Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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

The dragons and their child companions put on a play for the shopping district's old folks' home on Christmas Eve.

Episode 10 - "Troupe Dragon, On Stage! (They Had a Troup Name, Of Course)"


Christmas already? Time flies quick during certain parts of this show. The fun comes from outsiders trying to figure out what Christmas means to this non-Christian nation. There's all these customs and culture surrounding the day and they all come to a nexus point when the dragons have to put on a Christmas play for the local nursing home. The traditional mixes with otaku and popular culture when these dragon newcomers don't know what to keep and what to discard. Of course, everything gets thrown into the play.

The running side gag involved the classic dilemma of telling children about Santa Claus. Kanna and Touru deal with Santa in their own way with delightful reactions from Kobayashi to their efforts.

It's the 10th episode already, and the only character who hasn't had much character development is Elma, but that's only because she came so late. The show builds on what we know of her and Touru as most of the comedy comes from the established characters just running amok with brainstorming how to entertain old people. It worked, of course, just like most of the writing for this show so far.

Touru, Pride of the Shopping District.

They don't explain how it happened, but we can make inferences for how Touru became so popular in the shopping district. First, she's a cute maid the shopkeepers see everyday, and they quickly started giving her freebies by the 2nd episode. Second, she curb stomped a purse snatcher, so she's their hero too. A cute girl with a cute little sister is sure to put on a cutely entertaining pageant for some old people.

Kanna was entranced by the Christmas decorations, but Touru said it "pained her to celebrate the birth of 'that guy's' son." Ha! The other world must be on different terms with YHWH and Jesus.

I admired the marbling on those steaks with Kanna too.

Troupe Dragon.

Kobayashi can't help with the Christmas pageant, but Touru knew she had "reliable" friends to ask. Yeah, sure. Dragons who don't know anything about Christmas, Elma who was bribed with candy to come over and two native children. Thank goodness for Riko and Shouta to give them some perspective, but it's not like they could outright refuse the flow if it went against them.

Part of fleshing out Elma's character a little bit more was how she and Touru relate. We know they have an oil and vinegar kind of rivalry, so it must have been satisfying for Touru to point out how useless Elma was going to be for the software company during the end of the year. Not much call for typing and data entry when deliverables are due.

It took a while before they decided on a play. Elma wanted an eating contest. Kanna wanted a race of some sort. It was Riko who suggested a Christmas play featuring the sad story of The Little Match Girl. And no, Grandma did not steal away the little girl to heaven, Touru.

Troupe Dragon (no word on when they decided this) has a play, but they need a director and a cast. Fafnir was first up as the director, but only because he couldn't act. Touru was never going to be a good little match girl and poor Riko was too intimidated by Fafnir's evil eye. Time to reset.

Riko needed consolation so bad, she wasn't even freaking out from Kanna giving her head pats.

Lucoa is an R-18 doujin factory. Just by dint of her character design alone, but add in a kid named Shouta and certain fantasies and fetishes are bound to come up. With Lucoa as director, who else was going to be the star than Shouta himself? Trap-shouta doujinshi explode in 3-2-1...

Well, Shouta has too much self-respect, so let's get to the inevitable cute dragon choice already.

With the stickler Elma now in charge, choices that made sense started getting made. Like cute little Kanna starring as The Little Match Girl. This was the biggest duh moment of the episode, but the comedy leading up to it made it the cutesy payoff it became. Riko gave her stamp of approval.

Of course, there was still plenty of comedy to be mined from preproduction, rehearsal and what-not.

Kanna showing off her costume to Kobayashi was such a family moment. That's just good stuff right there.

This poor playground being taken over by dragons again.

Elma thought of plays coming from Greek or Roman times, so of course their rehearsal stage resembled a Roman Forum. I thought she wasn't supposed to interfere with this world.

How exactly is Lucoa's bold bikini warmer? I mean, it makes me warmer, but herself? Maybe she was just trying to make Shouta warmer through all the blushing.

Ha! Even Shouta was entertained by Kanna eating stuff. Pretty much everyone in the audience is entertained by this running joke now.

We got some foreshadowing that this play was going to go pear-shaped from Fafnir's call to Touru to include magical girls. The dragons couldn't leave well enough alone. They suggested the Japanese folk-tale of the hat seller to match the sad Winter European tale of the Little Match Girl and then all bets were off. Magical girls, 47 Ronin to appeal to the older generation and other things. This was supposed to be a simple Christmas-themed play, but with alien dragons and only children to hold them back, well, nothing got held back.

Troupe Dragon Presents The Little Match Girl Etc.

Oh sure, the play started off conventionally enough, to the relief of Kobayashi and Takiya, but then it started going off the rails when the hat-seller came on stage and he ended up summoning the Magical Girl Maker.

Enter in the Good Fairy and somehow 47 Ronin and defeating evil by the power of love and Kobayashi thought she was going to have stop the show. But the old folks were entertained, even the old ladies by Lucoa's magical bouncing, so everything turned out okay.

I loved how Kobayashi and Takiya reacted to the glaring plot holes but still getting all the cultural references.

I still do not get the anime convention where onlookers see extraordinary fighting going on and ask if a movie is being shot and comment on how great the CGI is. Like, what? I mean, the intended audience knows it's a throwaway gag, but how did this convention start that people thinking digital special effects can be seen during a movie shoot was a common confusion? It may have made sense 20 years ago, but even now all those DVD special making of the movie things have lost their luster. Maybe the funny part comes from old geezers still relying on the gag instead of kids these days.

Christmas Party.

Now we're back on solid Christmas episode ground. Except for the dragon flying around afterwards.

How great would that be to drink beer while riding a dragon?

Blushing Touru Dragon is cute too. I got a kick out of Kobayashi tying the Christmas scarf to Touru's horn. I giggled pretty madly too when Touru's big claws dropped off that box with Kobayashi.

I wonder if Kobayashi's back pain is related to Touru's sword being pulled out of her side. Still, back pain from bad posture is pretty common among software developers.

That Axe-Murdering Santa Claus.

Since cultural Christmas is primarily a holiday for children, the running gag of Kanna waiting for Santa Claus was fitting and great to see from a dragon's perspective.

There was the classic question of how Santa could make it into an apartment without a chimney. My parents told me he would just come in through the window or the furnace grating. He's a pretty crafty elf, don't you know. Touru just made a chimney on the side of the wall! With neon signs pointing to the good girl Kanna-chan!

Throw in the classic circumstance of parents sneaking the Christmas gifts under the tree and in the stockings, but add in a dragon's hunter senses, and the joke was complete. That axe-murderer covered in blood will have to be even sneakier for a dragon girl like Kanna.

Next time, it's the New Year's Eve episode. Time runs pretty normally around the holidays, huh? I know we'll have a great time looking at Lucoa in a kimono, but I'm looking forward to seeing Elma in one, since this is pretty close to her normal dragon dress.

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