The fourth volume of coolkyousinnjya’s Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid introduces a new dragon to the mix. This particular character doesn’t appear in the anime – though if there’s a second season she almost certainly will – so I’ll be sharing my thoughts on some manga-only content here.
Some of the chapters in this volume have been adapted for the anime, though the presence of the new character has them play out differently.
Tohru’s just trying to enjoy life with her beloved Miss Kobayashi, but that’s not so easy to do with Ilulu wreaking havoc around every corner! Though Tohru fights to protect Miss Kobayashi from the chaos dragon’s destructive desires, Ilulu has been raised with the belief that all humans are enemies – and doesn’t believe their bond can be real…! It’s dragon maid vs. dragon fiend in the latest volume of this super-popular, monstrously funny comedy!
The volume kicks of with chapter 31, ‘Tohru & Ilulu’. As Miss Kobayashi and Elma watch on, Tohru and Ilulu end up fighting each other. They both possess enough power to destroy the city, but Tohru devotes some energy to protecting it – and as a result, the battle becomes one-sided.
However, Miss Kobayashi is able to enlist the aid of Elma, which in turn allows Tohru to unleash all of her power without fear.
It’s time for some reminiscing in chapter 32, ‘Tohru & Their First Meeting II’. This will be familiar for those who have the seen the anime – the events recounted in this chapter are when Miss Kobayashi first met Tohru in a forest.
Takiya arranges a get-together in chapter 33, ‘Tohru & Hot Springs’. At the hot springs, Miss Kobayashi gets rather jealous of the older dragons’ assets, and they go on to talk about how dragons taking human form works.
Whilst the girls are talking about that in their hot spring, Fafnir asks Takiya why he proposed a get-together – he simply wants to build up community with his friends.
Kanna wants Miss Kobayashi to go to parents’ day in chapter 34, ‘Kanna & Parents’ Day’. However, Miss Kobayashi says she will be busy with work, which upsets Kanna. This chapter was adapted for the anime, but in the manga Kanna actually encounters Ilulu. Ilulu tries to persuade Kanna to destroy Miss Kobayashi’s workplace, but Kanna is having none of that.
Thinks work out in Kanna’s favour in the end, anyway.
Elma has gotten much better at working at the office in chapter 35, ‘Elma & The Company’. She finds out just how much of her work Miss Kobayashi was taking on for her whilst she adjusted, and ends up challenging her to see who can complete the most work.
It’s Miss Kobayashi’s turn for an encounter with Ilulu in chapter 36, ‘Ilulu & Miss Kobayashi’. Ilulu wants to try to understand how a human can live with a dragon – she suspects it may be because of lust. Ilulu attempts to seduce Miss Kobayashi, but ends up failing miserably.
Miss Kobayashi explains how bonds can be formed. Ilulu decides that Miss Kobayashi does have a sexual thing towards Tohru, and uses a little magic.
Ilulu’s magic has resulted in Miss Kobayashi switching gender in chapter 37, ‘Tohru & That’. She still looks normal though, it’s just a part of her anatomy has changed – nothing is explicitly shown but is referred to several times throughout the chapter.
Miss Kobayashi spends the chapter fighting the ‘magically imposed male libido’, only to feel absolutely nothing when Tohru strips off her maid outfit. She returns to normal at the end of the chapter.
Chapter 38 is ‘Miss Kobayashi & Ilulu’ – except my copy of this volume of the manga has managed to lose an ‘a’ from Miss Kobayashi’s name somewhere, so the title of this chapter ends up being ‘Miss Kobyashi & Ilulu’. It also mislabels it as chapter 33…
We get a glimpse of Ilulu’s past, and in the present we see that a dragon-slayer named Clemene has followed her to the human world.
When Miss Kobayashi goes out, she happens upon the unconscious Ilulu. She lifts her and escapes from Clemene – when Ilulu comes to, she reveals her true feelings on the humans.
Clemen interrupts, but Miss Kobayashi doesn’t hesitate to protect Ilulu. He strikes her, but that soon proves to be a very bad mistake. Tohru arrives.
Ilulu has a lot to learn about the human world in chapter 39, ‘Tohru & Babysitting’. Ilulu is left in Tohru’s care, and Tohru is eager to teach her about how the human world works. Tohru asks Ilulu what she intends to do. Ilulu spends some time thinking about it, and reaches a decision shortly after Miss Kobayashi returns home.
That’s it for the fourth volume of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and there’s a couple of things that I don’t really like about it.
First up, Ilulu’s design is just utterly absurd – if you thought Lucoa was ridiculous proportioned, Ilulu is even worse. Her choice of outfit is just as ridiculous, too – fortunately, she does go for more normal clothes later on. Heck, I’d say a change of outfit is an improvement, though her absurd proportions remain.
My biggest issue with this volume, though, is chapter 37. I really did not enjoy reading it. Some of the stuff regarding Lucoa in the anime I have seen referred to as ‘anime BS’ – I feel that phrase more than applies for the stuff that happens in chapter 37, as well. It’s even worse than the Lucoa stuff, too…
I really do not think too kindly of harems, and that’s basically what this chapter descends into – it’s a low point when Miss Kobayashi wakes up and gets aroused by Kanna hugging her. Kanna also conveniently happens to be naked, too.
I know Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is capable of being much more than that, but coolkyousinnjya decided to go there regardless. I’m glad that this chapter never made it into the anime adaptation, and if there’s a second season, I really hope that this whole chapter gets skipped over.
I had caught wind of chapter 37 before, so I was dreading reading it. Turns out my apprehension was well-founded, and my hope that it would be a case of ‘oh, it’s not actually that bad’ was misplaced.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid has disappointed me.
That’s just one chapter – well, technically one and a bit – however. As much as I dislike Ilulu’s design, I did come to appreciate her character as I got to know more about her whilst reading this volume. We also got to see another fight between dragons, and those tend to be pretty spectacular.
Having a dragon-slayer follow the dragons from their world also certainly seems like it could set up some more interesting encounters in the future.
We also get to see Elma’s character develop a bit more in this volume, which is nice.
See? There is funny and interesting stuff to be found in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. It’s just that volume 4 also happens to contain one of the most disappointing and unfunny chapters I’ve ever read in a series I otherwise love, which really hurts my enjoyment of it.
At least it doesn’t end with it – that would leave a really bad taste in my mouth. Luckily, we end with some character development for Ilulu, which is more compelling.
Despite my disappointment, I still do enjoy Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and I will continue collecting the manga until its conclusion – I just hope that I never have to experience the same disappointment again.