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Dragon-maid-cover - AllTheTropes

Cover of volume 1 of the manga

Kobayashi-san, hung over and chugging medicine for an upset stomach, is off to her programming job's daily grind until she opens her fourth-floor apartment door and sees the massive head of a green, scaly winged dragon staring right into her eyes. The dragon, which is actually standing on the sidewalk, transforms suddenly into a pretty girl with long blond hair, four-point horns, and a green, scaly tail in a maid uniform, to Kobayashi's dropped-jaw surprise.

So begins the manga, Kobayashi-san Chi no Meidoragon by Coolkyoushinja, published in May 2013 and adapted into a one season anime in January 2017. It combines Slice of Life, as Kobayashi slowly gets used to having a drastically overpowered maid (and a social life) with her maid Tohru's Fish Out of Water story, as the former Chaos dragon adapts to the strangely mundane human world. Under the battles, the magic, the jokes, even the dragons themselves, Dragon Maid's power comes from friends, family and home.

Tropes used in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid include:
  • 90% of Your Brain: Tohru comes to the conclusion this is true in chapter 18. She's just easily impressed with illusions because she doesn't detect "magic" (this conflicts with Tohru's suspicions of how cars work in chapter 7, as cars wouldn't give off magic).
  • A-Cup Angst: Kobayashi is sometimes mistaken for a boy, and will occasionally feel up (with permission) a well-endowed woman out of sheer envy. When she climbs into an onsen with the other dragons, this angst becomes full-blown anxiety.
  • Badass: All the dragons love battle and competiton. They also tend to be sore losers. Tohru can pound a mugger into the pavement (literally) with a single blow, and "bring about Armageddon." ("Don't do that." — Kobayashi) With Fafnir, Lucoa and Kanna (a Cute Bruiser, when she's fully charged) Tohru can form a Badass Crew for a game of very extreme dodgeball. Even her old man, the Emperor of Demise, is intimidated by her. Elma goes from "unable to recognize a computer" to teaching herself object-oriented programming out of books. Kobayashi reflects, "Dragons really are high-spec."
  • Beach Episode: Only a few pages in the manga, this is expanded into a full episode (and adds Lucoa and Shouta) in the anime.
  • Blood Knight: One feels Tohru's family was like this, and she was on her way to becoming one until a terrible injury made her confront her persistent unhappiness.
  • Christmas Episode: Tohru gets excited about throwing a Christmas party, until she learns whose birth the holiday celebrates: "What? That bastard's son?!?"
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Tohru has fits of jealousy over Kobayashi paying attention to: Takiya, Kanna, Elma, Georgie and Iruru. When Kobayashi invites Kanna to live with them, Tohru has a moment of You Never Did That for Me.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Lots, but all very spoileriffic, since the story is based on those moments of affection and friendship.
  • Color Failure: Right in the opening to episode 1. Fafnir also looks like this at Comiket.
  • Cooking Duel: Kobayashi and Tohru compete to make Kanna's bentō. Fafnir stands in for Chairman Kaga.
  • Cool Code of Source: Kobayashi writes (real, runnable) Python for her job.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:In Chapter 30
They'll get a free tour around Gehenna, Jahannam, Hellheim, and finally, the Lake of Fire.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: In the Other World, humans and dragons are enemies. But Tohru and Fafnir are Chaos dragons: even Kobayashi points out they are the villains in their war.
  • Determinator: Tohru is dead-set on being the best maid she can be, taking any failure or miss very badly. This is only partly due to arrogance; the dragons we see in the manga are determined to succeed at anything they deign to try.
  • Faking the Dead: Tohru knows most of the Chaos dragons think her dead. Outside of Lucoa, Tohru is in no hurry to correct them.
  • Fantastic Racism: In the beginning, Tohru sneers regularly at lowly humans, telling Kobayashi, "I was taught to pay back any debt! Even one owed to a foolish, inferior human!" Fafnir and Iruru are even worse. Lucoa, a non-aligned dragon, and once worshiped in Central America as the divine, civilization-bringing Quetzalcoatl is much more positive about humans.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: Tohru is very fond of Lucoa, but she has a habit of bringing up that time when Quetzalcoatl got drunk and, well, this happened. Lucoa hates even a passing mention of it.
