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. The dragon immediately transforms into a cute, busty, and energetic young girl dressed in a maid outfit, introducing herself as Tooru.
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, Tooru had arrived to cash in on the offer, ready to repay her savior's kindness by working as her personal maidservant. Though deeply regretful of her words and hesitant to follow through on her promise, a mix of guilt and Tooru's incredible dragon abilities convinces Kobayashi to take the girl in.
Despite being extremely efficient at her job, the maid's unorthodox methods of housekeeping often end up horrifying Kobayashi and at times bring more trouble than help. Furthermore, the circumstances behind the dragon's arrival on Earth seem to be much more complicated than at first glance, as Tooru bears some heavy emotions and painful memories. To top it all off, Tooru's presence ends up attracting several other mythical beings to her new home, bringing in a host of eccentric personalities. Although Kobayashi makes her best effort to handle the crazy situation that she has found herself in, nothing has prepared her for this new life with a dragon maid.
Kyoto Animation has been something of a lost soul, struggling to find its identity in a post-Haruhi and K-ON world. It is through flipping back the dial and returning to their roots that their newest title, Maid Dragon, is able to find its footing. It feels like something that might have been animated once upon a time in 2005, and that is precisely what makes it so special in the modern climate of harem and superpower.
And unlike many of their more recent titles, it knows what it wishes to be and never compromises its vision in a futile attempt to appease everyone and anyone. It
doesn't play around with drama, and it never centres on action and explosions despite its cast of malevolent dragons. It's silly. It's relaxing. And it can even be a bit heartwarming when it tries, too. Have I also mentioned that Tohru is cute as all hell?
Some may immediately wince and groan upon reading the series' synopsis. Maids plus dragons does not make for a very promising setting, nor does it seem like a combination that required much more than two or three seconds of thought. Everything that could possibly exist has, or inevitably will, receive some sort of series with cute girls indiscriminately slapped onto it. Modern anime has trained people to be cynical.
But to treat Maid Dragon as just another silly comedy with moe characters wouldn't be entirely fair, as there are a number of things it does quite differently. Kobayashi, the show's title character and languid protagonist, is a working adult rather than the conventional teenager. Whereas most anime of its nature would choose instead to play a teenager as some pseudo-adult ("my parents are conveniently away on a business trip, so, hey, I have this house and this maid lady all to myself"), Maid Dragon chooses instead to portray real adults with real issues. Kobayashi is so bored with the office-lady routine that she will choose to drink herself halfway to death after a long day's work. Such is life in much of Japan.
By portraying adult characters, the sense of family between Kobayashi, Tohru, and Kamui feels genuine. Kobayashi is the mother of the household, and she will snap back at her dragon friends whenever they do something unreasonable. She is strict, yet also caring, and tries her best to understand their difficulties with getting used to the human world. Even little things such as peeling oranges for the two on their kotatsu makes it clear that she appreciates their company, even if she may not always be clear and forthright about it. Maid Dragon is true slice-of-life.
Kobayashi being female also helps to keep the show away from any unnecessary sexual undertones. If she were male, the show would no doubt be a harem, and it would be all the worse for it. It is hard to care about a cast when the only thing characterising them is accidental breast fondling (yay) and walking in on (and screaming at) each other in the bathroom. Yawn. While Tohru's feelings for Kobayashi are humorously exaggerated as being romantic, that is not Tohru's actual intentions, and indeed, her reactions come more from gratitude and a desire to protect her guardian, rather than anything genuinely romantic or sexual. The one exception is that, yes, there is a compulsory beach scene, although I suppose I can't fault it too much as it was relatively short and harmless (and because Tohru's body is a lovely sight indeed).
Maid Dragon can occasionally be funny-- Tohru visiting Kobayashi's workplace and repeatedly tripping her crabby boss, or challenging one of the other dragons to a fight in another dimension only to close it on them-- but it isn't an anime that is particularly defined by laughs. It is meant more to be relaxing, and, undoubtedly thanks to Kamui's presence, cute, at times adorable. I just wish it didn't have to repeat the same joke about Tohru cooking her tail a million and one times over.
