Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 1 Revisited: What Made the Series Work?

Since Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 2 starts airing today, we figured it was time to revisit Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 1 to see why the world liked it so much when it first graced our screens in 2017.

Oh 2017, what a magical time it was. We could all still go out without masks and hug our loved ones. I don’t know why anyone would want to go out since the year was filled with absolute gems of anime released throughout the year. Seriously, My Hero Academia, Made in Abyss, the criminally underrated Girls Last Tour, and the subject of this article, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 1, all came out in 2017. Those aren’t even counting the second seasons of already established anime series, such as Attack On Titan Season 2, Konosuba Season 2, and Food Wars- The Third Plate.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 1 was created by Kyoto Animation or KyoAni. KyoAni is one of the most well regarded and highly respected anime development studios that have ever respected. At the time of the release of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, their back catalogue included anime the likes of Hyouka, K-On!, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and the best anime ever created, in my humble opinion, Clannad.

Kyoto Animations

However, KyoAni was going through a rough time by the end of 2017, as both of their latest anime series had failed to perform as well as they hoped, both critically and commercially. They needed a hit, and instead, they received a Home Run in the form of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 1. Dragon Maid is a series that had no right to work as well as it did, and we are here to find out how that happened.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 1- The Plot

“As Kobayashi sets off for another day at work, she opens her apartment door only to be met by an unusually frightening sight—the head of a dragon, staring at her from across the balcony. It turns out that the stoic programmer had come across the dragon the previous night on a drunken excursion to the mountains, and since the mythical beast had nowhere else to go, she had offered the creature a place to stay in her home. Thus, Tohru had arrived to cash in on the offer, ready to repay her savior’s kindness by working as her personal maidservant.”

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid Opening

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid has a plot that doesn’t inspire much confidence from people who read its synopsis. Maids were very overdone concepts in 2017, as most slice-of-life anime seemed to feature them in some form or the other. Adding a dragon to the concept seemed like a bad idea on the surface. However, Dragon Maid proved all of us wrong.

The plot of the show worked because it knows what it wants to be. There is no over-reliance on silly fanservice, there are no useless action scenes, and the show isn’t theatrical. Dragon Maid is funny at times and the cutest anime you will ever lay your eyes upon. It is sometimes silly, and at other times, it will warm your heart so much you will want to roll over and cry. No word in the English dictionary is misused these days more than “wholesome”, but Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 1 is the definition of it. Dragon Maid is sweet, wholesome, kind, and a joy to behold.

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid Dragon

The story is simple yet effective. All the happenings in the show seem very natural and something that could happen to anyone, whether they are a dragon or not. The way the differences between Dragons and Humans are explored is fantastic and leaves the viewer thinking for a while after an episode ends. The show also ends satisfactorily, ending the current story thread very well while still leaving the possibility of another season. As Wonder Egg Priority recently taught us, that is apparently very hard to accomplish, which the show did very well.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 1- The Characters

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid Season 1 Cast

The characters are hands down the best part of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 1. The way they interact and build each other up is phenomenal, and the character dynamics are some of the absolute best you will ever see in an anime. Most of the anime relies upon the chemistry of the Eponymous Miss Kobayashi and Tohru, her dragon maid. Their (almost) household life together is a joy to behold, and there isn’t one moment where they overstep their boundaries.

The show also never shies away from exploring deeper topics, despite its upbeat nature. Miss Kobayashi is an alcoholic working adult, and her being a girl is essentially what saves the show from being another harem style rom-com. Tohru is cute, powerful, and competent – all the qualities anyone would want from a maid and a friend. The other main character, Kanna, is just a tiny ball of love and the cutest character ever envisioned in front of our screens. The way she interacts with Kobayashi and Tohru can melt the hearts of even the most stoic people.

The side characters are also mostly good to great, with one exception. Lucoa is easily the worst character in the series and adds nothing to the story. Her arc is also one of fanservice and annoying an 8-year-old with her breasts (Yes, Really). Apart from her, all the other side characters are well written and have great personalities. Fafnir, the dark dork, Riko, the Kanna simp (again, who isn’t), and Makoto, Kobayashi’s otaku coworker, are highlights of the series.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 1- The Art and Music

As is to be expected from Kyoto Animations, the art in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 1 is gorgeous and adds a lot of character to the show. The voice acting is absolutely outstanding, and all the seiyuus have done an excellent job in bringing their voices to life. The background music isn’t all that remarkable, but the opening and ending themes are enjoyable and fit the show’s tone to a tee.

The Conclusion

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid Season 1

Season 2 is upon us, and after the greatness that was Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 1, we absolutely cannot wait. Regrettably, Yasuhiro Takemoto, the original director of season 1, perished in the devastating Kyoto Animation fire, and thus, the anime industry lost one of its brightest stars. The new season of Dragon Maid seems to be dedicated to his memories, and it has a lot to prove.

Start reading our episode by episode coverage of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 2 here!

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is a simple and uncomplicated yet highly effective anime that captures the heart.
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Siddhant
I write about Anime! Hit me up if you would like me to go on for hours about why Clannad is a literal gift from the stars.

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