An amusing deconstruction of the Magical Girl Genre, Otasuke Miko Miko-chan (Rescue Maiden Miko) follows the (mis)adventures of Ayumu Mikoshiba, as he helps (however unwillingly) revive his family's shrine by becoming the latest Miko-chan, fighting crime, advertising their business, and helping sell official Miko-chan merchandise.
No, you did not read that wrong: Ayumu is a he
The series focuses mostly on Ayumu's gender-identity crisis, stuck between feeling confident and cute as a girl, and the fact that he is actually a cross-dressing guy.
The series provides examples of:
- Deconstructive Parody: The manga is very, very fond of playing with the conventions of the Magical Girl genre. The most obvious ways are how Ayumu as Miko-chan is used primarily to sell merchandise and advertise the shrine, that his magical familiar is more of a manager than anything else, and that he is a reluctant cross-dresser.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Ayumu's curse. Not that anyone besides him really minds, though.
- Later chapters give us Rei.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Ayumu, of course. More so when he cross-dresses.
- Fanservice: Covers almost always feature Ayumu in an outfit he will (probably) never wear in the actual manga.
- Fantastic Comedy: While Fuu-chan and the transformation into Miko-chan is most definitely magical, Ayumu has no magical powers.
- French Maid Outfit: One of the many get-ups Ayumu is forced into.
- Gender-Blender Name: The Wholesome Crossdresser is appropriately named Ayumu, a gender-neutral name.
- The Glomp: Wakaba performs this frequently on Ayumu, among other things.
- Imagine Spot: Wakaba is infamous for this—not that the fans mind.
- Just Here for Godzilla: In-universe and played straight. For the former, the Maid Club failed quickly when the guys who were only in it to hang out with Ayumu found out that he wasn't a regular attraction. For the latter: the concept of the manga itself, really.
- Legacy Character: The identity of Miko-chan has been taken up by the girls of the Mikoshiba family for generations—until Ayumu, of course, for obvious reasons.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Wakaba Kumura, who shamelessly molests Ayumu whenever she gets the chance, dresses him up in all sorts of revealing outfits for her own viewing pleasure, and calls him her "wife."
Wh-What are you saying?! Publicly exposing my Ayumu-kyun in a maid uniform is absolutely... (Imagine Spot
) let's do it!
- Magical Girl: Gleefully deconstructs the genre in a (mostly) mundane setting.
- Magic Wand: Subverted in that it's not actually magical and just serves as more official Miko-chan merchandise. It does have its uses as a blunt weapon, though.
- Mascot: Miko-chan, for the Mikoshiba shrine. Has her own website and line of officially licensed merchandise, available at said shrine.
- Mentor Mascot: Fuu-Chan, who also serves as the current Miko-chan's manager.
- Meaningful Name: Appropriately, the family that runs the shrine are the Mikoshibas.
- Miko: Unsurprisingly, Miko-chan is a Magical Girl based off of shrine maidens. She is more of a mascot than anything else, though.
- Mini Dress Of Power: Miko-chan's outfit. It doesn't seem to have any actual magical powers aside from making Ayumu more confident and bold than he usually is—which is to say, not at all.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Wakaba, the Dressing Club manager, and Rei.
- Ordinary High-School Student: Ayumu was one, and still very much is one, between being shamelessly used by his friends for their more questionable purposes, and being Miko-chan.
- Otaku: Rei is a lighthearted parody.
- Punch Clock Hero: Ayumu only ever becomes Miko-chan to advertise the shrine and her merchandise, or do "heroic" duties like stalking his friend to find out what's bothering him.
- Puni Plush
- Slice of Life: Ayumu fights crime exactly once. Even then, it was by chance. The rest of the manga focuses on his gender-identity crisis, secret identity as Miko-chan, and his very eager and more than a little perverted friends.
- The Stoic: Souichi Makita is rarely, if ever, affected by the weirdness and perversion that constantly happens to Ayumu. The sole exception is whenever he (Ayumu) is cross-dressing.
- Transformation Sequence: Mandatory, really.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Ayumu is shown to be extremely confident when cross-dressing, much to his dismay. Later on, we have Rei, who very much enjoys it.