The anime is at its strongest when it focuses on these main three, which makes the scenes with the other three dragons and Kobayashi's otaku friend, Takiya, significantly less appealing. Takiya's split personality is so jarring and exaggerated that he is often more obnoxious than anything, and Quetzalcoatl is pretty much a non-character whose only defining traits are that her boobs are large and that she likes to dress in scantily-clad clothing. If they were taken out altogether, I don't think anyone would find much reason to complain. More time should instead have been spent developing Kobayashi's cynical worldview, and Tohru's newfound interest in human society, the show's two most compelling themes. It would be nice for Kamui to also have something else to her besides simply being cute and snugly, but then I suppose it would be difficult to develop a character who is essentially the equivalent of a six or seven-year-old child. I sure as heck did not have anything else defining me at that age besides a love for candy and temper tantrums.
Kyoto Animation's artwork is generally excellent, but it certainly stands out in Maid Dragon's case. While there are few scenes that draw particular attention for their animation, the cute and humorous expressions the characters make (notably Tohru and Kamui) make the anime a ripe for grabbin' screenshots. Tohru's eyes are especially detailed, and draw attention to her nature as a dragon while never seeming overtly inhuman. Bright colours and soft edges also do well to enhance the fluffy, relaxing atmosphere the anime strives for. Part of the problem I had with some of KyoAni's other titles, such as Hibike Euphonium, is that they just looked so bland and dreary all the time. It's always welcome to see them return to a more traditional style, as traditional, it seems, is the very thing that KyoAni is skilled at.
To label Maid Dragon as something stellar or ground-breaking may be giving it a bit too much credit, but there is little doubt that it is at least a return to form for a studio that has been losing its way for many a year. It is as well a fun time in its own right, an almost nostalgic recollection of what slice-of-life anime used to be, and could, can be once more.
~Multilingual review, English & Español: Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid~
In the Japanese culture there are two really heartwarming greetings that represent the core of the family bonds: 'Tadaima' (ただいま) and 'Okaeri' (おかえり), respectively meaning 'I'm home' and 'welcome home'. The exchange between these greetings happen when one person arrives home, and there is another one to welcome them back. While not strictly restricted to family members alone, and can be used colloquially between friends and acquaintances, even in workplace and school, these greetings carry a deep and strong meaning behind them, which is no other that 'this is the place I belong to'.
Although there are many
factors that determine the place we could call 'home', and some of them may, naturally, not include a physical person, in my personal opinion just because there is someone eagerly waiting for your return, and acknowledges that is only natural for you to come back, because this is your place, is nothing less what I would call 'the feeling of getting home'.
While it is impossible to chose which family born in, the choice of what to call our 'home' is entirely up to us, and that includes, the circle of people that will come to form part of it. Claiming that 'there are many types of families as there are stars in the sky' might be quite a silly over exaggeration, however it is not entirely wrong to say there are countless combinations and bonds that shape, what we would later call, 'our family'.
Moving one step back to the things impossible to chose, and the next one in the list is: Falling in Love. However this might be a completely biased opinion since I am a total, silly, romanticist, but there is a thing I believe we all have to agree: It is a completely unexpected chapter in our lives. After all, while all the other emotions arrives from the front door, this little bastard show itself from the back door while you were standing there like a dumb trying to see if Happiness was also in the group. Falling in love with someone takes you completely by surprise, and so as well, in some cases, is the person fated to mess around your entire existence.
Falling in Love + Different race + same gender = Love problems?
In this particular case, to scramble our protagonist life, is a certain dragon's unconditional Love. Blind as it is, but really really that blind that gender, age, and even race, represent nothing but just tiny details, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid features a mighty powerful dragon who falls in love with a female human, and although remaining an important lead, the show's gimmick does not spin entirely around it, to the extent that it would not fall under the Romance category, the show has way more to offer than a simple fairytale love story.
As previously mentioned, the story follows super mighty dragon Tooru, and her time in the human world after becoming Kobayashi's maid, the person she's completely infatuated in. Kobayashi is a young office lady leading an existence of the prototypical Japanese salaryman. Work until late hours, almost nonexistent private life, (sometimes forced) drinking parties with the boss, and obviously getting home so tired that just opening the home's door is the last action before collapsing to the floor, everyday repeat, repeat and repeat. And so the gray and monotonous everyday life of office lady Kobayashi starts to gain, definitely, more color.
Meet the Kobayashi's household - Residents: 1 human + 2 dragons + ♥ = Family
Being a Slice of Life series as it is, the anime narrates the everyday life of Tooru, self-proclaimed 'Dragon maid', the somewhat stoic office lady, Kobayashi, and little dragon, Kanna. What I really liked the most about this show is how the three of them, with the progression of the story, started to develop the bonds of a real adoptive family, satisfying the affective desires of each other, and caring deeply for the wellbeing of the members. These developments can be seen throughout the great writing of the dialogues between the characters, I specially adored the interactions between Tooru and Kobayashi, as they were the ones that contained the themes which I expressed in the very beginning of this review, 'the place I belong to'.
