If you were J.C.Staff, and you wanted to adapt a shojo manga into a show, why not pick one where the female lead is a tsundere maid? Sounds like a good idea to me.
“I spent most of yesterday thinking of why I hate you.”
Yes, this may be a shojo show, but it has the authentic J.C.Staff tsundere flavor.
The dynamic between the male lead Takumi and the female lead Misaki is similar to Kare Kano (which I have read) and Special A (which I have not). Misaki is a fiercely competitive girl who is physically strong, gets high grades and, as the titular Kaicho (Student Council President), imposes strict order on the large male population of her high school.
And Takumi is the boy who is ahead of her in everything.
Not only does he beat her in school, he also manages to find out that because her family is poor, she works in a maid cafe in a nearby town, a secret that she thinks would ruin her reputation if it got out. (How easy is it to keep a secret like that?)
Misaki actually says “Owata \(^o^)/” here.
To make things worse, as the coolest guy in school who is apparently uninterested in girls, Takumi ends up making a lot of girls cry when he turns down their love confessions, and thanks to past dramas in her life, Misaki hates guys who make girls cry.
Of course, stuff happens to give Misaki a better opinion of Takumi eventually. When she is weakened by overwork, he saves her from a group of guys who try to take revenge on her for violently confiscating their leader’s earrings in the past.
Having a tsundere female lead is generally a good thing, but if they overdo her violent tendencies she can come off as abusive and undesirable. But J.C.Staff has learned from their extensive experience with the character type, and you never get the “I don’t think I’d ever date this girl in real life” feeling that you would get from, say, Louise of Familiar of Zero. A good tsundere character eventually sheds some of her harshness and dishonesty with herself by the end of the story, and from the hints in the first episode, it looks like Misaki will do just that. In the final scene of the episode, even if she doesn’t want to, she admits that she was glad Takumi was always ahead of her. And while she will continue to compete with him, it’s clear that she already doesn’t hate him as much as she used to.
Also, Misaki is told to take it easy no fewer than three times in the first episode.
I’m pretty sure part of Misaki’s character development in the series involves learning how to be more laid back. Sure she has it rough with being the student council president and being poor and all, but too much stress is bad, and the first episode hints at the possible consequences if she doesn’t change.
As for our male lead, Takumi’s probably not the perfect prince on a white horse that he seems to be on the outside. I haven’t seen any significant support for this, but I’m guessing we’ll learn why he doesn’t seem to be interested in girls, and why he happens to be be uncommonly concerned about Misaki.
That could be a reason, and already he doesn’t seem like such a good boy.
In summary, the story is interesting. The art is good, even if the animation takes some shortcuts. The J.C.Staff character designs make the typical shojo art of the manga look rounder and more moefied, which makes it easier on the eyes for people who aren’t used to the shojo style. And there is the whole appeal of a shojo story that just happens to star a tsundere maid.
Finally, don’t forget that it’s J.C.Staff, and therefore awesome until proven otherwise.