Episode two of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S, the sequel season to Kyoto Animation’s 2017 Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, continues to break expectations. This week’s episode deals with sexual shenanigans and childhood traumas.
I was reminded by this week’s episode that Dragon Maid is KyoAni’s first series about adults in at least a decade. While most of the studio’s work is enjoyed by adults, and anime like Your Name and Liz and the Bluebird are made primarily for an adult audience, Dragon Maid’s main character is an adult that can do adult things, like drink alcohol and talk about sex. And in Dragon Maid S’s second episode, there is no modesty around these topics.
The territory lends itself more to laughs than complexity. But the undercurrent of an unbalanced work life and lingering childhood trauma makes the show’s characters far more relatable—especially when it comes to Llulu, the newcomer Chaos dragon. Let’s dive in.
Episode 2: “Hot Guy Kobayashi! (In Many Senses)”
Catch up on last week’s episode here.
Episode two resumes shortly after Kobayashi’s gender swap. Our titular character is fine, albeit worried that someone might find out about her unexpected change. But it’s at most an inconvenience to her, rather than a serious life-altering ailment.
And then Tohru shows up in a towel. Because of her newish body, Kobayashi finally starts to feel something more than gratitude towards the maid. More specifically, what she describes feeling is romantic and sexual attraction, something that was always conspicuously absent in their totally-not-a-relationship dynamic before. Realizing you like someone can make things awkward, and the relationship shift quickly puts a barrier up between the two.
Kobayashi tries to avoid others’ touch the next day, but shenanigans ensue and all manner of innocent situations bring her into contact with Tohru’s chest. It’s all rote humor, until one night, Tohru gives the woman a love potion. Kobayashi becomes briefly infatuated with the dragon, but as in season one, its effects are tempered by alcohol. Maybe that’s for the best, as love potions are infamously fraught narrative devices that belie consent.
When Tohru then makes her boldest move yet by undressing before the woman, Kobayashi’s attention is drawn to the maid outfit. Dismayed that she would take the outfit off, Kobayashi begins to lecture the dragon and kills the mood. The scene ends on a defeated cry from Tohru outside their apartment.
While watching Kobayashi confront her attraction to Tohru was welcome, I’m uncertain how the revelation will push their relationship forward. It would be nice to see the memory of those feelings come back up in future episodes, forcing the woman to think past work and drinking to feel something more. We’ll just have to wait to see if this happens, though director Tatsuya Ishihara’s filmography doesn’t have me holding my breath, as I mentioned last week.
All in all, the gender swap lasts for 10 minutes before picking Llulu’s story back up.
The episode actually opens on a stylized flashback to Llulu’s traumatic childhood. The animation, evoking colored-pencil, shows how Llulu once lived and played with humans as a young dragon girl. Then one day, humans attacked her village. Her parents were killed, and then her human friends were too as the surviving dragons took their revenge.
Taken under the wing of a mysterious dragon with an ominous voice, Llulu was indoctrinated into the Chaos dragons. She has since dedicated her life to subordinating humanity. This past, shaped by trauma, molded by hate, and enshrined by her actions, establishes her motivations and makes the dragon’s growth all the more compelling.
In the back half of the episode, Llulu is pursued by a new character, Cremene, a dragon-slayer whose human form dawns toxic green eyes, small devilish horns, and vampiric fangs. He has been sent to kill Llulu in order to maintain balance between dragons and humans. And while he’s on Earth’s side, that doesn’t stop Kobayashi from guarding Llulu while the two are caught in a fight.
Kobayashi is no match for the dragon, going down in a hit. But this all seems part of her plan. Tohru immediately shows up with flames in her eyes and makes quick work of Cremene, gruesomely “erasing his memories” in a chokehold.
The episode ends back in the apartment, Kobayashi recovering from the fight. Llulu is there, and in the show’s final minutes Kobayashi invites her in, tasking Tohru with teaching her how to blend in as a human. The two reluctantly come to a truce in the name of the human they both want.
I wasn’t expecting to learn about Llulu’s motivations so quickly, but it seems the rest of the season will be returning to household conflicts. What exactly Llulu will do in the human world, and what her relationship with Kobayashi will actually look like, are left open at the end of episode two.
While the fraught territory of gender swaps and love potions felt unnecessary at best, episode two explores Kobayashi and Llulu’s respective relationships with sexuality and trauma in ways that really let us know what makes them tick. Now we have a better idea what holds them back and drives them forward. Whether Ishihara builds on that for Kobayashi and Tohru’s relationship isn’t really clear yet. We’ll just have to wait and see.
There still isn’t an official release schedule for the season, but we expect episode three will release next Wednesday, July 21.