Miss Kobayashi is your average office worker who lives a boring life, alone in her small apartment–until she saves the life of a female dragon in distress. The dragon, named Tohru, has the ability to magically transform into an adorable human girl (albeit with horns and a long tail!), who will do anything to pay off her debt of gratitude, whether Miss Kobayashi likes it or not. With a very persistent and amorous dragon as a roommate, nothing comes easy, and Miss Kobayashi’s normal life is about to go off the deep end!
So when a co-worker of mine suggested that I watch Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid I was a little skeptical at first. At first glance I thought it was going to be a fan service monster girl show(not saying that’s bad but it’s sort of been done before). What I found was a very heartwarming story and something that was very similar to my last review which was Interviews With Monster Girls(also from last season). I’ll throw this disclaimer out right now: if your anime has to have an endgame or some goal, stay away from Dragon Maid. This is a show that doesn’t really care so much about the end but more of the journey. The story is very relaxed for the most part and just gives off a very chill feel. I found that the comedy was actually funny and will make you laugh unless you’re dead inside. Dragon Maid just takes itself an episode at a time and is borderline episodic. Each episode will bring you something new and usually involves some sort of hijinx that the characters find themselves in. The last episode gets a little heavy and felt sort of out of place but at the same time I think that the author realized he had to have some sort of conflict within the story and I think it was a good move overall. There is a bit of fan service but it’s mostly based around the character Lucoa and with one look at her you can tell that’s her role. I found it done more as a comedy thing more than shoving boobs in your face. I’d like to elaborate on that but it’s a bit of a spoiler on how Lucoa comes to our world for those who haven’t seen the show yet. Dragon Maid is just a nice show to watch after you get off of work and want to relax and have a few laughs which I think is a reason it was so popular. I found the story very enjoyable and I think a majority of people will too.
Now as you may have guessed from the title the main characters are Miss Kobayashi and her dragons. Well there not all her’s but they might as well be. Anyways I’ll start with Miss Kobayahsi. She’s just your everyday office worker and she comes off rather plain at first. She’s definitely a character that is stuck in her ways but when she meets Tohru she starts to lose her routine. Tohru acts as Kobayashi’s catalyst for character development which is always really nice to see. The show uses two ways to track her progression that I could tell. The first is her willingness to try new things and be social while the second is her relationship with her family. Kobayashi doesn’t have a bad relationship with her family but she sees herself as a solitary person and so doesn’t talk to them but throughout the show she starts thinking about them more and more and that’s kind of the progress tracker that is more apparent to us as the viewers. Now the title character herself: Tohru. She has a very bubbly personality and that’s putting it mildly. She really brightens up the scene as soon as she appears and is just so fun to watch as a character. It’s great to see how she goes from pretty much hating humans and not knowing anything about our world to being completely acclimated and making human friends. Kanna is the other dragon that’s living with Kobayashi. She’s a child who resembles that of a third or fourth grader. According to the internet she stole the show and I’ll admit she’s downright adorable. She acts a sort of anchor for Kobayashi and Tohru that they can always rely on to comfort them. You don’t notice it at first but she’s very funny. You sort of see different quirks or routines that she has and they’ll crack you up out of nowhere…well they cracked me up anyway. Lucoa is definitely the fan service character as I stated above. The funny thing is it’s like she knows her role and sort of embraces it I guess. She acts clueless about why guys give her attention but when it comes to certain characters she uses her “charm” to tease them. She’s actually a pretty interesting character outside the whole fan service thing and actually gives both Tohru and Kobayahsi advice at times. The other supporting cast includes two more dragons that I’d love to go into more but then this section would be ridiculously huge. There’s also Miss Kobayashi’s co-worker and a boy named Shota. I’ll just say that overall these characters don’t get a ton of screen time but when they are in a scene they serve a purpose and they serve it well. They’re great role players and just do a nice job at filling out the cast.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid had a very fitting soundtrack. The opening song was “Aozora no Rhapsody” by fhána. It’s a very bubbly pop song that immediately shows you the ambiance of the show. I found it to be catchy as hell and that it truly did fit the show like a glove. This type of song isn’t usually my type of thing but when it fits, it fits. The ending song was called “Ishukan Comunication” by Yuuki Kuwahara, Maria Naganawa, Yuuki Takada, and Minami Takahasi. They also happen to be the Japanese voice actresses for Tohru, Kanna, Elma, and Lucoa respectively. This song had the same bubbly fun feel as the opening. Hearing the four different characters sing was pretty cool since the animation showed them singing along. I also found this song pretty catchy even though I don’t usually like that style of music. This soundtrack is one that I think most will find to fit the show and maybe even come to enjoy. The person who created this soundtrack is Masumi Itou. Her other works can be heard in Red Data Girl, Neo Angelique Abyss, and Bungaku Shoujo. I think she did a great job at making a soundtrack that fit the show so well and was able to really express the ambiance of the show.
