Now, here’s one of the few volumes of manga I picked up from the MCM London Comic Con October 2016. With this series getting an anime adaptation for the winter 2017 season, I figured I’d buy this to get a feel for the series. Was it worth the purchase? Well, you’ll have to read on to see.
Before that, though, let’s start with a little of the history of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. The series itself was written and illustrated by coolkyousinnjya – other works by this mangaka include I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying and Komori-san Can’t Decline.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid began serialisation in Futabasha’s Monthly Action magazine in May 2013.
The aforementioned anime adaptation will be produced by Kyoto Animation, and the director will be Yasuhiro Takemoto. It is due to start airing in January 2017. It is the manga I will be focusing on here.
As is customary, I’ll be starting with the blurb – taken straight from the back of the volume, which features a picture of Kanna:
Miss Kobayashi lives in an ordinary apartment, along with new maid, Tohru…a dragon girl! Tohru despises all humans except for Miss Kobayashi, who she adores. Tohru works diligently to serve her beloved mistress, but there are a lot of little things that she can’t seem to quite get right…. Take a peek into the daily life of a hard-working office lady and her inept dragon maid in this inhumanly delightful comedy!
We start with chapter 1, ‘Tohru & Miss Kobayashi’. In this chapter, Miss Kobayashi decides to stop riding Tohru to work, Tohru serves a piece of her tail for dinner and we see how effective dragons are for home security. Oh, and there’s also the part where Tohru says she likes Miss Kobayashi sexually.
Chapter 2 is called ‘Tohru & Their First Meeting’. We get the beginning in the second chapter, where its revealed how Tohru and Miss Kobayashi met and how the former came to stay with the latter – it involved alcohol.
‘Tohru & Laundry’ is the title of chapter 3. Tohru’s… unique method for doing the laundry causes Miss Kobayashi some concern – particularly the part where she washes the delicates in her mouth. Also turns out that a rainy day isn’t any match for a dragon.
In chapter 4, ‘Tohru & Jealousy’, Miss Kobayashi ends up hanging out with one of her male colleagues, Makoto Takiya. As you may be able to guess from the title chapter, Tohru sees Makoto as a rival for Miss Kobayashi’s affections. The three go drinking together, though Tohru is unable to keep up with their conversations. One is about work, the other is about maids – both Miss Kobayashi and Makoto are closet otaku.
Chapter 5 is ‘Tohru & Shopping’, where it’s revealed that Tohru gets along surprisingly well with humans other than Miss Kobayashi. Tohru also apprehends a thief, which draws a lot of attention to her.
‘Tohru & Kanna’ is the title of chapter 6. Miss Kobayashi ends up inviting another dragon girl into her home, though this one insists that she breaks up with ‘Lady Tohru’. Tohru returns homes later, and is surprised to see Kanna Kamui there. After Kanna reveals her reasons for being in the human world, Miss Kobayashi decides to take her in.
Next is chapter 7, ‘Tohru & Common Knowledge’. Kanna is pretty quick to get over her distrust of Miss Kobayashi, even becoming attached to her. Whilst Miss Kobayashi goes out to work, Tohru teaches Kanna about the human world. There are a few things Tohru doesn’t know, however…
We get festive in chapter 8, ‘Tohru & Christmas’. Miss Kobayashi invites Makoto over to her place – naturally, Tohru isn’t best pleased. She gets over it pretty quick, though. Tohru also invites a couple of her friends over – fellow dragons Fafnir and Quetzalcoatl.
Kanna gets bored in chapter 9, ‘Tohru & the Dangerous Game’, so Tohru takes her and Miss Kobayashi out to play. Miss Kobayashi tries to get some rest after a hard day’s work, but the games that dragons play are rather destructive…
Volume 1 finishes with chapter 10, ‘Tohru & Valentines’. Tohru tries to give Miss Kobayashi some chocolate, with an extra ingredient. Miss Kobayashi is able to see through Tohru’s plan, but ends up eating the chocolate later when she sees Kanna eating it and assumes it is safe.
That wraps up the first volume of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. Apparently it is suitable for ‘all ages’, even though Tohru says she is interested in Miss Kobayashi sexually and during one part she is stripped down. Tohru being stripped happens on a couple of other occasions too, but that is off-panel so we don’t see anything.
With that out of the way, I really enjoyed reading this. Miss Kobayashi, Tohru and Kanna are all characters I really like, and their interactions with each other are filled with plenty of humour – there’s even some touching moments, such as Miss Kobayashi holding Tohru’s hand and Miss Kobayashi taking in Kanna.
Miss Kobayashi and Tohru’s relationship is a lot of fun as well – Tohru wastes no time in letting us know that she is in love with Miss Kobayashi. Miss Kobayashi herself may not be as open as Tohru, but there are a few moments in this first volume where it’s made clear that Tohru has had a positive impact on her life.
Guess I should answer the question I asked in the first paragraph, then: was it worth the purchase?
Yes, I would say so.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a lot of fun. It has good humour, interesting and varied characters and dragons. What else would you need? If you’re into comedy and/or yuri, then this manga is a pretty good shout.
Having picked this up and read it, I am very much looking forward to the anime adaptation that will air in the winter 2017 season.