Introduction

The “Cure for Depression” is a series where I discuss how anime has made me feel happy in times of sadness. Anime due to its uniqueness is able to do this better than any live-action film or tv show. More things are possible in anime because of its draw and animated.

In live-action there comes a point where CGI can’t create something as convincingly. Look at any attempt at a live-action anime to understand what I am saying. Anime’s reputation is being over the top and very experimentative. This is why some of the more interesting series work in anime and could never succeed in live-action.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid” today’s topic is one of many examples that prove that point. Do not expect a traditional review format for these articles. Instead, I will focus on characters, scenes, moments, and even random things that help this anime live up to its reputation. Expect Spoilers.

The first anime I will be discussing impacted me in ways I did not expect. This is anime is called: “Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid“. From reading and watching other reviews I know that we both enjoyed this series.

A story about a dragon that comes to earth disguised as a human to serve as a maid is ridiculous as a concept. Anime is as anime does and what do you know this idea is gold and was perfectly executed.

To give you some idea of the waves that show has created “Yu-Gi-Oh!” a popular trading card game created an archetype called the “Dragon Maids” which were based on this series.

I have so many things to say about this anime since finishing the series. This article will not even come close to containing all my thoughts. With that in mind, my article is a love letter to the series and I hope you have as much fun reading this as I did writing it. Let’s get started.

transition from episode 5 at 9 mins 3 seconds

Miss Kobayashi

Kobayashi having a great time at work episode 5
Kobayashi demonstrates the normalization of programmers. This image is what most programmers look like just ordinary people like you and me.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode 5 at 4 minutes 45 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Kobayashi the Software Engineer

Kobyashi humanizes real Software Engineers

I cannot remember one character who accurately depicts software engineering like Kobayashi. Usually, stories equate programmers as crazy hackers who can make the whole world bend to their knees.

In reality, programmers are average people who also experience the 9-5 grind working on tasks ranging from simple to complex.

What’s great about Kobayashi is she demonstrates the real life of a software engineer. In case it was not obvious I am a software engineer by trade. Accurate representation of my field in fiction is rare so naturally, this show made me very happy.

One of the best parts of the portrayal of Kobayashi’s job is working on a team and in a collaborative environment. Despite the stereotypes, coders do not work alone and need to work together to get tasks done. Kobayashi does this quite often in the series when she is working. She even mentors other programmers which is very common in that industry.

Programming is Cool?

The last thing that so uplifting about Kobayashi’s job is how much she likes it and how the other characters amazement towards it.

To explain this better I have to use my self as an example. I love my job as a software engineer but I do not consider it to be special. Yet when I tell other people what I do for a living they act like I am working a dream job and extremely lucky.

Now both of those are true I sometimes never realize it.

Tohru tells Kobayashi that after watching her at work that she found her job to be interesting. While using her perception blocking ability Tooru states that Kobayashi is so amazing at doing her job while helping others at the same time.

Even Elma starts working at the same place as Kobayashi and is impressed by the work she and her colleagues do. The point here is that from the outside looking in the job seems incredible.

After watching this series I feel even more grateful for the job that I have.
Kobayashi talks with Tooru episode 5
This scene is important because Kobayashi learns through Tohru that her job is interesting. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode 5 at 8 minutes 19 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Transition from episode 4 at 9 mins 44 seconds

Kanna

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid Episode 12. Kanna revealing her dragon horns
Kanna demonstrates in this scene how just doing her regular activities are adorable. Kanna makes her horns visible. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode 12 at 7 mins 15 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Kanna’s adorableness is out of this World

Even if you have never seen Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Kanna should still look familiar to you. This is for good reason she is one of the most adorable anime characters of all time.

From the moment she gives Kobayashi the cutest beat down in anime history you knew this character was special. Her design is perfect for any child anime character.

A combination of Big eyes, chunky legs, long hair, the innocent expression creates this cute dragon. The tail and horns match her outfit’s color so they are not a distraction from Kanna herself.

What makes Kanna great is that she is not acting adorable she just is. There are so many characters in anime and other forms of media where you have character purposely acting cute.

It always comes across as very cringe-worthy and forced. With Kanna, any scene with her demonstrates the opposite. The one I like the most is when she comes from home from school. So Kanna at school hides her horns and tail so no one knows that she is a dragon.

Every time Kanna comes back from school she reveals her horns and tail (shown in the picture). The scene is just Kanna making expressions during this process. This makes sense because she was concentrating. But, for a child, it’s so heartwarming to watch.

It’s incredible because it feels organic in that Kanna is just doing what she does, it just happens to be adorable.

