REVIEW – Kyoto Animation has always known for it’s “moe” trademark and there’s almost no KyoAni work without a “moe” vibe in it. The only thing special about Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is that it is not a KyoAni original work. This was adapted from a manga series of the same name by the writer and illustrator, Coolkyoushinja.
The anime series’ plot is as follows:
One morning, as office worker Kobayashi gets ready for another day at work, she is greeted by a terrifying sight—the head of a large dragon staring into her eyes from across the balcony. The dragon immediately transforms into a cute, busty and energetic young girl in a maid outfit, who introduces herself as Tohru.
It turns out that during a drunken excursion to the mountains many weeks ago, this typically stoic office worker encountered the dragon who claims to have come from another world. With no place to stay, Kobayashi decides to keep the dragon in her home. In a perfect example of how good deeds are rewarded, Tohru decides to repay her kindness by working as her personal maid. Despite being reluctant and deeply regretful over what she did, a mix of guilt and Tohru’s dragon abilities convinces Kobayashi to accept her.
However, despite being extremely efficient at housework, Tohru’s unorthodox methods of housekeeping often end up scaring Kobayashi and bringing more trouble than help. Moreover, the reason behind the dragon’s arrival on Earth may be more complicated than it seems, as Tohru shares a troubled past. To add it all up, Tohru’s presence ends up attracting other mythical beings to her new home, bringing in a new host of eccentric personalities. Although Kobayashi is trying her level best to adjust to the crazy situation that is unfolding, nothing has prepared her for this new life with a dragon maid.
So first, I will be discussing about this series’ plot. It is quite light-hearted and nothing too serious as it tries to be at times. A struggling office worker finds herself acquainted with a female dragon whilst under the influence of alcohol because “hey, we do crazy sh*t sometimes.”
The first few episodes of the anime series isn’t really that much but picks up in the middle and later parts of the show. Every episode has some sort of joke in it – a punchline, if you will. Tohru, the dragon, has to fulfill her role as Kobayashi’s maid and blend into human society – in numerous, hilarious ways. That is the charm of the show. It is somewhat similar to Nichijou in a sense of episode structures – problem, characters solve the problems in any hilarious way they can, they somehow solve it in the hilarious way possible.
Although, there are specific moments in the show where we get to see some backstories and serious moments – all of which were rather unnecessary for the plot (since there was no escalation and was useless) but added some sort of charm to the characters. It made me, as a viewer, relate to each character on a somewhat personal level.
The characters are pretty straightforward with their attitudes and such. Then again, the backstories (as mentioned), give them a certain charm and makes the viewer understand the reasons of his/her actions.
For example, we are introduced to a character named “Lucoa” or her dragon name “Quetzalcoatl.”
In some interpretations of Aztec mythology, Quetzalcoatl is a serpent/dragon-like goddess who lost her divinity after getting drunk and causing some sort of scandal with her younger sister. The show makes references to that with jokes like this:
Lucoa: *sips an alcohol of some sorts* This tastes familiar.
Tohru: Is it because you got drunk with–
Lucoa: SHUT UP!
It is with these kinds of references and jokes to their real life counterparts that make these characters charming, in a way.
Also, the dragon characters and their misinterpretations with modern human society and comparing them with medieval human societies are also hilarious and charming in a way.
The ending, however, was a unnecessary cliffhanger or not. It’s suggesting a second season but I have yet to hear some news regarding about this.
Now, animation-wise, it is without a doubt that Kyoto Animation has maintained its quality. The wonderful transition of intricate and beautiful to a comical animation style is something to take note of. Kyoto Animation uses this transition well and at the most important, appropriate times.
Talking about music, the opening and ending themes were some of the most catchiest songs I’ve heard so far. The fast-pace and upbeat music paired with wild and funny animations was well done.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is an anime series that shines in its comedic moments with a fair share of background that makes each character relatable and charming in their own special way.
If you are someone who’s having a really bad and stressful time, you’re gonna need this anime series to lift up your spirits.