Tooru's inner turmoil regarding the human world, and her love for Kobayashi, which contradicts the apparently hate and fear for the humanity, are a constant recurring theme for the entire anime's progression. The series explores other themes such as the diversity and integration, something entirely affecting the dragons living in the human world, and their feelings regarding it's inhabitant, because living among them does not necessarily means living with them.
Unknown world + Unknown people + Being different = Trust problems
Going back a bit to the part when I mentioned that all the family members satisfy the affective desires, we can perfectly observe how the relationship wheel spin, and how much these interactions affected the lives of our three main characters. Kobayashi is a really stoic, passive person, and the difficulties she has maintaining a relationship with the other characters are plenty visible to see, specially towards the affection that comes from Tooru, as she has never been close to anyone before, she does not know how to behave. The exchange is bidirectional towards the dragon maid's inner chaos due to the new life and her love for the female human, that allows her to soon discovering that even though she sees humans as inferiors, she does have indeed desire to understand them. And finally little Kanna, the dragon which embraces the new environment with curiosity and willingness to integrate.
Being realised by Kyoto Animation, we can aspect some really cute designs, fluid quality animation, and bright colors, as per the studio's standard procedure. Also the Original Soundtrack was very great too, they accompanied the events perfectly, I could not ask for better.
In my personal opinion this is a great Slice of Life, although moving perfectly according to the standard of the genre, bringing nothing original nor unique to the industry, it succeeds wonderfully in developing the main themes the show reached out to us, transmitting the message and the values, that were set as a primary goal for the accomplishment of what I consider, Quality.
Wonderful characters + excellent development + Great rhythms = Must watch
[Español - Traducción con la ayuda de mi querido amigo OnionSoda]
En la cultura japonesa existen dos saludos de verdad reconfortantes los cuales representan el núcleo de los lazos familiares: 'Tadaima' (ただいま) y 'Okaeri' (おかえり), que significan respectivamente 'Estoy en casa' y 'Bienvenido a casa'. El intercambio entre estos saludos se verifica cuando una persona recién llega a casa, y a su vez, es recibido por la otra persona que se encuentra ya en ella. Si bien no es restrictivo al uso familiar, y puede ser utilizado entre amigos y conocidos, incluso en el lugar de trabajo y escuela, estos saludos cargan el peso de un fuerte significado con ellos, el me gustaría describir como no más que 'el lugar a donde pertenezco'.
Si bien hayan mucho factores que determinan el lugar que llamaríamos 'hogar', y naturalmente, algunos pueden que no incluyan una persona física, en mi opinión personal sólo por el hecho que haya alguien que espere ansiosamente por tu regreso, y reconozca que es normal para ti el hecho de retornar, porque este es tu lugar, es algo que nada más ni nada menos llamaría 'el genuino regreso al hogar'.
Aún siendo imposible la decisión de escoger en que familia nacer, la elección de lo que decidimos llamar nuestro 'hogar' es enteramente al alcance de todos, y con ellos incluye, el círculo de personas que se vendrían a formar alrededor. Exclamar una frase como 'existen tipos de familia cuanto estrellas en el cielo' llegaría a ser una tonta exageración, de todos modos no estaríamos en el error al decir que son incontables las combinaciones y lazos que vendrían a formar, lo que llamaríamos luego, 'nuestra familia'.
Haciendo un paso atrás, a cuando hablábamos de las elecciones imposibles, la próxima en la lista sería: Enamorarse. De todos modos, esto podría ser una opinión parcial ya que soy un completo, tonto, romántico, aún así hay algo en que creo que todos tenemos que acordar: Es un capítulo totalmente inesperado en nuestras vidas. Después de todo, cuando todas las otras emociones pasan por la puerta principal, este pequeño bastardo se presenta por la puerta posterior mientras tú estabas ahí parado como un bobo tratando de ver si Felicidad estaba también en el grupo. Enamorarse de alguien te toma completamente por sorpresa, y lo es inclusive, en algunos casos, la persona destinada a revolver tu total existencia.
Enamorarse + diferente raza + mismo género = Problemas de Amor?
