Anime Original by P.A. Works
Streaming on HIDIVE
Nagomi has always dreamed of being a maid, and now she finally has a chance to work at maid cafe in Akibahara. Together with her fellow new employee, an older woman named Ranko, they discover they’re not very good at being maids… but maybe they have a talent for something else.
Jel’s verdict: Moe Moe Kaboom
From the very first scene, Akiba Maid War asks the question “what if maid cafes operated like Yakuza crime families?” Surprisingly, it sticks with this question. I spent the entire episode waiting for the reveal that all the murder and bloodshed happening on screen was fake, but it appears that is just going to be this show’s thing.
The contrast of cute, dumb maid tropes with the brutality of a hard boiled Yakuza flick makes for an impressive, visually striking presentation. I’m sure a lot of people will be buzzing about the climax of this episode, with Ranko performing a colorful, hyper violent dance of death to dispatch the maids she was sent to kill. It’s one of the most stunning action scenes I’ve seen in a bit, and that’s saying a lot since we just watched last season’s girls-with-guns anime Lycoris Recoil.
The big question is, where do we go from here? I’m going to lose interest fast if they Ranko just goes and murders a different maid cafe each week. If they’re really committing to this Yakuza bit, I’m almost certain the innocent Nagomi is going to be led down the path of corruption. That could be cool, but also easy to botch. Even if I’m not expecting too much going forward, this episode was an impressive start that has me at least wanting to give it another episode or two.
Side note: This is supposed to take place in Akihabara in 1999. As someone who actually visited Akihabara in 1999, I think this might be a few years too early for maid cafes. It might even be too early for widespread use of the term “moe”. We’re only talking two or three years difference here, but I think it’s hard for kids these days to understand how quickly the world was changing as the internet exploded back then. Regardless, I think the time period went severely underused and had almost no impact on what was happening. Give this old man more 90s jokes!