I have always suspected it, not only octopi walk amongst humans! When I met my most recent mother in law I felt it, a deep rooted evil and breath that can destroy anything. Last season one anime showed me that I was correct. Dragons walk among us.
But hey I must have been unlucky cause the ones we see in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid are cute yuri girls dressed in kawaii cosplays and carrying a d cup.
Frick my life!
This spring anime had its 13 episode long first season only a few months ago. And though it’s unlikely that we will ever get a second season, the manga/lightnovel is still ongoing.
It tells a very cute and lighthearted tale of one of the more dysfunctional families you will ever see.
I would classify it as a comedy slice of life show with some fantasy elements.
We follow protagonist Kobayashi who’s a hard working office girl with a standard nine to five job. As she is quite geeky and frail she only unwinds by having a drink with her male co-worker Takiya, who is a closet geek like her. Together they talk about bad cosplays and over indulge in beverages.
After a night of boozing Kobayashi goes for a little walk in the mountains where she encounters the dragon Tohru whom she convinces to come work for her as maid.
When Tohru shows up the next day Kobayashi knows she will get a whole lot more than she bargained for.
Over the course of the series we see Kobayashi grow familiar and coping with the new situation and even founding a weird little sort of family along with Tohru and her friend Kanna. Even though the journey of Kobayashi can be quite endearing and touching the series a comedy above anything else. A nice easy to watch one, with some candy cane like sweetness added into it as well.
The first dragon Kobayashi encounters provides the most humor, though it’s not a ROFL or LMAO type of humor in general. This anime provides polite very enjoyable chuckles with a little bit of a naughty edge. So let’s classify it as a KEK type of comedy.
Tohru has left her own world, because she has some nasty memories of that place, so instead she tries to visit “our” world. A world that is vastly different and of which she has no clue on how to fit in. This results in Tohru being a less than adequate maid. When it comes to doing laundry for example, Tohru finds it perfectly normal to lick or suck Kobayashi’s clothes clean.
The fact that she wants to be both her maid and here mate contributes to the awkwardness of this situation. Most of jokes made are of the slapstick kind. Like how Tohru and Kanna try to figure out what a seesaw does with them thinking it’s catapult training for children. When Kobayashi explains the true purpose they still misunderstand and use their dragon powers to launch each other kilometers high in the sky. Tohru offers a wide variety of jokes some dirty, some cute and others quite badass. Near the end of the second or third episode the girls go on a small trip. Tohru invites Kobayashi to roughhouse a little with her and Kanna on a grassy hill. Kobayashi refuses and before her eyes she see’s an epic dragon ball z like battle unfold between her two housemates. A great memorable moment and yet another kind of joke.
Overall the humor is well paced, even the recurring jokes like Tohru trying to feed Kobayashi her tail (so she can be inside her) and Kanna eating many living things are dosed well.
At times the series as a whole can feel a bit to silly due to its rapid succession of jokes, but because we deal with chuckles instead of loud laughter it never feels draining or overused. You keep on chuckling throughout the episodes.
But it’s neither Kobayashi or Tohru that makes this anime as good as it is. The greatness of this anime comes in the form of the most cute dragon ever! Kanna is a very young girl at heart but wise beyond her “earth years” because she is a dragon who has experienced quite a lot. The humor Kanna produces is oftenly so endearing I just want to hug her and then I realise how sad I look for hugging my laptop screen. As funny as Kanna is her main strength is her role in the little twisted family, taking the role of the child Kobayashi becomes a parent to her, a guardian at the very least, where Tohru alternately takes the role of a motherly figure or a big sister depending on the situations.
Trough Kanna, herself, Kobayashi and Tohru grow a lot as people, or dragons if you want me to be politically correct. Kobayashi will have to leave her shut-in ways behind her to take care of her “daughter” Tohru has to be better at the household not to burden Kobayashi even more and Kanna has to go to school and learn how to live like a human. When Kanna sees a keychain she really likes and suddenly acts out of character by not taking it because she feels like her guardian can’t pay for it really touched my heart for a bit. Right in the Kokoro, as the weeaboo says.
Unfortunately not everything about this show is a hit. Quetzalcoatl to me was what was wrong with this series. This dragon who also goes by the name of Lucoa, which saves me some awkward typing, is the typical fan service character. Now I don’t mind fanservice but this character is just all about it. Her stories are fanservice her jokes are fanservice and her character design is….. you guessed it!
Lucoa feels so one dimensional in comparison to the rest of the cast. Sure Tohru makes some dirty jokes like how one of her catchphrases that her cup size i D , D for Dragon, but Lucoa is nothing but those jokes. She has a presence that fills every scene. she is in but that is not with her charisma.
She appeared in the world in the house of a young mage who was trying to summon a demon, who therefore thinks she is his succubus familiar, which triggers a series of very easy and cheap laughs.
Her recurring joke has her sleeping with her master who keeps dreaming awkward things because in reality her boobs are on his face are the only ones I did not enjoy.
Ironical that the character whose breast size is a very famous beat-em-up franchise is the only flat character in the series.
Dragon Maid can at times feel a bit overly sweet thanks to sheer amount of girlyness in the series. Takiya is the only male human aside from some faceless bystanders until they introduce the butler cosplaying dragon of darkness Fafnir. This character brings some darkness to the series, in a cute way. He thinks little of mankind and is keen to destroy them. A real threat is never felt from him but somehow he manages to break the yuri heavy actions of Tohru and Kanna (yes she is trying to “sleep with” a six year old or so is implied). A change of pace and another kind of fanservice that I actually can appreciate a lot more. Fafnir becomes quickly addicted to gaming and gets dragged into the Otaku culture, so side stories involving him oftenly are filled with many references otaku’s might like.
He plays a game that looks surprisingly similar to a game that is well known for its difficulty for example. He goes to geek conventions to sell his fanfiction and more things like these.
It gives some variation to the classical slice of life locations like the beach episode or the mall.
The way the convention is portrayed also shows that the makers know their audience and that is just a kindness towards us.
Near the end of the show we are introduced to Elma, the episode title even refers to the long wait (as Elma is in the opening from the beginning). Episode titles often contain a small fourth wall break which I found pretty clever, I got dragged in more as I felt addressed Let us get back to Elma though, Elma is a dragon of a rivalling faction to that of Tohru’s. This adds yet another dimension to the group in the form a rivalry. Just when the humor was getting a bit stale there is a curveball to freshen things up again. The water doesn’t feel as unique and powerful as the other characters but then again she doesn’t need to , she isn’t here to steal the show she is here to make the rest interesting again.
Because she is a law dragon she is quite different than others and almost feels more human.Yet her recurring joke of having her taste all the food of the human world reminds you that she is not.
Dragon Maid is just incredibly cleverly written, each character , except Lucoa, adds something to the story. Everyone , except Lucoa, grows and has their own little role to play. No jokes feel redundant , exept Lucoa’s,and the series pace is absolutely lovely. No this is not an anime that you would even consider placing in your top 10 anime nor will you remember much about it by the next spring season.
This show is like a perfect cupcake, light and airy but nice and sweet, glazed with the cutest colours and there is even some depth in its flavor. It’s even a little bit moist.
It’s truly delicious and damn hard to flaw, except lucoa.
Yet when someone asks you the next ‘what did you eat yesterday’ you answer with what you had for dinner and will probably fail to even mention this wonderful little snack.