For unknown reasons, a witch curses a young boy with Deathtouch: any living thing he touches will die. The boy (whose name wasn’t revealed in this episode) happens to be the eldest son of a duke, and his family banishes him to live alone in a distant villa. Well, not quite alone. There’s a butler who was off-screen this episode, and the eponymous maid, Alice. Despite knowing about the curse, Alice is extremely flirtatious toward the young man, partly because she seems to like him and partly because she finds it amusing to see his flustered efforts to avoid accidentally killing her. Over the course of the episode, we also learn guy’s family is planning to disinherit him in favor of his younger brother, and Alice suggests they try to break the curse together.
It’s a romantic comedy, with hints of potential mystery / drama / intrigue. This episode is basically just introducing the two leads and the premise, so it’s difficult to say for sure what kind of story this will turn out to be. I have one major complaint: why doesn’t the grass die when Reaper Boy touches it? Is that supposed to be some sort of clue about how the curse works, or were the animators just lazy and didn’t bother to show the grass withering? Well, whatever. I liked the visuals, which somehow remind me of a storybook, and I enjoyed the humor enough that I’ll definitely try the next episode of Reaper Boy and Teaser Girl.
The Duke of Death and His Maid is airing on Funimation. Read our thoughts on all the new summer anime series, in addition to comments from our other writers, on our Summer 2021 Anime First Impression master post.