Kanna shopping for school supplies episode 4
This is a great example of Kanna showing her emotions when she gets really excited in the show. Kanna is amazed by the cute school supplies. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode 4 at 4 mins 3 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Kanna staring at a snail Episode 6
Kanna demonstrating her curiosity. Episode 6 at 20 mins and 28 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Kanna may look adorable, act adorable but do not let that fool you she is adorable

You have already seen one example of Kanna’s cuteness in action but let’s dive deeper. Kanna’s is quiet and soft-spoken.

This combination creates cute moments in everything that Kanna’s says in the anime. To add to this Kanna is still a child so there is an element of immaturity with what she says.

For example in episode two when Kobayashi is going to work, Kanna wishes to stay with her.

Holding Kobayashi’s leg is cute enough but how she makes this request is perfect. Moments like these fill the entire series. Kanna while in school or at home always acts in an innocent and subdued manner.

Some of the best parts of the series are when Kanna shows her emotions.

My favorite moments include when she goes shopping for school supplies when Kobayashi tells Kanna that she cannot attend her school’s sports event and Kanna’s first encounter with Kobayashi.

The last I want to discuss is Kanna’s presence on screen and day to day activities. So I have already mentioned stand out moments of cuteness for Kanna. But, there are things she does in general that are just as amazing. Most of these things happen in the background so if you are not looking for it you probably do not even notice it.

A fun experiment to try while watching any of the episodes is to watch what Kanna is up to.

Seeing Kanna discovering this world whether it is eating new foods, watching bugs, or doing school stuff always gets me.

It reminds me of Ushio from Clannad which is another if Kyoto animation works. Children in anime doing childlike stuff is always so fun to watch and Kanna might be the best example of this.

Kanna playing in the rain. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid Episode 6
Kanna playing in the rain. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode 6 at 20 mins and 3 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Transition from episode 7 11 mins 1 second

The Relationships

Miss Kobayashi’s small cast of characters allows the story to focus on each character. A common trope among shows with a smaller cast is that all the characters form relationships among each other. Miss Kobayashi is no different.

It’s through these relationships that we learn more about the characters. The bonds that these characters create are so rewarding and my favorite moments in this series.

I would invite anyone to watch these characters become friends and family and not feel happy from it.

It really makes you reflect on your life and realize that you can or have formed bonds like that. Never take that for granted. With that in mind, I want to focus on my favorite relationships in this anime.

They are:

Kobayashi and Kanna,

Kobayashi and Tohru,

Fafnir and Takiya,

Kanna and Saikawa,

and lastly Kobayashi and Takiya.

Kobayashi Praising Kanna
Kobayashi is like Kanna’s mother. Kobayashi Praising Kanna. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode 10 at 9 mins 17 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Miss Kobayashi and Kanna

We are first introduced to Kanna Kamui in episode two where she shows up at Miss Kobayashi’s door. Kanna’s pranks resulted in being exile to earth as punishment. With nowhere to go Kobayashi asks Kanna if she would like to stay with them.

Kanna does not trust humans so she is initially not interested. But Kobayashi is able to convince her to stay thus forming the relationship. Kobayashi throughout the show acts as Kanna’s guardian.

Even though Kanna is old by human standards as a dragon she is still a child. So Kobayashi is basically raising an eight-year-old.

Kanna only commits practical jokes because her parents never show her much attention. Tohru explains in episode nine that Kanna’s parents want her to be alone and independent. In reality, all Kanna wants is attention from her parents.

Kobayashi is not the best parent but she does one thing that Kanna’s parents do not. She shows Kanna love and attention and Kanna shows gratitude by reciprocates that love.

Kanna does not show much emotion in this series. But anytime that Kobayashi does anything for her she gets very excited. These moments are adorable and well earned. I love how the series shows even the subtle aspects of this mother-daughter relationship.

From simple hugging to the patting on the head. Kobayashi trying to be Santa Claus was my favorite example of this.

Even though I did not want Tohru to go away I loved how episode 13 showed Kobayashi taking care of Kanna by herself. These are great moments in that episode that show how far the two have come.

This relationship encourages me to start a family someday. The only other time I have felt this way was after watching Clannad After Story another Koyoto Animation production.

Kobayashi and Tohru Sharing an umbrella
Kobayashi and Tohru Sharing an umbrella. This shows how sometimes the relationship can be completely one side between Kobayashi and Tohru. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode 6 at 20 min 24 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Miss Kobayashi and Tohru

Tohru from the moment she starts living with Kobayashi makes it very clear that she loves her in a sexual way. It’s amazing how Tohru will go to any lengths to be with Kobayashi.
She does weird stuff including, licking Kobayashi’s clothes, bringing her weird stuff from her world, putting her tail in Kobayashi’s food, and finding any excuse to be close to her. My favorite attempt at this is when Tohru tries to share a “lovers umbrella” with Kobayashi.

