Recently as I’ve been a frequent seasonal anime viewer, I tend to see shows that have weird premises or a preview picture that can look questionable. I would definitely be sceptical at first and think I wouldn’t even watch a single episode of that show … however, that’s not the case usually. There have been a bunch of instances where I’ve judged many shows and ended up actually liking them in the end. Even after I’ve seen much anime that fall into that category, I just can’t seem to drop the habit of “judging a book by its cover”. A really good example was the Fall 2017 hit show, Blend S, which was about a unique style of café hat included waitresses who took on different traits and personalities such as being a tsundere, an imouto, a sadist to even an idol. Like- how can you not hesitate on watching a show like that? But in the end, I watched all of it and mostly enjoyed it.
Today, I’ll be talking about one of the more significant anime where I really had doubts about it, but then ended up actually enjoying it more than I thought I would.
We follow Kobayashi, an average person in society who maintains a stable job and lives a comfortable life. One day as she opens the front door of her apartment to go to work, she is greeted by a very unusual and frightening sight —the head of a dragon. The massive dragon then immediately turns into a human; a cute, busty and energetic lady wearing a full maid outfit whose name is Tohru. You probably have a lot of questions at this point, so let me explain … Kobayashi got extremely drunk one night, somehow stumbled into the mountains and found Tohru in her dragon form, stranded and having nobody to go to for help. Kobayashi then, without hesitation, offers Tohru a place to stay in her apartment, and that’s where we are now.
Despite the great amount of regret she has now, Kobayashi takes Tohru in, allowing her to pay back the offer by becoming her housemaid. Kobayashi’s new life, while most of the time clean and organized, turns a little iffy as Tohru’s housekeeping methods now start to be destructive thanks to the involvement of her dragon powers, as well as attracting her unique dragon friends from her world to experience life on Earth. Kobayashi’s quiet and lonely lifestyle now thrown out of the window, she manages to adapt to this new, hectic way of life to the best of her ability.
You would think that the combination of dragons, maids and females with significantly large busts was something the people of Kyoto Animation lazily thought of, as if they only had a couple of seconds to pitch a new anime show to the executives. Despite how ridiculous the premise sounds however, it honestly worked and has made an entertaining show.
I’ve seen a lot of slice of life anime in my time as an anime watcher and I believe that this anime is a perfect example of the popular genre. Watching Kobayashi, Tohru and her fellow dragon buddies do super simple and relatable things like hang out as a group at one of their places, go to school, play video games until morning, or even run a stand at Comiket, it felt like good ol’ KyoAni at its best and their ability to create a very enjoyable anime that reflect daily life —good examples being K-On! and Lucky Star— was definitely exemplified in this particular show. But other than the pretty straight-forward narrative of daily life, there was a short part of the show that strayed away from the slice of life feel to more of an actual narrative. And while it did stray away from the usual fun vibe, it still did a nice job of keeping it interesting and really felt like not much changed at that point. Overall, watching this group of unusual individuals become as close as a family was both entertaining and heart-warming to watch.
Another element of this show that was pulled off beautifully, is the comedy. There wasn’t an episode that didn’t make me smile, chuckle, or laugh; and that’s mainly thanks to the antics, shenanigans, and personalities of most of the characters. Tohru was mostly the one who always acted silly such as declaring her undying love for Kobayashi at random moments or implementing her dragon abilities to her maid duties, but that’s only a touch of the comedic gags you can see in this show. The comedy which most of it is mostly slapstick humour was executed really well and I think the jokes in this show pretty much enjoyable for anyone, whether or not you’re a frequent viewer of comedy anime or not.
Like I mentioned earlier, Kobayashi is your average person in society; wakes up in the morning to go to work at her average job from 9 to 5 every day, comes home to relax and maybe even drink to unwind even more, go to bed … then does it all over again on the next day. While it does seem that Kobayashi sounds like a real bore, it’s thanks to the people around her like Tohru and Kanna that definitely spice her life up and ultimately changes it drastically. The show has succeeded in illustrating the amount of how much Kobayashi has overcome her previous life as an average person in society, especially the way how she acts around people rather than before, or even becoming happier and grateful that now she has good friends around her. I also saw someone mention how Kobayashi is a great character in this show solely because she’s an adult and sort of freshens up the usual ‘teenager protagonist’ role we see in a lot of this cutesy slice of life comedies, which is a great insight and they’re definitely not wrong.
