I am always pulled in by clever or interesting titles. “Ladies vs.Butlers” certainly scored high on the list, but you kind of knew what was going to happen halfway through the first episode. I mean, there were really no major plot surprises….almost, but that’s something else
Akiharu Hino has transferred intoHakureiryōAcademy, a school that not only gives an education, but also trains students to be butlers and maids for the snoots of high society. Because Akiharu looks like a delinquent and has the worst spate of bad luck since Joe Btfsplk from “Li’l Abner”, the ladies of the school (of which there is an overwhelming majority) fear the worst of him. Of course, it does not help his cause to knock them over accidently, then grasp upon their prodigious bazooms. And what is it about an anime guy who runs into a lady, knocks her down and finds something soft and squishy amid his hand and when he sees it is some terrified lady’s headlights he is squishing, continues to squish them?
Akiharu, bad enough he is fleeing the female portion of the school, then runs afoul of Selnia Iori Flameheart (whom he calls Drill, owing to that ridiculous hairstyle) and proceeds to humiliate her by….squishing her breasts. A woman of her status and money should not have to suffer these indignities! Yet, it is a constant battle between these two. Aiding things along is Tomomi Saikyō. Theoretically a childhood friend of Akiharu, she spends a lot of time manipulating events and pulling pranks on them, although things start to turn rather mean and vicious.
The biggest factor for this show is the fan service and there are steaming piles of it. I have never seen so many up-skirt shots, boob-grabbing, flouncing and bouncing, just in the first episode. They trot it all out for you before you determine if you are a fan and it hampers the show greatly. The only thing that (sort of) saves it is that everyone looks so good naked. And there are so many opportunities to see them as such.
It’s just that it gets so tiresome. One character is Sanae Shikikagami, one of the clumsiest people you will ever meet. She is always falling and stumbling about and into Akiharu, so you see her underwear all the time. She also spills things on her, so that her maid uniform clings to every sinuous curve and bulge she has to offer and she has aLOTto offer. She also has a sister, Saori, whom Gray from “Fairy Tail” would adore: she strips off her clothes at the merest suggestion. But all of these are severe distractions as to what the actual plot or idea of the show is, which is…..that is to say…what I mean is….
OK, Akiharu wants to better himself in his life and feels that being a butler may help, but starts to discover that perhaps he and Selnia may have deep feelings for each other, even though Selnia is very class conscious and feels that Akiharu is a ‘commoner’.
Part of this ‘new wave’ I have seen over the past three years, it is a show overly heavy on the fan service and very thin on plot and character development, as well as ending the show without reaching any genuine conclusion. I have, for the run of it, spun my wheels. The pair of sidebar stories are more interesting than the main one (but I cannot talk of them, as it does kill a plot point; the ‘something else’ I mentioned earlier), but everything must kowtow to the fan service. Akiharu has to rescue the girls trapped in the bathhouse…and ends up burying his face between Selnia’s breasts. Akiharu tries to help out Sanae…end ends up in a compromising position with her as his friends walk in on them. Everything Akiharu does to try and disprove his pervert rumors tend to emphasize it to the nth degree.
This show was a real fight to watch. And it is less Ladies vs. Butlers as it is more one-upmanship. As it stands, a good idea that missed wide of the mark.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 9 (Very good artwork, especially when they are nude)
Plot 4 (Gets tiresome really fast)
Pacing 5 (Runs cold and colder)
Effectiveness 6 (Gets frustrating)
Conclusion 6 (It reaches a ‘save point’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 9 (A similar show would be “Eiken”)
Overall 5 (A lot less spite is wanted)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Tea. Earl Gray. Hot.