Back when I started this blog, one of my very first posts was on this anime. I’ve come along way since then, and I’ve always felt I needed to come back to this series and give it another look. Or maybe it was just an excuse to watch it again. Either way, join me after the cut as I re-dive into the anime: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a simple story. We follow Miss Kobayashi who, after a night of wandering around drunk, ends up having a woman named Tooru come to her and serve as her maid. The problem? Tooru is a dragon, a full grown, fire breathing, green scaled dragon. What happens next is a series of day to day adventures as Kobayashi, Tooru and their friends go about their lives.
That’s it, that’s the entire show.
Now Anime has always been able to take just about any premise and make a good show about it. I’ve talked before about ‘Tune In, Tune Out’ series, and Dragon Maid is absolutely at the top of that list. Despite nothing really happening, everything that does happen just seems to work with viewers. Whether it is Kanna going to school, Tooru going to the store, the entire gang going to the beach, or to comiket, there is just something that makes it so much fun to watch, even though it is just normal. Dragons non-withstanding.
A lot of that I think, has to do with the cast, which is absolutely superb. Both in English and Japanese, the characters of Dragon Maid are what make this show work. Whether it is Kobayashi’s dead-pan reaction to everything, Tooru’s insecurities and thirst, Lucoa’s sexy naivety, or Fafnir’s embrace of the NEET. All of the character beats and personalities just land so damn well, and none of them feel like they overtake the other. Then of course there is Kanna.
Overall though, I think the gist of what Dragon Maid is, is that it is about family, and how having a family, whatever form it may take, can be a fulfilling and loving experience. We see that through Kobyashi, who before Tooru shows up, has a peaceful, pleasant but also a quiet and hollow existence. When the dragons show up however, despite the day to day being mostly the same, we get to see Kobayashi get out of her shell, to do things that she might have been too lazy, too tired, or even too scared to do. That point is driven home in the final episode, when after Tooru temporary leaves, we see just how much Kobayashi has come to depend on her, and it is a poignant way to get that overall theme across.
Now I would not be doing due diligence if I didn’t mention some real life events surrounding this series. While it was confirmed that Dragon Maid would be getting a season two (something we all cheered), this was before the tragedy of the Kyoto Animation fire, which hit this series especially hard as it took the life of series director (of the anime) Yasuhiro Takemoto. With that, the future of the series is very much in the air, and I do think it is a very strong possibility that the second season might not go forward. That would be a shame if it did, but also understandable considering the circumstances. We have no news about this yet, but you can be sure I’ll talk about it when a decision is reached.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is something truly special, and even after watching it multiple times, and diving into it twice, I just can’t put my finger on why. I said last time that it was like reading a Sunday newspaper comic strip, something like For Better or For Worse, or Calvin and Hobbes. I do think that is still the case, because this series really does have that humorous and playful, but also quiet and peaceful tone that those two comics had. Regardless, this is an absolutely amazing show, and if you haven’t watched it yet, go warm up some hot chocolate, curl up in a blanket and just bask in the happiness.