Even in a lackluster season, there is always one or two anime that stand out. For this show, I think having nothing really else that was ‘omg wow!” has helped it a lot. But I also think that it has allowed this show to get the attention and praise it deserved. After the cut let’s take a dive into the anime series: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S.
As expected, it is impossible to discuss this series without addressing the horrific arson attack that was put upon Kyoto Animation. Dragon Maid was hit particularly hard, as the original direction of the series was killed in the attack. It was a horrible event, a tragedy for the anime fandom, and while the outpouring and support was worldwide, many expected that Dragon Maid might not return for a second outing. Even when it was confirmed that yes, it would return, we all expected that it might be a understandable ‘step down’ in terms of animation for obvious reasons.
So it was a massive surprise to see that now only was the second season more of the same, it was one of the most beautifully animated series I’ve seen in a long while. Kyoto Animation didn’t let the horrific accident stop them from doing what they do best, and man the shit on display here was something else. Dragon Maid was always well animated, but this second season just ups the ante in every possible way. The action scenes surpass some of the stuff even Ufotable has done, with flashy action and choreography that left my speechless. To see something from a show like Dragon Maid which is very much a slice of life was damn impressive, and I hope to see more of it in the future.
In terms of the story, Dragon Maid S is more of what made the first series such a cult favorite. As I said in previous review, the story of Miss Kobyashi, Tohru, Kanna and the others is styled in a sort of ‘For Better or Worse’ Sunday morning comic strip. While there is, especially in this season, hints at a bigger story and more character development. The story is very episodic with one or more of the characters going on an adventure, having a conversation, or some other comedic moment. Whether it is walking down by a lake to see the end, changing work culture, or spending time in a maid café, the events and moments on display still retain that charm, humor and relaxing nature that has made the series so enjoyable to watch.
Of course there are also new things, with the most notable being the introduction of Ilulu, a new dragon who is infamous for having a pair of titties that even Lucoa would blush at. And while there were a few of the usual suspects who grumbled about the size of her massive mammaries, Ilulu turned out to be a wonderful edition to the cast. She was playful, fun, a sad, but not melodramatic back story and her actions scenes may go down as some of the best this year. She had great chemistry with the other dragons and thankfully didn’t suck up all the attention this season. If people were turned off by her glorious sac of flaming fire (her words, not mine) I implore that you give it a chance, because she’s a great character who slides in well with the rest of the cast.
Overall Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S is a twin triumph. One for a studio that did not let something that would destroy others stop it. And for the series itself which has returned to deliver everything that made such a beloved show before. While it probably won’t be on my best of lists for Anime in 2020, its mere existence is something that should be celebrated. If you loved the first season, then you’ll deeply enjoying the second, and if you didn’t, well at least go on YouTube to watch some of the spectacular animation.