Mayo Chiki is a Japanese dish consisting of fried chicken topped with mayonnaise and served with a side of rice; it’s also the title of a 13-episode anime produced by Feel that aired in Summer 2011. Adapted from a light novel series written by Hajime Asano, Mayo Chiki is a typical romantic comedy that will probably only appeal to fans of the genre.
Kinjirou Sakamachi, a male high school student has a problem: he gets a nosebleed whenever he comes into contact with members of the opposite sex. By chance, he discovers that the butler (Subaru Konoe) of fellow student Kanade Suzutsuki is actually a girl, and must keep it a secret for the sake of Subaru’s dignity. Kanade, on the other hand has some plans for Kinjirou and Subaru which get them into some racy situations.
First and foremost, Mayo Chiki is a light comedy with romance taking a back seat. If you start watching the anime expecting more Toradora, then you’re in for a huge letdown. Awkward characters and even more awkward situations are the main driving force making Mayo Chiki an entertaining series to watch. From Kinjirou’s “allergic reaction” to women, to Subaru’s awesome fighting ability, and Kanade’s sadistic match-up schemes, there is plenty of material for the writers to work with, and that’s not even mentioning the side characters. One of the running jokes in the series is that Kinjirou and Subaru are in a gay relationship, which only gets reinforced when they are forced into “intimate” positions in order to hide Subaru’s true gender.
While romance is not a heavy factor in the series, it still plays a large role in the character development of Kinjirou and Subaru. The two of them gradually become closer as each helps the other with their problems. Kinjirou helps Subaru conceal her identity and confront her father, while Subaru helps Kinjirou overcome his reaction to women. Unfortunately, scenes related to romance or character development are limited to just a handful. As with the majority of 13-episode anime, there isn’t enough time to cover everything from the original story. This leaves the relationship between Kinjirou and Subaru underdeveloped and lacking in any sort of closure by the end of the anime.
In terms of animation quality, Mayo Chiki can best be described as average. It certainly doesn’t have high production values, but manages to keep a consistent minimum level of quality throughout the series. This means that there may be a few elongated fingers or articles of clothing that are slightly different in following scenes, but at least I did not notice any deformed faces or distorted limbs. The backgrounds are also nicely drawn with lots of details, but remain largely static with empty hallways, parks, and beaches.
Regular anime fans will probably enjoy a couple of Easter eggs that were dropped into a few episodes. Famed anime blogger Danny Choo shows the extent of his influence here with his mascot character, Mirai, making several appearances in Mayo Chiki. Some people may also recognize twin sisters Ako and Riko from the anime Kiss x Sis working in a café.
I would not recommend Mayo Chiki to anyone looking for a serious story, but the combination of slapstick comedy with its laid-back attitude provides some great weekly entertainment.