Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon Episode 13: Emperor of Demise Arrives! [Final Impression]
I-I’m not crying! You’re crying!
I’m crying. I really don’t want Maid Dragon to end. I’ve enjoyed it so much over the past three months. Not having Maid Dragon to look forward to every Wednesday is what Kobayashi’s life must have been like without Tooru. Just like how Kobayashi couldn’t do anything about Tooru’s departure, Maid Dragon‘s unfortunately low sales figures (as is all too often the case with shows that are actually good) and thus its unlikely chances of a second season are something I can’t do anything about. It honestly hit hard to see Kobayashi go back to the way she used to live before Tooru came into her life. She did still keep Kanna, but you could subtly tell that that raised its own issues too, because Kanna’s a child and Kobayashi’s lifestyle can’t sustain properly taking care of her and giving her the attention and love she needs. It’s basically Amaama to Inazuma all over again, although Kobayashi’s woes as an overworked single parent were slightly alleviated as she could teach Kanna to cook and have Kanna go over to Saikawa’s house to have regular loli sleepovers when needed.
Tooru is so best. Kobayashi’s outburst to Tooru’s father, in which she told him all the good things about Tooru, is exactly what I’ve been trying to say every week. That blushing Tooru when the two of them momentarily agreed that Tooru was great was adorable too. You can tell how important Tooru is to Kobayashi from the latter’s willingness to stand up to someone who could effortlessly kill her, even despite her fear and even though she’s always been relatively laid-back about things. That moment when she sat there and realised she’d been ‘this’ close to dying was probably a first for the series. She’s seen how strong dragons are before, and she’s had death threats aimed at her before (e.g. Fafnir, also technically her first meeting with Tooru) but this is the first time a dragon has followed through with its threat and aimed its hostility directly at her.
I can see where Tooru’s father is coming from. Kind of. His whole argument about interfering in Kobayashi’s world and getting an unrelated society caught up in dragon-related things kind of makes sense, especially as what he said about more dragons coming over has actually happened (though so far they’ve all peacefully integrated instead of causing a fuss). I guess the whole chaos and harmony faction dispute only applies to causing trouble in their own world and not others. Also, if the war in Tooru’s world really does worsen, and she’s needed, then her father also has a compelling argument there. But the stuff about how Tooru will outlive Kobayashi and how they’ll never be able to grow old together is something she’s already dealt with in past episodes when other dragons like Fafnir questioned her. It’s something she’s already made peace with, and Tooru’s father needed some prodding to be able to see that. Tooru’s introspection scene in the market reminded me a lot of Kyon’s one in Disappearance, by the way. It’d also have been nice to see Kobayashi’s parents finally meeting their daughter’s sex slave and their granddaughter at the very end there. I know that would mean making extra character designs for a few minutes of screen time, but their reactions would have been great. And it’s not like KyoAni doesn’t have either the time or the money.
Welp, it’s over. Time to kill myself. I’m archiving two shows from Winter 2017. The first is Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon, and the second is Urara Meirochou. They are my AOTS and runner-up respectively. In an era where I’m shelving fewer and fewer shows for my digital collection (I kept nothing from Fall 2017, for example) it’s rare that both were especially deserving of some HDD space. I’ve said a lot in the past about why Maid Dragon is AOTS, but in short it’s much to do with the combination of good directing, high production values and comfy charm that KyoAni so often manages to pull off. I’m a particular fan of those key frames where sunlight streams into Kobayashi’s house in the morning. A common criticism is that it’s supporting characters ended up being relegated to one-trick ponies (e.g. Lucoa’s boobs, Elma eating food or Saikawa’s lesbian outbursts) which I think is fair. But to me, its core cast (Kobayashi, Tooru and Kanna) and the gems that each episode focusing on them has managed to be, more than makes up for it. It’s a dragon-themed family slice-of-life at heart, and it strikes the right notes where it counts. For someone who initially decided to try it just to tide himself over until it was time for Violet Evergarden to make anime great again, I can’t apologise to Maid Dragon enough. Anime might just already have been saved.