Now let me get this out of the way: I’ll be the first to admit I seriously doubted this voice cast. It’s not that I thought the voice actors were terrible but I thought that some of the voice actors couldn’t pull off their characters. Once again, however, I was proven wrong. The voice acting was spot on with what you’d come to expect from the characters. I also really liked the diversity of established and new talent among the cast. I’ve been noticing that Funimation has been doing this a lot more recently and I think it’s paying off so far. Anyways let’s get into the main cast. The main cast consists of Jad Saxton(Kanna), Leah Clark(Kobayashi), and Sarah Weidenheft(Tohru). You may remember hearing Sarah Weidenheft’s name in the last review Interviews with Monster Girls as Yuki. I have to say she killed it last season! From what I’ve heard from her they were all stellar performances and she’s shown she can play completely different roles and pull them off. She was great as Tohru and helped really feel that vibrant personality of hers seem real. Leah Clark was excellent as Kobayahsi. She showed great range of emotion and her drunk voice for Kobayahshi was hilarious. She really nailed it as Kobayahsi and actually really surprised me. Jad Saxton as Kanna ended up being an excellent choice as well. She just had such an adorable voice that made her character all the better. I really loved how she was able to make a stoic voice cute. The main cast was great but also so was the supporting cast. The supporting cast consists of Rachel Glass(Elma), Garret Storms(Fafnir), Jamie Marchi(Quetzalcoatl/Lucoa), Jeff Johnson(Makoto Takiya), and Sara Ragsdale(Riko Saikawa). Jeff Johnson was awesome as Takiya because at work he’d talk normal but when he got back to his apartment suddenly he’d talk all nerdy and weird which was actually kind of funny and Jeff Johnson pulled each voice off very nicely. Garret Storms was amazing as Fafnir and really nailed the whole edgy menacing voice of Fafnir. Jamie Marchi was great as Lucoa and I think her voice fit Lucoa so perfectly that I couldn’t see anyone else playing her. Rachel Glass did great as Elma even though we didn’t get to see a whole lot of her. When she was on screen she was usually deciding what food to eat and the voice she made when stressed out was super funny. Sara Ragsdale was also great as Riko. Riko is a classmate of Kanna’s who sort of has a crush on her. Whenever Kanna would get close to her she’d freak out and the voice she made was great and Sara Ragsdale pulled it off perfectly. Now I’d also like to point out the the subbed version has some amazing voice talents as well so I can assume the voice acting is great as well so I think that no matter which version you choose you’re going to hear great voice acting.
Miss Kobayahi’s Dragon Maid is a show that I’m glad I was recommended. The story is very heartwarming and funny with a great cast of characters that you really become attached to. The soundtrack is nice and fits the show well. The voice acting is top notch and I’m glad they proved me wrong. It was such a great anime that so nice to relax and watch after work. It’s a very light watch and I sort of want another season even though I’m pretty sure it won’t happen. That being said Dragon Maid is currently 1 season with 13 episodes. I also I have to say I loved the art style used in the show. It really helped bring out the adorableness of the characters and the vibrant colors really helped amplify the happy go lucky ambiance. If you want something relaxing and short to watch then I’d suggest giving Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid a shot. That being said I’m giving Dragon Maid an 8.5/10!