OP2 Sequence

OP2: 「愛のシュプリーム!」 (Ai no Supreme) by fhána

「新たなるドラゴン、イルル!(またよろしくお願いします)」 (Arata Naru Doragon, Iruru! (Mata Yoroshiku Onegai Shimasu))
“New Dragon, Ilulu! (Please Be Nice to Her Again)”

 

No.1 Maid in Town

If you watched the first season, you know what kind of ride you’re going to be in for, so there’s no real need for me to explain much. That came out four years ago. Time certainly flies by quickly! But now, Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon returns for a second season, equal parts fanciful and charming while being comfortable enough to go at its own pace. We kick off with a new maid cafe opening up near Kobayashi’s (Tamura Mutsumi) residence. Their claims of having the best maids provoke Tohru (Kuwahara Yuuki) to indignantly storm over and issue a challenge for the title of ‘best maid’ – only the manager adores her maid attire so much she gets hired on the spot.

So how does Tohru go about proving she is truly the best maid in the local vicinity? Well, she doesn’t. Because she gets sent to the kitchen for two reasons – she’s terrible at customer service because she will never call anyone who isn’t Kobayashi ‘Master’. And her cooking is genuinely amazing, thanks to her purple curse, which actually makes food taste extremely delicious in spite of how ominous it looks. In the end, Tohru decides she can only be Kobayashi’s maid and turns down a long-term offer to work at the fafe. However she teaches the maids her curse of deliciousness – which helps make the cafe wildly successful, even if the process can seem extremely dubious.

Iruru’s Irurus

I know what many of you are thinking. If people already thought that Lucoa was ridiculous, Iruru (Mineuchi Tomomi) has some of the most unrealistic proportions in all of anime – exacerbated by the fact her boobs are quite literally magical fire bags to store her dragon’s breath. In substantive terms, I really like the philosophical dimension she brings to the conversation. Whereas before, we have generally taken the coexistence between humans and dragons for granted, partially because it’s hard to see derpy and quirky individuals be so threatening to human society, it turns out a radical faction of dragons exist who are intent on bringing about destruction.

She does raise a good point. Could it be that the harmony between Kobayashi and Tohru is merely a reflection the current status quo, where in actuality their relationship is doomed based on stark differences that fundamentally cannot be bridged? I feel inclined to disagree. It’s clear Iruru has some kind of traumatic past and baggage which makes her cynical and distrusting towards humans. If she’s had the positive experiences that Kobayashi, Kanna, Lucoa and Fafnir have had, I definitely think Iruru would change her mind.

I guess that’s what this season is going to be about – Irurus’s journey to realising that while the human race has some despicable characters, some humans are absolutely worth co-existing with. And as we know from a season’s worth of content, Kobayashi is most certainly one of these wonderful humans. Even though she was powerless to directly intervene in Tohru’s battle against Iruru, she did everything and convinced Elma to further involve herself – creating an opening that allowed Tohru to release her limiters and end the battle in one go after taking a hefty beating, unafraid of accidentally destroying the city thanks to Elma’s protective magic.

I just wonder how Tohru is going to react when she discovers Kobayashi has suddenly grown a penis. I don’t think it fundamentally changes Kobayashi as a person. However, temporary or permanent, it may very well introduce a romantic and sexual bend to their interactions – which I hope will be adequately explored rather than played off for laughs.

Concluding Thoughts

You might have been like me. Nervous about how KyoAni would mark their first return to the screens, following the arson attack on their main studio which claimed 36 lives. Perhaps you feared for the worst, believing that the scars of the tragedy would be apparent, since there was a considerable loss of talented personnel. Or maybe you always had faith they would remain as strong as ever – I was certainly in this camp because this studio and its very people have greatly influenced my life for the better throughout my teenage years. Because it’s abundantly clear the survivors live on with a vengeance, determined to see through the spirit of KyoAni’s values and carry the legacy of their fallen comrades. From director to director, friend to friend, Takemoto Yasuhiro would definitely have been proud of how Ishihara Tatsuya has taken care of his passion project.

I must draw attention to the diversity of animation styles throughout the episode, which make it more than clear that KyoAni haven’t lost any of their magical touch. First off, the cheery and comfy soundtracks immediately lift my mood. And we have to talk about the aesthetics too. From colourfully energetic mannerisms to pouty chibis to cataclysmic dragon fights to intricate emotional expressions, this episode just about had it all. They can do it all and haven’t diminished in the slightest, firing off on all cylinders across the board with their animation cycles being as excellent and fluid as ever. I look forwards to seeing if they can maintain this level throughout the season, and though cautious optimism feels like the best policy for avoiding disappointment, I must confess it fills me with great joy to see them remaining so strong and full of conviction in the face of adversity.

Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!

ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「めいど・うぃず・どらごんず︎❤︎」 (Maid with Dragons❤︎) by スーパーちょろゴンず (Super Chorogonzu)

End Card

24 Comments

    1. Yup. I wasn’t too sure for the first few seconds but the rap and animation walking cycles of Tohru and Elma really made it work. And that ending theme was really comfy too.

      I was also trying to figure what it was I liked about Tohru that was different at the Maid cafe, and it was the hair!

  1. I was kind of surprised at the sheer amount of fire in this episode – that surely must have been uncomfortable for the staff to animate? Or maybe cathartic, I suppose.