  • Gainaxing: This can probably be regarded as a Running Gag, at least with Lucoa. But all the female dragons have their moments.
  • Gender Bender: This happens to Kobayashi, quite against her will.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Tohru is usually very happy with where her life is right now. And if she wasn't, it's not like anyone from our world could stop her from taking her freedom. And it's not like anyone from outside our world is interested in forcing Tooru to remain in her current situation. And while one could make the case that "maid" isn't a subset of, or synonym for the word, "slave", it's not like Tooru has the most accurate understanding of what the word "maid" means (as shown in chapter 17).
  • Healing Factor: Though immensely tough, Tohru doesn't have this power (she is still recovering from her wounds) except for one part: her tail.
  • Hidden Eyes: Tohru is frequently disappointed, so she looks like this rather often.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Takiya organizes a vacation to an onsen for all the humans and dragons.
  • Human Sacrifice: Tohru is sick of people thinking all dragons are lolicons who want to devour young virgins. Elma admits even Harmony dragons accepted human sacrifices.
  • I Owe You My Life: Later in the series, we find out how Kobayashi and Tohru met, and why Tohru agreed to be her maid. Kobayashi standing up to Tohru's dad in chapter 20 certainly didn't take away from this.
  • Love Potion: Tohru puts that in her Valentine Day's chocolates for Kobayashi, but don't gives them to her after Kobayashi talks about trust and how it can be easily broken, making Tohru realize(at least temporarily) the wrongness of her actions.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Kanna is able to create these, with the devastating effects you expect.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Fafnir warns Tohru that people live brief lives compared to dragons. At one point, Tohru's anxiety over this drives her to get away from it all.
  • Meido: Kobayashi, Takiya, and Saikawa's sister Georgie are all massive maid otakus. Tohru inverts this, as the only genuine maid in the series is not obsessed with maids.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Lucoa has this.
  • Most Common Superpower: Aside from the child, Kanna, all the female dragons are suspiciously well-endowed. Kobayashi asks about this, but discovers the shape-shifting spell used to appear human doesn't let the dragons "customize" their appearance outside of clothes. "They're all just that pretty."
  • Multicolored Hair: All the female dragons have this.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Dragons are split between the factions of Harmony and Chaos, with some, like Lucoa, being non-aligned.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: They can regenerate their tails like lizards, though the regenerations are magically quick and complete, of course.
  • Running Gags:
    • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: Tohru is always flying off to the Other World to pick up special ingredients, such as rejuvenating elf spring water, or delicious fruits that try to bite back.
    • Tohru thinks that if Kobayashi really loved her, she would eat Tohru's roasted tail: "It's good with rice." "It's not good ethically or physiologically!"
  • Sex Slave: In chapter 17, Tooru claims that she is a maid, which means a sex slave. Kobayashi, of course, tells Tooru that's not what a maid is.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Tohru sings little ditties while she cleans about "exterminating all dirt" and "leaving nothing behind."
  • Tough Love: Tohru's father is not upset that she was injured, then dropped out of the Chaos dragons' war with "the holy ones," but he has no tolerance for humans (like Kobayashi). He also demands Tohru respect the truce made that keeps our world (mostly) dragon-free.
  • Villain Protagonist: Tohru was this, before she dropped out of the Chaos dragons' war. She still displays little flashes of it, such as her willingness to solve most problems with violence, or just as casual entertainment: "Look at everyone lined up down there, Doesn't it make you want to swoop in and mow them all down?"
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Kanna wants Kobayashi to attend her school's sports festival, but Kobayashi is in a deathma ("death march") to ship a product, disappointing Kanna.
  • World of Badass: In the Other World, humans have powerful magic and can wield the Sword of God. It's only fitting their enemies, the Chaos dragons, be similarly overpowered.
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