We begin in Akihabara 1985, with a Mercedes Großer pulling up to a cafe. A maid gets out, opens the back door and a second, older maid gets out. A third maid approaches this older maid, and after a moment or two of acting nervous, she pulls out a gun and empties a clip into the older maid before fleeing. The older maid’s kohai shoots a look that promises vengeance.
Fourteen years later, in 1999, Wahira Nagomi has arrived in Akiba and is excited to start living her lifelong dream of being a cute café maid. When she arrives at the Oinky Doink Cafe just before opening, she’s initially greeted cheerfully like a customer, but when Yumechi learns she’s the new girl, the act drops immediately. No matter; Nagomi is just happy to be here.
Turns out she’s one of two new girls, the other being Mannen Ranko, who at 35 years old is clearly the maid with revenge in her eyes in the flashback. She and Nagomi join a team composed of the affable Tenchou, the two-faced Yumechi, and the ganguro Shiipon. There’s also a panda, despite the maid being pig-themed.
The rookies don’t get off to the strongest start. Ranko has all the lines and moves down, but delivers them in an uninspiring deadpan. Nagomi goes too far in the other direction, her ultra-enthusiasm and wordplay only overwhelming one of her masters. She’s also on the clumsy side, squirting omurice ketchup and drinks all over the place.
After closing, a suspicious-looking man arrives who treats Tenchou like someone who owes his bosses a lot of cash (which she does). As a compromise, Tenchou asks Nagomi to go on a little errand to a maid cafe owned by their parent company’s competitor. When Ranko offers to accompany her, I immediately felt better.
That opening scene in 1985 was ever in the back of my mind as the standard maid café stuff unfolded throughout the day, and I knew that Nagomi at least was totally unaware of the other side of Akiba café maiding. Ranko, on the other hand, knows the score. After ramen on Tenchou’s dime, Ranko gets a “doggy bag” and then leads the way to the space bunny-themed Wuv-Wuv Moonbeam.
After gaining access, they walk in on what is either an initiation of a new employee or a punishment for poor service: a girl being forced to cut off one of her pigtails. Their leader approaches Nagomi, immediately intimidating her. Nagomi presents her with the letter, which the lead bunny maid reads, then asks another maid to read it out loud. It’s an insult and a provocation.
After Nagomi gets smacked and slapped around a little, Ranko shoots through the paper bag from the ramen shop, putting a bullet right in the middle of the lead maid’s forehead. One, two, three blood fountains spurt out, landing conveniently on the paper apron a shocked Nagomi forgot to remove. From here…things get a little nutso.
The Wuv-Wuv maids, who suddenly number in the dozens are all mowed down and oblierated in a bloody ballet out in the streets of Akiba. The comically over-the-top bloodshed takes place while Yumechi is performing a J-pop concert for some rapt masters.
As someone who has never witnessed such violence, never mind committed it herself, Nogami is understandably no longer enthusiastic about being a maid in Akiba, and would just like to go home now if that’s all right, thanks!
When she and Ranko return to the Oinky-Doink, Tenchou, Shiioin and Yumechi are amazed they’re still in one piece (Tenchou was already writing up want ads for new maids right after they left). Nagomi probably wants to scream after the horrifying sights she witnessed, but remains eerily calm and neutral, no doubt still numb from the experience.
In the room that’s been set up for her new live-in job, Nogami changes and then quickly packs up to get out of here while she’s still breathing, but that’s when she gets another surprise: Ranko is not only her new co-worker, but her roommate as well. She can’t go home. She already is home.
Will Nogami be able to maintain her sanity and innocence in this kooky scenario, or will her mature senpai train her to become as deadly as she is cute? I have no idea, but I can’t help but salute this show’s audacity and commitment to its bit, and will definitely keep watching to see where this goes!