Manga & Anime Rec: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Continuing my steady stream of anime and manga posts with a few notes. First, apologies for missing yesterday. It was a conflagration of events. We had a family issue in the evening, and it required my attention to be elsewhere, but mostly yesterday was dedicated to this.
This, in case it isn’t immediately obvious, is a handmade cosplay dragon tail. My mother drove here yesterday and my daughter, my mother, and I devoted the day to cosplay construction but mostly making this beast. Anna will be wearing this under her Tohru skirt at Animefest. She is incredibly excited. We have three cosplay costumes, but she and her friend are most excited for Miss Kobayashi, because the costumes are cute and ornate. (I’m playing the dyke lesbian human, so mine is pretty boring. I’m fine with this.) I’m most nervous about this day, because I will be in charge of two pretty teen girls in cute costumes in a con full of strangers. Anybody so much as looks at them wrong and they’re going to find out who the real dragon in the cosplay team is.
Now, you may have heard me say dyke lesbian in the last paragraph and thought, what exactly are you playing at there, Heidi? And the answer is, I’m telling you, this anime is the cute domestic tale of a lesbian office worker who finds a female dragon in the woods and invites her to become her maid, and she accepts, and then they adopt a dragon child and then more dragons into their lives and amusing hijinks ensue. And a few that are not so amusing and you wish weren’t there, and may make some of you hard pass. I shall now explain.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon)
Kobayashi is an office worker who, one night after drinking with her coworkers—and by drinking I mean getting herself so smashed she misses her stop and ends up in the mountains—wanders the woods and encounters a dragon. When Kobayashi drinks she’s aggressive and tends to rant about maid culture, which she loves (this is a thing in Japan), and so when she finds a huge green dragon with a sword in its back, she simply takes the sword out and begins to lecture. When the dragon is defensive and threatening, Kobayashi is undeterred, because she’s drunk, and eventually invites the dragon, who admits to homelessness, to live with her as a maid. Also, during this exchange the dragon takes on human form, Kobayashi begins to flirt (well, as much as Kobayashi does), and basically, the dragon—Tohru—is toast. She’s already in love. She’s decided she’s staying in this world and living with Kobayashi.
Unfortunately, when Kobayashi wakes up she remembers none of this, which is how the anime starts. And Tohru has zero idea of how to be a human, let alone a maid. She’s really good at worshipping Kobayashi, but Kobayashi doesn’t want to be worshipped, so they have a problem right off the bat. Kobayashi does, however, have a big heart, and can’t bear to turn Torhu out, so she lets her stay on as a maid and begins to train her. As the episodes progress, they learn how to love each other, though don’t hold out for a kiss. This is domestic bliss only.
More dragons show up from the world Tohru has left, looking for her—she was a seriously powerful dragon where she had been, which becomes clear as she defends Kobayashi’s home from burglars and play-spars with other dragons. Every dragon that arrives becomes assimilated into the domestic Kobayashi sphere: Kana, the child dragon, becomes Tohru and Kobayashi’s adopted child, and the rest of them become their friends. Fafnir seems to have some potentially gay/gamer/bro/who knows relationship with one of Kobayashi’s coworkers, Elma is cute but a bit of a mess, and then…then there’s Lucoa.
There are definitely people who will stop watching/not want to watch Miss Kobayashi because of Lucoa. I’m going to present the facts and my take on it, and then you can make your own decisions. Here’s the details on Lucoa. She’s an Aztec dragon goddess who’s a friend of Tohru’s but who lost her divine status years ago. She happens to be incredibly well endowed and likes to wear as little clothing as possible, showing off her figure. She is summoned in the series and is living with a fifth-year male student named Shōta, who is a mage and is convinced Lucoa is a demon.
Lucoa is constantly cooing over and flirting with/teasing Shōta, and his face is always ending up near her breasts, especially in their first episodes. Lucoa is eleven. This is all that happens, and toward the end of the anime, it’ firmly settles on mother, and to be clear, they are absolutely never in any kind of a relationship. This is not an uncommon theme in Japanese anime, in my experience, this love of tit. There’s a huge fixation on it in many anime, how big breasts are, having them popping out of clothing, even in anime that have nothing to do with sex, even in anime meant
for young boys—of Shōta’s age. I have no idea if this is meant to be some kind of commentary in Japan or if this is more of the same nonsense. But it’s there, and you might not like it. We here at our house just roll our eyes and tolerate it. It’s not much and it’s certainly not worth dismissing the rest of the great anime for, in our opinion. But yours may differ.
Mostly though this show is a fun, adorable anime and snuggly walk through domestic snuggliness. I have the manga as well, though I haven’t read it yet. More is on the way, and I’ll keep up with it largely because I worry there won’t be any further anime. But if there is, we here at our house will watch it. And next week, we will be cosplaying it.
Okay, a housekeeping note on the Rafflecopter: so, I really thought you could enter the blog thing each time I did a post, but I guess not? So I’ll just keep adding new blog post entries until they say, “Look, you can’t have that many blog post entries.” I can’t do it while I’m gone, so that’ll slow it down, but for the next few days I’ll keep adding one, and then when I get back as well. So keep checking the Rafflecopter to see if there’s more. There is a new one today. Plus I added a Facebook and Twitter, and you can always tweet again and again. Good luck! The Yuri Nendoroid arrived today, so he’s waiting for you.
Yuri on Ice episode three later today.
A single stroke can change your world.
Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten College to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour.
Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.
Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.
Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys playing with new recipes, reading romance and manga, playing with her cats, and watching too much anime. Find out more about Heidi at heidicullinan.com.