「生生流転（でも立ち止まるのもありですかね）」 (Seiseiruten (Demo Tachidomaru no mo Ari Desu ka ne))
“Life is Constant Change (But It’s Okay To Stop And Appreciate It)”
Do You Remember Love?
What does it mean to love another person unconditionally?
For me, we can find the answer in the little details, on top of those huge gestures. Like when Kanna asks Saikawa to live a long life, as a dorogon who knows she will vastly outlive her beloved friend, is a veiled expression that is subtly packed with so much love. Starkly contrasted by raunchier insinuations that Iruru poses of making Take into an adult, before they get into a deep talk about what maturity and growing up mean. Or Shouta getting visibly flustered, jealous and possessive over the idea of Lucoa teasing anyone else. There are signs of unconditional love all over the place. And a wonderful festival paired with a cherry blossom viewing makes for a perfect stop off to this season of Maid Dragon. We know how far everyone has come along from the low points in their life, and can be reassured that they will continue to do well.
Kobayashi goes from being an office worker aimlessly going about life, to having Tohru as a partner in crime, as well as taking on the orphaned, radicalised Iruru and the abandoned Kanna craving motherly love as foster children. Fafnir went from being a reclusive and disdainful dragon to hardcore nerd culture whilst acknowledging a puny, mortal human in Takiya as his equal partner. Elma went from being alone, abandoned by Tohru to finally making amends with her while living out her best life as an office lady using her salary to procure delicious goods. And Lucoa went from being exiled from being the disgracefully exiled goddess, all alone, to becoming Shouta’s familiar. And I’m not too sure on the exact specifics of Shouta’s family life. To me it seems he’s a bit timid. But I could believe that his father is the typical CEO of a Japanese company who spends most of his time away from home working. Having Lucoa there as an older sister helps fill that emotional void.
The apex of this season came to me in the form of Tohru’s proclamation that she would love Kobayashi forever and ever was so tenderly heartfelt, which achingly tugged at my heartstrings. So simple. Yet so fucking beautiful. KyoAni with their outstanding firework and cherry blossom cinematography and Kuwahara Yuuki’s rendition of Tohru combine in a dreamlike way, making that scene feel like reality. And it’s these moments of magic, moments of joy, which truly define KyoAni for what they are: the figurative manifestation of Jesus Christ of the anime industry. They treat the people under their care fairly. They can perform miracles of turning mundane scenes into brilliantly delightful ones that make hearts flutter with unceasing joy. Kill them and they come back stronger than ever. With followers who will love and believe in them with every fibre of their being till the day we die.
Aozora no Rhapsody, Maid Dragon’s very first opening theme, brings us full circle. Crazy to think that so many people who started this journey are no longer with us. If I’d come out of a coma unaware about the arson attack, I wouldn’t have thought twice about whether any staff had changed or if KyoAni’s production budget had dipped. But it’s an absolute testimony to Kyoto Animation produced Season 2 without losing a beat. As far as I’m concerned, the staff can be extremely proud of themselves that they honoured the memories and dreams of the people who passed on; the steadfast veterans and plucky newcomers with big shoes to fill. Takemoto would definitely be staring down from heaven at Ishihara with a smile on his face.
The arsonist might have killed many people at Kyoto Animation, a truly reprehensible crime that goes far beyond my comprehension. But he could never kill the ideas, beliefs and dreams that they embodied. And that the studio continues to represent. Or the love and adoration of fans. Unparalleled talent, vision and ethos is the bare minimum to survive such a catastrophe. At times I felt disillusioned, believing they had lost their way or magic touch because their style marked a clear departure from shows like Clannad After Story, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, etc. They were my first anime love and it made me feel bitter to see them changing their identity from what I had known and loved it to be. To become disgracefully lesser in pandering for moe trends that felt so lacking in substance.
But hindsight is a real bitch. I now know I was blissfully ungrateful for what I had and can only mourn what is lost. Like The Little Prince discovered that there was only one rose for him, I do not believe any other animation studio will come this close to my heart in my lifetime. Change is inevitable. Yet I’ve come to accept it’s okay to reminisce and ache for those times that will never come back, while still being in love with the same entity as it currently is. In my opinion, this definitely marked a triumphant return from Kyoto Animation and I’m eagerly anticipating where they go from this point, since I am full of belief they will only go on to achieve greater things even with the likes of Yamada Naoko moving on.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading and following these Maid Dragon posts and see you all around!
Tohru is love, Kobayashi is life…
Thank you KyoAni for bringing those characters to life – this is what animating means after all.
Totally agreed. This is what animation is about, I know not everyone can put on this level of animation, but this is what any animator should at least aspire towards.
What a great comeback. I am happy Kyoani was able to recover after the fire and this 2nd of Dragon maid was amazing. They should all be proud.
Here’s hoping the Free Final movie will put a fitting end to the franchise. And 20 Seiki Denki Mokuroku has been in the pipeline for ages. I can’t wait for that one.
> For me, we can find the answer in the little details, on top of those huge
> gestures. Like when Kanna asks Saikawa to live a long life, as a dorogon who
> knows she will vastly outlive her beloved friend, is a veiled expression that is
> subtly packed with so much love. Starkly contrasted by raunchier insinuations
> that Iruru poses of making Take into an adult, before they get into a deep talk
> about what maturity and growing up mean. Or Shouta getting visibly flustered,
> jealous and possessive over the idea of Lucoa teasing anyone else. There are
> signs of unconditional love all over the place.
