Kobayashi-san had a pretty rough start, but managed to become another KyoAni masterpiece.
I appreciate KyoAni for doing something daring every now and again. They can go with the steady cash flow of series such as K-ON and Free! Fortunately they also try to stray off from their main menu every now and again, like with Nichijou, which was a little underwhelming, but with Kobayashi-san they hit it spot on.
Life of Dragons
Kobayashi lives the normal uneventful member of society life. She commutes from home to work and back every day, drinking after work, the regular salary persons life in Japan. One day she gets in touch with a dragon in human form Tooru who decides to become her maid.
From this moment on the plot starts to unfold with more and more characters coming along with perhaps the most memorable of them all, the stoic Kana, a young dragon in form of a young girl. The three share a house and together with their dragon and non dragon friends tread along the day to day lifeline.
Slice of Life
Despite the presence of dragons with most of them a thirst for destruction, the show takes a pretty lean approach to the setting. The dragon aspect doesn’t really do much in this series for plot development, it’s more a curiosity that gives the episodes an extra edge. Something that I commonly appreciate in a slice of life series.
Example are the ways how the dragons such as Kana interact with fellow classmates. Her mannerisms aren’t accustomed to those of the human world that creates an interesting sub plot. She is stoic, but also very powerful, despite having the appearance of a small child. Another endearing element is how eager she wants to blend in with human society, being a kid and wanting a mother. This gave the story an emotional layer that was absent at first sight.
Look and Feel
As with every Kyoto Animation, the animation quality is top of the notch. For this installation KyoAni chose a more restraint less layered design, moving away from animation used in Hyouka or Chuunibyuou and leaning more to K-ON!
The best scene is where Kana and Tooru go out to ‘play’, but actually turns into in all out battle wrecking everything in the area. I’ve never seen such a spectacular action sequence in anime to date, so well animated with the choreography to match.
Kobayashi-san Chin no Maid Dragon had some starting issues, it needed time to develop its emotional layer. Once it reached this height, it became a refreshing and most importantly, a sincere watch with well fleshed out characters. I rate Kobayashi-san Chin no Maid Dragon an 8 out of 10 for its more than pleasing performance.