In Tadaima! (ただいま!) middle schooler Chiaki falls in crush with her housekeeper Hana.
Aaaand, that’s about the entire volume, pretty much.
Chiaki’s mom is in Florida studying annual rainfall, and her dad is a dad, so the house is looking a bit like a middle schooler and her father are living alone. Dad decides that it makes sense to get a housekeeper. When Chiaki – and indeed everyone else – meets Hana, her first reaction is hearthrobbing attraction and her second reaction is, is this really a woman?
Hana is the strong, silent type. In fact, she is often drawn without a mouth, to emphasize that she just doesn’t talk much. There’s only one mention of Takarazuka throughout the volume, but one can’t help but make the connection almost immediately between Hana and an otokoyaku.
Chiaki’s relationship with Hana exists mostly in her head, of course. She imagines that she and Hana are out on dates, when they are are going shopping for food or the housekeeper is walking her to cram school. She plans elaborate scenes where they will spend private time together, but in reality, Hana is a great housekeeper and that’s pretty much that.
Chiaki’s friends get real tired of her talking about Hana all the time, and tease her about it. Her childhood friend Haruta never does get a clue that he’s not even in the running for her Valentine’s Day chocolates. But nothing is going to come of any of it, because Chiaki’s a middle schooler and Hana’s the housekeeper.
The only potential conflict that could possibly arise is when Chiaki’s mother comes back, but after a not-terribly-tense few pages, we all live happily every after: Chiaki, Dad, Mom, Hana and Hana’s brother (who I haven’t mentioned, but who is a semi-regular character.)
Art – 4 and frequently worse, but it’s not supposed to be a richly detailed artistic landscape.
Story – 5 It’s one joke, like most 4-koma
Characters – It’s not hard to remember those days when you were Chiaki, really.
Yuri – 4 It’s constant, but one-sided
Service – .5
Overall – 6
Like most 4-koma, this series would work best reading a few pages at a time over a long period of time, rather than all at once.
Overall, a slightly amusing manga that may make you remember the crushes of your youth, if you’re inclined to that kind of nostalgia.