Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid
Episode 6

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 6 of
Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid ?

Even when it isn't in perfect form, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid still manages to turn in an episode with both laughs and moments of profound sweetness. This week, the sweetness largely belongs to Fafnir, or “Faf-kun” as Makoto nicknames him, who is working through his feelings about humans. He seems to enjoy living with his new otaku buddy, and even if the two don't have the same kind of charming relationship that Kobayashi and Tohru do, they do have an easy camaraderie that suits them both. Fafnir is not only a full-fledged gaming addict now (and he seems to have improved since his Dark Souls days), but he's also finding new merit in human interaction. Not with all humans – he says near the end of the episode that it takes time to know which ones are “hits” and which are “misses,” with the latter far outnumbering the former. But when he allows Makoto to call him Faf-kun rather than Fafnir-dono, he says it's because Makoto is a hit. Given the black dragon's dour personality and outlook on life, it's a wonderfully touching moment, showing that the series is just as adept at handling friendships as familial relationships (or "ships" we hope will blossom into romantic ones).

Riko is definitely one character hoping for a romantic relationship, although it seems rather precociously sexual in her mind. Her adoration of Kanna, her first real friend, is definitely budding into something warmer, although Kanna seems blissfully unaware of it. When Kanna, Tohru, and Kobayashi go over to Riko's house for a visit, Kobayashi and Tohru are whisked away to the family “maid's” room (she's actually Riko's older sister who has an even bigger maid fetish than Kobayashi), while the two little girls go play in Riko's room. Riko opts to play a version of “Twister” that quickly gets her all hot and bothered, while some viewers may simply be bothered by some of the camera angles. Granted, we're seeing the girls' bodies through Riko's eyes, but it's still a fairly sexualized portrayal of little girls, and the fact that it's being played as a joke won't make it okay for everyone. (There's also the issue that some of the positions look really odd, if weird anatomy bugs you.) Kanna, for her part, continues the dragons' vaguely dog-like behavior by wanting to sit on Riko's lap when they play video games, which Riko interprets as sexual/romantic. This seems totally in line with the dragons' other habits, such as tongue-bathing, touching noses, and rough play – one of the series' affectations that I really like, as it's a nice way to remind us that they aren't human without making their behavior too ridiculous.

No, we'll save the ridiculous for Lucoa's storyline this week. Like Fafnir and Kanna, she decides to stay in Tokyo with a human family, only in her case, she notices a child opening a summoning circle and decides to go through it so that the poor elementary-age boy doesn't summon an actual demon. It turns out that little Shouta is part of a family of mages, and he's totally freaked out by actually getting a “familiar.” Lucoa has no idea how to make him less afraid of her, and trying to snuggle him in bed and bathe with him is not helping. (It's also the stalest joke of the show thus far.) While it does have its moments, such as Lucoa trying to explain her ex-goddess status, she just comes off as kind of predatory in a very basic harem comedy way. The fact that her boobs are totally out of control (seriously, are they getting bigger every time she shows up?) doesn't help, although I'm pretty sure it's meant to accentuate just why Shouta is so uncomfortable with her.

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid may stumble a little this week, but I trust that it'll get back on track when one of my favorite manga storylines comes up next episode: the gang's trip to Comiket. Hopefully it will make Georgie and Shouta worthwhile characters going forward as well. After all, if there's one thing that has been consistent about the series, it's the ability to surprise us by being better than expected.

Rating: B+

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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