It’s fun how anime quickly embraces new tropes that come along, quickly making them part of otaku culture. That’s what happened with the Great Heisei Anime Maid Boom which started in 1997 and is still going strong today. Let’s explore the history of Western-style maid uniforms in Japan, and who the best anime maids are!
The History of Anime Maids
It’s fun to look at the history of European-style maids in Japan and how they came to represent a kind of exotic Western ideal life for wealthy people to strive for. The Meiji Period (1868-1912) was an exciting time for Japan, when it rapidly modernized, putting aside the old traditions of the samurai and adopting Western clothing, architecture, technology, and food at a pace that has no comparison in history. The idea of Western maids working in homes entered the Japanese consciousness around this time.
Writing a post about who the best anime maid is, and the history of maids in Japan.
I love the scene in #LuckyStar where the American anime fan Patty explains the difference between a housekeeper (家政婦) and a maid (メード) as an core part of Japan’s otaku culture. pic.twitter.com/VZpQ56g4lI
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) March 3, 2021
In terms of the huge pop culture boom we see in Japan today, it flows from influential adult visual novels like Welcome to Pia♥Carrot!! and To Heart, which helped maids and maid cafes extremely popular as “Akiba-kei” otaku culture went mainstream. (Our popular game Little My Maid was “maid” during this huge shift in Japan’s pop culture.)
The 10 Best Anime Maid Characters!
I asked J-List’s awesome customers to tell us their favorite anime maid characters, and here are the top names we came up with!
Misaki from Kaicho wa Maid-sama!
Let’s get the party started with a fan-favorite, about a strict student body president who is secretly working at a maid cafe to support her family. When her classmate Takumi discovers her secret, hijinks ensue!
Maria Takayama from Iyapan
A maid is called upon to do many things, from cleaning to cooking to… showing us her underwear with a disgusted face when Young Master asks it of her? We admire their dedication!
Takami from Ladies vs Butlers is a Dedicated Anime Maid
Another anime maid we love is Takami, who never shirks her duties when asked to lift her skirt.
Nana Morimura from G-Taste
It’s fun when artists like Hiroki Yagami take a topic like sexy anime maids and create amazing characters for fans to enjoy. I was happy when his G-Taste series become extremely popular, giving the artist the commercial success he long deserved.
Does an Anime Maid Have to be a Girl?
Sometimes the maid isn’t a girl, but a boy. Or is he? I’m so confused! See our post where we rate the best otokonoko characters in anime here!
Charlotte from Infinite Stratos
A sexy anime maid who’s voiced by Kana Hanazawa? How could we say no to a literal French maid like this?
Faris/Kurisu from Steins;Gate
There are many sub-genres of maids, and catgirl maids are one of my favorites. Steins;Gate had two great ones to choose from.
This recent episode of Kaguya-sama: Love is War was a lot of fun, with Hayasaka pretending to be a foreigner.
English speakers do talk like this in Japanese, because we get carried away and put emotional stresses into our sentences, even though Japanese is very tonally flat. pic.twitter.com/6y9Lew7XAp
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) March 18, 2019
Hayasaka-san from Kaguya-sama
One of the most dedicated maids in anime is Hayasaka-san, who’s supporting the budding love between her mistress Kaguya and Student Body President Shirogane as best she can. She’s the best wingman Kaguya could ask for!
Rem and Ram from Re:Zero
Of course, we couldn’t leave Rem and Ram off this list. Are you enjoying the final season of Re:Zero? I certainly am!
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) March 3, 2021
The Best Anime Maid is Tohru from Kobayashi Dragon Maid
The beloved show from Kyoto Animation is very nearly my favorite anime series of all time. And I’m super excited about the upcoming second season which airs in April!
Thanks for reading this list of some of our favorite anime maid characters. Got any memorable ones we left off the list? Post them below, or share them on Twitter!
There’s nothing quite like a sexy mousepad to make long work or gaming sessions at your computer more enjoyable, and J-List has the biggest, most amazing oppai and oshiri mousepads Japan makes…but they’re all sold as preorders which are then products after orders close. Make sure to order the awesome ecchi mousepad you need ASAP! Browse all our mousepads here.