En este caso particular, a desbaratar la vida de nuestra protagonista, es el Amor incondicional de un cierto dragón. Ciego como es, pero realmente ciego que el género, la edad, e inclusive la raza, representan nada más que pequeños detalles, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid se enfoca en un potente y temible dragón que se enamora de una chica humana, y si bien quedándose como un importante desenvuelve, la esencia del anime no gira completamente entorno a ello, al punto que no caería en la categoría Romance, este show tiene más por ofrecer que una simple amorío de un cuento de hadas.
Como mencionado anteriormente, la historia sigue al potente dragón Tooru, y su estadía después de ofrecer, forzadamente, sus servicios como maid a Kobayashi, la chica por la cual perdió la cabeza. Kobayashi es una joven trabajadora cuya existencia sigue los pasos del típico 'salaryman' japonés. Se trabaja hasta tarde, casi inexistente vida social, (a veces obligadas) salidas a beber con los jefes, y obviamente el llegar a casa tan destruido que, la última acción antes de desplomarse al suelo, es abrir la puerta de casa. El continuo repetirse de los días, una y otra vez. Es así que con la llegada de los nuevos huéspedes, el gris y monótono día a día de Kobayashi comienza a ganar, seguramente, más color.
Conozcan la residencia de los Kobayashi - ocupantes: 1 humano + 2 dragones + ♥ = Familia.
Siendo una Slice of Life como lo es, el anime narra el día a día de Tooru, autoproclamada 'Dragon Maid', la apática joven trabajadora, Kobayashi, y la pequeña dragón, Kanna. Lo que realmente me encanto de esta serie es como las tres, con el desarrollo de la historia, comienzan a establecer los lazos de una verdadera familia adoptiva, que satisfacen las necesidades afectivas de cada uno, preocupándose mutuamente por el bienestar de los miembros. Esta progresión es llevada a cabo gracias a la buena escritura de lo diálogos entre los personajes, especialmente adore las interacciones entre Tooru y Kobayashi, ya que fueron los que contenían los temas con los cuales, anteriormente, decidí abrir esta reseña, 'el lugar a donde pertenezco'.
La confusión interior de Tooru acerca el mundo humano, y sus sentimientos por Kobayashi, los cuales contradicen su aparente odio y miedo por la humanidad, son temas recurrentes por el entero arco narrativo de la serie. La serie explora temas como la diversidad y la integración, cosas que afectan principalmente los dragones que viven en el mundo humano, y sus sentimientos acerca sus habitantes, porque vivir entre ellos, no necesariamente quiere decir vivir con ellos.
Regresando un poco a la parte donde menciono que todos los miembros de la familia satisfacen sus necesidades afectivas, podemos observar como la rueda de las relaciones gira al rededor de la nueva presencia en sus vidas. Kobayashi es una chica de verdad estoica, y las dificultades que tiene al mantener las relaciones con los otros personajes son fáciles de individuar, especialmente cuando se trata del afecto que le proporciona Tooru, siendo el caso de nunca haber sido tan cercana a alguien antes, no sabe cómo comportarse. El cambio es bidireccional hacia el caos interior que tiene la dragon maid debido a la nueva vida que enfrenta y a los sentimientos que tiene por la chica humana, el cual le permite descubrir que aún reputando los humanos como inferiores, tiene de verdad deseo de entenderlos. Y por último esta Kanna, la única que acepta el nuevo ambiente con curiosidad y empeño a integrarse. Aun teniendo una mentalidad similar a la de Tooru, al ser un infante ella logra ver un mundo bajo una diferente luz, un lugar lleno de cosas que esperan a ser descubiertas.
La serie fue realizada por Kyoto Animation, por lo que podemos esperar diseños bonitos, calidad de animación fluida, y colores brillantes, como suele proceder el estudio normalmente. También el audio fue bastante bueno, se acompaña a la perfección a las escenas y eventos, no podría pedir algo mejor.
En mi opinión personal esta es una gran serie SoL, si bien moviéndose perfectamente de acuerdo al patrón del género, trayendo nada de nuevo o revelador a la industria, logra desarrollar, magníficamente, los temas que se propone, trasmitiendo el mensaje y los valores que fueron puestos como objetivo primario para el resultado de lo que reputo, Calidad.
