Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a thirteen-episode anime adaptation of the comedy manga of the same name written by coolkyousinnjya. The director for the series was Yasuhiro Takemoto, whilst it was written by Yuka Yamada. It was produced by Kyoto Animation.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid aired as part of 2017’s winter season, and is available on Crunchyroll.Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid begins with a meeting between an office lady – Miss Kobayashi – and a dragon called Tohru. Miss Kobayashi ends up taking in Tohru, who becomes Miss Kobayashi’s maid.
The show focuses on the everyday lives of Miss Kobayashi, Tohru and other humans and dragons.
There are plenty of great elements in this show, with the characters arguably being the best. Various relationships are developed over the course of the series, each with their own appeal.
Miss Kobayashi is an office worker. She is more on the stoic side, though she is kind-hearted as well – however, when she gets drunk she has a wild side and pretty much loses all inhibition when it comes to maids.
The dragon, Tohru, falls in love with Miss Kobayashi, hence her decision to stay with the office worker. She is wholly dedicated to serving Miss Kobayashi, though sometimes that affection can prove to be a little too much – tail meat might never be on the menu.
Miss Kobayashi and Tohru make for a great pair, but the addition of one more character introduces a real family dynamic into the show.
The adorable, electrical dragon that is Kanna is introduced fairly early on the series, and she initially believes that Miss Kobayashi had seduced Tohru into staying in the human world. However, that misunderstanding gets cleared up, and Kanna develops quite the attachment to Miss Kobayashi for the rest of the series.
Some of the best moments in the show come from the interactions we see between Kanna, Tohru and Miss Kobayashi. There is also another character that Kanna forms a close bond with.
There are more characters besides the three mentioned above, and notably, there are other dragons who appear in the human world as well. Whilst Fafnir and Elma also present some strong moments, there is a weak link.
When Lucoa is first introduced, it’s suggested that she has followed Tohru because she was worried about her. This gives the idea that she’s something of a guardian figure for Tohru, but ultimately, nothing comes of that.
Instead, Lucoa’s role is almost only to provide fanservice – she is the bustiest of the dragons, after all. This is a waste of a potentially interesting character, and that is only further exacerbated with the introduction of the young boy called Shouta.
The dynamic between Lucoa and Shouta really stands out when compared to the relationships between the other characters, and not for any good reasons. Again, Shouta seems like a decent character, but his potential is wasted. If he appears, it’s a good bet that he’ll be embarrassed by Lucoa, and that almost happens due to Lucoa’s figure. There are some actually genuinely sweet moments between Shouta and Lucoa, but they are few and far between.
Another young character that some might find a bit iffy is Riko Saikawa. The interactions between her and Kanna are certainly up there as some of the sweetest on the show, but their is a reliance on a running gag – some might find that wearisome over the course of the series.
That’s just five examples of said running gag above – there’s at least one episode that features it multiple times, though the show seems pretty self aware about it on that occasion.
Still, it just goes to show that Riko has a lot of love for Kanna. It does get a bit extreme sometimes, particularly like the situations with the girls playing Twister.
All the characters do have their own charms, it’s just that a couple don’t really get the opportunity to display them.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a comedy, and the humour is certainly there. Sure, there’s a reliance on running gags, but the show delivers plenty of other laugh-out-loud moments. Kanna might arguably be the best source of those, but that doesn’t mean the other characters don’t get in on the action.
The show provides plenty of laughs, but it also has heart.
The family dynamic between Miss Kobayashi, Tohru and Kanna pretty much takes centre stage when it comes to heart-warming moments, but more moments do come courtesy of the other characters.
The other dragons that come into the human world have to adjust to it as much as Tohru and Kanna. They do this in different ways, like perhaps by becoming a gamer or getting a job.
One of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid‘s biggest appeals is the way in which relationships between the characters are developed. Whilst Tohru makes her feelings for Miss Kobayashi crystal clear almost immediately, Miss Kobayashi slowly comes to terms with it over the course of the series. This leads up to a rewarding and satisfying finale.
The soundtrack for the show suits it perfectly – you get more playful tunes for the more typical slice-of-life stuff, but when the dragons start going all out as only dragons can, the music takes a suitably dramatic turn.
The opening theme is an upbeat, catchy number that is just a lot of fun.
Talking of dragons going all out, Kyoto Animation certainly took the opportunity to show off with those types of scenes. When dragons play, they play hard.
Whether it’s playing or a round of dodgeball, Kyoto Animation really manages to nail those explosive scenes. They are a real joy to watch, arguably being up there as some of the best animation from 2017’s winter season.
The show is pretty pleasant to look at all round, though – the big flashy scenes are impressive, but the calmer moments aren’t lacking in visuals either.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a heart-warming comedy that delivers both humour and sweetness in spades. The show isn’t without flaws, but its strengths shine so bright that it becomes easy to forgive the minor missteps the show makes.