Animation: Fair
Depth: Fair
Design: Fair
Characters: Weak
Story: Fair

Type: TV   (25 episodes)

Vintage: 2002

Category:

» comedy
» drama
» robot girl
Verdict: okay
Review:

Mahoromatic


Summary: >

In the early 80's an aliens appeared, bent on destroying humanity. A secret organization called Vesper was formed to repel alien organization Saint. It was a losing battle until the creation of the Type V-1046 R android, more commonly referred to as Mahoro. Aside from super human abilities, Mahoro is indistinguishable from a regular person. Her lifespan is limited and her expiration date is getting closer. Mahoro is allowed to retire to live out her short remaining lifespan. Through the years, she became attached to the idea of maids when watching movies. Having spent her life in service and needing a away to stay occupied, she decides to become one.

Suguru is a teenage boy who's lived on his own for years, but his house is turning into a bio hazard site. He decides to hire a maid to help clean. He expected an older woman, but to his surprise, the super cute Mahoro is applying for the job.

Mahoro hasn't revealed her remaining time is short, although she has a secret bigger than that. Years ago she was responsible for the death of his father. Can she atone for his death and will Suguru forgive her if he finds out?


Thoughts: >

Mahoromatic comes on the heels of a surge of (unimpressive) robot girl anime. Unlike the others, Mahoromatic has a robot girl formula that works, even if the whole maid thing is pretty tired (less so when this was first released). The plot about the secret war with aliens has its darker moments, but most of the anime keeps a lighter tone, and the alien agents are kept around as plot devices.

The characters are okay, but weak. Suguru is typical for a teenage boy, who plays off of the overly idealistic Mahoro quite well. There's a generic group of girls and boys, that provide a group environment and nothing else. Then there's the busty teacher who is a prop for the continuous stream of boob jokes, and innuendos. Aside from that the comedy offers some slapstick, but there isn't much variety. I found it amusing enough, but I know many of us are getting very tired of boob jokes.

The second season Something More Beautiful (12 episodes) concludes the series, but not in a way most would want. It's more Mahoromatic, but the antics start feeling tired. The big problem for me was the new character Minawa.

Minawa doesn't DO anything. She's clumsy and falls over a lot, then says "sorry". That's it. She's the focus in the first half of SMB and completely dull. I liked two of the lighter stories, but SMB is short on the fun factor, unless by fun you're referring to fan service in overdrive. Then the last part goes into more serious alien invasion stuff.

The first season focused on the alien organization called Saint, but they're marginalized in the second. Instead we're supposed to forget about them and concentrate on the new evil: "The Management" (appropriate name for an evil organization I admit). The story moves towards something, but goes off the rails in the last episode, like being knocked unconscious and then waking up wondering how you got there. The finally takes place 20 years later and clashes heavily with.. everything. For an upbeat anime, this darker conclusion didn't sit well with me.

[+] The Ending... (major spoiler)

After Mahoro stops functioning, Suguru moves and never returns to Japan. Instead he wanders looking for renegade Management androids. He's also got a bounty on his head. Mahoro isn't left dead, as she returns to the disenchanted Suguru. I honestly wonder about studio Gainax and their weird endings. Like they were supposed to be writing the last episode of Mahoromatic, but instead spent the night smoking pot and watching Blade Runner.

Aside from that there's the Summer Special, which is a one off episode that takes place in the middle of season 2 (before it gets serious). It details the war between Mahoro searching out Suguru's porn magazine collection - a fun topic well suited to this series.

I liked Mahoromatic but didn't love it. It's fun, but very gimmicky and nothing about it stands out as especially strong in an industry which does all this over and over. I'm hesitant to recommend an anime so average with the kind of ending this one has, but it's still a fair watch.


Quote: >

Mahoro: I am virtuous, pure and benevolent. I have a perfect heart. Without suffering from predicaments, I know the correct answer to everything. We are machines after all..


Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 2004