"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 frilled band in her hair, and wears a maid outfit of variable taste. Usually this runs more towards the "cute" end of the spectrum, although 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 Fanservice
, 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 (theoretically) 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.
In a romantic series, a maid (or domestic service in general) is used as a socially acceptable excuse to put a young, romantically available female lead under the same roof as one or more (potentially wealthy and handsome, if not particularly socially adjusted
) male characters. (Bonus if they are classmates with their new servant.) It also inherently opens up issues of class or gender power disparity, as whoever hired her obviously has the income to spare money employing another person full-time, and has great leverage over their employee.
Meido in comedies frequently subvert expectations by being very (violently) dedicated to their jobs and (willfully) oblivious to whomever they look after. Others will have crushes on their bosses, whom they usually call goshujin-sama
(master) or ojou-sama
In extreme cases, a meido, or, in the case of a larger contingent of maids
, the head maid, will be the de facto head of the household, while her hypothetical employer is treated either as too delicate
to handle the management of whatever Fiction 500
financial empire earns them the money to hire the maids, or as too lazy and incompetent
to be trusted with that power, themselves. Especially in the latter case, they may behave more like strict (and disappointed) parents than employees. Expect these employers to have nothing better to do
than to indulge in their childish whims
. If children, the head maid may well behave like a stalker or abductor, purposefully sheltering their ward from anything that may take them away or "taint" them
If the hypothetical head of the household is royalty or a head of state, the head maid might just be the Prime Minister, Interior Minister, Chief of Police, War Minister, and more all rolled into one.
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
If the meido in question happens to be an Action Girl
as well, she gets instantly promoted to Ninja 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.
Meido are of particular interest, insofar as they and nurses
are among the very few Moe
items that attract both Japanese and Westerners.
Compare to French Maid
, the Hotter and Sexier
origin of this trope. See also Maid RPG
, which is a game built around this type of Maid. Guaranteed to occur in a Maid Cafe
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Anime and Manga
- Mother 3 has Ms. Marshmallow, a robotic maid who takes care of Porky Minch's toy room in Thunder Tower.
- Samantha of Killer7 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 leads to him wondering if there are any maids who dress that way to clean houses. (You can buy the outfit in question after beating the game.)
- Lynette from Soul Calibur III is dressed like this, but sells clothing at various stores instead of cleaning houses.
- Daphnis from Tears To Tiara 2 is a male example, dressing and acting like a maid to be able to follow Elissa around as a bodyguard.
- Sakuya Izayoi from Touhou, as the head maid of a vampire's mansion, leads a small army of (pretty incompetent) fairy maids. She does a maid's duty perfectly: cooking, cleaning, washing, babysitting, knife throwing, stopping the flow of time, etc. She used to hunt demons and vampires before that. Maybe. Nobody knows for sure.
- Sakuya is 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 and wielding a BFS.
- 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 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 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 an Iconic 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.
- In Skullgirls, Peacock and Marie both started out as this. Peacock ditched the look after being mutilated by the Medici Mafia and rebuilt by Lab 8. Marie kept it even after becoming the Skullgirl.
- The first boss of Mind Your Manors takes the form of a fanged shadow wearing a purple maid's uniform.
- 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. Her twin sister Kohaku is one as well, and she is seemingly very devoted to her job, not to mention having 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. In the goofier parts of the game Kohaku even build multiple Robot Maid versions of Hisui. Mech-Hisui also makes an appearance in Battle Moon Wars, a fan-made Nasuverse crossover game. While Hisui wears a typical maid outfit, however, Kohaku wears the more traditional outfit of a Japanese maid.
- Shannon from Umineko: When They Cry. 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.
- From an anti-fantasy perspective, the Stakes of Purgatory were imaginary friends of Yasu who were based on maids who worked for the Ushiromiya family.
- Several members of nobility in Analogue: A Hate Story have maids as servants. In the sequel, Hate Plus, you get to see portraits of some of the maids.
- In Analogue, *Hyun-ae gives you permission to change her outfit, one of the options she offers is a maid uniform. If you start Hate Plus with *Hyun-ae, the option is once again available.
- Soviet (and Imperial Russian) school uniform for girls looks exactly like a stereotypical maid outfit.
- Just for Pun example: there's a phonographical Japanese joke of "meido no miyage", which could mean either "maid's gift" or "gift from the underworld". Most notably, this pun crops up in the opening of the Haruhi-chan anime.