Akiba Maid War

Akiba Maid War

Akiba Maid War anime series cover art
Akiba Maid War

Welcome to the Pigsty

Akiba Maid War (Akiba Meido Sensou / アキバ冥途戦争) is an original anime about rival maid cafes in 1980s/90s Akihabara. And by rival maid cafes, I effectively mean rival gangs. The world of Akiba maids is a brutal one full of revenge, extortion, and assassination.

Now, if you don’t know Japanese, you’ll have missed the wordplay in the title of the series. The word maid (meido) is written using the katana メイド. However, in the title, “meido” is written with the kanji 冥途 (めいど), and means underworld.

So, really, the title of this anime is Akiba Underworld War. But it sounds the same as Akiba Maid War when spoken. Unfortunately, there’s no good way to translate that wordplay into an English title. And since I went into this series completely blind, I had no idea what it was actually going to be about.

Shiipon and Yumechi from the anime series Akiba Maid War
Shiipon and Yumechi

MyAnimeList puts Akiba Maid War in the action and comedy genres. There’s definitely both action and comedy in this series, so that makes sense. But, interestingly, it’s not considered a drama anime. I’d actually say Akiba Maid War is more of a drama than anything else. Rather than an action/comedy anime, it’s a drama anime with action and comedy in it.

The series follows Nagomi Wahira, a girl who has always wanted to be a maid in Akihabara. But, Nagomi didn’t know the reality of life as a maid until her first day on the job at the Ton Tokoton maid cafe.

Now, Nagomi fights to eliminate the violence that permeates maid culture. She wants the maid cafes of Akihabara to be places where all masters (and maids) can have fun. But, is this dream even possible? Can she convince the other maids to put down their weapons and pick up their omurice?

The Piglets of Ton Tokoton

Nagomi Wahira has a very idealistic view of what maids should be. She doesn’t believe violence is something a maid should engage in. Violence doesn’t make masters happy. It only hurts them when their favorite maids are injured or killed.

Yumechi is the top maid at Ton Tokoton. She’s the maid who brings in the most customers with her cuteness and experience. In a lot of ways, she’s the kind of maid Nagomi wants to be. But, Yumechi also has no problem resorting to violence when necessary.

Shiipon is the gyaru maid of Ton Tokoton. Both she and Yumechi have been working there for a while. But, Shiipon doesn’t have Yumechi’s work ethic. She’s lazy and usually doesn’t see the point in risking her life for a failing cafe. But, she’s not one to go down without a fight.

Zoya, Shiipon, Yumechi, Nagomi, and Ranko from the anime series Akiba Maid War
Zoya, Shiipon, Yumechi, Nagomi, and Ranko

Ranko Mannen joined Ton Tokoton at the same time as Nagomi. But, these two couldn’t be more dissimilar. While Nagomi is about 20, Ranko is about 40. And Ranko understands the reality of being a maid in Akihabara. She’ll kill as many rival maids as she needs to in order to protect Ton Tokoton.

Zoya is a maid from Russia who joins Ton Tokoton partway through the season. What I like about her is that she’s actually voiced by a Russian VA, Jenya Davidyuk. I’m so used to hearing Japanese VAs who know some English playing American characters. It’s nice to see someone cast for a role who’s actually from where their character’s from.

Finally, there’s Yasuko Yaegashi, the owner and manager of Ton Tokoton. It’s fair to say that most of Ton Tokoton’s troubles stem from Yasuko’s management. On top of that, she’s usually the first to surrender or flee from a fight.

To Live and Die as a Maid

Something nice about Akiba Maid War is that the series isn’t afraid to kill off characters. Of course, not every anime needs to — or should — kill off characters. But, this is one series that really benefits from being able to do that.

And when I say that it’s not afraid to kill off characters, I mean important characters. There’s no shortage of unnamed maids getting killed throughout this series. But, those deaths don’t matter.

For the rest of this section, I’ll be covering spoilers. If you don’t want to be spoiled, skip to the conclusion.

So, the first important death of the series is Nerula’s. Nerula is a maid who works at a rival, alien-themed cafe. But, despite this, she and Nagomi become friends since they’re both new to the Akiba maid scene.

Ranko and Nagomi from the anime series Akiba Maid War
Ranko and Nagomi

Before Nerula’s death, Nagomi already knew that the world of maids was a dangerous one. That’s why she wanted to change it. But, Nerula’s death is when Nagomi realized there were those in Akiba who would kill to keep the status quo. She’s not only fighting against the culture. She’s fighting against the system.

At the end of the series, Ranko also dies. A maid who managed to survive Ranko massacring her cafe earlier in the series stabs her. And it’s Ranko’s death that finally gives Nagomi the push she needs to change the culture of Akiba once and for all.

I also liked Ranko’s death because it wasn’t glamorized. There wasn’t any lead-up to it. She and Nagomi were out looking at stalls on the street when Ranko got stabbed from behind. Then, she bleeds out on the pavement. It may have been an anticlimactic death, but that’s what makes it more grounded in reality.

Conclusion

Akiba Maid War is a 7/10. It’s a good, solid anime that tells its entire story in 12 episodes. There’s not going to be a sequel. And, in a lot of ways, that’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s nice to know that a series has a definitive conclusion.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on your social media of choice — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting this blog at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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