Tohru in the OVA suggests that they should “breed” on their back to the inn.

Beyond the occasional Yuri aspects of Kobayashi and Tohru’s relationship lies something deeper. For one thing, they complement each other very well. Kobayashi is an introvert and Tohru is an extrovert. Tohru always has big ideas that Kobayashi is able to keep it under control.

Lucoa notes in episode three that she is happy to see Tohru smile. Kobayashi even states that before Tohru entered her life she also did not smile much either. One of Kobayashi’s coworkers comments that Kobayashi has been much happier lately.

The point here is that through becoming friends these two have made each other’s lives better.

I love when things get serious between Kobayashi and Tohru. For example when Elma and Kobayashi start spending more time together. Tohru becomes jealous of this.

She wants praise and acknowledgment from Kobayashi. Kobayashi has lived an introverted life for a long time now and is not use to someone wanting her. She is honest and lets Tohru know that she is not interested in a relationship right now.

Episode 13 shows the best parts of their relationship

I love episode thirteen when Kobayashi stands up to Tohru’s father and convinced him that Tohru should stay on earth. The other great part of episode thirteen is that you understand how important Tohru is to Kobayashi. Without her Kobayashi’s life is a mess Tohru does so many things for her.

One important idea that I often think about is that when Kobayashi comes home from work both Kanna and Tohru are waiting for her. There is something wonderful about having someone to come home to.

We see how when Tohru is not there how miserable Kobayashi is. It’s another example of why we should not take things for granted in life. Because as fast as we have something it can be taken away just as fast.

I want to end this section with the words that close the series.

I will never be able to grow old with Miss Kobayashi. One day the time will come when we have to part even so I don’t think, I will ever feel that I would have been better off not meeting or knowing her. So I am going to treasure this limited time we do have together.
Lady Tohru

Fafnir and Takiya

Fafnir states in episode six that most humans are misses and you need to spend more time with them to find the hit. Takiya is one of those hits. These two are great friends and possibly more than that but that’s up to your interpretation.

Takiya is an undercover Otaku who spends his free time working on artwork and playing video games. Fafnir first meets Takiya in episode three when they both play Dark Souls together. When Fafnir is unable to find an apartment to rent Tohru suggests that he lives with Takiya.

Fafnir asks Takiya about the game he was playing before and if there are any more like it. From that point on Fafnir starts living with Takiya.

Takiya’s private lifestyle fits perfectly with Fafnir because he is a dragon who has lived by himself hoarding gold for a long time.

I enjoy how Fafnir becomes an otaku and a hardcore gamer.

The most obvious proof of his change is that he logs in 21 hours a day playing PC games. Dragons do not need sleep which makes this possible. On a more subtle level in episode ten, Fafnir suggests several geeky things for the play including playing an fps and using magical girls.

As the series progress, you see how close of friends the two have become.

Fafnir and Takiya celebrating Christmas
If you told me that Fafnir that he would be living with a human being in harmony, he would have laughed at you. Fafnir and Takiya celebrating Christmas. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode 10 at 20 mins 59 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Here are some examples.

Everything Takiya makes for food is mild because Fafnir likes it that way. Takiya buys Fafnir conditioner for his hair and later on in the show Fafnir starts asking for more. When Fafnir pulls all-nighters he types slower on the keyboard to limit the noise which helps Takiya sleep.

In the OVA when they are both on the train Takiya tells the train vendor for one apple juice since Fafnir does not like coffee.
They both attend Comiket to sell their own creations.

During the New Year celebration, they come together wearing nice clothes. Takiya even comments that Fafnir knows he looks good. But my favorite example is when Takiya comes home from work and a sudden rain pour occurs.

When he walks into his house there are towels by the entrance and clothes on the couch for him. Obviously Fafnir laid it out for him.

This was one relationship that I initially did not think much of but grew to love as it went on.

Kanna and Saikawa looking at flowers.
Kanna and Saikawa are best friends. This image shows them hanging out and as usual, Saikawa shows her love for Kanna. Kanna and Saikawa looking at flowers. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode 13 at 2 mins 53 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Kanna and Saikawa

Saikawa is in love with Kanna early on when they meet in school. I find this type of romance to be adorable. Children like to act adults and say things like “I want to marry you or I love you” etc.
 
