Kobayashi-san no Maid Dragon is a work of Kyoto Animation, the same company that has created big hits in the anime industry such as The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star and K-On!. But in the recent years, it works are going on a slump, with the reputation of its works losing due to the lack of plot and characters. Will this 2016 Winter anime bring it back to life?
Firstly, plot. The story focuses on Kobayashi, a programmer, and Tohru(or Tooru), a dragon which she saved while she was drunk and is now working as a maid to repay her. As the story goes on, more and more dragons from the other world comes to the human world. The jokes made seems to be forced and the connection between episode and episode is too sudden without any hints for the next episode. Besides, the story is bland even compared with other slice of life anime. But story, in SOL animes, is not really a major factor that would affect the enjoyment.
Secondly, art. I will not talk too much about it. KyoAni has shown great art in their works. The backdrops of each scene and the direction in this anime has also shown overflowing quality. The facial expressions are smooth and the character movements are not choppy. They pick up even the slightest detail and avoid raw art unless when necessary for comedic effects.
Thirdly, sound. I will also not focus on this part too much. The opening combined with the art brings out the theme of the anime, the ending fits with every episode to make a conclusion, and the OST was executed perfectly to bring out the mood of those scenes without making a ruckus and diverting our attention from the animation itself.
Fourthly, character. You can see the development in characters and how they develop feelings for each other. For example, Kobayashi and Kanna, one of the dragons that came to the human world, have been reliant on Tohru and cannot handle their daily affairs on their own. Kobayashi has also stood up to Tohru's father, a being that could destroy her with ease. Fafnir (again, one of the dragons) has softened his hateful attitudes to humans, at least to his gaming partner Takiya. From these examples, it is needless to say that they are mostly somewhat three dimensional characters.
On to the character design of the stars of the show.
Kobayashi's pink, distinctive hair colour does not really give off the common, office lady feel, but her eyes show listlessness and her outfit is also common. Her personality is straight out flat, with little backstory shown. Despite that, she managed to build connection with other characters. These emphasize her ordinary office lady feel. All in all, a well designed character.
Tohru. Her orange hair, eyes, and her green tail hints more strongly than every other character about her dragon lineage, being a Western dragon. Her horns once again brings out the fact that she is a supernatural being again. Her maid costume fits nicely with the title, though it mismatches her overly eccentric and energetic personality. This, though, is what brings out her moeness per se, with some people loving those kinds of contrast.
Kanna. Her character design screams one thing. PURENESS. From the white hair, loli body shape, and her white-themed outfit, all that leads to people linking her up with an innocent figure (and what makes people including the creators wanting to lewd her). The existence of he tail that serves as a plug-in is not to bring up her real identity of being a dragon/god of thunder, but instead to emphasize her moeness along with the action of eating anything she comes across, the action that relates to babies.
Last but not least, enjoyment. I personally adore SOL anime, and while different parts of this anime do not go hand in hand, I was still unable to bring myself to relate and enjoy myself with the show. The characters, while having their own personalities and colours, are to heavily focused on that they just became too bright. The show kind of ruined itself with its characters contrasting too much with each other and unable to bring up their own unique features. We can definitely see the development of characters as said before, but they do not evolve much on their own, with none of their characters changing too much, though that is what I suppose is one of what makes SOL anime attractive. With all that said, it does not need too much jokes that will stuff the show as it is enough with the cute daily interactions with each other, beautiful drawings, and great execution. In my opinion, this anime brings everyone in it together without changing their own colours, and that's what makes this anime beautiful.