OP Sequence

OP: 「Be Starters!」 by 喜多村英梨 (Kitamura Eri)
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

「エンド・オブ・アース」 (Endo obu Aasu)
“End of Earth”

When it comes to romantic comedies that tend to revolve around one, maybe two, gimmicky plot devices, the animation quality, character designs, and character personalities go a long way toward the overall appeal. In Mayo Chiki’s case, studio feel — the masterminds behind the risqué kiss x sis and Yosuga no Sora adaptations — covered those bases really well with character designs that look better than the manga its based on, and a cast of seiyuu that bring out the best of the character nuances. The former helps with the visual presentation of the latter, and I just love it when an anime looks just as good as it sounds. (I really like those glass marble-like eyes too.)

I kid you not when I say I will watch this series simply for Konoe Subaru (Iguchi Yuka), the main heroine and butler of the school chairman’s daughter/closet sadist, Suzutsuki Kanade (Kitamura Eri). I was pretty sold on Subaru’s character from the early parts of the manga, but when I heard Yuka voice her with a rarely heard, deeper voice in the promo videos, this anime instantly became a must-watch for me. After all, this is the same Iguchi Yuka who plays Index from To Aru Majutsu no Index, using a somewhat whiny and obnoxious voice that I’ve come to associate with her roles. Sometimes it’s very befitting, like in the case of Hoshimiya Yashiro from Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko last season; however, she rarely breaks away of that typecast. The last time I recall her doing so was as the soft-spoken Mizuno Kaede in Nyan Koi, a series whose second season is long overdue now. With Subaru, it’s a whole new Yuka that I’ve never heard before, and has me feeling that she should get more tomboy roles in the future. That poncy “I’m going to beat amnesia into you” attitude is unbelievably refreshing coming from her, and contrasts amazingly well with Subaru’s girlish side that’s been forcibly suppressed.

Like with most show of this genre, I don’t really care how this adaptation ends, as I’m totally in it for seeing (and hearing) Subaru in a bunch of awkward and downright scandalous situations. However, there is a semi-resemblance of a plot that sets up all these situations, much like I outlined in the Summer 2011 Preview. The short version of it is that Subaru comes from a branch family whose sons have always served the Suzutsukis, and decided at a very early age to carry on that tradition since she’s an only child. To that end, Kanade’s father decides to test her resolve and see if she can exude the dignity and image of Konoe butler by keeping her gender a secret all through high school. She’s been successful thus far, with all the other female student gawking over her as the hottest pretty boy in the entire school, until our typical victimized male protagonist, Sakamachi Kinjirou (Hino Satoshi), catches sight of her animal-print panties and discovers her true gender, which he gets a first-hand confirmation of.

In a lot of ways, the premise is strikingly similar to the cross-dressing competition going on in Maria Holic, where we also have a victimized main character who has uncontrollable nosebleeds and can’t handle the opposite sex for health-related reasons. Kinjirou, or Jirou for short, suffers from gynophobia (a fear of girls), having served as a punching bag for his inhumanly strong, pro wrestling-loving mother and younger sister Kureha (Hanazawa Kana), who takes after her. (Kudos to the Bret Hart shout out with the Sharpshooter.) The difference is, Jirou hasn’t given up on the opposite sex despite what others may believe, and is now threatened into trying to overcome his condition with Subaru. In that regard, Mayo Chiki is closer to MM’s premise, except the person taking enjoyment in Jirou and Subaru’s struggles is a third party. The end result is something that takes arguably the best parts of those two series and spins them in a slightly different way, which I’m really enjoying with Kitamura Eri voicing the seductively dangerous and kinky Kanade. Eri also happens to sing the “Be Starters!” opening theme too — another welcome addition.