    Anyway, “oppai chibi” being about my least favorite character type, I suspect that the amount of screen time Iruru gets will have a direct bearing on how much I enjoy this new series.

    Angelus
    1. I suspect Iruru will be the focus of this season. So you might not enjoy this new season very much. I’m relatively nonplussed by these sorts of depiction – e.g. Occultic Nine, so I’ll be fine.

  2. Kinda funny how there’s folk on twitter whining about the lewd stuff in this episode. This is anime in a nutshell though they’ve toned it down in recent years. The obnoxiously huge chested types were in so many different series in the past.

    Lyfe
    1. I think part of it is that people don’t expect fanservice from KyoAni who have been relatively PG throughout from the very beginning. Maybe it’s weebs are the problem, since we might have become too desensitised to fanservice. But I’m fine to enjoy what I enjoy, and don’t really mind if other people make it clear it’s not for them.

  3. Despite losing 36 talented people in that fire (rest their souls), seeing the premiere episode of Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon S made me feel that Kyoto Animation (and by extension, Maid Dragon‘s colorful cast of characters) never really left. While the 36 are no longer here physically, I can sense that they are still there in spirit in every frame and detail of the episode drawn by their close friends and colleagues who survived that tragedy.

    Random (AsaCoco-flavored) thoughts:
    – Had a little chuckle seeing Tohru’s dragon form to scale with a human (read: Kobayashi) as well as an excavator and passenger airliner. Wait, does this mean Tohru’s dragon form is bigger than Coco’s dragon form? (The gebokawa one from Coco’s debut stream, not the one from Hololive Alternative [a.k.a.: The one Noel yeets into the stratosphere by the tail in that teaser trailer].)
    – Ah yes, Tohru shaking those (thicc) hips like Kaichou. Man, why hasn’t the USDA[*] certified Tohru’s hips yet?
    – Tohru joining a maid cafe, making herself an invaluable asset despite her unorthodox maid style, and then quitting once the maid cafe becomes popular. Wait a minute… That’s almost similar to Coco joining Hololive, making herself an invaluable asset despite her unorthodox VTubing style, and then quittinggraduating once the VTuber company became popular. Cue the “Coincidence? I THINK NOT.” meme.[**]

    OK, actual thoughts about the episode:
    Kobayashi: (*On the maid cafe Tohru joined*) “People don’t use the word moe very much anymore, but they’ve kept the spirit of those times.” (*Mentions something about “Moe moe kyun“*)
    Me: “Ah, nostalgic memories of Akiyama Mio in that maid outfit doing that chant…”

    – Kuwahara Yuuki’s voice as Tohru is still as adorable as ever. Ditto Naganawa Maria as Kanna Kamui. (*Nervous sweating*) Takahashi Minami’s Lucoa sounds like she still hasn’t shaken off her role as Sentouin, Hakenshimasu‘s Grimm, but I’m looking forward to see her return to “Ara ara” form in future episodes.
    – Goddamn… Ilulu’s even more “sugoi dekai” than Uzaki-chan! I’d say Ilulu can carry those honkabadonkers thanks to her dragon physiology, but still…must be a killer on her back. Also, Mineuchi Tomomi’s voice work reminded me of Kugimiya Rie for some reason.
    – Tohru going full power(?) with her dragon breath gave me Starlight Breaker (Lyrical Nanoha) flashbacks. Good thing Kobayashi managed to bribeconvince Elma to put up that barrier protecting the city.
    – Kobayashi growing a d**k thanks to Ilulu’s spell… Oh, I can already sense the Rule 34 artists furiously scribbling and sketching. (Probably already did once the manga chapter came out, but still.)
    – What the heck did Fafnir do in that online game that got him banned?

    A welcome return for Kyoto Animation. If anything, they sure upped their sakuga game for this episode and it feels like they’re pulling out all the stops using every animation trick in the book. Looking forward to future episodes, with a side of cautious optimism.

    (Note[*]: The fictional Coco-lore USDA [United States of Dragon America, IIRC], not the actual real life one.
    Note[**]: Of course, that story arc could have already appeared in the manga long before Coco made her VTuber debut, so it might be a case of [virtual] life imitating art.)

    Incognito
    1. Fafnir being a nearly immortal dragon doesn’t need to sleep. He can grind out MMOs 24/7 – meaning he probably got banned by the system since pretty much no human can pull this off without account sharing.

      And I must agree, a welcome return indeed in these globally trying times.

      1. LOL, that explanation actually makes sense. And the funnier thing about it is, Fafnir will most likely outlive that online game. (Online game servers don’t really last forever after all, if news about gacha games or MMORPGs ending their service are any indication.)

        On the downside, Fafnir can cause the end of the world, and Takiya’s reaction to seeing Fafnir banned from the game really sells that possibility. (Damn, can’t help but enjoy the side characters’ stories, too.)

        Incognito
  4. Kobayashi-san was a bit hit-or-miss for me because I was disturbed by the scenes involving Shouta and Riko, but everything else was perfect. With this in mind, I had a very good time with Episode 01 since it honed in on what made the first season work well. Kobayashi’s version of an omurice was hilarious as was

    It’s also impressive how KyoAni is able to draw a clean-cut division between the polished minimalism of the show’s comedic sequences and the flashy, impressive animation of the action scenes like Illulu’s appearance. To be honest, I think Illulu is giving me more incentive to follow along with it this time around with the oppai.

    Choya

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