Tohru on the other hand, other than being a real game changer in Kobayashi’s life, I thought she was mostly there for comedic purposes. Sure, you could say that being by Kobayashi’s side every day and having a massive crush on her has changed Tohru’s whole life and opinion on the human race a little, I’d say into a more positive one as well but other than that, I just saw her as a goofy dragon maid always cracking jokes … but that isn’t a bad thing at all, as she was definitely entertaining.
Other than the two of main characters, the supporting cast who’s similar to Tohru, were pretty much only there for entertainment purposes and sometimes had a little backstory or character development in some episodes. It wasn’t anything ground-breaking, per se, but it was still nice to see said backstories of the dragon humanoids or how they adapt to new life on Earth. One good example of the one character mostly being there for comedic purposes is Kamui Kanna, a white loli dragon who I am sure many people know or at least have seen her being discussed or memed around the anime community; whether it’s her saying one-liners like, “that’s wicked,” or discovering the joys of Earth such as eating sweets and going to school … Kanna is one of the ‘child characters’ in anime that isn’t too energetic and happy-go-lucky but is still really fun to watch.
Lastly, a fun fact regarding the characters, or rather the dragon characters, is that some of them are actually based on different dragon species in mythology or other fictional stories. Fafnir is a dragon based off of Norse mythology, Lucoa is an Aztec dragon goddess, and Kanna is based off Japanese/Ainu mythology. It’s good that they wanted the dragon part of this show to be pretty genuine.
visuals and arts.
For a slice of life anime, the art style is both pleasant and cute to look at. It really gives off a childish and definitely fun vibe with things like its colour palette or its character design. And speaking of character design, while the depiction of the dragon forms of some of the characters can be more moe rather than realistic, I think it fits perfectly in a show like this one. It’s also good to add that this particular art style is significantly different from any other shows made by Kyoto Animation, but a refresher and new look can sometimes be a good thing too.
Going over to the vocal parts of this show, I thought that the voice acting was great! The featured seiyuu played their respective roles really nicely with Tamura Mutsumi being the perfect voice to play a person like Kobayashi, Kuwahara Yuuki had so much passion with playing Tohru, and also the ever-so-popular Ono Daisuke gave his performance to play an intimidating and deep-voiced Fafnir. KyoAni did a fine job picking out this specific cast of voice actors and actresses.
I don’t usually pay much attention to the background music in any anime or any type of media in general, but something about that in this anime just made it super memorable. Some were in a more childish tone, some were calming, some were mysterious sounding. Whatever the music, it fit the scene. As for the opening and ending themes, probably two of the most catchy songs I’ve ever heard in all the anime I have seen. “Aozora no Rhapsody” by fhána is an extremely popular, upbeat and fun opening to sing along to … and the ending “Ishukan Communication” by the seiyuu of Tohru, Kanna, Lucoa, and Elma was pretty much on the same level, it is pleasing to listen to. Both were very difficult to skip, let me just say that.
closing – al’s final verdict
I read on another review of this show something along the lines of how this particular show sort of ‘rejuvenated’ Kyoto Animation and essentially proved that they can still manage to make silly, pure, and enjoyable slice of life anime like they used to make before. And I really have to agree with them. While at first glance “Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon” can be sound really dumb, it genuinely was a great experience to go through. The entertaining and sometimes heart-warming ways they pull off showing the daily lives of a unique group of people, the comedic jokes and gags that made many people smile throughout the show and especially that infectiously catchy opening, it is at least worth a try to see what all the hype surrounding this show is about.
additional pieces of information.
- Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
The maid dragon of Kobayashi-san
- first time aired on the winter, 12.01.2017 till 06.04.2017
- al’s review of an anime tv, 13 episodes
- from the studio of Kyoto Animation
- tagged under the genre of #comedy, #fantasy, and #slice_of_life
tagged under the subgenre of #dragons, #maids, #monster_girls, #comedy, #contemporary_fantasy, #fantasy, and #manga
- the age-rated as PG-13
Thanks for reading my review for this week! I really do believe Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon is one of my favourite slice of life comedies of all time, and for a good reason. If you have any thoughts regarding this anime or the review, definitely leave it in the comments section below! And as always, give this post a like if you enjoyed it and consider following #moe404 for more anime related content! Keep watching anime, and until next time~
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