Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid created a little over five years ago. As for this fantastical slice of life, one million users have linked it to their MyAnimeList accounts so far, found one of its famous supporting characters in meme culture, and even a second season that is coming. took place last year. However, is it still worth watching today?

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid follows the daily life of Kobayashi, an office worker who leads a banal and boring life, alone in her apartment. The most interesting thing that happens to her is when she is drinking with her co-worker Makoto Takiya, and they get into long, aggressive discussions about maid history and culture. One night while on a drunken walk in the woods, she discovers a dragon and after discovering that it can transform into a human form, invites it to live in her apartment; this begins the newly wacky and fantastical daily life of Kobayashi and his dragon servant, Tohru. The anime won both Best Comedy and Best Ending at the 2018 Crunchyroll Anime Awards the year after its release. But does that mean it’s still worth watching today, or should the 13-episode season be left in the past?


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Memorable characters

This anime is the epitome of the found family trope done right. This is especially true when looking at how well these characters’ diverse palate of personalities work together. Everyone has different quirks, flaws, and morals, but they always end up coming together in the end.

First, we can look at Kobayashi herself. She, unlike many protagonists, is quite ordinary. She has an office job, a normal apartment and a normal life. However, because she is so sensitive to the ordinary human world, she is an indispensable source of knowledge for the dragons who begin to make her apartment their home. She is sarcastic, often indifferent to whatever her new dragon friends find fascinating, and keeps most of her thoughts to herself.

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On the other hand, there is Tohru. He is a dragon who can transform into a human, keeping only his tail, horns, and powers from his dragon form. She is energetic, curious, and as chaotic as a member of the Chaos Dragon faction can get. She is completely obsessed with Kobayashi and is convinced that she is his savior, vowing to dedicate the rest of her life to her incredibly annoyed new master. She blasts her opinions and powers out loud without caring about the reaction of humans.

Besides our protagonists, there is an even wilder cast of characters. Kanna is a rarely emotional dragon who appears and wants to live like a child. Lucoa is a perky dragon who is completely oblivious to how humans view her as overly sexual. Fafnir is a dark dragon who thinks all humans should be eradicated, but after coming to earth he becomes obsessed with video games and otaku culture. All of these dragons spend most of their series in human form, but completely misunderstand how humans work. As a result, it creates much of the situational comedy the anime is known for.

The construction of the world

An often overlooked feature of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is the world building of the dragon kingdom in the series. Throughout the comic escapades of Kobayashi and the dragons that have gathered around her, they sprinkle little bits of Dragon Kingdom lore that become prominent during the emotional climax of the final two episodes as well as the inter-dragon politics of the second season.

There are three factions, two having active creeds and one being a neutral faction. The Chaos faction wants to eradicate the humans and kill the gods. Both Tohru and Fafnir are part of this faction, though Tohru displays a change of heart early in the first season. The Harmony faction, however, wants to protect humans and worship the gods. Elma is part of the harmony faction. The neutral faction is simply called the Spectator faction and does not interact with any of them. Lucoa is the only confirmed member of this faction so far.

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All of these predetermined factions dictate how dragons see themselves and interact with their world, but this is especially true with Tohru, whose father is the Emperor of Death within the Chaos faction. The Death Emperor’s Daughter leaving the Chaos Faction suits her incredibly badly and without spoiling anything, we can say that she causes the main conflict during the last episodes of the season.

The Comforting Wisdom of Kobayashi

Throughout the series, Kobayashi imparts the wisdom of the human world to the dragons. However, she also often shows her emotionally intelligent side, despite pretending to be someone with social awkwardness with no interpersonal skills.

Ironically, just like the protagonist Tohru in Fruit basket, Kobayashi ends nearly every episode with life lessons that not only speak to the situation in the episode, but also the viewers’ lives. Philosophical quips like “Knowing you’re different is just the beginning.” If you accept these differences, you can move past them and come even closer”, and “Most people don’t try to be adults, they just reach a point where they can’t be children anymore” read almost like quotes from the classic literature.

She often acts as a therapist for her eclectic horde of dragons, however, her wisdom can also be applied to the lives of her audience. Kobayashi’s wisdom in his titular show is one of the most surprising aspects of the anime, which at first glance looks like a run-of-the-mill comedic slice-of-life anime with busty dragons and a parody of otaku culture.

Apart from that, however, is Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid really is: an adventure through a complex balancing act between the human and dragon realms, with wise counsel and unique characters sprinkled throughout. The thirteen episodes wrap it all up in a brightly colored world that’s fun to return to, even five years later.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid can be streamed on Funimation, Crunchyroll, and VRV.

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