The series starts off with a brother (Ren) and sister (Mihato) who have run away from home to find a new life. However they have no luck, until a strange looking "loli" (Miyu) walks past. After posing in a shop window, the suns heat gets to her causing her to faint. Ren comes over to help her, and all three go back to her house. This house happens to be the Kuonji mansion, of the famous conductor Shinra. After some fighting and talk the Kuonji family offer both Ren and Mihato the chance to be their personal assistants. This is where the series then takes off, giving you the opportunity to see all the characters past troubles and how they develop throughout the series.
Shinra, Miyu & Yume
These three are the head of the house and are all sisters. Shinra is the oldest with black hair and red eyes to match her dark and mysterious personality. She loves Pandas and cute things, but also likes teasing them, which includes her sister Miyu and later Ren. This set-up leads to many strange, but enjoyable, scenes between them. However later it is revealed she holds a heavy burden upon her shoulders, yet does not show this to anyone initially.
Next is Miyu who is tormented by her older sister. She is 20 in the series, but looks very young, hence why she is referred to as the "moe" or "loli" character. She is very clever and has many inventions creating revenue for her.
The final sister is Yume who is shy, but has a vivid imagination. She feels as though everyone ignores her because she's not as loud or "out there" as everyone else in the house. She also receives less attention from her older sister, which is something she wants to find an answer to. In order to escape from her predicament she creates various fantasies in her head where everyone admires her above her two sisters. She is one character who is lost and is searching for her place; and is also suffering from confidence issues.
Ren & Mihato
Both Ren and Mihato share a "close" sister brother relationship. At some points it can feel awkward, perhaps even wrong in some people’s eyes. Ren escaped from his father’s grip, where his father would beat him for no reason (it is revealed why in the final episode). This is the reason they ran away, to get away from his abusive father. Ren is the main focus of the anime, and makes his way round all the characters in the house. Mihato is very protective of her brother. She displays a caring and happy personality, but can flip to becoming calculated and evil when her brother is in danger or being "hit on". Mihato becomes Miyus personal assistant where they share a close bond.
Benisu is a red head, and has a very short temper. She is the head maid of the house and Shinras personal assistant. She had a troubled past as well, until she was taken in by the Kounji family. She lost her parents at an early age and was taken in by relatives, who made her work in their restaurant. However when it closed she was thrown out and left to fend for herself. She is a skilled cook, and gets into various squabbles with Mihato over who is best at cooking.
Natose is another maid who is in charge of security. She is Yumes personal assistant, and like Benisu had a troubled past. She lost her family in a Tsunami, mainly her little brother and sister, before she was taken in. For this reason she treats Yume like a younger sister and tries to encourage her to never give up, and also feels the same way towards Ren. She loves food and is very energetic; enabling her to do things at a super-human pace.
There are more characters in the series, and one other main character, probably my favourite, that I have left for you to discover.
One theme present in this series is family. Everyone in the house is treated as if they were all one great big family. You could say they take various people from broken families and create their own. The series also deals with inner feuds within the family. One example is Shinra comes home from a concert and is stressed, where she finds Yume and Miyu playing games. She then has a go at them, where Miyu storms off. However Shinra is unable to see the pressure Miyu had been under and was unable to sense how she felt. This is just one typical example of a family situation which made the series more enjoyable for me.
Another important theme present is lack of confidence. There are two characters this is mainly brought to light through, but other characters also have this trait present. These are Yume and another almost unnoticed butler Chiharu. Yume is still young, so is still trying to find who she is and what she wants to do in the world. She also wants to know why Shinra pays very little attention to her. This is later revealed in the series, which for me was an emotional moment, just because the situation was very close to one I have been in. I sympathised more with Shinra in this situation, since carrying such a heavy burden of "being oldest" and having the responsibility of looking after younger sisters at difficult times can be hard, as well as continuing with what you are trying to do yourself.
Child abuse is another theme present in this series. Almost all the "main" butlers have had to put up with some form of this. Whether it's Ren with his Dad beating him, or Benisu being taken advantage of by her relatives. However all the characters have come through their troubles, or eventually do, which is a great message to put across to anyone watching the series. The idea that no matter how much you are put down you can still be happy and find something you enjoy. In this case it's the butlers/maids looking after their masters and feeling welcome as part of the family.
There's so much more in the series, and these themes are dealt with in more depth in the series. There's also lots of comedy moments and anime links to be made for people who enjoy going "oh that's so and so from such and such". Something more trivial that I picked up on is the underwear the characters wear is used to symbolise their personalities. For example Benisu always has red underwear on to symbolise her fiery temper. Or Shinra wears black to symbolise her seductive nature.
In conclusion, They are my Noble Masters was a very enjoyable series. Not just for the echhi moments, but also the themes and character present in the series. It is more of a laid back series, and nothing is too heavy for the audience. I just hope it gets licensed, ANN DVD rating in Japan have been showing high ratings for the series. I’ve watched this series through 3 times already, and every time I find it enjoyable to watch, definitely something I recommend to try.
I also heard the DVDs are uncensored . No more well placed beams of light, or bath bubbles...