Admittedly, I was pretty set on blogging this series after seeing some of the promo material, but had to let it go wayside because of all the other shows airing on Thursday. After watching this first episode, I may just have to force myself to make the time for it. I really like what I see so far, even though this episode in particular wasn’t overly funny, having spent a fair amount of time on lengthy explanations to establish the plot. What I’m interested in is where things are headed hereon in. That, and how Satoshi Hino isn’t paired up with Kugimiya Rie for a change and is much more livid with his outbursts than I remember. Add in two classmates with great seiyuu, Narumi Nakuru (Asumi Kana, Miya in Amagami SS) and Usami Masamune (Ise Mariya, Stocking in PSG), and it should be nothing but good lighthearted entertainment and Subaru cuteness all around. Judging from director Kawaguchi Keiichirou’s work in Hayate no Gotoku (season one) and the aforementioned Nyan Koi (i.e. more butlers and romantic comedies), and screenwriter Yoshida Reiko’s work in K-ON, I can’t help but feel a little optimistic.

* For those wondering, the title of this series comes from combining “Mayoeru” and “Chicken” (spelled “chikin” in Japanese), which are in reference to Subaru’s uncertainty as a butler and Jirou’s nickname that he has a severe complex about. Sakamachi Kinjirou.
* In case you didn’t catch them in the post itself, I put together full-length screen captures for images 06, 13, 17, 22, 24, 25, and 29.


ED Sequence

ED: 「君にご奉仕」 (Kimi ni Gohoushi) by 井口裕香, 喜多村英梨, 伊瀬茉莉也 (Iguchi Yuka, Kitamura Eri, Ise Mariya)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼



  1. Just a little heads up, the manga is based off a light novel. Other than that, I think this show probably suprised me the most with the quality of the animation and the character design.

  2. Definitely like what I’ve seen so far >:)
    lovely post Divine.

    P.S. I whole heartedly agree with this “I kid you not when I say I will watch this series simply for Konoe Subaru (Iguchi Yuka)”

    1. Never. Impossible. Hayate is not human in every way. I mean he can get away with only 1 hour of sleep (although he is starting to slack off and got one more hour lately) and still kick ass and conquer the day. Subaru… close enough but she’s still human enough.

    2. Indeed. Konoe is moe as hell and hits ALL the right spots for me, but Hayate is just a force of nature. Konoe and Hayate can both cross dress really well, but Hayate can get both girls AND boys to fall for him regardless of what gender he’s dressed as. He is beyond humanity!!

      1. Although I think all the girls are gonna be in Subaru’s “harem”, not Jirou’s, based on the OP. That’s an interesting twist, and hopefully it doesn’t mean that every girl BESIDES Subaru will hate Jirou, cause that would get old. Fast.

    1. And that’s where the similarities end.

      Ryuji was way less pathetic than Jirou. While he does get beaten up by Taiga time to time, but that’s mainly because Taiga is hardcore as well as him letting Taiga get away with it, since it’s shown Ryuji is able to outmuscle Taiga if he wanted to.

      Jirou OTOH is simply your typical pathetic harem lead. Even Touma is so much cooler for first impression due to his haxx0r Imagine Breaker.

      Kinny Riddle
    2. @Kinny Riddle

      I don’t think comparing Jirou to Touma or Ryuji would be accurate ^^;

      A character that has a harden body and an aversion to girls? Go with either Takanashi (working) or Tarou (MM!).

      Well, they’re ‘sort of’ avoiding contact with girls ^^;

    3. Carbon Copy of Yuuto Ayase from Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, he was also abused (not to this degree) by her sister and her sister friend. He has an aversion to girls like Yukinari Sasaki from Girls Bravo (blue haired too).

      If I have one problem here is the blunt design of the guy. Most romantic comedy/harem leads are dull looking spiky haired losers with bangs.

      Let us watch this!

      Lectro Volpi
  3. While we’re talking of VAs doing uncommon voices (and Yuka Iguchi does a very good Subaru, boy and girl), I don’t hear Kana Hanazawa doing that strong and outgoing of a voice much. I’ve usually heard her do airheaded types (Mayuri of S;G) or the quiet/shy girls (Tenshi of Angel Beats). Last time I heard her use this voice, it was as Mikan Yuuki in To Love Ru.

