Once again, I’ll be taking a break from looking at the Bleach manga in favour of something else. One of those things is the second volume of Puella Magi Oriko Magica: Sadness Prayer, but the one I’ll be focusing on here is volume 2 of coolkyousinnjya’s Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
With the anime almost finished at the time of writing, it’s quite interesting to take a look through the manga and see how things were changed for the anime adaptation.
There are a total of ten chapters in this volume, which opens with chapter eleven and closes with chapter twenty.
From housekeeping to Comiket to a trip to the beach, Dragon maid Tohru is ready to help out her beloved Miss Kobayashi with all of her supernatural strength! Tohru is starting to get used to life in the human world, and so are her dragon friends, like cute little Kanna and dark, moody Fafnir. But what will happen when her father appears to take her back to her old world?! Find out in this comedy that’s loved by humans and dragons alike!
Volume 2 kicks off with chapter 11, ‘Tohru & Cleaning’. Whilst doing housework, Miss Kobayashi and Tohru end up talking about how dragons maintain their hygiene. Tohru also has a few words to say about Miss Kobayashi’s untidiness as well, though Miss Kobayashi knows exactly how to sate Tohru.
Tohru is eager to prepare dinner for Miss Kobayashi in chapter 12, ‘Tohru & Omelette Rice’. Quetzalcoatl shows up (wearing less revealing clothes), and suggests that Tohru uses high quality ingredients to make omelette rice for Miss Kobayashi. Tohru does just that, visiting the other world to acquire some unique ingredients.
The focus switches to Kanna for chapter 13, ‘Kanna & School’. Kanna starts to attend school, with Tohru keeping an eye on her. Kanna manages to make a new friend. After the day is over, Kanna says to Tohru that living in the same place and the same time as humans means that it isn’t really weird for them to want to be together. A sentiment that Tohru feels towards Miss Kobayashi, as well.
Tohru sneaks into Miss Kobayashi’s work place in chapter 14, ‘Tohru & Office Work’. She observes Miss Kobayashi at work, though she can’t help but get involved when the section manager picks on Miss Kobayashi. Tohru’s ability to block perception turns out not to be perfect, as Miss Kobayashi ends up with a sneaking suspicion about her presence.
Tohru helps Fafnir to find somewhere to say in the human world in chapter 15, ‘Tohru & House-Hunting’. Fafnir asks Tohru about going back to their world, but she has no interest. He brings up the short lives the humans lead, but again, Tohru intends to value that time they have together. In the end, Tohru manages to find the perfect place for Fafnir to stay.
It’s a trip to the beach in chapter 16, ‘Tohru & The Ocean’. Yes, there is fanservice in the form of the bikini-clad Tohru in this chapter, but the discussion about Tohru’s and Miss Kobayashi’s families gives us an unusually serious conversation. Miss Kobayashi is certainly on better terms with her family than Tohru is with hers.
In chapter 17, ‘Tohru & Comiket’, Miss Kobayashi and Tohru end up helping out Makoto at Comiket. Turns out there are actually some real other worlders mixed in amongst the cosplayers. Tohru also has the opportunity to show off a little more of her true form (wings and tail), though this draws the attention of many people looking for photographs.
Tohru and Kanna are amazed by a show of spoon-bending on TV in chapter 18, ‘Tohru & ESP’. As such, they both decide to undergo training in order to master the art of ESP, despite possessing their own powers. In the end, Miss Kobayashi says that they should just focus on the things that only they can do.
Tohru wonders just how long she can keep on living in the human world in chapter 19, ‘Tohru & This World’. She contemplates what she would do if something forced her to return to her world, or even what might happen should Miss Kobayashi die. No matter her concerns though, she forgets them all when she sees Miss Kobayashi’s face. This chapter ends with someone Tohru knows well appearing.
Chapter 20 is called ‘Tohru & Father’, and as the title suggests, Tohru’s father comes in order to take her back to the other world. Tohru refuses, but he insists she goes back. Miss Kobayashi doesn’t know whether she should interfere in something between father and daughter at first. However, Miss Kobayashi has no intent of having her maid taken from her, and she lets Tohru’s father know as much. Of course, Tohru’s father just sees her as an insolent human, but Tohru would never let any harm befall her beloved master.
Having seen the anime, it’s pretty interesting to see how much Kyoto Animation expanded on certain scenes – in the manga, the focus is almost entirely on Miss Kobayashi and Tohru. Quetzalcoatl, Fafnir and others have their roles expanded in the anime, though whether that’s for better or worse depends upon the character.
Quetzalcoatl’s role isn’t just to be a source of fanservice here – her wearing a more modest outfit is evidence of that, though her choice of clothing for Comiket veers straight back into fanservice territory. It is only for a gag, though, I guess.
Another interesting thing about this volume of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is that it is labelled ‘all ages’ on the back. However, it contains the uncensored Tohru & Kanna bathing imagine spot, a rear view of a naked Tohru for a title page, and Tohru and Kanna sitting under a waterfall completely naked – and Tohru has visible nipples in that particular picture. Oh, and let’s not forget the part where Tohru tells Miss Kobayashi she is devoted to satisfying all her sexual needs. Seems like an odd choice to label this as suitable for all ages…
Not that it affects my enjoyment of the manga – though at the time of writing, I would have to say that I prefer the anime in almost every aspect. Saying that, the manga has the same mix of humour and heart-warming moments as well, though maybe not quite on the same level as the anime for the latter.
The last two chapters of this volume in particular happen to be my favourite, particularly with Miss Kobayashi confronting Tohru’s father. That’s such a great scene, and it effectively serves to show how Miss Kobayashi’s feelings towards Tohru have developed.