Thursday, March 02, 2017

10 Second Anime - Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon - Episode 8

Touru and Kobayashi see who can make a bento better. Elma follows Touru into this world and decides to stay.

Episode 8 - "New Dragon Elma! (She's Finally Appearing?)"


It took 8 episodes, but the final dragon lady showed up. Elma and Touru have a history, which appears to transcend the given explanation that Elma is in the Harmony faction and Touru is in the Chaos faction. No word on which of our dragons are in the Observer faction, but considering that both Fafnir and Lucoa have myths based on them in this world, I doubt they're on the side of noninterference or just passively observing a conflict.

There were two themes to give the many gags about cooking competition and dragon rivalry some emotional heft. The first was being close enough to fight, which is a common Japanese observation about intimacy. Kobayashi's and Touru's cooking competition handled that.

The second was showing overt signs of affection or attention. The introduction of a new dragon allowed Touru to add pangs of jealousy to how she felt about Kobayashi showed superficial politeness to a new acquaintance. Touru is an emotionally needy dragon lady, while Kobayashi doesn't have any close friends. Up until Touru and Kanna showed up, that is. While Kanna has no qualms about insisting on physical affection from Kobayashi, she can get away with it because she's still a child. Young adults have minefields of societal rules and the other person's preferences to navigate.

Can't a young dragon lady just get some head pats every once in a while, Kobayashi?

Close Enough to Fight Over Food.

The whole contrivance of the cooking contest over who can make the best bento for Kanna's field trip was Kobayashi wanting to flex some friendly rivalry muscles over something culturally Japanese. Kobayashi wanted to make the boxed lunch for Kanna, but Touru belittled her cooking skills. Were Kobayashi's maternal or elder sister instincts tripped? Did she not want to go back on her promise to make it after Kanna asked her to? A combination of all of the above plus not saying no to a cute dragon girl? Whatever it was, it was time for a contest!

Dragons being involved, things were going to get out of hand. Turning it into a game show was just good gag humor, especially adding in the room decorations with all the bento themes.

The contest went back and forth, though.

Touru lost the first round of items to be put in the box because she made too much salad. Kobayashi lost the second round of main item because Head Judge Kanna prefers hamburger patties to bacon and eggs. This is her lunch, so there's no accounting for taste. But Touru lost on the decisive dessert round because she brought in something not from this world. Oopsie!

Interspersed between the cooking scenes were bits of dialogue between Lucoa and Kobayashi which established the "close enough to fight," theme. Lucoa, using her role as the "ara ara, ma ma" calm older lady figure, also liked seeing Fafnir begin to accept Humans as equals in certain respects. She is the goddess (former) of learning and understanding.

A key point of this first part was the nod toward continuity. Because Touru went back to her world to get that sweet affectionate fruit, someone else followed her back. Yay! Another dragon lady!

Elma Makes a Mess.

For someone who's not supposed to be interfering in other worlds, Elma interfered all over Kobayashi's apartment.

Elma has the classic class representative stickler for rules personality. This also means she's easily manipulated...

I liked how Kobayashi just easily took Elma's measure and pronounced her "not a bad person," and suggested they all become friends.

It wasn't explained or noted, but Elma is some kind of water dragon as we can see from her sea horse like features and the coral decorated trident. I'm sure we'll find out soon enough how her name is related to a sea monster of some sort. Leviathan has to be involved somehow.

Elma claims she's just as powerful as Touru, but just a different kind of dragon. She can't make her own portals or eat her own tail. Those are the two main things I noticed.

Kanna made her presence felt during Elma's introductory scene. First, she got praised for using a Japanese idiom to describe how Touru and Elma get along. Like cats and dogs, she said. The idiom, 犬猿の仲 (けんえんのなか, ken en no naka, literally dog-monkey relationship), means to be at loggerheads, mix like oil and water, or like cats and dogs. Good job, Kanna! Here, eat a whole apple in one bite... At least it's not a bug or a crab this time.

Eventually, Elma decided to stay in this world because of Cream Bread. Like I said, easily manipulated. And now working at Kobayashi's company. Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

Elma also appears to be D for Dragon...

From the opening credits, it doesn't look like she's going to get her own human companion. Part of that noninterference philosophy, I figure. Maybe that will change.

Touru Needs Head Pats.

As I mentioned up at the top, having Elma as a new acquaintance and work junior (she is literally a kouhai dragon lady...), meant that Kobayashi gave her much more attention during the day than Touru. Mind you, it was superficial polite kind of attention, but Touru's jealousy is still based on the quantity instead of quality of Kobayashi's affection. Perhaps Touru is growing up a little too so that she can know the difference and be secure in her close relationships.

I'm still not sure what Touru's deal with trying to get Kobayashi to eat her tail is about. Kanna doesn't seem to mind...

iKanna recharges and then she gets hungry? I'm not sure that's how that's supposed to work.

So cute! She's nibbling on Kobayashi's sweater.

There's a reference to labeling things from her first day of school episode.

Kobayashi and Touru weren't the only ones progressing in their relationships. Mixed in with Touru dealing with Elma were scenes of Shouta fighting a losing battle of Lucoa invading his dreams with lots of heavy boin and bounce. She really is a succubus...

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