English Dub Review: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid “Start A New Life! (That Doesn’t Go Well, Of Course)”

Well, an adult green dragon is huge in D&D rules…

Courtesy: Funimation

Spoilers Below

Now that we have two dragons living with Kobayashi in a one-person apartment, things are getting a bit too close for comfort. You can’t move without bumping into a worm tail, or having a skull full of D-For-Dragon cup bra. So, the wise Miss Kobayashi pulls herself out of this no-win-scenario (Haha, get it? It’s a Star Trek joke. You knew it had to happen.) by up-scaling to a new apartment. Extra bedroom, communal roof area for the hatchlings to play in, the works. Of course, with going to a new home, comes the moving process. It’s hard work, and it makes you sweaty, so all you want is a good shower afterward to clean off the yuck.

This is another great spot to learn a bit about dragons. They love to be clean and have a stable home, but with all you silly humans constantly trying to kill them, they don’t always have the time. We get to see all the places Tohru has stayed over the years, including falling asleep while flying. Oh, no matter which side of that bed you wake up on, it’s bad. We also find out that Tohru isn’t so comfortable bathing in her human form because… human rules are weird. Fortunately, the communal roof is a great place to let Tohru and Kanna dragon out and give them a spritz with a garden hose. Make sure to wash behind the horns, Kobayashi.

So, as is her routine, Kobayashi gets smashed and wakes up the next morning with a hangover. Problem is, she has some really noisy neighbors. To the right, a lady making a ruckus with her… cooking? Must be a loud blender. To her left, a KISS-inspired death metal musician. Above them, a craftsman with a drill. I feel you, ladies. My upstairs neighbors think our too-thin-ceiling is the perfect arena for basketball/wrestling/bowling/elephant training. While Tohru thinks the best solution is to reenact The Desolation of Smaug, Kobayashi has another solution: Everyone times their activities so that nobody gets bothered by it. See, even with a hangover, we can be good neighbors.

Our last little scene is a party. In order to duck out of her company flower-viewing party (and be able to drink freely) Kobayashi hosts a party at her new apartment. While she invites her coworker, Tohru invites two of her dragon friends, Fafnir and Quetzalcoatl. Fafnir takes a human form reminiscent of  Sebastian from Black Butler, while Quetzalcoatl (or Lucoa, as she prefers) takes that of an unhealthily-bosomed woman in a tank top and extremely shorty shorts. While the boys and Kanna enjoy video games, Kobayashi, Tohru, and Lucoa talk a bit. Lucoa sees that Tohru is actually happy for once, and Kobayashi admits that she is too, now that the two dragons are living with her. Then, out comes the alcohol. Kobayashi and Makoto argue over what is the best form of butler, Alfred-like or Sebastian-like, and Tohru is suddenly naked again.

I continue to get charmed by the humor and simple reality of this fantastical setting. Seeing Tohru sleep-flying made me chuckle, and the ladies’ neighbors feel well-fleshed out as people. They’d better be, they’re spinning around in the opening credits enough. This is also an episode that gets my nerd flag flying. Fafnir and Quetzalcoatl are not just random names, kiddies. Oh, no. Lucoa is based on an ancient Aztec god, also referred to as the feathered serpent, who was a god of winds, Venus, the dawn, arts, crafts, and knowledge. Fafnir, on the other hand, hails from Norse mythology and the Volsunga Saga. In it, a greedy dwarf is cursed by a hoard of treasure and is turned into a dragon. Fafnir may have become the inspiration for Tolkien’s Smaug.

This story keeps things on the level of the mundane, so don’t expect amazing animation. The cute scenes and chibi-dragons are quite cute, though, and I was still enthralled. One thing I do also like about this anime is that each dragon is different, even in their eyes. You can tell they’re a dragon, not just by the horns and tails, but the details of the eyes. Tohru has flame orange with yellow spots, but Lucoa’s are a wild, inverted form of heterochromia that makes them interesting to look at. The dub was still on the same par that the series has set so far, so no complaints there.

I give this episode eight and half mythology references out of ten. Now excuse me while I go yell at my neighbors. It’s 10:30 at night, kids. Go to bed.

8.5/10

Marshall Daley

One part best-friend/philosopher, one part creepy mad scientist. Shaken, and sprinkled with geeky factoids, quirky humor, and a major case of skepticism towards the world and you might just find a cocktail that changes the way you see… Everything!

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