    I’m enjoying this show, mostly because of the reverse trap, but it seems to be rather funny and well executed…at least so far.

  4. @Divine

    I don’t really associate Iguchi Yuka with “whiny and obnoxious”, though she does have that for characters like Yashiro and her role in [Mayoi Neko]. But I tend to think of her first as more “girly and sweet” like Kaede and Index (yes, Index can be sweet too)- In other words, I think of her has having a moe voice.

    In any case, she does have a wide range of voice from Arrogant -> Cute -> Evil (Hattori Yuuko) -> deadpan (Index pen mode) and now that deep voice.

    1. @Divine
      Well I guess this is the case of “to each his own” I guess ^^;

      To me her ‘cute’ voice is more memorable and what I would expect from the character she plays, while her ‘arrogant’ voice is secondary.

  5. Mental note: If you make a series cliche and formulaic, you need to make it fun to watch at least. And this first episode did it well. Kanade is hilarious to watch, and Jirou while generic, has pretty hilarious chemistry with Subaru. Overall entertaining, hopefully it will stay that way.

  6. I wonder when the first “boy falls on top of half naked girl and palms her breast” scene came out. First one I saw was Evangelion, but it seems so ubiquitous now.

  7. The odd pairing looks fun. I’ll stick with this simply because of that and the sister.

    Poor Sakamachi, hes gonna be called Chicken-kun for the rest of the show(I seriously hope not).

  8. It was actually an enjoyable and entertaining episode, though I usually hate these types of shows. The art is very very nice as is the interactions between the characters.

    But what the hell is wrong with that orange-skinned character?? She’s piled on the fake tan so it seems.

  9. I’ll take it as my guilty pleasure for the season! The animation quality and seiyuu cast can pretty much override whatever silly nonsense it turns out to be. Man, its rare that seiyuu alone will sell me on a show, but Kana Hanazawa in a headstrong role was just the icing on the cake of a few others I really enjoy.

  10. Damn didn’t realize Konoe Subaru was voice by (Iguchi Yuka) who voice index, they just sound nothing alike. This is why I love japanese VA in anime, games, and movies, they can do so many roles and be totally different in surprising its viewers unlike all these mininum wage 5 dollar VA that we get in english. English VA are like a teacher hand a book to a student and told them here just read line 5-10 and we done, no feeling no training is like they just walk to a street croner and grab anyone they see and offer them a job to say a feel lines.

    1. I wish for it, too. But it’s all right, since I’ll get the nc op and ed when the BD comes out. At least we still get the full-length images. Haven’t seen it in a while.

  11. @Divine: You typed the OP title as “Go Starters!” in the text body. Is this some kind of reference I’m not getting or is it just a typo?

    Im watching this show for my daily dose of Kana.
    Is there some other character where Iguchi Yuka uses her deep voice?

  12. Wasn’t expecting too much out of it other than some pretty artwork. For a first episode though, I found it entertaining enough, even if it’s generic seinen storyline with a concept so ridiculous that you aren’t surprised by what it throws at you.

  13. Looks like a promising show for me. I wonder when we will see Subaru wears girl uniform like the OP show us.

    PS. Ah, How I missed Hino Satoshi as main character. (I didn’t watch Bakuman)

  14. If that Sakamachi is trying to over come his fear of women with Subaru, won’t the others think that he is dating a guy instead of a girl and likes guys after all instead of females? After all, everyone seems to think Subaru is a male.

  15. This show gives me Nyan Koi vibes with those sheep heads flying around between different scenes and Iguchi Yuka in a Non-Loli voice. Am I the only one?
    I am actually surprised that they didn’t pick Shintaro Asanuma for the role of Kinjirou.


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