Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon Review - “Sweet 'n' Scaley” (Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid)


Sweet 'n' Scaley


  • Episodes : 13
  • Genre : Slice-of-Life, Comedy, Fantasy
  • Airing Date : January 2017 – April 2017
  • Studios : Kyoto Animation

Contains Spoilers


Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon Introduction and Story (Spoilers)

A regular office worker, Kobayashi spends her days at a desk and her nights at a pub table with her co-worker Makoto. You see the two share a common interest which they very much enjoy discussing over a beer: maids. Kobayashi's only dream seems to be having a maid of her own to cook, clean, and generally hang around looking all proper and trim in her classic black and white Victorian outfit.

Now setting that aside for a moment, wouldn't you be surprised if a dragon was stood outside your front door in the morning? In England, that's certainly not normal, and judging by Kobayashi's reaction it's not normal in Japan either. After the massive green behemoth transforms herself into a human girl (albeit with a tail and horns), she introduces herself as Tooru, Kobayashi's new live-in maid, and a very cute one at that. Though not as enthused by the idea as one might expect, Kobayashi takes the scaley maid in and, for a dragon, it turns out Tooru is surprisingly good at housework!

As the two adjust to their new life together, some of Tooru's friends decide to show up as well: Kanna a soft spoken little girl, Quetzalcoatl the bouncy castle, Fafnir the passive aggressive shut-in, and Elma whose appetite knows no bounds. This is a story about the regular, daily lives of office workers and dragons, the funny times and the more challenging times, and the times when you want to annihilate humanity.

What I Liked About Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Something to look for every season is a good slice-of-life series, one that will never fail to put a smile on your face, and Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon is exactly that. While there are a few episodes with a bit more "drama" in them, Maid Dragon is all about happy endings and how everything, generally speaking, turns out okay. So as you'd expect, despite their differences and the fact that none of them are actually related, all the humans and dragons feel very much like a family unit before Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon is even at its halfway point. There's a warm familiarity about the cast that welcomes you each episode, and you can genuinely imagine their life carrying on while you aren't watching.

The other thing that really stood out about Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon was how well-rounded and simply likeable all the characters are as individuals. You might find yourself thinking during an episode "I wonder what Fafnir is up to" or "Where has Elma been this episode?" and realise that whenever someone is absent, it feels like something's missing, like when you plan to meet up with four friends but only three can make it. In a world of waifus and best girls, it can be surprisingly difficult to make a show where you want to see all of the characters, all the time, and when done successfully it certainly leaves a fair amount of empty space in your heart when the show is over.

Discussion Time

Now there are a lot of slice-of-life series about, heck it feels like there are around three each season. Over a year that's a lot of slices. Practically a whole cake. You can't eat a whole cake, or at least you probably shouldn't. Put the cake down.

So which slices do you eat, or more importantly why should you eat Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon? Sorry, watch Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon. We've rambled a bit about why it's a good show, but now it's time to talk more specifically about what was good, and what was bad. We're going to look at the plot, art, characters, and more so that you can judge for yourself if Maid Dragon is for you!

Why You Should Watch Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

1. Cute Dragons Doing Cute Things

Although this may or may not have already been obvious given the series title, we feel it should be stated just in case: there are cute dragon girls. Yes, if you have any anime pages liked on social media then they have probably been clogging your feed with said dragon girls since mid-January, and surely you can see why? They're adorable!

While Tooru's tsundere nature and pretty twintails, coupled with her maid outfit is already a knockout combo, the other girls have no trouble facing up to her on the moe-moe battlefield. Kanna is the sweetest kid, and the cutest loli of Winter 2017 for sure, while Quetzalcoatl is the total opposite with breasts that could crush a man and an amusing, playful nature. While the ever righteous Elma doesn't get quite as much screentime, she too adds to the loveable group with her ditzy and enthusiastic personality.

So if the cute girls are what draw you to an anime you may as well start watching episode one right now.

2. Soothing Stories and Happy Endings

We mentioned this before, but Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon is all about the good times, in a world where everything is generally fine and not worth worrying about. Although the plot of the series doesn't progress much, each episode has a story that means something to one of the characters, whether they find a new home, make a friend, or finish their holiday homework.

A lot of this has to do with the fact that all five dragons in the series are looking for a new place to live, or are trying to fit into their new human life, but kind of failing in some way. Fafnir for example initially wants to destroy all humans but is swayed by videogames into not killing everyone and gradually finds his own pace, which makes you smile despite how much of a dark, aggressive character he is. Kanna, on the other hand, is still a child and thus acts like one, initially being a moody and sad little girl, but quickly adapting to her new home with Kobayashi and Tooru.

When you've had a crap day this is the exact thing that you want to come home to and collapse in front of with a blanket and cookies.

3. KyoAni Hit the Buttons and Did the Things

Frankly, like many slice-of-life shows, this series could have been incredibly average without a good studio behind it, which is where KyoAni comes in. Now everyone likes their style, but one thing's for sure, Kyoto Animation produced series ooze quality. Especially if when they're a cute girl series.

So as one would expect, that's exactly what's happened here. Take the art for example. Although it may look simple, the colour palette and the style suit the show's bouncy and happy feel perfectly, and much more detail is used in specific areas like the surprisingly well-animated fight scenes and Tooru's brilliant eyes and terrifying dragon form. On top of that, the sound is excellent, with each voice actor really capturing their character's personality, and the incredibly catchy opening and ending tracks are exceptional as well (Communication~).

What we're trying to say is, Dragon Maid is a very polished series that's pretty hard to poke holes in without being nitpicky.

Why You Should Skip Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

1. Please Sir, Can I Have Some More...Plot?

If we've not said slice-of-life enough already, then we'll say it again, this is a slice-of-life series. Sure there's a bit of story and certainly some character development, but overall Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon is not about plot progression. In fact, if anything it's about things reaching a balance, and then staying there while everyone just gets on with life. Of course, that's fine if you want something relaxing to pass the time, but if you prefer your anime with a bit more action, suspense, or drama, then you may want to consider giving Kobayashi San Chi no Maid Dragon a miss.

2. Testosterone Deficiency

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon is primarily a cute girl show. That means no dudes. Well, there's two dudes, but they're not the focus. So if you're used to shounen series or regular comedy shows, you might find the cute girls doing cute things a bit much for you. On top of that, the girls are all kind of trope-y: Tooru is a classic twin-tailed tsundere (although far more dere than tsun), Kanna is the loli who does cute loli things, Quetzalcoatl is the busty older sister, and Elma is the student class president type. So if you try to avoid show's filled with cute girls like they're going out of fashion, then, if it wasn't already obvious, Kobayashi-San Chi no Maid Dragon is probably not for you.


Final Thoughts

Despite the series being about Kobayashi herself, we've not really said anything about her in this review. It might seem odd, but honestly, she was the least spectacular character in the series, and that's a good thing. She might not stand out but without her being painfully plain there would be nothing grounding the crazy dragons and bringing us the everyday life stuff, filled with heartwarming stories, laughs, and the occasional breath of fire.

But what do you think, have you been watching Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon? Or maybe we've somehow inspired you to do so? Or perhaps you don't even like cute girls (get out, heathen). Whatever you think, we'd love to hear it, so be sure to write us a comment below!

Kristian

Writer

Author: Kristian

British guy doing student things in Tokyo. Slice-of-life and moe anime are my speciality, though I think something good can be found in almost every show. Outside of anime I spend most of my time feeding on DotA 2 or studying Japanese in a quest to one day watch cute girls without subtitles.

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