「メイドの拳、膵臓の価値は」 (Meido no Kobushi, Suizou no Kachi wa)
“The Worth of a Maid’s Fist and Pancreas!”

Episode 03 of Akiba Maid Sensou takes the fight straight to the ring as Ranko is enlisted to throw a boxing match in exchange for sweets money. But as with most other plans that involve killing Ton Tokoton’s maids to pay off their debt, Ranko’s reflexes and can-do attitude won’t let her be snuffed out by such transparent ploys.


There are plenty of weird metaphors that don’t quite make sense in this show. The pigtail replacing finger digits in Episode 01 is simple enough. But then, Episode 02 tried to make the consequences of going into the Octopus Room shift from the obvious link to human trafficking to crab fishing. And in this episode, there’s an anime figure company whose scam figurines are supposed to be their way of saying that they do contraband or money laundering.

It feels more like a parody by the way of Bugsy Malone where the main focus is that any criminal activity needs to be rewritten to know for sure that the characters in the story aren’t actually doing anything terrible. Yes, bodies drop and people are shot dead. Yes, we’re betting our organs on boxing matches. But we’re not dealing with pushers and loan sharks; we’re dealing with otaku and anime figure companies!

The maid cafe industry is already sordid enough to warrant the same unsettling realities that come from other facets of entertainment that could potentially be an accessory to organized crime. We’re watching loan sharks and scammers murder each other. However, we’re still under the illusion that running a maid cafe in the real world is an innocent business venture full of perky faces and no internal politics that could possibly be tainted by scammers or criminal activity. Or since the maids in this show are the mafia, there’s no way an actual mafia could exist even though Ton Tokoton has to be indebted to SOMEONE. Otaku are supposed to be our stand-ins for loan sharks, but what gives a stereotypical otaku enough power to be able to come around with a pistol and hassle the Manager for unpaid debt? What does unpaid debt even look like in a world where you’re just being hassled by overzealous geeks pretending to be gangsters?

Cygames is in the mobage business, is all too familiar with adjusting pull rates, and has Uma Musume under their belts. They’d know a thing or two about having some scary clients. It feels a bit calculated that some details are given a cutesier sheen than others. Will facets like outright murder or throwing boxing fights be too cinematic to be seen in the same light as money laundering or counterfeiting? What makes fixing boxing fights or a casino that traffics women easier crimes to toy with? It feels a bit similar to Chainsaw Man removing Denji’s line about unions and PTO as a way to sanitize lines that could have easily mocked the production company’s practices. I know it sounds like a bigger accusation than it really is, but it feels like the metaphor of what the anime figure company represents hits far too close to home for Cygames to make it obvious to the viewer.


On a lighter note, it is neat that they managed to bring out a new character to the Ton Tokoton cafe in the form of Zoya. She has a similar background to Ranko but has her own motivations for being inspired by foreign television to venture out of Russia to become a maid. It was nice that they didn’t try to kill her off with so much of the episode focusing on having Ranko face an unfortunate “accident” in the ring to clear their debt.

I’m surprised that Zoya’s method of trying to murder Ranko in the ring just came from doing a ton of illegal moves and not from some of the more obvious ways to “accidentally” kill someone in the ring. Loaded boxing gloves, for instance. Or cutting the padding from the gloves. Doing obviously illegal moves in boxing has the “crab fishing” levels of sanitizing the act itself, but comes off more like there wasn’t as much research put into this.

Getting kicked or getting your eyes poked isn’t going to have the same effect as getting punched in the back of the neck with a glove stripped of its padding. If fraudsters and killers have tampered with enough boxing gloves in the real world for me to find articles on the practice, it doesn’t make sense for them to lean into Zoya just being Ivan Drago and having the strength to murder someone if she just hits them enough.

But I digress, I did appreciate what Zoya brings to the table as a character. Her backstory was really nice and it’s easy to sympathize with her when she faces the same adversity that Ranko has as an unconventional maid who wants to be seen as cute. But whereas she has a complex about being told she isn’t as cute as her co-workers, Ranko’s confidence and lack of self-awareness make for a funny situation where Zoya is shocked that someone as intimidating and bulky as she is has such a positive self-image as a maid. It was also heart-warming to see that there wasn’t any love lost between the two as they truly respected each other and found each other to be cute enough to make it big in the maid industry. It’ll be much nicer to see how Zoya operates now that she’s working for Ton Tokoton.


  1. Maid Cafe IRL is an innocent business?! What are you smoking? I want some. I thought a good portion of Maid Cafes IRL are run by Yakuza? Also, Maid Cafe’s business thrives on peeps needing to be pampered. So if all the self entitled people stopped being entitled Maid Cafe’s will see profits drop.

    This episode I love and at the same time it’s realistic in the sense that the girls working at a Maid Cafe need to learn some self defense. I Don’t want to see guests touching the merchandise inappropriately.

    I also feel sorry for Tenchou, she’s trying to dig the cafe out of debt but Ranko’s integrity keeps getting in her way.

    And when will Nagomi take action and not sit at the sidelines like some supporting character?

    1. I wanted to lead into the maid cafe ethics when I questioned why trafficking is depicted as if it has nothing to do with how many maids in maid cafes are brought in to begin with.

      The “we’re still under the illusion” line is the assumption the show gives that the cutesy aesthetic of a maid cafe is out of place in the criminal underground, as if it wasn’t already linked to organized crime.

      Many maid cafes are acquired as assets to fund organized crime, and many many more either traffic and/or prey on foreigners who get roped into said entertainment businesses in an attempt to migrate.

      I gave the show the benefit of the doubt last week, but the casino episode is probably the worst culprit of sanitizing maid cafes because the crab fishing deal only takes trapped girls and traps them in another equally exploitative job.

      In the real world, one such “Octopus Room” would be working for long hours and little pay at a shady maid cafe. Something also tells me that many of the Russian maids in Japan don’t have the same inspirational immigration story as Zoya.

        1. Nah, I’m just testing the waters on exactly how much restraint the show has. Or exactly what difference there is between the crimes that are parodied and the crimes that are depicted in all of their bloody glory.

          Why some crimes are given sillier treatment than others is interesting to me because it comes off as more of a calculated decision not to be self-incriminating for any white-collar crime instead of an effort to imagine how maids would operate as mobsters.

  2. So given the CyGames involvement, can we assume a mobile game after the end of the series? Maybe you become the manager of one of the clubs and have to moe moe kyun and fight your way to the top? In which case some of the “sanitizing” might make more sense – don’t want to make the player feel bad about playing.

    1. They’ll have to dance around quite a bit. Having street battles like Blue Archive would make sense, but it’d feel weird to have a gacha system and a girl collecting mechanic in a game based on a show where gambling is rigged and the maids are treated like expendable commodities.

      Not to mention any Yakuza 0 property management minigames would feel weird based on the kinds of schemes the Manager has to pull to kill maids for their resources.


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