I want to thank Mel from Mel In Anime Land for giving me the idea for this ramble, thank you so much!
I have written about Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid before but not in a lot of detail. It was my favourite anime last year and is still in my Top Ten anime easily. It has pretty much everything I love about anime in it, adorable well-written characters, comedy, incredible animation and a lot of heart.
Despite all that, the main factor that I love is the dynamic between Torhu and Kobayashi.
On paper, the two are polar opposites. Kobayashi is a stone-faced hard worker who only let’s loose once she has had a few. Torhu is happy-go-lucky and just does what she wants, letting her emotions guide her.
Yet they make an amazing team. So much so they practically adopt Kanna!
Before you say, “Oh, she just let her live with them. That’s it.” I put it to you that Kanna has a last name, Kamui, but when she starts school what does she introduce herself as? Kanna Kobayashi. She didn’t have to do so, she could have easily told her teacher that she was her niece or something but no, she took Kobayashi’s name!
Now, while it’s very clear that Torhu loves Kobayashi, after all, she straight up says it multiple times, it is never said out loud that those feelings are reciprocated but I like to think so. Partly because I ship them like there is no tomorrow but also that there are subtle clues here and there. Not to mention that about halfway into the series they act like an old married couple.
Romance aside, this dynamic they have isn’t founded out of love (though I like to think so) but rather respect.
The pair may tease and joke about one another but it is clear they respect each other. They have a mutual understanding and tend to put the other before themselves.
Same goes for looking after Kanna, Kobayashi even works overtime so she can attend her sports festival after she finds out how badly the little girl wanted her to go.
Mild spoiler warning, I’ll try not to give too much away but if you haven’t seen the last episode be wary.
My previous points are given centre stage in the last episode as we see Kobayashi struggle to look after Kanna alone, having to not only care for her but keep her job too. For someone who was happy alone to have grown to rely on someone else is rather telling. The pair support one another in different ways, playing off each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Later both Kobayashi and Torhu risk it all for each other and so that they can stay together. We see Kobayashi, who up to this point has always been careful with her words lose it for her, showing how much she cares about her maid.
In conclusion, the reason their dynamic works so well because they are opposites who respect and support one another.