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A maid is a mythical being that all of us have heard about, but have never seen.
In anime, the housekeeper is a young, attractive woman with a ribbon or bow in her hair, and wears a maid outfit of variable taste. Usually this runs more towards the "cute" end of the spectrum; in Seinen, the main difference is how much shorter and more outlandish the skirt will be.
In general this type of character is used as a form of Fan Service, but usually not in the "sexy" sense as French Maid is. Rather this character tends to appeal to "Moe", and is connected to the fantasy of a submissive young woman who obediently cleans your room, cooks your meals, and tends to your every need; because of this, it can appeal to young girls as well as men.
Humorous maids are usually very (violently) dedicated to their jobs and (willfully) oblivious to whomever they look after. Others will have crushes on their bosses, who they usually call goshujin-sama(master) or Ojou-sama(mistress).
Sometimes a female character will inexplicably wear an outfit which vaguely resembles a maid outfit. The chance of this increases dramatically if she is shown doing any housework. Also, more and more often, the maid is also a Robot Girl. (See Robot Maid)
Maids are a quick and semi-plausible excuse to introduce a character into a household, domestic experience notwithstanding. If a young heroine (lacking a college education) is suddenly destitute, then obtaining work as a domestic servant is historically the common solution.
Anime and Manga
- Elenore Baker from Madlax is a prime example of this. As well being Margaret's maid she acts as her personal assistant, body guard and all around companion. Her professionalism tends to lead people that she is "cold" or "mechanical or a robot" when the oppossite is true. It is also because of that professionalism that she can't truely express how she feels for her master Margaret, so she does so in her work.
- Subverted in Full Moon wo Sagashite. The Kouyama's house maid dresses modestly more like your typical maid, is quite round and plain-looking. She looks and sounds about... middle-aged?
- Parodied in Haré+Guu with Bell, Weda's creepy lesbian maid.
- Speaking of creepy lesbian maids, Kannazuki no Miko's resident maid had a crush on Chikane.
- Pani Poni Dash!'s Media is a prime example of this, seen wearing an maid outfit in just about every one of her appearances during the series.
- One of the Happy Lesson teachers usually wears a maid-like outfit at home, and naturally does much of the domestic chores.
- The lead girls in Magikano and FLCL posing as maids clearly have no experience doing; it's an excuse for free room and board.
- Kamen no Maid Guy subverts, parodies and basically dials the concept of "maid" up to 11. As the title says, Kogarashi is a Maid Guy -- a crossdressing Heroic Sociopath. The series also includes Shizuku and Tsurara, who are Ninja Maids.
- The more straight version of this trope, Fubiki, who only subverts this in two ways: first, she has a tendency to beat Kogarashi with a giant spiked club when he misbehaves; second, she sometimes goes overboard with her maid duties, even becoming embarrassed when the other cast members catch her in normal clothes.
- After a (relatively) humorous breakdown, Motoko in Love Hina tries her hand at being domestic, including full maid regalia. Considering her unusual size, it's a bit confusing where she got the outfit.
- In the manga she stole it from Kitsune, in the anime Haruka apparently had a maid outfit lying around.
- Ken Akamatsu then went on to make the girls of his next series Mahou Sensei Negima wear maid outfits for sometimes no reason at all; primarily with the, as is common, Robot Girl Chachamaru (the rest of the cast once broke into her wardrobe).
- For Chachamaru there's justification, she is Evangeline's servant. The other girls, well the excuse was that they'd just taken a bath and wanted clean clothes (they were in Evangeline's resort at the time).
- During the Tournament Arc, Setsuna and Asuna get pressganged into wearing maid outfits to appeal to the crowd, mainly because they don't really have any pulls (like "last years champion", etc.)
- Then later, while half the cast was Trapped in Another World, she dressed up several of the remaining classmates because she was bored. Evangeline seems to just have a thing for the Maid/Gothloli look.
- Then some of the girls who were in the magic world ended up sold into slavery, complete with maid outfits.
- Oddly enough, Fate appears to have a Meido fetish, as he seems to take every opportunity to make girls dress in Meido outfits. Including Anya and his minions.
- We can just call this Author Appeal and be done with it. Akamatsu's fascination with maids and other "innocent" fetish outfits goes all the way back to A.I. Love You.