Personajes geniales + Excelente desarrollo + Muy buen ritmo = No hay que perdérselo
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid- Making Anime Fun Again
Remember when anime was pure, unadulterated fun? Racing home as if on a quest to save a dying loved one, plopping your giddy ass on the sofa and turning on your favorite after-school cartoon? Nowadays, myself included, people get ignorantly pretentious and critical when it comes to anime… most likely due to the accessibility of other’s opinions on the internet (you’re guilty MAL!). But what happened to the days when you could share a bond with another over some good, old fashioned Chinese cartoons? God forbid you meet some dragon t-shirted, fedora wearing pleb that only cares for
mainstream shounen... whilst peddling Magic Cards out of his mom's basement. Sometimes even I fall into an over-analytical stupor and forget what makes anime so damn entrancing and fun to watch.
The undeniably successful Studio KyoAni’s 2017 release of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a breath of fresh air in a barrage of unoriginality and criticality. It’s endearing, cute, charming and hilarious, and most of all is that it doesn’t rely on “2deep4u” plot lines or edgy characters to become a hit. It’s an anime that breathes nostalgia for me, crafting a diverse, likable cast that has one character for everyone to enjoy and although ramps down, never gets stale. Of course Kobayashi isn’t perfect, but moreso perfectly imperfect. Accompanied by an outstanding script and stunning, extravagant visuals, KyoAni smashes the target of a true feel-good anime, leaving self-proclaimed pundits with little ground left to criticize.
When it comes to story, sometimes simple is best. Nothing in Dragon Maid seems contrived, but moreso plays out like a situational comedy. The story is straightforward:
-A shut-in girl (Kobayashi) gets drunk and accidentally makes a deal with a dragon concealing herself under the masquerade of graciously endowed maid. (Tohru)
-Tohru and Kobayashi take in an adorable loli dragon, Kanna.
-The three of them (and some of Tohru’s mythical adversaries) live out the seasons in an episodic, heartwarming anime that’ll be sure to make you smile.
The writing in Dragon Maid is the pillar of the entire anime. As previously mentioned, the simple structure of everything helps add to the endearing, carefree atmosphere that the show contains. Whether it’s a scene about cooking or a candid beach/Christmas episode, the script is constructed in the most efficient manner possible. There is an array of characters from Tohru’s mysterious homeland deriving from mythology. There’s Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of learning and self-reflection, as well as the Norse referenced Fafnir, who was cursed and turned into a dragon. Seeing these fictional personalities personified and placed into ordinary scenarios like playing video games… most specifically the scene where Fafnir was playing the Dark Souls-esque dungeon crawler.
The comedy is often slapstick or quick-witted, emphasizing the quirky nature of Tohru and her friends. Jokes are subtly slipped into scenes without being corny or abundant, and there more than a few historical and pop culture references thrown in to liven things up as well. It reminds me of a less overblown version of Nichijou (thank you KyoAni!). Above all other aspects of the writing, Dragon Maid has a unique tendency to make me feel just, comfortable. Whether it was the family bond that Kobayashi, Tohru and Kanna emulated or the cozy scenes where they just wanted to sit around and watch tv, I truly felt at home with these “peculiar” characters. I certainly didn’t expect such a simple show to hit my nostalgia buttons.
As with any show, there were some aspects I didn’t care for, or that could’ve been done better. There was a lingering yuri theme present between Kobayashi and Tohru that acrobatically teetered between friendship and something more. I’m not sure if I’m the only one that noticed this, but I can’t say it was entirely necessary. Echoing this opinion was the relationship between Quetzalcoatl and her “master”. Fanservice is one thing, but her intrusive nature and suggestive sexuality was starkly convergent to the atmosphere present in the rest of the show. Lastly, the charm of Dragon Maid can tend to wear off over the length of the show, so I’d recommend watching the anime in stages to prevent this.
Kobayashi is a 9-5’er; a twenty-something introvert who takes out her aggressions from her job over a beer or twelve at night. She’s what most of us in that age bracket don’t care to admit that we are. Tohru is a self-proclaimed servant, attempting to erase her past and start a more peaceful life on Earth. Tohru and Kobayashi both developed significantly throughout the series, and played off each other very well. Most importantly is that the writers did this without making it the focus of the anime. Kanna is truly the cutest thing in existence, and everyone knows it… and Fafnir’s deep hatred for the human race slowly dissolved the more time he spent around them. The slow addition of side characters, and their mythological influence was reminiscent of The Devil is a Part Timer, only done significantly better.
