A First Impression: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Episode 1

I just realized Tohru is actually taller than Kobayashi, which is a nice touch.

Don’t you just hate it when you run into an injured dragon in the forest and save it, but you’re drunk and you invite it back to your place and forget about it but now have to deal with a dragon showing up one day and expecting your hospitality, only the dragon can also turn into a twin-tailed girl who wants to be your maid? That’s what happened to Kobayashi- a young office worker with a secret obsession with traditional victorian maids.

The problem with Tohru – the dragon maid in question – is that she has absolutely no idea how to be a maid (or even really what a maid is), and she is also a dragon, so she’s not actually that good at human-ing. What she lacks in experience she makes up for with raw enthusiasm, and her massive crush on Kobayashi.

That is kinda cute.
That is kinda cute.

For some reason the trailer for this show was making the rounds on tumblr a while back as the latest example of how weird and bad anime is, which confused me because it looked pretty inoffensively bland in my opinion. I went into this neither expecting it to be bad or particularly good, but after I found out it was Kyoto Animation I at least expected it to look really good.

To be honest it just looks pretty average. It’s not bad, and its more to do with the style of the show I suppose, but it’s definitely not something I would have thought was KyoAni on first sight. Maybe they’re saving their guns for something, but nothing particularly impressive happens visually in this episode at least. Tohru’s character design  honestly seems kind of lacking to me – she looks like a low-level Tohou Project boss character, although she’d probably be cute as a nendoroid. In dragon form, she’s a pretty bland mixture of eastern and western dragon traits. What annoys me more than it should is that fact that she is a green dragon and yet her hair is orange, even though there is no orange on her dragon form at all. Shouldn’t her hair be green? Or at least shouldn’t she have some kind of orange fringe/decoration as a dragon? I really have no idea why her two forms have so little in common, and it comes across as a little lazy. I expected to find her really annoying, but she’s not that bad, and can be pretty funny on occassion. She’s also very upfront about her crush on Kobayashi – “I love you! And I mean that sexually!’, although there is the chance her possessiveness could start to get annoying.

I like Kobayashi a lot more, and I think the show itself improves by tenfold due to her being female and not some generic dude. In one of the segments I actually found to be genuinely funny, she goes into a drunken rant about how modern cutesy cosplay maids are nothing like the victorian maids she holds in such high regard. It’s a rant that could easily have been lame and unfunny in another show, but the delivery of it worked really well.

In all this show was simply okay to me. It had a promise that could easily be lame and annoying that manages to be decently amusing and stop just short of being actually annoying. It probably seems a lot better than it is due to how utterly dismal so much of this anime season is, but a show that is ‘okay’ is a welcome change to the complete pile of crap I watched before this. The opening sucks, though.

just a little creepy
just a little creepy

Out of 5,

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