- Victorian Romance Emma is a rather straight take on the idea, down to Emma's mundane outfit (for Victorian England, anyway).
- So is Kaoru Mori's other manga about English maids, 'Shirley' (and its continuation 'Shirley Madison').
- Mai-Otome was originally going to be called "Mai-Maid" (based on Fumi's role in Mai-HiME). The series actually has a meido proper in royal court servant Aoi.
- Very nearly the entire cast of Hanaukyo Maid Tai are maids.
- Hand Maid May is a Robot Girl maid called a Cyberdoll.
- There's an entire army of Catgirl maids in UFO Princess Valkyrie
- Chobits has a character who also has a cadre of Robot Girl Persocom maids.
- Mahoromatic features a Robot Girl battle android who has one year remaining to live, and choses to spend it as the maid of her late Commander's son.
- Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora deconstructs this. Setsuna is essentially Kyoshiro's maid, taking care of everything he needs, but while he's simply using her status as an Absolute Angel to destroy the others and then her, Setsuna is hopelessly in love with him, trying her hardest to make everything nice for him in the hopes that maybe he'll show her some affection. Yet when he falls for Kuu instead (despite her being an Absolute Angel as well), she vows to continue helping him find her, even if she won't be repaid for it.
- Roberta of Black Lagoon is currently employed as a maid but occasionally has need of her other skillset as an ex-Cuban-trained assassin par excellance. Her equipment is of both worlds and includes such interesting combination items as a shotgun-umbrella, incendiary grenade-bustle, and an armored portmanteau with integrated machinegun. However, she's not a very good maid.
- Fabiola Iglesias is an actual housemaid working for the same family, serving directly under Roberta. A younger, more comic-relief character, she is still very good with blades and martial arts, although she admits her gun skills need work. While Fabiola also mentions that she is the only one of the Lovelace maids being trained by Roberta for combat, Revy still wonders if the entire Lovelace Plantation was a Badass maid force that could storm the Iranian embassy if they wanted to. (All portents point to "Yes.")
- Taeko in Ai Yori Aoshi.
- Minto in Tokyo Mew Mew has her own squad of more traditional maids.
- Mia Clementis in Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro na.
- Ayanokouji Yaito of Rockman.EXE has, in the anime, a personal army of twenty-odd maids in full French maid regalia, all attractive and with varying hairstyles. In any later episode featuring her, the viewer is usually treated to a montage of various maids about the town doing whatever task she's set them.
- Kasumi from Ranma ½ wears a maid-like apron at all times, and is generally sweet, domestic, and clueless.
- Akane once disguised herself as a French maid (with bonnet and everything) to infiltrate the house of Picolet Chardin, who had taken female Ranma to make her his bride. Then Soun disguised himself the same way.
- Female Ranma also disguised herself as a French maid in order to thwart Ryoga, who was trying to entertain both Akari and Akane (separately) at his home.
- Mikuru, the Moe-blob from Suzumiya Haruhi, is picked by Haruhi as the SOS Brigade's maid.
- In the episode "Live Alive", Tsuruya-san and a couple of other school girls are dressed as maids and serve noodles and tap water for the Arts Festival.
- Wilhelmina in Shakugan no Shana ~de arimasu (even though she's terrible at cooking).
- In Gravion, the entire staff of Klein Sandman's castle other than his Battle Butler is composed of maids. Servant maids, Guard maids, commando maids, hacker maids, mechanic maids, and even one member of the central Super Robot team. Who of course turns out to be a Robot Maid
- Fiore from Chrono Crusade fits this trope to a T.
- The Lamperouge household's maid Sayoko from Code Geass does housework, looks after the Ill Girl and occasionally battles cyborg assassins with ninja martial arts. She's got her Fan Nickname of "the Sayocopter" for a reason.
- Sent up in Lucky Star, where Patty wishes she had a Meido to do her chores so she could spend more time watching anime...that's specifically a Meido, not a housekeeper. There's a difference!
- Maika in To Aru Majutsu no Index. Academy City, where the story takes place, has maid schools.
- The whole point of He Is My Master is to put two teenage girls (and later three) into fetish maid outfits. At first reluctant, they end up warming to the idea, and by the end of the series actually enjoy it.
- The first enjoys wearing it, the second hates wearing it, and the third enjoys the second one wearing it.
