What’s it about? When maid Lilith comes to Yuuri’s house asking for a position, he hires her, only to find out that something’s a bit mysterious about her…
The Maid I Hired Recently is Mysterious is one of Summer 2022’s late-comers, though it’s a gorgeous –and busty– entry to the roster of new shows coming out. And let me tell you, episode 1, “The Maid I Hired Recently Is Mysterious” really sets the tone for this very pretty premiere. But viewer beware because whew, this seemingly benign show is probably going to raise some eyebrows.
The premiere is, as I said, quite benign: it’s the foibles of Yuuri, a rich young lad who wears sock garters and a bolero tie at the ripe age of like… maybe thirteen, probably twelve at most; and his maid, Lilith, a young woman with mysterious purple eyes and a rather mysterious background and christ almighty, a bust that threatens to constantly nip-slip from her maid uniform. It’s…cute, until the fact that this is a rom-com comes slippery sliding in, in which everything gets tinged with groans and me finding scenes where they should be very benignly bonding just kinda gross.
It’s a shame, because Silver Link is bringing their A-game: this anime is pretty, save for a few awkward shots, and even has a really nice score. Heck, Lilith, the titular mysterious maid, looks stunning and is fun to follow on screen! The colors also pop really well, and in so many ways, this felt like watching a successor to 2021’s The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated (the manga of which has the same author as Maid), but with a potentially non-supernatural/fantasy storyline. That’s charming enough on the surface… and yet.
There’s just that little thing about this being rom-com that’s grating, especially since at no point do we get their respective ages. Then again, even if Lilith is a teenager, I still find it weird that she’d want to be romantically involved with her definitely-a-child boss. It opens up all manner of issues, none of which I think this show, nor its source, are ever going to wrestle with.
THere is one other major thing: Lilith, the main character, who is presumably Japanese and sports deeply tanned skin in the same veins as Jahy and Nagatoro’s leads. It’s become a character design choice increasingly linked with impish characters and it just makes my skin itch because this show is definitely setting up Yuuri and Lilith as a couple, and… that’s incredibly fraught because like, this so often happens to darker (cis) women in anime, especially in the rare instance where they’re allowed to be romantic leads, and it sucks.
It’s this weird thing that happens when it comes to tanned characters, this sexuality that gets entangled with their traits. And like, don’t get me wrong: Lilith has a hella cute design, but also… she’s an adult (I don’t think we ever get her age, and I may be presuming because of her physicality) or at least, far closer to adulthood than her child charge. All this comes coupled with her being a maid in his employ which like… there’s a reason why interoffice relationships are discouraged. They’re messy, especially in a situation where you refer to your potential love interest as “Young Master” and have certain lines drawn between you. I’m not sure how to put the very “!!!” feeling in the back of my mind into words: perhaps I’ll have something to say in a few weeks at mid-season that’ll sum up my messy thoughts a bit better.
This premiere passed not unpleasantly though, and is enough that yeah, I’ll commit to it for a season. I’m super here for Lilith though there’s definitely some anxiety about an older, brown maid being in charge of a young, blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy that I can’t get rid of, especially given the dynamic set up in the premiere.
I’d like this to be much like Jahy, where it’s a story about community and coming together more than a plot that needs to lean on attractiveness amongst its feminine cast. But unfortunately, The Maid I Hired Recently is Mysterious is subtly leaning towards that endgame Yuuri and Lilith, which… ugh, the anxiety, especially since they’re both kinda into whatever game of romance chicken they’re playing as the “comedy” part of the show. But maybe things will surprise me as I continue to watch the heck out of this series all summer long. I’d like a bit of non-Tokyo Mew Mew New pizzazz this summer, preferably with less emphasis on when these two will declare their love for one another.
Editor’s Note: This review was edited after publication to provide clarifying details.