Wasn’t there an episode where Fafnir mentioned how all the dragons who’ve decided to associate with humans were merely mimicking the day-to-day activities of people? It’s great to see that Fafnir is wrong, then again what would Fafnir know, all he does is stare at a computer screen to acquire and hold 2D treasure.
> And a wonderful festival paired with a cherry blossom viewing makes for a
> perfect stop off to this season of Maid Dragon. We know how far everyone has
> come along from the low points in their life, and can be reassured that they will
> continue to do well.
I was surprised, I didn’t think Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon S would end with a Sakura flower viewing. Then again, it’s completely justified when you think about what the Sakura flower viewing really means.
Also Kobayashi looks cute in a wedding dress…
> Kobayashi goes from being an office worker aimlessly going about life, to having
> Tohru as a partner in crime, as well as taking on the orphaned, radicalised Iruru > and the abandoned Kanna craving motherly love as foster children. Fafnir went
> from being a reclusive and disdainful dragon to hardcore nerd culture whilst
> acknowledging a puny, mortal human in Takiya as his equal partner. Elma went
> from being alone, abandoned by Tohru to finally making amends with her while
> living out her best life as an office lady using her salary to procure delicious
> goods. And Lucoa went from being exiled from being the disgracefully exiled
> goddess, all alone, to becoming Shouta’s familiar.
When Kobayashi had her moment to really reflect on her relationship with Tohru I was like “Let’s remove the name Suzumiya Haruhi from “The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi” and replace it with “The Melancholy of Miss Kobayashi” instead”
In all seriousness, Tohru’s old man didn’t help none in EP 11 when divulging Tohru’s past then reacting aggressively to Kobayashi before leaving.
> The arsonist might have killed many people at Kyoto Animation, a truly
> reprehensible crime that goes far beyond my comprehension. But he could never
> kill the ideas, beliefs and dreams that they embodied. And that the studio
> continues to represent.
I read an article online about the motive of the arsonist. If I recall, this person committed the crime based on the assumption that KyoAni had stolen his story. I say assumption because there was never any proof of this baseless accusation. For all I know this person may have been suffering from depression or some form of mental illness which lead to the accusation, then the response, and the attack on innocent lives.
I have also heard the perpetrator is mentally unsound. And that they had believed their own works to be plagiarised by Kyoto Animation.
Nevertheless, I cannot fathom in my mind the motive of wanting to go so far as to commit arson and murder people. That’s just way too extreme and beyond anything I could comprehend.
The motive to kill has been ingrained in society since the beginning of man. Those who are mentally unstable are more susceptible to the idea of getting even and righting wrongs when they feel like they are the victim.
I guess I’m not saying it’s impossible. I know it exists.
I’m saying I cannot fathom such evil. Why people would be that way.
But I suppose the idea of a person perceiving themselves as a victim who’s been slighted by others then acting vengefully in a disproportionate fashion is a perspective I could comprehend.
I live in the USA, it’s common for people with mental illness to kill. “Doing gods work” “This ain’t fair, Get even” etc.
Seeing a summer festival with fireworks, I can’t help but associate it with DAOKO and Kenshi Yonezu’s “Uchiage Hanabi.” (A song that’s somewhat familiar thanks to Hololive members singing it in their karaoke streams and some 3D Live streams, even though I’ve yet to watch the movie it comes from.) But yeah, I sensed in that song sadness about a summer that was about to end…and with this being the last episode of Maid Dragon S, I can’t help but feel a similar kind of sadness as well.
– Tohru’s confession to Kobayashi is a lot more heartwarming now that they know a lot more about each other. And that’s even if Kobayashi still considers Tohru clingy.
– Ilulu wanting to “make an adult” out of Take… (*Self-bonks*) Had a little chuckle at the two kids who noticed Ilulu and Take’s conversation as well.
– Shouta laughing at Elma’s oyaji gag… wwwww
– That shotgun wedding… BEEG 草.
Returning with a bang, ending with a bang (plus a pinch of nostalgic musical call-back). After all that KyoAni has been through these past few years, I wouldn’t have it any other way. And even though I’m open to the possibility of an extra episode, I wouldn’t blame KyoAni if they decide not to.
I’ll certainly miss Maid Dragon‘s colorful cast of characters.
Too bad the movie for Uchiage Hanabi wasn’t so great. And I’m glad to see I’m not alone in feeling sad to see this brilliant show conclude with its second cour, since we have no idea if it will be stuck in S2 purgatory as most KyoAni shows seem to.
There will be an extra episode OVA actually airing in January 2022. So stay tuned for that 🙂
An additional Maid Dragon S2 OVA? That’s sweet news.
What can I say? I am always critical of anything I watch. …. this season was perfect. In no uncertain terms. I am crying inside that we even got this second season after a horrible tragedy two years ago, which in itself is a miracle given how scarred the staffs’ emotions and lives are. There will never be the same people around to hear the first season’s opening song ever again, and the fact that they chose to play it at the very end instead of this season’s opening song spoke a thousand words.
I wonder if some of those existing staff have visible burn scars. I can’t imagine going back to my place of work, one that I love, which has also become my place of trauma as I’m frequently feeling the aching void of people who are no longer around as well as visceral burn scars from other staff which would take me back to that day.
Yet these people kept at it and made a creation so heartfelt, it should hopefully be remembered for the aeons.
I havent had a chance to follow the season, but reading this post made melancholy. It made me think about the life I’m living. Kobayashi seems to have a lot of fun in her life with everyone. I just hope that I’m fortunate enough to experience that one day.
Hey don’t forget about Violet Evergarden.