’t go well as Taro becomes increasingly frustrated with Mariel’s inability to make decisions to please herself as well as him, and when he asks her to think for herself, she breaks down. Turns out that poor Mariel is unable to make decisions for herself due to years of mental conditioning. Following this revelation, Taro’s grandfather has Mariel kidnapped.
Taro and company mount a rescue mission and here is where the series gets a little ridiculous. The maids gather up their machine guns, grenades, and all manner of heavy artillery and set out in pursuit of Mariel. It’s never quite explained why the Hanaukyo estate has such munitions (sure they have a security force, but c’mon), though perhaps it would be a bit more feasible if the Maid attack team didn’t commence their assault wearing their maid outfits. There is something so unthreatening about a cute seventeen-year-old in a maid’s outfit, even if they’re attempting to shoot you. After the team arrives at their destination, the series takes a detour into the sci-fi action genre. Konoe’s sister engages her in a super powered cybernetic suit equipped with a jetpack.
The final episode feels more like the rest of the series in terms of fun and tranquility, but does little to close the series in any real way. Mariel’s emotional “block” is touched on, but is hardly resolved. The fact that Taro’s grandfather had Mariel kidnapped as an excuse to bring her and Taro closer together is implausible, especially considering that the warring Maid “armies” were firing live ammunition at each other and (although it isn’t shown) it’s safe to assume several were killed. Taro also never seems upset by the fact that his grandpa tried to kill his friends in the first place. The last episode isn’t all bad though. It has some nice character bits, and character interactions have been this series’ strongest point from the beginning.
Animation, packaging, and sound are all as good as in previous volumes, but again, I must say that the overuse of honorifics in the English dub makes this show annoying as hell for the first few minutes of viewing, before things settle into tolerability. That wouldn’t be a problem for fans of the Japanese language, but for the dub fans it’s not good. All in all, though, Hanaukyo Maid Team Vol. 3, while the weakest of the series and a mediocre ending at best, is still watchable and enjoyable. Expect panty shots and maid fighting goodness because that’s all you’ll get.