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Dated 18 March 2006: Hand Maid May

Man, the Hand Maid May box set with the figure is freaking $19 with free shipping. Damn, yo. [Update: Too late.]

Dated 12 February 2002: Hand Maid May

While I consider Chobits be a failure in the robot-girlfriend genre, Hand Maid May is surprisingly good. All 11 episodes are already available on three DVDs, and while I've only seen the old, low-res fansubs, I'm prepared to heartily recommend them.

May and Kazuya
Hand Maid May and Kazuya Saotome

Hand Maid May neatly joins two staples of anime: The robot-girlfriend and the maid-uniform genres. (See also Mahoromatic.) It's a fairly simple, silly, stereotypical anime in the giant-sweatdrops and "falling down after hearing something surprising" vein with rampant rampant fan service throughout the first episode. Somewhat ironically, because it's not at all ambitious, it succeeds brilliantly. Hand Maid May is simply a cute comedy about a clueless geek (Kazuya Saotome), his spirited sex bomb neighbor (Kasumi Tani), and a tiny devoted robot maid (Cyber Doll May), and on that level it works very well.

Okay, Kotaro Nambara (Kazuya Saotome's chief rival and antagonist) is incredibly annoying, albeit intentionally so. However, I am willing to cut him some slack because everyone else in the show is pretty charming. Besides, Nambara's voice actor is Ueda Yuuji, who also played Urashima Keitaro in Love Hina and later went on to do fairly innocuous soft core porn with Asakawa Yuu, the voice of Motoko from Love Hina and Sakaki from Azumanga Daioh. Whoop!