MANGA REVIEW | "My Maid, Miss Kishi" - Volume One
Behind every powerful person is a helper capable of handling their mistakes. However, it takes someone of great patience and virtue to take care of one who is a complete and utter klutz. Kiichiro Hayase, Japan’s most powerful man, may look like a company savior, but what he owns in the business-savvy sense is what he lacks at simple people skills. It’s a good thing he’s got himself one heck of a helper, in the form of the maid Miss Kishi.
My Maid, Miss Kishi follows the daily lives of Hayase and Kishi, as he takes on the world while she cleans up after him. Despite his suave ways, Hayase can’t even walk a straight line without falling butt-first into a nearby vase. As such, Miss Kishi must do her best to make sure Hayase is as presentable as possible. But because of his guilt for making her work more for him, Hayase seeks to find the right ways to make Miss Kishi smile.
The highlight of Kano Kashiwagi’s manga is the amount of times Hayase makes a mess out of himself. Watching as a suave debonair constantly spills files, rips his clothes, and jumps headfirst into a pile of trash surprisingly doesn’t get tiresome. Having Miss Kishi work hard to make Hayase look the least likely to be a complete whoopsie-doodle adds more to the humor of it all, as a cool and composed maid forced to clean up after humorous screwups adds to the punchline.
Sadly, as storytelling goes, My Maid, Miss Kishi tends to miss the mark. It’s obvious that Kashiwagi is trying to make a pairing out of Hayase and Miss Kishi. Most times it would work, but here there doesn’t seem to be enough chemistry between the two to spark something remotely romantic. And yet, these chapters attempt to push the two together, with almost every occasion it tries somehow demonstrating that Hayase and Miss Kishi shouldn’t be a couple.
It’s when the manga breaks away from trying to be romantic when it starts to feel like an entertaining read. A night preparing party attire showcases just how awful Hayase is with putting on clothes. Miss Kishi’s daily routine is put on display while Hayase horribly hides from her, much to her enjoyment. Other people also get into Hayase messes, as his secretary Miss Matsuura sings him lullabies and forcibly grabs him from a grave cockroach threat.
When My Maid, Miss Kishi focuses on being funny, it can be a laugh-out-loud affair. But when it tries to go for the heart, it misses and instead pierces the nerve that lets you go to the bathroom freely. My advice to Kashiwagi is to keep the humor coming, and leave any element of romance aside. Otherwise, My Maid, Miss Kishi might just fall face-first into a nearby fountain, leaving the audience drenched and feeling slightly cold.
Promotional consideration provided by Tomo Tran of Kodansha Manga.