Some might find this to be another case of a lesbian type of relationship but I see it as children being children.
 
Saikawa like everyone else in this show and the viewers (myself included) obsess over Kanna’s cuteness. Every time Kanna touches Saikawa she does this crazy scream and makes a funny expression. Surprisingly it never gets old and is used for fun transition scenes.
 
I love their friendship in this series. Every time something requires Kanna, Saikawa is never far behind. It’s a nice way to show how strong their friendship has become.
 
It’s very heartwarming to see two young children becoming friends and playing together.

Miss Kobayashi and Takiya

Kobayashi and Takiya both work together as software engineers. They have a very nice platonic relationship as coworkers. At the end of the OVA Kobayashi thanks Takiya for the whole day. Takiya tells Kobayashi that they are more than just coworkers but friends.

Now it’s not explicitly stated in the show but from someone who works as a software engineer, I think I know their titles. It seems like Kobayashi is a senior programmer while Takiya is most likely a core engineer.

Basically the levels are associate, core, senior, and principal. Takiya is a great programmer but seems to frequently ask Kobayashi for help. Kobayashi, by contrast, is helping out everyone else in the office. In fact, the only time she ever gets help is when Takiya volunteers to help her out.

Something that I personally related to was when Kobayashi was working late so she could go to Kanna’s sports festival. Takiya was with her during that time.

Many times at work I stay late and a couple of coworkers might stay late with me while I work on something. Often they even help me with what I am working on.

The point is that Takiya and Kobayashi must be very close to having a relationship like that. It’s nice having coworkers who would do that for you.

Outside of work they go drinking and discuss maid stuff and other otaku related things. I love when both into their rage modes about maid stuff. Those two are friendship goals.
Takiya helping Kobayashi finish her work
Takiya is a great friend and coworker to Kobayashi. They always help each other at work. Takiya helping Kobayashi finish her work. Episode 9 at 9 mins 10 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Transition from episode 11 nine mins 35 seconds

The Little Things

I went very detailed on specific aspects of the show that made me happy. I now want to discuss the little things in this show that I noticed and I am sure you did as well.

Here is the list.

  • The cool transitions in the episodes: What makes these yellow and black colored transitions cool is the fact that they relate to what the episode is about.

  • The Dragonlore: during the series, all of the dragon characters discuss aspects about their world and culture. It’s very fascinating.

  • When the dragon aspects shows while in human form: Even though all the dragons disguise themselves as human, they still show aspects of their dragon form from time to time. It’s a nice treat for those who notice it.

  • Decorations on the balcony on the apartment: during the holiday season Christmas decorations are on the balcony wall. I am not sure who put it up but it’s a nice touch.

  • Anytime Kobayashi and Takiya go crazy when drinking: it does not happen often but seeing Takiya and Kobayashi go at it is so funny

  • When everyone hangs out togather: There are many times in the series when parts or the whole gang hang out togather. The scenes are so memorable and great.

Tohru firing a blast of flames. Episode two at 13 mins 5 seconds
This is one of many examples where the dragon retains some of their dragon aspects despite being in a human body. Tohru firing a blast of flames. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode two at 13 mins 5 seconds. Episode 9 at 9 mins 10 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
The gang hanging out togather. Episode 14 at 13 mins 45 seconds
Everyone getting together on this show is very rewarding. The gang hanging out together. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode 14 at 13 mins 45 seconds. Episode 9 at 9 mins 10 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Decorations on the balcony. Episode 10 at 18 mins 54 seconds
Decorations on the balcony. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode 10 at 18 mins 54 seconds. Episode 9 at 9 mins 10 seconds.
©coolkyousinnjya, Futabasha / Dragon Maid Committee Licensed by Funimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Transition from episode 12 21 mins 26 seconds

Final thoughts

This article is over 3,000 words and I still have not said everything about this anime that makes me happy. It’s incredible how much a simple short anime can offer.

Each episode is packed with so much content and interesting ideas. I understand that there are certain aspects of this show that are questionable. regardless I choose to ignore those aspects and enjoy this series.

From what I understand there will not be a Miss Kobayashi Dragon Maid season two. On one hand, I am upset because I want more, but it’s better than a show ends with you wanting more than one where you are happy it finally ended.

No anime that I have seen this year has moved me quite like Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. This show truly is the cure for depression.

Lets Here from you

As you can tell this anime really made me happy. If you felt the same way leave a comment letting me know how it made you happy.

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Welcome to MyMediaChops a blog created by a lifelong passionate anime fan. I love to write about my favorite anime including Gungrave, Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Bleach, and so many others.