“Start of a New Life! (That Doesn’t Go Well, Of Course)”
Kanna starts living with Tohru and Kobayashi. When the tiny apartment becomes cramped with three people, Kobayashi is forced to upgrade their apartment. This leads to dealing with a slew of problems, including loud neighbors. Later Kobayshi invites Takiya over for a housewarming party, prompting Tohru to also invite her dragon friends, Fafnir and Lucoa, to visit their new home.
Dragon Maid appears to be settling into a nice rhythm of episodic arcs mixed with sketch scenes; making for a light, binge-worthy experience. Breathing new life into this charming series were the addition of two supporting characters: Fafnir and Lucoa. Having limited experience with humans, the reclusive dragon, Fafnir, is hesitant about mixing with human company. Towards the end of the episode, he begins to come out of his shell, after becoming engrossed in a video game. For her part, Lucoa seems more at ease around Torhu’s human companions. Her ill-fitting, inappropriate attire reminds viewers that, despite her human appearance, Lucoa is still naïve to much of the human race. With Fafnir being standoffish and Lucoa more warm and welcoming, the dragon pair contrast one another nicely.
What I appreciate about Dragon Maid, aside from the well-executed humor, is the quiet moments that break up the more chaotic scenes. During the first half of the episode, there are moments where Tohru and Kobayashi are engaging in a subdued dialogue, while Kanna naps on the sofa nearby. These peaceful, mundane glimpses are anticipated in slice of life series and Dragon Maid delivers some truly heartwarming moments.
Along with these ‘aww’ moments, this series is also becoming known for sudden shock inducing scenes. In this episode, Torhu relates how she and Kanna (as dragons) would sometimes bathe one another. This cuts to scene that Kobayashi imagines of Torhu licking Kanna’s body in their human forms. While I get that it is meant to be funny, it only served to repulse me. I’m realizing now not to expect any sort of filter when it comes to content for this series.
All in all, Dragon Maid is managing to hold my interest. For viewers expecting any real plot, it isn’t likely to happen. For an amusing, mindless viewing experience though… Dragon Maid absolutely delivers.
– Supporting characters introduced; making for a nice contrast from main cast.
– Well-timed humor is engaging and entertaining
– More backstory on dragon characters is necessary to truly appreciate them.
– Still unsure if this series is heading towards any real goal.
The familial relationship between Kobayashi and the two dragons living with her is highlighted further as they go through the process of moving to a new apartment. As Tohru nags slightly about Kobayashi’s untidiness, she thinks back to the days when her mother nagged her father. With no hurry in getting to the deeper reasons behind Tohru’s involvement in the human world, the mundane slice of life events continue. But still, even simple things like packing are given a special touch as Tohru becomes enamored by a photo album with pictures of young Kobayashi, while Kobayashi herself becomes distracted (as I always do when I try to clean anything up) by what I guess are maid manga that she had packed away so long ago.
Despite the episode’s title, moving doesn’t seem to be at all unpleasant, and the only trouble they have is in dealing with their new noisy neighbors. Tohru, for her part, plays the doting wife once again and meets with each of their three neighbors. Their arguments over who needs to quiet down are solved by Kobayashi in true programmer fashion by implementing a scheduling queue built around when each of them need quiet time. Coming from the same background myself I loved this little contribution, no matter how underplayed it was.
Introducing the other two dragons via invitations to a dinner party is given as much explanation as most anything else in this show, but each one was able to add something to the episode. Quetzalcoatl, called Lucoa by her friends, gives Kobayashi a chance to interact with someone on her level, ridiculous though her design is (aside from those brilliant eyes), and reveals just how secretly appreciative she is that Tohru and Kanna are in her life. Fafnir’s straight laced demeanor just begs to be cracked, and is done within moments after he sees Takiya playing a fantasy dungeon game. Once again, little things like showing Fafnir’s game character uselessly flailing instead of Fafnir himself while a drunk Kobayashi and Takiya smother him, convey the comedic tenor of the series in small yet enjoyable ways.
At this point, any exploration into Tohru’s backstory seems far off, but with charming characters that create growth in each other and well timed comedy to keep the experience enjoyable throughout, I’m in no hurry either.
– Fafnir is everything I wanted and more.
– Characters are dynamic, but stay true to their core qualities
– It nails Slice of Life comedy despite its outlandish elements
– I can imagine the comedy they’ll use Lucoa for, and I’m already groaning.
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Party