「終焉帝、来る！ （気がつけば最終回です）」 (Shuuentei, Kuru! (Kigatsukeba Saishuukaidesu))
“Emperor of Demise Arrives! (It Was the Final Episode Before We Knew It)”
I’m pretty sure that’s not what happened in the source material — but I still loved every moment of it.
Life without Tooru
Boy, if there is a studio that understands how to create a sense of dread and sadness, Kyoani would be that studio. Thinking back to all the different series they’ve adapted that had scenes that literally took my heart and ripped it into two only to then light it on fire and then rip it in half again, I should have knew better than to expose myself to this type of Kyoani tomfoolery. That said, I think the short period between when Tooru was swept away by her father and when she showed up at Kobayashi’s door was probably my favorite part of the whole episode. The sense of something being just not quite right combined with Kobayashi not really expressing any of her feelings created the perfect atmosphere for the reunion scene that literally ripped the tears out of my face. Sure, watching the house fall into disarray probably helped, but even without the small touches I’m sure the whole thing would have extracted the same emotions out of me.
Anyways, lets jump into those final impressions since there is a good amount of stuff I’d like to talk about. Catch you after the break!
Boy, where do I even start with this show. After a rather lackluster first episode (yes, I remember that the first episode wasn’t particularly bad or good), every episode after has been a lesson in just how bad it is to judge a book by its cover. With a simple story that piled on the small details and a well rounded (haha get it) cast of characters that at this point could have their own successful spinoff show, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t enjoy Maid Dragon for one reason or another. Toss in its recent explosion in popularity about half way through with gifs of Kanna taking the internet by storm and I think it’s safe to say that this show has a rather dedicated following of hardcore and casual anime watchers.
For me personally though, I really enjoyed the way that Maid Dragon tried to tell us a story about different groups of people who over time learned just what it means to be family. With Kobayashi, Tooru, and Kanna being the prime example, I loved the way the story painted them as a somewhat dysfunctional family that grew and matured together as they realized just how much they cared about one another. With each having their own issues — Kobayashi and her personality flaws, Tooru struggling to handle a new life and a new perspective on others, and even Kanna as someone who was looking for a parental figure to provide her the parental attention she always wanted — it was an absolute joy to see them all grow into totally different characters throughout the season. In addition to that, I think what really grew on me was Kobayashi or rather how much I connect with her. In a somewhat similar situation right now, I sometimes can’t help but project myself onto Kobayashi and wonder what I’d do in her shoes during some episodes. If anything it feels like I’m getting the opportunity to see just how great life can be depending on how you go about it.
Life troubles aside, the other characters in this show also had a strong presence that Kyoani graciously delivered without missing a beat. Fafnir and Takiya, Lucoa and Shouta, and Saikawa (with Kanna I suppose) all became memorable characters that you’d be downright sad if you didn’t see. Sure, they may have been shoehorned into a somewhat specific role, but even then we got to see different sides of each characters throughout the season. Something that isn’t all too common in slice-of-lifes but I’m glad whenever it happens.
That said, great characters alone don’t make for a good show. And while I wouldn’t say Maid Dragon had a “strong” story by any means, I’m glad that there was a clear sense of progression as each episode passed. Instead of just meeting characters and watching them go about their everyday lives, we got a clear sense of time moving forward with each passing episode. However, I would be lying if I didn’t say that certain parts of the storytelling left me feeling rather unsatisfied at times. This might be simply because I had already read the source material to research this show for the Season Preview, but there were definitely times that story fell flat on its face — typically when different moments from different chapters or anime-only content were spliced together.
Overall though, I thoroughly enjoyed Maid Dragon and would highly recommend it without a second thought. It has a great cast of characters that almost anyone can identify with, the story is at worst good but at its best is amazing, and the dynamics between the main cast of characters could melt even the coldest of hearts. All-in-all, even with a large array of titles that someone could watch, I’d probably force anyone I cared about to watch this show.
P.S. Thank you to everyone who’s been keeping up with these posts! It’s been a fun ride and I’ll see you around this new season as the crew previews a ton of new shows. See you!