- Fruits Basket has Mine who dresses in costume out of pure enjoyment-and insists that every other girl she meets does the same.
- Hayate the Combat Butler. Maria. This. Perverse Sexual Lust. Hayate is shown wearing a maid dress thanks to a curse.
- The Maid Episode.
- Saki also fills this quotient for Wataru (though without the respectful title). Chiharu is a secret maid.
- Isumi and Nagi try to project the impression on occasion. Since they're both Ojous, they fail at varying degrees.
- Izumi dresses as one (short skirt variation) as punishment by her father. All the other maids (and pseudo-maids) use the long skirt variation.
- Pai in G-On Riders wears maid outfit after her Heel Face Turn and causes some utterly funny scenes forgetting to change and going to school.
- Fumi Himeno in Mai-HiME fits this trope to a T, in addition to being a Ninja Maid. Mai-Otome is built on this trope, with an on-camera lecture devoted entirely to "the correct way to greet your master".
- Amu Hinamori (Shugo Chara) has a maid, Amulet Clover, as one of her three primary charanari.
- Shannon from Umineko no Naku Koro ni. Not quite a Ninja Maid -- she's a defensive Barrier Warrior, closer to a White Magician Girl. Kanon is a male example and straight-up Battle Butler.
- In Pokémon Special, Latias disguises herself as a maid to help out Emerald in the Battle Pyramid. Later on she disguises herself as a news reporter, then a nurse.
- Miyu of Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya was revealed to be one. Much to her horror (or perhaps... delight?), Ilya turned out to have an uncontrollably massive Maid fetish.
- In Kaichou wa Maid-sama, the eponymous Student Council President Misaki works at a Maid Cafe to help support her single mother and younger sister. The job makes her a bit uncomfortable, between her dislike of men and her fears that her schoolmates will not take her seriously as president if they find out, but she stays on because the pay is good and her manager is very understanding and willing to accommodate her.
- In Macademi Wasshoi, we have Eneus, the Dog Girl Ninja Maid complete with Blade on a Stick. Eitarou, her master. makes Humongous Mecha versions of her.
- Ladies vs. Butlers is full of them.
- In Sailor Moon, the Super S Movie, Haruka is seen flirting with their maid only to get caught in the act by Michiru. Can be seen here.
- Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, the most half-assed Maid Cafe in anime history.
- In Hidamari Sketch, Yoshinoya-sensei dresses in a maid outfit for cleaning day. She doesn't clean in it, nor would she ever. It would get dirty, after all.
- Maylene from Black Butler one of these.
- The anime also has Angela and Hannah.
- Sayaka Dejima from Seitokai Yakuindomo is Aria's maid.
Tsuda: "They really exist?"
- Marika Kato and her best friend in Bodacious Space Pirates work at a Maid Cafe.
- Kuroha in Rental Magica often acts like a maid in their headquarters, primarily shown serving tea. Later on she also dresses as one, mainly for fun.
- Maid RPG. 'nuff said.
- Tanto Cuore, a Dominion style card game themed around recruiting maids.
- Mother 3 has Ms. Marshmallow, a robotic maid who takes care of Porky Minch's toy room in Thunder Tower.
- Samantha of Killer 7 is both an example, and an aversion, due to a Split Personality. One is a typical maid, and the other is...less than ideal.
- Noel in Triangle Heart 3 ～sweet songs forever～ is also a Robot Girl. She appears in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha with a sister, another maid.
- Nene in Touka Gettan. There's a bunch of other Meido shown, but none of them are named.
- Roll from the Mega Man series is a housekeeping robot and generally has cleaning-themed attacks when playable, although none of her outfits are particularly French (her Mega Man 8 clothes come close, though).
- One random NPC in The World Ends With You in more-or-less Present Day Shibuya, Japan wonders to himself if a girl he saw dressed up as a Maid was working at a Cosplay bar. This lead to him wondering if there are any maids who dress that way to actually clean houses.
- Lynette from Soul Calibur III is dressed like this, but sells clothing at various stores instead of cleaning houses.
- Sakuya Izayoi from Touhou, as the head maid of a vampire's mansion, leads a small army of (pretty incompetent) fairy maids. She can also stop time and is very, very good with the knives. She used to hunt demons and vampires before that. Maybe. Nobody knows for sure.
