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Hanaukyo Maid Team #2: Blue Silent Bell
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Written by maehara   
Thursday, 16 September 2004 00:00
Hanaukyo Maid Team - Volume 2Ever wondered why Mariel is so kind, caring & devoted to Taro? Probably not, but this volume of Hanaukyo Maid Team will tell you anyway...

9 - Alone Together!?
It's Christmas, and aware of the importance of spending that time of year with family, Taro sends the maids home for the holidays - leaving him alone in the mansion, with just Mariel for company. Or so he thinks...

10 - Taro's Marriage!?
Ryuka's grandfather lays down his condition for her taking over the family fortune - she must marry the Hanaukyo heir, Taro. Not one to let much come between her and money, she sets off to the Hanaukyo mansion to 'persuade' Taro to marry her...

11 - Valentine's Day
How much chocolate can one guy eat? It's Valentine's Day, and Taro is swamped when it seems that all the maids have made chocolate for him. Except Mariel...

12 - Disaster!?
Mariel & Taro have been getting on well lately, which is ruining Ryuka's marriage plans. Keen to find any angle to break them apart, she starts trying to plant ideas in Taro's head about Mariel's devotion - or possible lack of it. Keen to find out what Mariel truly thinks of him, Taro confronts her - but his way of tackling the subject has unexpectedly disastrous results...

13 - Blue Silent Bell
With Mariel apparently in a coma of some sort, Taro's distraught. It doesn't help when a team from his grandfather's top-secret research lab come to take her away - and they're not taking 'no' for an answer. Meanwhile, Grace has uncovered some well-hidden information about Mariel's past, while Konoe's devotion to her new master leads her to offer to rescue Mariel...

14 - Breaking Through!!
Konoe's not the only one determined to rescue Mariel - Ikuyo & Ryuka also tag along with the rescue party. It's not an easy job, though - the research lab is heavily defended, and there's also the matter of the Hanaukyo family's elite guard, who are still loyal to Taro's grandfather...

15 - The Red Standard!!
In order to rescue Mariel, Konoe has to face down the Hanaukyo family's elite guard, the Red Standard - which is easier said than done. As well as being some of the best fighters she's ever likely to face, the leader of the Red Standard is an old friend - and Shikouin's loyalty to the Hanaukyo's means she isn't about to do Konoe any favours...

16 - Escape!!
Konoe's stand-off with Shikouin is interrupted when Mariel suddenly awakes. Seizing their opportunity amongst the chaos, Taro & co seize Mariel and try to make their escape - with a little help from an unexpected quarter...

17 - Cynthia and Grace
A day in the life of Cynthia & Grace, giving a little background into how they developed their split personality. Taro also takes Cynthia to a theme park for the day.

The final chapter with Grace was so sweet you had to love it, and it makes a great change of tone from the rest of the volume, which is really pretty dark in tone. It's also quite early in the story for the sort of revelations that are made about Mariel's past, which you would usually expect to be saved for the Climactic Final Scenes - but it does make for good reading.

Pacing is good & fast, and the fanservice level has been toned down a bit form Volume 1 - not that this manga relied heavily on that aspect in the first place. Overall, then, it's shallow but fun. Ironcat's adaptation is a solid book that's well worth reading.


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