Sat 31 Mar 2012
The much anticipated Shounen Maid Kuro-kun came out a few months ago, and recently I had a chance finally to watch it. Natural High has always been one of my favorite anime studios. Similar to Kyoto Animation’s key trilogy of Air, Kanon, and Clannad, Natural High is famous for its own trilogy of Boku no Pico, Pico to Chico, and Pico x CoCo x Chico (my favorite one). I was eager to see what the studio could produce outside of its iconic trilogy. Takayama Katsuhiko (Ga-Rei: Zero, Mirai Nikki, and ef: a Tale of Memories) returns to write the script in this epic 30 minute OVA.
When the episode starts with a message from the fansubbing group actively condoning what you’re about to see, you know you are in for a good time. Kazamiya Kuro is a young boy who has his father’s massive debt thrust upon him — at this point in the episode I paused and made sure I did not accidentally start an episode of Hayate no Gotoku. Anyhow, Kuro is escorted in a huge mansion and we’re introduced to the master of the house: Akuryuuin Miisu. Miisu informs Kuro that his father has sold him off in repayment for his debt. Miisu then produces a contract that says that he can do whatever he wants with Kuro. I assume that such contracts are absolutely legal in Japan.
Throughout the show, Kuro is resistant to dressing as a girl and the sexual advances Miisu makes. I have to say that the light slapstick humor is rather entertaining. I could, however, do without the bullshit flashbacks Kuro has on how SAD HIS LIFE WAS BEFORE. Now he’s living in a mansion with a sugar daddy and all he has to do is dress as a girl and get raeped once in a while? Pssshhh, he doesn’t know how good he has it.
I do like how Kuro doesn’t just mindlessly become a sex slave. Many lesser “OVAs” would eschew this narrative for cramming more sex scenes into the short time, but Shounen Maid Kuro-kun takes some time to briefly explore their characters. Like Castle in the Sky, the story is simple, but touches us as a society on every level. There’s a specific scene where Kuro reminisces about his childhood and how no one wanted to care for him, while Miisu reminds Kuro that he, like everyone, is truly special to someone. The complex and intricate relationship between Miisu and Kuro transcends master and slave, rather they are portrayed as heroes with their own agendas. Their deep and profound dialogue during that scene evoked memories of the comflict between Yang and Reinhard from Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
Shounen Maid Kuro-kun may APPEAR to be a yaoi crossdressing hentai to the less refined, but underneath the facade is actually a riveting coming-of-age story that’s so deep it may well literally blow some people away. So while Shounen Maid Kuro-kun is definitely not for everyone, I recommend it to anyone who enjoys serious, cerebral anime. To a few, it might well be the best anime ever created.
Author’s note: April Fools