The Duke of Death and His Maid might not be the most hyped anime of the season, but the supernatural romantic comedy has proved itself to be really, really good at what it does – even if all it does is depict the day-to-day interaction between the cursed Duke and his maid, Alice. In fact, some would argue this is the best part of the series. So, do the Duke and Alice get together in the end?
For the uninitiated, The Duke of Death and His Maid is based on a manga of the same name, by Koharu Inoue. Combining Gothic and fairytale aesthetics, it follows a young Duke – only known by his title – who is cursed by a witch as a child. Since then, he's been unable to touch any living being without killing it.
The Duke's mother banishes him to a faraway family property where he's only taken care of by his butler, Rob, and his maid, Alice. The latter is the daughter of a maid that used to serve his family and the only childhood friend that didn't abandon the Duke when he was cursed. The Duke had been kind to her when other children bullied her for her social status, hence she remained devoted to him, no matter what.
But Alice no longer sees the Duke as a friend. Growing up, she realizes her romantic feelings for him – which she expresses in endless teasing. Thankfully, the feelings are mutual, but the angst of never being able to touch is a very real problem. Early on, the Duke resolves to do anything in his power to break his curse, so that he can propose to her. So, will they succeed?
Warning: Manga Spoilers Below!
The good news about the Duke and Alice is that they are already together in most ways that matter. As early as Episode 2 of the 12-episode anime, the two confess their love for each other.
Although they can't touch, they still enjoy happy, peaceful, and occasionally adventurous times together. Their friends, Cuff and Zain note that the Duke and Alice are very open about their feelings, and able to talk honestly. Plus, Alice's attempts to break the curse are nothing short of adorable.
So, where's the suspense in that? What suspense there is, comes from whether or not the curse will break, so that the characters can have a physical relationship. So far, this has not happened in the manga, so there's something to look forward to. Even if the curse was never to break, however, I don't think this will stop the characters from being a couple.
The Duke and Alice have spent so long together that they understand each other better than anyone, and their chemistry is a joy to watch, so, unless something major happened that changed everything we know about the story, they seem unlikely to break up.
For some readers and viewers, the fact that the Duke and Alice get together so early in the series might seem boring, but others will surely find it refreshing to watch. Instead of wasting episodes in silly, pointless misunderstandings or characters dancing around their feelings, we get to see them being cute around each other.
This means that the anime – which is currently available to stream on Funimation – is particularly enjoyable to watch if you like cute couples, but not the drama the precedes their relationship status. Some tropes are still there, but The Duke of Death and His Maid is good fun most of the time, and the relationship between the Duke and Alice is a joy to watch.