Anime review: He is My Master

Yoshitaka Nakabayashi, a 14-year-old millionaire who got this huge inheritance after his parents died in an accident, found himself needed to be taken care of and tried to hire live-in maids to do the job. Two runaway girls, Izumi Sawatari and her younger sister Mitsuki, stumped into Nakabayashi’s mansion and got hired by Yoshitaka immediately, for Yoshitaka is not only a rich boy but also a pervert with uniform fetishes, who wants to be addressed as goshujin-sama (master). Having nowhere else to settle down along with Mitsuki’s pet alligator Pochi, Izumi accepted the job reluctantly.

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Plot:

A majority of the episodes in He is My Master follows a simple formulaic method to its madness.  Izumi is not happy with her life, yells at Yoshitaka about it, breaks something, and a contest happens which more stuff breaks and Yoshitaka gets violently beaten up.  This also provides a lot of the humor in the series.  While this is funny at times, it does get old after a while.  In the latter half of the series, there is a sense of plot that comes about however this feels like it was tacked on just to have a plot.  The plot that does come about in the last half of the series does go somewhere it would be nice for it to have been all the way through the series and not just in the last half.

If there is one thing that sets He is My Master apart from other shows in this genre is the male lead.  In a major of harem or harem like comedies, the male lead is usually passive, likeable, and is in some ways a doormat.  Not the male lead for this show.  Yoshitaka is aggressive, perverted, makes fan service style, and has no friends.  He is not afraid to spy on the girl while they are getting baths, or above sexually harassing his live in maids.  While this is a nice change of pace from what is expected in these types of show, Yoshitaka is unlikeable as a character.

The other main cast members, Izumi, Mitsuki, and Anna are likeable but the development for any of the main cast members is lacking.  Anna provides the lesbian cliché for the show does not go above what is seen in other shows of this nature.  Mitsuki while the cute character is not what she seems to be.  She is manipulative of those around her.  She controls the contests that the other characters play, however it is never explained why she is this way.  Izumi is constantly is harassed by the other characters and starts out as a decent character, but get violent as the series progresses for no reason what so every.

Art/Animation:

Produced by GAINAX and Shaft, the art and animation quality is not their best work.  The character designs are different from the manga that this series is based on, but that is not a bad thing.  While the background art is pleasant to look at, background characters and some objects at times will not have as much detail and will just have enough to know what it is.  Then later on those same objects may be fully detailed (an example of occurs in an episode where there is a gun fight with airsoft guns and a few scenes the guns are highly detailed and in some other scenes the guns just have the drawing the of gun and almost no detail.)

In another change from the manga, the fanservice as a whole is increased.  The fanservice in the manga was mild due to the manga being run in a shōnen manga Monthly Shōnen GanGan.  The increased fanservice in the series is good and not distracting from what is going on.  There is a bit of censorship of some of the nudity but it is the natural type (think of the censorship in Austin Powers to give you an idea) so it should not upset those would may be expecting the holy rays of light or the mysterious fog.

Music and audio:

The music as a whole for the show is not to write home.  The OP is listenable but forgettable.  The ED on the other hand is better.  It is catchy and fits the series perfectly.  The music that plays during the show works, but like the OP is forgettable.

The voice actors do a good job with roles and nobody sounds generic or just doing enough to get by.  The standout performance of the series goes to Junko Minagawa who does the voice of Yoshitaka.  She does an excellent job with him having a slightly evil touch to his voice.  Masumi Asano who provided the voice of Izumi also is a standout performance and her voice hits the role perfectly.

Overall thoughts:

He is My Master does bring some change to similar types of shows.  A male lead who does not act like a doormat is a refreshing change from the usual types of male characters in these types of show.  However, even with a different type of male lead, the show has one joke that is repeatedly done and little character development that does not do much set it above other shows in the genre.  He is My Master is show best watched one and then not watch again.

Score: 2/5

Pros: Funny at times, male lead is not a doormat, good voice acting.

Cons: Little character development, the same joke id done in every episode, unlikeable male lead.

He is My Master can be purchased at RightStuf

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