「小林さんちのミステリードラゴン」 (Kobayashi-san Chi no Misuterī Doragon)
“Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Mystery”
This episode examined the relationship dynamics between dorogons and the humans they live with. For me, it was fascinating seeing the different conclusion each set of humans and dorogons came to.
Lucoa and Shouta
Anyone with discerning eyes can tell that Tohru is wholly devoted and Kobayashi-sexual. That same distinction can be applied to Lucoa. Shouta spends a lot of time trying to figure out what Lucoa’s weakness is. And most people can tell Shouta is her weakness. She puts it quite simply – valuing family and a place to belong above all else. Having been banished from her homeland for a prank gone too far, Lucoa avoided settling anywhere out of fear of feeling attachment. However, after summoning her and creating a pact to make her his familiar, Shouta essentially gives her family and a place to belong.
Like so, this unusual dorogon finds her home and has come to deeply treasure Shouta like a younger brother. I’d preferably interpret away sexual connotations as Lucoa being less aware of human customs. After all, it’s been made abundantly clear that dorogons don’t possess the same common sense as humans – see Iruru haphazardly changing in fron of Take last episode. But those final words she told him did make that seem quite ambiguously sketchy – ‘You can come at me anytime when you are older’. Nevertheless, Shouta’s intentions are clear. He doesn’t want Lucoa to treat him like a child and would prefer to operate on a relationship like equals. And this aspiration is also demonstrated by other dorogons in the series.
Fafnir and Takiya
Despite being a prideful and cranky and dorogon, Fafnir makes an implicit concession to Takiya in the form of a nickname. As we learn from Shouta, having a nickname would enable Takiya to generate a pact regardless of Fafnir’s wishes. Ultimately Takiya turns down the chance to subjugate Fafnir to his will, preferring to operate as equals. I can’t tell whether Fafnir was so powerful it wouldn’t have worked, or whether Fafnir possesses that level of trust towards Takiya.
Regardless of whether it would have worked on Fafnir or not, Takiya had already decided to let him be. So if it was trust, Takiya’s proven himself worthy. Though to be honest, Fafnir’s wistfulness when denouncing the cohabitation Tohru, Kanna and Iruru have with Kobayashi playing pretend humans as ‘foolishness’ betrayed some sentiments of envy and desire, as if he also wants similar happiness. Part of me believes he yearns for that same happiness, but is too prideful to admit it. Fafnir might not have a happy family like they do. But there’s no question he’s found a best friend to share video gaming adventures with.
Kanna and Saikawa
Kanna and Saikawa? Well, I can’t really say they operate as equals. On a surface level from the outside, I think the kids and adults would say these two operate like equals. They do everything together and neither have given any outward indication of superiority or inferiority. If you ask me, Saikawa is very much subservient to Kanna and makes very intentional concessions to the young dorogon. Although Saikawa can be creepily enthusiastic at times, their relationship is a relatively innocent one. And what makes it unique is that this is the only human-dorogon partnership where the human in question is completely unaware of the dorogon’s true nature, which made it quite funny when their imagining of lake bathing were completely different. As well as their contrasting reactions to seeing Elma bathing as a dorogon in the river.
Kanna saves Elma’s bacon by blocking Saikawa from taking a picture of her, then passing off her appearance as ‘CGI’. Honestly, that gave me a good chuckle. Given Elma’s physiology, I can’t help but wonder if this was a reference to photos of the Loch Ness monster – which is most probably an elaborate hoax. They manage to make it to the point where the river merges with another one – and it leaves Kanna with a question. She’s aware her morphology is very much different from a humans so she wonders – will her form change to keep up with her ageing human peers? I’m sure that’s a question better directed at the older dorogons. But it shows that for all her childishness, Kanna has maturity and awareness beyond her dorogon years in contemplating the transience of her fun times with Saikawa. I hope she will find her resolution or personal answer in terms of how she will approach or handle that inevitable outcome, but that’s precisely why she shouldn’t try to worry about it too much and focus on the present.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!
Fafnir reminds me of those World of Tank players for whom developing every tank in the tech tree is not enough,- they want to get ace mastery and 3 marks of excellence on all of them…
Or those Diablo II “Holy Grail” players who find that collecting every Unique Item, Set Item, and High Runes isn’t enough. They also want to get Ethereal versions of said Unique/Set Items, AND perfect rolls for their Uniques, Sets, and Rune Words (to say nothing of perfect bases for said Rune Words).
But yeah, Fafnir’s just built different. Not to mention he can outlast those games anyway.
I love my rare drops. But generally speaking I prefer to blitz through a video game in one go, in the most efficient way possible and often lean into walkthroughs to ensure I get as close to 100%, if not 100% itself, in a single run through so I don’t have to worry about going back to the game again.
“Honka! Donka! Badonkers!“
(* Animation by 2Snacks / 2ManySnacks, voice lines from Kiryu Coco’s Reddit Meme Review with Tokoyami Towa.)
Random thoughts on today’s episode:
– Good to hear that relaxing BGM with the “Pam-pam” hook once again. And a rather comfy, down-to-earth episode, too.
– There is one gaping hole in that geeky kid’s explanation that what Riko saw at the river (a.k.a.: Elma in dragon form) might be AR (Augmented Reality): Um, don’t you need a smartphone with an AR app installed? And you can only see AR content through a smartphone (or VR headset connected to said smartphone, maybe). Kid’s still got a lot to learn, and possibly new tech to adapt to when he grows up. I’d say it’s some sort of hologram/light show, but I guess that’s just the generational gap speaking… *Self-deprecating laugh*
Late thoughts on the previous episode:
– Never thought I’d see an animated
kaijudragon fight, but there ya go… And it’s pretty damn good. Also, Tohru and Elma’s relationship remind me of Takeshi Nakazato and Shingo Shouji (the leaders of the Myogi Night Kids in Initial D).
– Take being voiced by Shimono Hiro… Good to hear him again after his recent ordeal with COVID-19. On a different note, Take getting nosebleeds over Iruru’s honka-donka-badonkers… 草 And the whole scene being set in a dagashi store reminds me of Dagashi Kashi, too.
– On a more serious note, I appreciate how Iruru’s choice to work at a dagashi-ya can be interpreted as Iruru wanting to make up for her lost childhood. While she cannot bring her childhood days back, I sense that working at the dagashi-ya is her way of paying it forward after Kobayashi showed her kindness, as well as rediscovering the happiness that was cut short during her time as a young dragon within the Chaos faction.
The episodes went by rather quickly, I didn’t realize it’s mid-season already.
I’m not much of a VTube person. So I will definitely have to defer to you on that one.
AR does need an application. But it’s not like these kids now the specifics. Plus kids are generally pretty stupid. I should know because I was once a pretty stupid kid. Plus I think Saikawa doesn’t want to go against Kanna’s judgement call or openly disagree with her.
And yeah, it has hit mid season very quickly. Seeing how we explored all the other important human-dorogon relationships, here’s hoping we’ll see more of Iruru and Take. I’ve especially enjoyed their dynamic.
It’s nice to finally see more development on Lucoa, would I prefer a more in depth backstory sort of like what Elma got sure but beggars can’t be choosers. At least we get to see Lucoa and what she is like after settling in her current residence.
I like Fafnir’s small yet honest perspectives of him and the other dragons mimicking human behavior for the sake of coexisting with humans.
Zaiden, I think I read this scene with Fafnir’s honest perspective a little differently. To me it feels like Fafnir is admitting he likes his cohabitation with humans regardless how irrelevant it is for them being dragons and all.