The correlation between the anime and I watch and whether they have character songs is not necessarily a 1:1 kind of deal, but even for shows I don’t follow, I maintain a Twitter to continually give news. I love character songs. As I’ve said in previous articles, the heart of any shows it is characters, and these songs are based around those characters, reflecting what they’ve gone through in the series. I’m also a fan of tokusatsu, but my articles that are primarily about toku go somewhere else. Today, we’re going to be looking at the fanservice comedy Kamen no Maid Guy.
Maruboro Akai’s Kamen no Maid Guy (Masquerade Maid Guy) is about Naeka Fujiwara (CV: Yuka Iguchi, in one of her earliest roles), a busty high school girl who just inherited a fortune. With the fortune comes Kogarashi and Fubuki, a pair of family maids who both make Naeka’s life easier, and make it a living hell. Kogarashi is larger than life, with whatever superpower a joke requires him to have. As far as twelve episode series go, it came and went quickly, and it has yet to be licensed for release in America. Yet, because of the focus on Naeka’s breasts, Kogarashi’s almost superhero-like antics and the sheer absurdity of the thing, it’s one of those series that will always have at least a small presence in my mind.
It also has character songs.
There were four singles released for the series, featuring songs both expected and unorthodox. For every major character that got a song, there were some characters that stick out as oddities. Naeka’s breast fan club got a song, as did a fish seller who was a recurring character. We’re going to focus on the head maid himself, Kogarashi.
What kind of song do you give to someone like Kogarashi? He is, as previously stated, nearly a superhero. Rikiya Koyama has been in tokusatsu before, and was Joe the Haze before a certain passing-through Kamen Rider. One of Kogarashi’s personal roll calls in the manga even alludes to Stronger’s. Paying homage in music is hardly unheard of. So they gave Kogarashi this.
“Sore ga Kono Ore Maid Guy” (それがこの俺メイドガイ;That’s Me, Maid Guy) is an 80s techno-style song that begins with Kogarashi’s distinctive cry of “Kyuin!” before he calls out “Your service begins!”.
The lyrics are Kogarashi bragging about what he does best, and how he does it. Here’s a translation of the first verse.
“What is a man?” is something trivial to say
A steel body in an apron dress
From today on, I’ll give you honest service
Washing, cooking, exterminating assassins, leave it up to me!
Service! What is service? An indomitable spirit
It’s good to be prepared for anything, taking care of you to the ends of hell
Maid Guy! Growling instinct
Maid Guy! Perfect from start to finish
That is me, Maid Guy!
It’s not a very complex character-song, lyric wise. It’s Kogarashi bragging, though the lyrics about wearing a frilly dress, juxtaposed against him singing about killing assassins, do keep the comedic tone of the series. It’s the same juxtaposition that the series itself runs on. A bit of a one-note joke, but that joke is fortified by Kogarashi having other things going on, like being a super genius and being able to print pictures using the USB connection in his ear.
But that melody behind the lyrics. Doesn’t it sound familiar? Even the first line, “What is a man?” (Answer: Elfman’s catchphrase) sounds very familiar. Now, it’s time for another quick history lesson!
Space Sheriff Gavan is the first of the Space Sheriff trilogy. It stars the legendary Kenji Ohba as Retsu Ichijouji/Gavan, who fights against the Makuu and Don Horror with his laser sword, his giant dragon spaceship and some incredible stuntwork. Even if you haven’t seen Gavan’s original series, most toku fans today are at least passingly familiar with him. He returned in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, taking the traditional January VS movie. The model work was updated to CGI, but the character of Gavan remained as cool as ever. Toei’s testing of the waters paid off.
Gavan will now be returning in his own, non-Gokaiger movie this October. In order to promote it, the new Gavan will be making a cameo appearance in the current Sentai series, Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters. Aside from Ohba’s stunts, by far the most famous part of Gavan is its theme song, sung by Akira Kushida. Here’s the song, and a translation of its first verse.
Aren’t you a man?
Don’t you hesitate
Fire up the engines of your heart
I am here, one step ahead
At the speed of light,
towards tomorrow we DASH!
Youth, oh what is youth?
It’s about not turning your back around
Love, oh what is love?
It’s about being unstoppable!
Gavan! Overflowing tears
Gavan! Bring on the courage
Space Sheriff Gavan!
The song also brags about the abilities of one man, but it asks about the concepts of youth and love rather than Kogarashi’s bombastic ideas of “service”. In either case, a catchphrase (Gavan’s “Bring on the courage”/”Yoroshiku yuuki”) is incorporated into the lyrics. That’s what a theme song is about, letting you know that the person(s) it sings the praises of are worth looking up to, and what they can teach you in return.
Listening to them back to back, it’s clear that “That’s Me, Maid Guy!” is a musical tribute to “Space Sheriff Gavan”. They’re almost exactly the same song. Since the opening lines are the same, I can wager that this was meant to be a homage, and not a ripoff. I like this because it speaks to the lasting power of anime and tokusatsu, and how they’re connected. Toku can do tributes to anime (Z-Cune Aoi, which is probably the subject of a future article itself), and anime can do tributes to toku, which is the focus of my ongoing Animenger Storm series.
Though Kogarashi is a lot more violent and also more morally ambiguous than Gavan, both of them can always be counted upon to be present when Naeka or the world needs them.