- Sakuya is actually the last of a once per game tradition, starting with the third game. The first was Ruukoto, a nuclear-powered robot maid only seen in Reimu's ending. Next is Mugetsu, who's not a maid (actually a god of a dream-world), but dresses the part anyway. Then is Yumeko, who's basically blonde Sakuya without timehax (and she uses swords instead of knives).
- Konpaku Youmu is formally a gardener of Hakugyokurou, but she's also its only staff. She cooks, cleans, babysits (her mistress Yuyuko is something of a Cloudcuckoolander), does household shopping, acts as security ...
- Daniella in Haunting Ground is an Ax Crazy homonculus maid.
- Iroha from Samurai Shodown.
- Persephone is a rather infamous Cute Monster Girl appearing in the DS Castlevanias. Described in the bestiary as "a demonic maid in the employ of an earthly baron", Persephone resembles a traditionally-uniformed, frilly-capped little lady that will politely bow down before you and then will attacke you with some kung fu moves.
- A sidequest in Tales of Symphonia has Colette acting as a maid at Meltokio Castle, complete with the archetypal outfit.
- This is an outfit in Animal Crossing City Folk.
- Fiona from Arcana Heart goes into battle wearing a maid costume.
- Phantasy Star Universe has the Amorel gear (left-most picture on the bottom row), a set of parts for female CASTs (I don't know if there's an equivalent set of clothes for female Humans/Newman/Beasts). Given the fact that a CAST is a robot...
- Lunar Knights gives us Carmilla. Frilly headpiece and everything.
- In Sister Princess, the family is taken care of by "oyaji", who is actually a fetching young lady. She acts as the butler, the chauffeur, the cook...basically, any off-screen job involved in the upkeep of Promise Island. (In the animated adaptation, "oyaji" is now a middle aged man in similar roles.)
- Takeuchi's uniform looks like a maid outfit in Canvas 2, but she insists it's just a waitress outfit.
- In Tokimeki Memorial 2, Kaori Yae gets to wear a maid uniform during her School Festival Event. It's actually treated as as a moving and heartwarming scene, as this Event occurs after she recovers from her 2-years long Heroic BSOD, with her having a fun time serving coffee to customers while wearing it; the scene was so memorable, her maid appearance stuck as a Memetic Outfit for her, with several official artworks and figurines with her wearing it.
- Mitsumete Knight R: Daibouken Hen has a maid uniform in its large variety of costumes for your female party members.
- And in the original Mitsumete Knight game, Prim Rohzbank, and later, Carol Palecki, are maids at Dolphan Castle.
- There is, of course, Custom Maid 3D which lets you, of course, create your own 3D maid.
- Dragon Quest IX features a complete maid's outfit as one of the costume pieces. Oddly enough, it's one of the few costume pieces without gender restrictions.
- Lauren Paups from Ace Attorney: Investigations. Though it may be appearance in only.
- Jean Armstrong's cafe has the waitresses wear maid outfits. Maggey spends her entire jail term in hers and during her very brief stint as a waitress Maya wears one. Unfortunately her smaller...assets are not enough to move waitress fetishist Victor Kudo enough to make him testify. Mia is very annoyed to find she's only been channeled to give Maya a larger bust.
- Pictured above is Hisui of Tsukihime has a crush on Shiki, more or less obvious depending on what path is chosen. She is also hugely dedicated and caring towards him. There's also Kohaku, who is seemingly very devoted to her job, and has a scary obsession with...guess who...Shiki!
- They become Ninja Maids in Melty Blood. Supposedly because of the Reality Warper effect of the Big Bad.
- Volume 1 of Van Von Hunter features a psychopathic Cockney maid named Miriam who cleans floors with a knife.
- Yuki Sonada, in Megatokyo, dresses up as this to follow Piro into a Maid Cafe, disguising herself as one of the staff.
- Collar 6: Ginger first, then Stella and Claire.
- Spinnerette. Mecha Maid. Technically, it's an exoskeleton, and she does aikido... Never mind. That is all.
- That Other Wiki's Anthropomorphic Moe Personifications Wikipe-tan (center), Commons-tan (left), and Quote-tan (right) are all designed with maid outfits.
- Pokemon FireRed mod Moemon features a maid as the protagonist. She flies instead of runs when she uses the running shoes.
- Soviet (and Imperial Russian) school uniform for girls looks exactly like a stereotypical maid outfit.