Tonight I argued with my mum while making dinner (don’t worry, it’s like a sport for us) about butlers. I had remembered reading somewhere that Butlers were the head chef in a household as well as chief of staff. My mom refuted this as ‘bullshit’ because she had evidently grown up with TV shows about butlers and thought that she knew them better. Well, I know how inaccurate US TV shows from the 70s are, and I was pretty sure that my precious manga authors knew a lot more, so I, too, was confident. (Of course, I could not find any information online regarding butlers being chefs, so I guess I lose. I’m sure someone with a ridiculous knowledge of butlers will comment with the answer.) But after the debate, I had to ask myself – since when was I so defensive about butlers?!
Well, obviously anime did it. Anime has done a lot to make butlers and maids fucking awesome. Kuroshitsuji is about a butler with the powers of hell on his side. Hayate the Combat Butler <- that was a statement. Sure Ladies Vs. Butlers doesn’t do a whole lot for their case, but the point is that there are a lot of fucking butlers in anime. And what’s more, these stories tend to be written by people who are obviously big fans of butlers, as they glorify the hell out of the profession, using exposition points to correct misconceptions about their duties and make it look like the profession is nothing short of secret ops work.
And don’t get me started on maids. Maids are more of a fetish thing in anime, more amazing not for their expertise in pouring tea during mortal combat as for they expertise in giving a fantastic blow-job while covered in the drinks they just tripped and spilled all over themselves, but nonetheless, it is glorified. And not all maids are an S&M moe fantasy, because some of them are ex-military warriors who can catch up to, latch onto, and demolish a moving car before being blown up AND SURVIVING.
I wonder if the obsession with butlers and maids is part of the mystique of the rich. The idea that a rich person’s right-hand-man should be the most amazing person alive, or that to work in an exorbitant mansion, you must be able to give a serious blow-job. Or maybe it’s just the usual power fantasy, or even just the sweeter side of a romantic ideal of people who do everything for you. Of course, it could just be those damn sexy uniforms. Maid outfits have that classic look of lolita fancy with a striking black and white design and butlers… well, ZZ Top put it best.
Whatever it may be, butlers and maids have become integral to modern anime, it seems. Their presence is not even blinked at. When a maid or at least a maid cosplay shows up in some anime, it never strikes me as out-of-place, but rather expected. I know it must be widespread, because even my younger brother has a maid fetish, and he’s not really a man of fetishes. I realize now that my perception of maids and butlers have been totally skewed by anime. If I tried to discuss anything related to maids or butlers with a normal person, I don’t even think our imaginations would slightly match up. they’d be thinking ‘dirty servant’, while I’d be thinking ‘sexy badass.’
How do you feel about maids and butlers? Been swept up in the craze yet?
(All of my post titles are references to Hayate the Combat Butler, but this one is actually a direct copy of the chapter title ‘Night of the Servants’ from book 2)
(This is another post I kind of tried to do in the style of my Honey-Bunny. Yes, I’ve settled on that name.)