Mahoromatic: Surprisingly Sweet Romance Between a Boy and a Robot Maid
Intro and Summary:
In the past, Mahoro was a battle android. She was made to fight a war against alien invaders. When the war was over, as a reward for years of service, she was allowed to live a retirement out however she wanted. She decides on the rather unexpected course of becoming a maid.
And, it just so happens, middle school boy Suguru, an orphan who lives alone, is looking to hire a maid. Mahoro soon helps him clean up his apartment, and learns how to cook delicious and nutritious meals for him. She develops a romantic rivalry with Suguru's teacher, who has bigger breasts and taunts Mahoro for having small ones. Mahoro also struggles with the guilt and grief about the war.Similar to the TV show M.A.S.H., intense moments of pain and sadness are interspersed with sexual gags.
Manga by Bunjūrō Nakayama
Shaft and Gainax
2001 - 2003
3 OVA episodes
At first, it seems like Mahoromatic is just another fanservice comedy. But it's more than just boob jokes. Mahoro is a compelling character; as a veteran, she looks to retire to a more peaceful civilian life, but she regrets her past. She also worries that her past will follow her, endangering people she cares about. Thus a show that appears light-hearted at first has some emotional gravity and maturity to it you might not have expected. It is still adolescent (straight) male wish fulfilment, but it's also a surprisingly touching romance story.
It's disappointing when a work doesn't live up to its full potential, like the damn Hobbit movies. But the other side of that coin is, it's really satisfying when something is better than you would expect based on a description of the plot. And that's what Mahoromatic is, a pleasant surprise.