Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Preview
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid:
Original Air Dates: January 11th, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: Ms. Kobayashi is your average office worker. She lives a boring life, alone, in her small apartment. That is until she saves the life of a female dragon in distress. This dragon, Tohru, has the ability to transform into an adorable human girl (although her tail and horns still show!), and is willing to do anything to pay back Kobayashi for her aid, whether she wants it or not. Kobayashi’s life seems poised to go off the deep end.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Dragon Maid begins with some incredibly detailed animation that’s really impressive. The art continues to feel like it’s at a high level, rarely straying from its appealing designs and style. There’s few easily noticeable off model characters and that gives Dragon Maid a very polished feel.
Linny: The show starts with a bang comedy wise, flaunting an absurd premise and scene at the beginning that earns a chuckle or two. However, as the episode continues, it struggles to feel unique with jokes you might have heard or seen before in other shows despite Dragon Maid having an ‘out there’ premise.
Tom: The premise gets introduced quite quickly, skirting details of how Tohru and Kobayashi met with a couple brief flashbacks. We basically jump past the set up and get to the meat of Dragon Maid’s story, what we’ll be getting every week. This sort of works, although it could generate a disconnect between its content and viewers who needed that set up to get pulled into the story. The comedy itself is generally amusing, although rarely in a laugh out loud kind of way. And there’s quite a few jokes that are perhaps too ‘out there’ or go ‘too far.’
Linny: Viewers like me might be disappointed with the comedy when it gets outright gross or strange. For example, our Dragon Maid insists that she can produce a special kind of saliva that gets rid of stains so she ‘washes’ Kobayashi’s clothes and delicates by stuffing them in her mouth and chewing on them. Later, after revealing she is sexually attracted to Kobayashi, Tohru is often shown licking Kobayashi’s clothes which I guess is supposed to be funny.
Tom: Tohru’s sexual lust for Kobayashi can be amusing, especially when coupled with the outrageous artwork, but sometimes goes too far, or lacks a true punchline, as if the mere idea of Tohru’s lust for Kobayashi is more than enough comedy in and of itself. It makes this line of humor feel a bit weak, although compared to most of what we’re seeing this season, Dragon Maid almost feels like a masterpiece by comparison.
Linny: Neither the show nor Tohru ever makes it clear exactly what caused her to find Kobayashi so sexually appealing especially since the show makes it clear that Tohru considers humankind to be a crude and inferior species. Kobayashi’s initial deadpan reaction and reluctance to accept the reality of having a dragon for a maid in the beginning is the highlight of the series and made me take to her immediately. However, when she turns into the typical drunk sexual harasser stereotype later in the episode, it reduced her to a cliche I am extremely sick of in anime and definitely affected my expectations from and enjoyment of the show.
Tom: Kobayashi is a fun, non-sexualized (save for Tohru’s obsession) female character. She’s a bit rough, subdued, and unfriendly, but it’s nice to see a woman who isn’t portrayed as the perfect sex symbol. Tohru is a fun, highly outrageous character, although her comedy, as mentioned above, is perhaps too insane to really generate the right kinds of laughs.
Linny: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid has the potential to entertain fans of comedies with absurd premises. Though there are a fair number of common jokes in it, there’s also enough zany content to make it feel fresh to most viewers. The top notch art quality definitely adds to the appeal of the show and makes it a pleasure to watch. Overall, Dragon Maid might not blow you off your feet or have you rolling on the floor with laughter, but it might make for a decent watch on a lazy day.
Tom: Dragon Maid wasn’t quite as wonderful as I’d hoped. It stumbles a bit with its comedy, going too far in certain cases and not enough in others. Compared to the rest of this season, however, it feels like a masterpiece. I think it’s worth sticking with as it has a fun premise and some likable characters. If it can just reign in its more troublesome comedy, and boost other aspects of its humor, Dragon Maid could be a very worthwhile show this season. I have high hopes for it.