Writer/Artist: Aaliyah / Suzuhito Yasuda
Translator: Anastasia Moreno
Adaptation: Anastasia Moreno
What They Say
Delve into the world of manga and anime fandom through the fictional diary of the ultimate fangirl. Join our heroine on a tour of the J-Pop landscape, from the Akihabara neighborhood of Tokyo to the world's biggest anime/manga conventions.
In the high-tech Akihabara district of Tokyo, maid cafes are the manga lover's modern day answer to geisha house's of the past, where otaku come together to be served as if they are masters and mistresses in their own home. It is at one of these cafes that Aaliyah, an eighteen year old maid (waitress) finds her calling to become the best maid possible while increasing her cafe's status among the more noticeable cafes in Akihabara. While her skills are lacking at best, she continues to strive to become the perfect maid, one who intuitively knows the manner in which each “master” or “mistress” prefers to be served.
Maid Machinegun is Aaliyah's online diary about her life working as a maid and the people that she works with and encounters with others during her job. Her diary serves to educate its readers about the intricacies of a maid cafe, offer random advice and to voice her frustrations and struggles working as the junior maid in the cafe. She describes her coworkers as quirky individuals who often berate her, yet she reveals her appreciation for them. In return, Aaliyah's over enthusiasm for her job puzzles her co-workers, especially Yukino who even goes so far as to break into her laptop to address her suspicions on Aaliyah's online diary. Strangely, she offers no insight to her personal life outside of the cafe, nor does she reveal anything about her life prior to working at the cafe.
The book continues at a stready pace with few highs and lows until the last few pages where the mystery surrounding Aaliyah and leaves the story with an ending that feels rushed and contrived. Since the publication of this book is a result of a winning fan fiction submission, it does read amateurish at times. At times this quality is charming, at others it feels weak.
The best part about this book is that it gives the reader a glimpse of life in Tokyo's famous Akihabara district which for manga and anime fans living elsewhere provides an account, while fictional, of a part of manga culture that many only get to experience in a simulated environment such as anime conventions.