Review: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Complete Series (Blu-Ray)

When hungover office worker Kobayashi opens her door the morning after a big night on the booze she is greeted by an  enormous green dragon. Which quickly transforms into an enthusiastic woman (with horns and a big green tail) in a maid outfit named who announces she’s here to be Kobayashi’s maid. Turns out while three sheets to the wind the previous evening, Kobayashi wandered around the mountains, found an injured dragon and removed a sword from her back, then spent the rest of the night drinking with the with the dragon – Tohru, a Chaos dragon from another realm in exile on Earth – then invited her to stay at her house. It’s too late to take back the offer now, and the baffled Kobayashi suddenly finds herself with a live-in dragon maid.

Based on the manga by Coolkyoushinja, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a wacky tale of domestic almost-bliss, as the smitten Tohru tends to Kobayashi’s every need in her own, well, let’s call them slightly unorthodox ways. Such as cooking slices of her own tail (it regrows quickly) and kinda gross technique for doing laundry. Kobayashi isn’t always thrilled with Tohru’s methods but that rarely dampens Tohru’s spirits, and a bond which is definitely romantic on Tohru’s side but a bit more is-it-isn’t-it on Kobayashi’s side soon develops. When another exiled dragon, Kanna Kamui turns up and takes the form of a young human girl, the trio slowly warm to each other and go on to form something of a family as Kanna takes Kobayashi as her surname and starts attending human school.

We’re introduced to more dragons as the series goes on – among them Quetzalcoatl, aka Lucoa, a disgraced former Aztec goddess who takes the form of a well endowed older woman who plays up to the ara-ara stereotypes and is mistaken for a succubus by the young mage Shouta who’s  demon-summoning spell she interrupted. Fafnir is another dragon who appears as a well dressed mysterious man with a deep distrust of humans who ends up living with Kobayashi’s coworker where the two spend their time playing MMOs and creating books for Comiket.

Kobayahi is fairly no-nonsense and often acts as the foil to Tohru’s antics, but the dynamic between the two as it transitions from something of an employer/employee scenario to something more resembling a romantic relationship is a joy to watch unfold. Dragon Maid is fairly self aware, and spends plenty of time poking fun at itself and fanservicey monster-girl tropes, while telling a story with a surprising amount of heart as the previously solo Kobayashi slowly comes around to having Tohru and Kanna in her life as the three form their own little family unit in place of missing or strained relationships with their own biological families.

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A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.