As I write this opening paragraph, I am recovering from a very bad turn caused my Covid booster jab. So you’ll forgive me if I keep this one brief… Next Paragraph!
You might notice that I’m doing this one a bit later this year. Well, part of the reason for that is the damn way anime season run. The past couple of years I wrote one of these lists, I ended up feeling weird about putting shows on from the Autumn season when they were only half over.
So this time, I decided to at least wait for that last Autumn season to be finally over so I had a better sense of my feelings on those shows. That, plus I ended up really packing my schedule full at the back end of the year and decided to watch a lot of shows right at the end.
Here comes my number eight entry:
#8: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S
Originally aired 8th July to 23rd September | 12 Episodes | Based on the manga by Coolkyousinnjya | Slice of Life, Ecchi, Fantasy, Wholesome AF
There was one thing I thought Miss Kobayashi’s dragon maid didn’t need, it was more characters. But, do you know what, the introduction of Ilulu into the mix and family dynamic ended up being a nicer addition to this slice of life series than I could have expected.
I really loved the first series of Kobayashi, the family dynamic that developed between Kobayashi, Tohru and Kanna. The adorable slice of life of curmudgeonly but kind Kobayashi and these wacky characters that all started to gather around her. It was exceedingly cute, interspersed with brief segments of amazingly animated action sequences.
All lovingly crafted for the pure purpose of comedy.
It was as the series went on, it started to grow its cast and telling little vignettes about them that I felt like it started to lose focus on the aspect of the show I felt was its strongest by far. This second series… it continues down that route.
I mean, obviously. It’s based on an ongoing manga that lacks distinct story arcs, so of course it would essentially pick up right where the last season left off. Starting off by introducing us to another dragon, Ilulu. Another dragon that starts off hostile but quickly melts upon meeting Kobayashi and falling for her “womanly” wiles.
Thus she joins the family as an elder sister analogue to the father/father’s girlfriend/daughter vibe the Kobayashi household already has going on. Strangely though, once she’s in the house, she kind of fades into the background, remaining somewhat separate from the main trio that carried the first season despite living under the same roof as them,
Plus, her subplot of working in a candy store and having a kinda-romance with the grandson of the owner is really cute. Which is how the series chugs along for the bulk of its run, telling multiple short stories within the span of an episode. Some of them good, others a little less good. But there aren’t any stinkers in there by any means.
I think it comes down to me just not enjoying some of the supporting cast as much as others. While I enjoyed Ilulu and Elma, Lucia and Fafnir don’t come across as charming for me. It’s like I wrote about during the time the series was airing, the ecchi elements of the series, especially those focusing around Lucia and her questionable relationship with an underage boy irks me more than it should.
I’ve been watching anime long enough by this point that I should be desisted to it all. And yet, some elements of the series weird me out.
That’s a minor issue though and my person problem rather than one of the show itself I think. Miss Kobayashi Maid S is certainly a continuation in form, which is just another way of saying it’s more of the same. But that’s not a bad thing. Kyoto Animation have produced a fantastic looking series, packed to the brim with some really fine character acting and the aforementioned amazing action sequences.
Action that would put a lot of modern shonen to shame.
Although, the very nature of the show it probably what keeps it from creeping any higher than this on this list. It being a short form, slice of life series, there aren’t any real ongoing storyline or character arcs that develop over the course of a series. I mean, there are some in there, but they’re pretty subtle and mostly background elements.
The ongoing saga of the shared history of Tohru and Elma is cool and everything, but it always feels like it gets told under the guise of some rift between them that is resolved and returns us to the status quo by the time it’s over.
This series is still just as cute, wholesome and feelgood as the first though and I have to give a hand to Kyoto Animation who came back from such a horrible tragedy to bring us this series at all.