The dragons and human friends attend a summer festival. Then they enjoy a magical cherry blossom viewing party.
Episode 12 – “Life is Constant Change (But It’s Okay to Stop and Appreciate It)”
During the Dragon Maid S season, we saw character development in Tohru. She got to know her neighbors, worked a part-time job, made up with Elma, and shared her deeper feelings with Kobayashi. But did Kobayashi experience character development at the same time? It was difficult to track during the season. But the last two episodes revealed that Kobayashi also grew closer to Tohru.
She missed the earlier stages of their relationship when Tohru showered her with constant and singular attention. But life happens, and living conditions change. Tohru was like a stay-at-home mom who took up hobbies after Kanna started going to school. Kobayashi needed to accept another dragon in the household and trust Tohru’s judgment with Ilulu. Trust in a relationship leads to comfort and forming new ones too. The central pair of Dragon Maid was in a cocoon, but now it’s emerging into its mature form.
Jam-packed season finale! No time for opening credits. Destruction is the essence of dragons! Ah. It’s the summer festival episode for Dragon Maid. Ooh. Kobayashi realized her relationship with Tohru became meaningful. They were already a live-in couple, so how deep can they get? Let’s find out!
Which pattern fits Tohru best for her yukata? A random choice for the win! Har. Kobayashi’s eenie-meenie-miny-mo mantra includes asking if God knows, so Tohru picks the other pattern to spite Him. But that’s God from her world. Kobayashi’s God is a protective, friendly One.
Food stalls! Elma is in heaven. Tohru, the Head Maid Chef, helps at the maid café’s food stall. Uh oh. Kobayashi wanted to see her wear a maid uniform! The name of the show is Dragon Maid, not Dragon Staff Member. Elma doesn’t want to stand in line. She’ll miss all the other food stall snacks. Fun. Kanna and Riko share festival time. Ilulu paired up with Take. Tsundere! Elma paired up with a stack of snacks… Lucoa arrived with Shouta. She can’t hide her flame sacs. And she’s still wearing her trucker hat! I want to hear the story behind that piece of clothing.
Did Riko become more mature during Dragon Maid too? She limited herself to an internal happy reaction to Kanna’s compliment. Ha! Riko wants to keep coming to summer festivals with Kanna, even when they’re grannies. Riko will need to live a long time for Kanna to become a granny. Nice. Ilulu enjoys the game stalls because kids are smiling. Phrasing, Ilulu, phrasing! Making Take an adult means something else! Ack! Did Kobayashi make Shouta blush from imagining dragon NTR? Kobayashi admitted to that swallowed feeling of slight jealousy.
Time for Kobayashi’s summer festival date with Tohru. It’s also time for the healing anime moment in Dragon Maid. The music tells me so. Kobayashi wants to be selfish! Kobayashi is usually a stoic, but she shared her feelings of doubt about the ridiculous imbalance of power between a dragon and a human. Then she said, it’s okay. Ha! That threw Tohru off her game.
Who has the balance of power in this relationship? We know who. Kobayashi should take pride in her drunk strength. If she can pull out a holy sword, that means it rivals the gods in Tohru’s world! Aw. Tohru can straightforwardly confess love. Boom! Fireworks. Excellent timing, but Dragon Maid used a trite narrative device. KyoAni shows off its water animation skills again. The dragon-human pairs enjoy those fireworks too. Oho. Kobayashi, who clung to Tohru before, called Tohru clingy. Kobayashi took terrible pictures, but she made enjoyable memories.
Huh? Dragon Maid goes blossom viewing in the middle of summer? Ah. An Aztec goddess (Xochiquetzal) will help Lucoa. Har. Tohru brought a karaoke machine. Yass! Kanna ate a bug in the last episode of the season! Oh. Catch and release. Kanna doesn’t eat strange things anymore. Typical. The dudes play video games instead of watching flowers. Hahaha! Elma has much better entertainment! What in the world? Elma is not drunk enough, nor fat enough, for painted face belly dancing.
Next on the agenda: arm wrestling! Tohru has a table tough enough for dragons. The second half of the Dragon Maid episode is such a flight of fancy. I hope the dragons can heal Takiya. Aw. Kanna lost to Lucoa, and Shouta refused to wrestle Fafnir. Grudge match, round four! Tohru versus Elma! KyoAni shows off again. Whoa! Tohru beat Elma! Final round: Lucoa faces Tohru. Ooh! Lucoa gets slightly intense. Ah hahaha! Shouta distracted Lucoa by rooting for Tohru! Tohru wins! Hoho! Tohru bribed Shouta! Devious!
Healing anime musical montage. Eh!? Surprise wedding with two brides! Kobayashi, run away! Fun. The end credit’s theme from the first Dragon Maid season plays in the background. The end. Tohru takes the last zodiac sign for Libra. There’s no hiding from your doom!
Dragon Maid S delivered a perfect sequel. The anime also heralded the return of Kyoto Animation to full production status in every aspect. From quality animation, intricate action sequences, musical score, sound effects. To storytelling, comedy writing, and voice acting. The series of shorts in the spring anime season gave us hope that Dragon Maid S would be even more epic than the first season, and that hope became real. Highlights for the season included Elma’s past journeys with Tohru and the introduction of Ilulu with her impressive flame sacs. I eagerly await KyoAni’s next anime project.
The world of Dragon Maid has always been a vehicle for life lessons on building relationships. The extreme powers of the dragons from another world make it easy to write action scenes and comedy gags. But the core remains how the immense beings connect to the puny humans. The central theme of Dragon Maid is communication and compromise, which it also argues is the foundation of long-lasting relationships. Dragons live a long time, so changing one’s mind and compromising within the timescale of a short-lived human would appear to be impossible. Tohru’s father holds this as his utmost concern for his daughter’s sanity. So far, Tohru is going with the flow.
What comes next for Dragon Maid? The comedy manga continues, so there’s no shortage of source material for another adaptation. After the post-season merchandise schedule completes its cycle, I hope KyoAni devotes its resources for another season. I pray that we have no more deadly arsons and pandemics to delay a Dragon Maid T from arriving soon.