In a desperate bid to make his sick Grandmother take a leave of absence, Midori offers housekeeping services in her stead. The employer at the grand mansion accepts Midori as a substitute... but on one condition; that he must fulfil his duties as her replacement to the letter – in full maid mode, attire and all!
Apart from the bizarre balancing act his must play with his life (and gender) Midori finds that the expert hand his Grandmother applied to her daily deeds is harder act than he thought to follow. The exacting standards of Asagi, the handsome lord of the manor, commands that Midori pay both the greatest attention to detail and to his every desire. Midori soon finds, however that the dour and demanding image of his master masks a milder man, one who just might be his match made in heaven.
As a reviewer for Otaku News, I feel it's my duty to maintain a little impartiality when tackling a text. After all, it's only right to keep a distance from my favourite forms of fanservice and not let my brazen biases take over entirely. This is a challenge I tend to take in my stride that is, until, I am forced to face one of my most fatal weaknesses. MAIDS. Yes, Deux Press have brought together an unthinkable combination; boys' love bishonen in a maid themed cross-dress comedy!!!
Forgive me then if my senses succumb to moe... it is after all OTAKU News I write for. There is only so much a girl can do!
Maid in Heaven starts with the standard setup for conventional style harem scenarios more common in shonen manga; due to adverse circumstances, the lead is forced to adopt a servile role for the whims of a master who places them in a variety of hilarious/demeaning positions. For Midiori, this embraces an array of exhausting chores, all of which he must execute with the pride and proficiency true to his family's heritage. This is something that is more than a little tricky when trussed by the trials of his master Asagi who insists on precision, perfection and a full costumed performance from his maids, male or no.
Midori's trials and toils make for a novel take on sexual equality in the workplace, exploiting cross-genre traditions to create a unique blend of maid moe with boys' love styling. The conventions of the maid harem scenario and master/servant relationship are soon subverted by the central romance that makes Shimada's story true BL through and through.
Stylistically, Shimada dresses her work in delicate lines that infuse the tale with a tender sweetness, befitting beautiful boys and their secret trysts in the master bedroom. Asagi's costume of choice is lovingly depicted in traditional Victorian whimsy with full length frills that meld with Midori's underlying mildness. In a heartbeat, he succumbs an archetype, to boys' love possession, dropping all reserve and pretence of man and maid alike, leaping onto his master's lap into his bed.
Okay, so I can freely admit that the plot and character development may not hold up as well as some impeccably pressed and starched apron frills but Maid in Heaven makes endearing adventure all the same. Midori soon forgets his pride and objections as he gives his all to work and master alike. His pride and masculinity are washed away with the laundry of love along with most of the story's sense. What the narrative lacks progressive continuity, it certainly makes up for sexual service. Readers with a taste for the explicit better ready themselves for the extravagance of Shimada's erotic entrée.
This is a shameless romantic romp, one that opens the door to a forbidden pleasure, an unexplored fetish in translated tales of boys' love, something different that I confess to having thoroughly enjoyed.