KyoAni nailed it again when it came to animation. Colors are vibrant and lively, with Tohru’s eyes set ablaze with a mix of red and orange hues. Although not “technically” superior to shows like Hyouka, Dragon Maid’s art style takes on a life of its own. The character models are all so original and inviting, and the action scenes were a joy to watch. More similarities were present with Nichijou, especially Kobayashi’s “dead fish” eyes, and the sporadic expressions on various character’s faces. Beautiful work for sure.
The OP is one of the most jolly, alluring OPs I’ve ever come across, both due to the upbeat music and flawless animation. It tells its own story, one of innocent fun and excitement. I definitely put it on my phone already :P The ED is just as good, and acts as the punctuation at the end of each episode. I don’t always listen to the ED all the way through, but I made an exception for this anime. I also enjoyed hearing the variety of tracks in the OST… with its overall cheeky tones and beats. The voice acting is superb, especially considering most of the cast is relatively unknown. Some of the better performances coming from Kobayashi and Tohru themselves.
I enjoyed the hell out of this anime. The simplicity, coupled with the characters and overall coziness make a show I won't soon forget. I prefaced my review with a paragraph discounting criticality for a reason. Go into Dragon Maid to relax and have fun, nothing else. It's not intellectually stimulating, there's no abstract symbolism and there's no unnecessary ecchi moments. Enjoy it for what it is. I'd recommend this to fans of other heartwarming shows like Barakamon or Usagi drop, or fellow KyoAni-ites. They really surprised a lot of people with this show, and I'm certainly happy that I watched it. Thanks for reading!
"Ravioli, ravioli, don't lewd the dragon loli." Easier said than done when the anime is basically doing it for you already.
I must admit that I have been rather critical of Kyoto Animation in the last few years. Such a talented studio who used to work wonders back in the day with titles such as Clannad, Haruhi, Lucky Star and K-On, but over the course of the last four years or so I have been rather disappointed with their series, with shows such as Kyoukai no Kanata and Musaigen no Phantom World really failing to live up to their previous standards. But Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid
Dragon actually feels like KyoAni finally returning to their roots, and for the first time in several years, it made me remember why I used to love this studio so much back in the day.
The anime starts with the typical adult office worker Kobayashi suddenly receiving a surprise visit one day... from a dragon. A dragon who then transforms into a human girl in a maid outfit and proclaims that she wants to live with her and work for her as her personal maid. As it turns out, Kobayashi had actually proposed the idea herself during some drunken escapade in the mountains earlier, and thus awkwardly finds herself having to invite the girl in. And thus begins Kobayashi's hectic everyday life of cohabitating with a dragon maid: Tooru.
It is a very simple series at heart but it works. It's reminiscent of KyoAni's wacky moe comedies of the past, and most of its success stems from the overblown characters and the stellar production value. Tooru is one big bundle of endless energy, in stark contrast to Kobayashi's deadpan and cool-headed personality. She is largely unfamiliar with how human society works as she came here through a portal from a different world, and as a result she sometimes suggests some ludicrous things such as haphazardly slaughtering people, and it is up to Kobayashi to keep her in check. Tooru is also rather openly affectionate with Kobayashi and repeatedly claims that she loves her, though Kobayashi mostly seems to see it as a child looking for parental affection rather than anything romantic for the most part.
If the entire series had solely revolved around Kobayashi and Tooru though, it would likely have become stale and repetitive before long, but fortunately that is not the case. There are numerous other characters, most of them other dragons, who are introduced one at a time as the anime progresses. The first of these, and also the only other one who would have to be considered as one of the show's main characters, is Kanna Kamui: proud owner of the sexiest piece of loli ass in a very long time (not to mention her thicc thighs). In all seriousness though, everything about her just screams moe, and in my mind she is the real star of this anime. Her looks, her personality and behaviour, even her husky and emotionless voice; all of it is unbearably cute. I think she is right up there with the likes of Kafuu Chino and Tsutsukakushi Tsukiko as far as pure moe overdose levels go. Kanna's role in the story is as a young dragon who follows Tooru to the human world and eventually ends up living with Kobayashi as well. She acts like the child of the strange household and also starts attending a local elementary school due to wanting to experience everyday life in human society in a way befitting someone of her age. What her exact age actually is we are never informed of, but she is supposedly still over 600 years old in human years, so she is presumably of legal age enough to do whatever degenerate things you lolicons want to do to her. On top of being irresistibly adorable though, I think Kanna also brings out the best side of Kobayashi. As the story goes on, you can gradually see Kobayashi becoming more and more of a mother figure to Kanna with the way she treats her, through acts such as taking time off work in order to be able to visit Kanna's school's sports festival and trying to sneak in presents in her Christmas stocking just like how she believes Santa would do it. It brings a genuinely heartwarming touch to what is otherwise a relatively non-serious anime, but it all blends together really well.
