I confess – I’m in love with Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
A sweet-hearted manga about a dragon who becomes a young woman’s maid? Sign us up!
If you told me one of the most highly anticipated manga series on my to-read list for 2017 would be a story about dragon maids, I would have laughed at you. I like books about dragons fighting and eating people, not dragons doing laundry and working at comic cons. This is the first manga I’ve picked up entirely because the premise was incredibly ridiculous.
Needless to say, I found myself rushing to my local bookseller to pick up volume two before the store closed.
Enter Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid…
Following a night of heavy drinking, Kobayashi goes for a walk up a mountain and finds an injured dragon.
Kind of unexpected, but alright, I’ve had nights of heavy drinking before. What was Kobayashi supposed to do? Leave the sword lodged in the dragon?
When the dragon confesses that she has nowhere to go, Kobayashi tells the dragon that she can come and stay at her place so long as she acts as Kobayashi’s maid. She has to wear the outfit and everything, though. Kobayashi is in for more than she bargained for when the Tohru, the dragon, shows up on her doorstep the next morning ready to fulfill her obligations. All of obligations. Even the ones Miss Kobayashi didn’t ask for.
Torhu falls in love with Miss Kobayashi from the first page. By the end of the first volume, I was in love with Miss Kobayashi, too.
Miss Kobayashi differs from the heroines popular in many manga. For starters, she’s not a high school student, but an IT employee at a company. She’s rather stoic and level-headed but her personality changes ferociously when she joins her co-worker, a closeted otaku named Makoto Takiya, for happy hour and ends up in passionate rants about maid culture. Kobayashi is a surprising reflection of many young adult women working a job and trying to make it on their own.
For the first time in a long time, I was able to relate to a heroine in a manga. If you’re like me, you can still enjoy a story about a young woman falling in love with the monster seated besides her in a high school classroom. But Miss Kobayashi isn’t worried about final exams or spring cultural festivals. She’s concerned about getting to work on time and instances of workplace sexism.
Love dragon maids. Love love.
Behind the absurdity of having a dragon try to cook her own re-growable tail and wash intimate laundry with highly concentrated dragon spit lurks a surprisingly sweet love story.
Kobayashi has been missing something in her life. Whether it’s friendship, romance, or family will have to be answered by future volumes, but the manga is clearly hinting at the development of something.
How dragony is this manga, anyway?
Coolkyoushinja has clearly done plenty of research on dragons – and then decided to use very little of it. Familiar mythological figures like Fafnir and Quetzalcoatl play a part as fellow dragons offering Tohru advice on living in the human world. This limited focus on mythology definitely works out to the series’ advantage, allowing the subtle humour and ridiculous antics to blend together into something new and unique.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid presents a lighthearted comedy with a blossoming relationship between two women – one of whom just happens to be a dragon. In doing so, it manages to both poke fun at and embrace the tropes of big-busted fantasy girls and their unexpected romances. To put it simply, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is just fun.
Coolkyoushinja’s Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid was originally published by Futabasha but has been adapted for English readers by Seven Seas Entertainment. Volumes 1 & 2 are presently available, while volumes 3 & 4 are expected to be available later in 2017.
Support your favourite bookseller, visit your local library, or find a copy on Amazon today.
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Tagged in: manga