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Hanaukyo Maid Team #3: An Unexpected Rival
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Written by maehara   
Thursday, 23 September 2004 00:00
Hanaukyo Maid Team - Volume 3With this volume, Hanaukyo Maid Team heads back to its comedy roots. No bad thing...

18 - It Looks Good On You
Having decided that Taro really doesn't appreciate just how difficult the job of a maid is, Ikuyo decides it's time he found out, and dresses him as a maid for the day. Making sure the maids don't figure out who he is isn't easy, though, especially as one of the security maids is really suspicious...

19 - Last Name Sanae, First Name Yashima (Part 1)
Taro's still having a hard time persuading the maids that he's not really into cross-dressing, so the opportunity to get away from the mansion for a while when Konoe goes on a training trip is just what he needs. Problem is, Konoe's protogé Sanae, determined not to let Taro get his hands on her idol, sneaks along with them, determined to make Taro's trip hell...

20 - Last Name Sanae, First Name Yashima (Part 2)
Konoe's not happy at Sanae's behaviour, but eventually relents and allows her to stay for the rest of her training trip. For Taro, though, that's not a good thing, as it gives her even more opportunity to keep an eye on him...

21 - Good News
Sanae's been removed from the security division after disobeying Konoe's orders (she had been told to stay at the mansion when Taro & Konoe went on their trip), and is now working under Mariel. The change in duties means having to learn, though, and it's not easy for her. Meanwhile, Ikuyo has come up with a new gadget to help Taro 'improve' his relationship with Mariel - Hypnosis-kun, designed to improve his wishy-washy personality & make him more of a hit with the ladies. All it does, though, is turn him into Mr Hentai, and it seems only Mariel can turn him back to his usual self...

22 - Unidentified Lifeform!
Ikuyo thinks she's seen a strange creature while wandering around in the cellars under the mansion, and ropes Taro into helping her catch it. Turns out the 'monster' isn't quite so dangerous, though...

23 - Mariel with Black Hair!?
Konoe finds a 'mansion' in the basement of the house, and inside is a painting - of Mariel, with black hair. It's too old a painting to be the 'real' Mariel, so who is it? Meanwhile, Mariel's been acting a bit strangely...

24 - Grope Grope Rub Rub
Onsen fanservice chapter with Konoe & Sanae - what more do you need to know? :)

I'm already a Konoe/Sanae fanboy. I just thought I'd point that out... ^^;

After the last issue's more serious tone, while it dealt with Mariel's problems, this is a welcome return to the more light-hearted comedy side of things. New character Sanae gives Taro another psychotic maid to deal with, and as mentioned in an author's note in the book, joins Ikuyo as one of the 'twins gods of screwing up' - whatever her intentions, she just can't quite seem to make her scheming come off right. The character's pretty much played for laughs, but she's well 'presented' and makes for a good addition to the story.

The other highlight of the volume is Taro's crossplay adventures, which are all the more funny when you know the maids all know exactly who he is. Classic stuff.

Overall, probably the best volume of HMT so far - with the characters' roles already being pretty much laid out, the comedy works really well & makes the book a joy to read. Good stuff.

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