Regarding the supporting cast there is also Kobayashi's fellow coworker and otaku Takiya, as well as three other dragons in the form of the reclusive and mysterious Fafnir, the diligent but naïve Elma, and the easygoing and voluptuous Quetzalcoatl, more commonly known as Lucoa. Takiya and Fafnir have a sort of otaku bromance going on, which serves as a pretty nice contrast from the craziness going on whenever Tooru is around, and Elma functions well as the one dragon who can actually interact with Kobayashi on somewhat normal terms due to her personality and occupation. Lucoa however is the one character in this show which I honestly find rather useless. For one she is a typical fanservice character with gravity-defying breasts bigger than her head, but the way she utilizes them is kind of disturbing too. She does not move in with Kobayashi but rather lives in the house of a local child, and the way she interacts with him is basically through ignorant sexual harassment, which feels rather creepy to watch considering their milf and shota characteristics (the kid's name is literally Shouta I might add). Even outside that household though, the only thing Lucoa ever seems to do is jiggle her enormous knockers and nothing else. Her entire persona can be summarized by her tits. The show would really be better off without her.
So Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon is definitely not without its fair share of fanservice, however discounting Lucoa, the other stuff in that department that the anime has to offer is honestly more of a plus than a hindrance I think. Takiya and Fafnir may have a very close friendship past a certain point in the story, but it feels legitimately believable and honest rather than a pair of boys who just got shipped together for the hell of it or anything put into a sexual context. While I am sure the fujoshi crowd will have no problem overcoming that barrier, at least in the context of the show itself, their relationship only comes across as two people who became close friends due to a common interest of hobbies, in this case anime and video games. There are also numerous segments starring Kanna and her human school friend Riko, where it is made quite clear that the latter has a pretty huge infatuation with her dragon classmate. What exactly the nature of those feelings are is debatable considering Riko's young age, but either way there are many scenes of the two of them snuggling together and Riko being super excited about it as a result. It is kind of like a running gag throughout the show where Riko gets so excited over Kanna that she almost gets an ahegao as a result, which I guess is at least somewhat original instead of the more stereotypical nosebleed reaction. Kanna also does some rather surprising things to Riko in return sometimes such as spontaneously licking her on the cheek, but this feels more like an animalistic behavior caused by her non-human nature as she does not seem to mean it to be anything more than a friendly gesture, though of course Riko probably does not interpret it as such. Some people might find it a bit weird seeing two lolis being so physically affectionate with each other, but considering how clingy girls can be amongst friends combined with the facts that Kanna is a dragon and that Riko is highly exaggerated like most anime characters, it still feels believable to me. And also given how incredibly cute Kanna is as a character, it is not like I can blame Riko if she really does have some deeper feelings for her.
In terms of production value, the anime is undeniably top notch. The fact that the art and animation is stellar should be a given since it is KyoAni we are talking about, and there is not a whole lot to say about it other than that it looks like KyoAni shows normally do: in other words fantastic. Since this is a throwback to their moe shows of old though, it is perhaps a bit more colorful than normal in order to fit the light-hearted nature of the show. The music department is also great: the OP and ED are both super catchy tunes and it also has some surprisingly good insert songs throughout the episodes themselves as well with a rather tranquil and artistic feel-good atmosphere to them, and the voice acting is all-round solid as well. There really is not much to complain about in these aspects of the series.
All-in-all though, what you have is a well-directed and thoroughly entertaining anime which--while simplistic in nature--is very much aware of its own limitations and unapologetically embraces its own strengths. It shifts quickly between being over-the-top absurdity and relaxing yet heartwarming slice of life shenanigans, but the transitions are smooth and natural, and it is just as enjoyable in both ways. Yes, there are some things that could have been done better, and no, it is not the single best moe comedy ever made, but it is quite well above average at the very least, and definitely something well worth your time checking out.
Diverse and likeable characters
Top tier moe, especially Kanna
Oftentimes quite heartwarming
Superb production value
Simple, light-hearted fun like the KyoAni of old
Although entertaining, it is not exactly hilarious either
Lucoa is useless