Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a show that sparked a lot of thought for me. On the face of it, the show has questionable character design and you could be forgiven for not tuning in for episode two after the events of the first.
This show lets the characters have a starting point for growth although not all of them get a chance to (poor Elma). As much as Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid has growth in their characters, they do have some rather troubling traits. Tohru seems to have an obsessive love for Miss Kobayashi and Quetzalcoatl cannot seem to understand why Souta might have an issue around her. However it’s Kobayashi, the titular character, that I want to focus on.
Miss Kobayashi’s Drinking
My main recollection about Miss Kobayashi’s character is the difference between sober and drunk Kobayashi. The show does a wonderful job of showing how people can differ once they have too much to drink. If Kobayashi has a drink she becomes very drunk, she doesn’t ever seem drink in moderation. Her personality seems to become meaner when she’s drunk and any scene where Miss Kobayashi berates Tohru happens when Kobayashi is in this state.
In the first episode when Miss Kobayashi is drunk, she strips Tohru in a bar. Tohru is then told that she is supposed to be ashamed of being naked and cover herself up. This scene is questionable for more than just Kobayashi’s behaviour but that’s another conversation. It’s not the only time we see this sort of action occur. Miss Kobayshi does a similar thing later in the show and the fact it happens more than once could be taken as proof of Miss Kobayashi’s Mr Hyde. It’s unlikely Dr. Jekyll Kobayashi would have stripped Tohru especially in front of other people in this manner.
I would like to say that Miss Kobayashi stopped doing this as she grew closer to Tohru, but unfortunately we don’t ever get to see this. The Dr. Jekyll side still has an obsession with maids (seen with Georgie) but it never seems nasty like her Mr. Hyde side. It makes you wonder if Kobayashi’s drunk side doesn’t see Tohru as human, just a dragon pretending. It might explain why she doesn’t think it’s wrong to treat Tohru in this way.
The show could have done a better job at showing even drunk actions have repercussions. Despite how nice Miss Kobayashi comes towards Tohru, she never has to pay for her Mr. Hyde actions. When she wakes up the next day not one person questions how she acted or calls her out on her behaviour. If another series every comes around it would be interesting to see whether Kobayashi stills becomes a Mr. Hyde drunk and, better still, see her recognise this as a problem. I did enjoy this series but it had a lot of problems too.