“Valentines and Hot Springs! (Please Don’t Get Your Hopes Up)”
Watch the entire series on Crunchyroll
In this bonus episode, Tohru tries to seduce Kobayashi with magic chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Later, Tohru tries to seduce Kobayashi with regular chocolate on a hot springs trip.
It’s been awhile, so quick recap of my thoughts on Dragon Maid: The relationship between Kobayashi and Tohru is one of the best things KyoAni has ever done, the show is brilliant in its serious moments, and all of it is torpedoed by the source material’s need to meet their quota for anime-style horniness (yes, the manga is worse).
This particular episode checks all the boxes of what makes Dragon Maid both good and bad. It’s got all the things I hated about it, like the uncomfortably sexualized relationships involving the children, some questionable consent issues around Tohru, and the fact that Elma exists. All of those make appearances like the director is following some kind of bullet point list. But toward the end we get an incredibly sweet moment between Kobayashi and Tohru in which they *GASP* hold hands, in PUBLIC no less, and re-affirm how much they love each other. Moments like that make me understand why people love this show so much.
Once again though, just because the show has some fantastic moments doesn’t mean you get to ignore the bad stuff, which I see fans of the show doing all the time. I’m always willing to overlook minor issues here and there, but the problematic aspects of Dragon Maid are fundamental to the overall experience. I’m hard pressed to think of an anime that leaves me more ambivalent, and considering how great it is capable of being that’s really disappointing. This episode managed to remind me of all of that, so thanks KyoAni. Thanks.