This episode had a total of three vignettes included.
At the beginning of the episode, Kobayashi is looking at code on her work computer and wonders aloud who wrote such beautiful code. Elma comes up to serve tea and says that she did. Apparently, Kobayashi had given Elma books to read on coding and she accomplished what she did just by what she learned from those books. Kobayashi is so impressed with Elma’s work that she starts forwarding other things for her to do. It comes out that Kobayashi has been doing double the work, since she’s been doing the work that is assigned to Elma but never gets done because she’s serving tea. When Takiya mentions that Kobayashi is the team’s pillar, Elma suddenly becomes upset and challenges Kobayashi to a contest of which one can finish their work first.
Kobayashi, as well as the audience, is left wondering why hearing this word causes Elma to react the way she does. I thought the vignette would have a humorous focus on the contest, but I was surprisingly wrong. While we see a small bit of it, Kobayashi starts talking to Elma when it’s time for a lunch break and discovers the truth behind what Elma is doing. Not surprisingly, Elma’s reaction to the word “pillar” stems from a misunderstanding, because being a “pillar” in the dragon world is very different from our human world. Kobayashi is able to explain the misunderstanding in the caring, yet straightforward manner that she has.
The second vignette sees Tohru joining a community patrol. She was approached because people remembered how she took down the thief in the shopping district. While on patrol, Tohru encounters a small group of punks who are loitering and blocking the road. She takes down the leader of this group with relative ease, and the punks run off… but they declare that they’ll be back for their revenge. Elma ends up joining the patrol, much to Tohru’s dismay. And it becomes readily clear that Elma’s sense of justice is to punish any small thing she sees, and one point she scares a couple of children. The vignette sees the punks come back with a bigger group, including their strongest member. Well, let’s just say that Tohru takes him down rather easily. There’s a funny bit with this big, strong guy as he’s training to get even stronger after his defeat at the hands of Tohru.
With these first two vignettes, we had an episode that had a stronger focus on Elma. Up to this point in the season, Elma was more of a background character and didn’t get much focus. She just kind of felt like she was “there.”
The final vignette sees Kobayashi taking Tohru, Ilulu, Kanna, and Saikawa to an amusement park. While at the park, there’s a running gag of Saikawa’s sister Georgie being in various mascot costumes at the park and taking pictures of Saikawa, Kanna, and Ilulu having fun. Of course, the humor from these three comes from how much Saikawa screams with her various interactions with Kanna (and some with Ilulu). The first time Saikawa did this, it was kind of funny. However, at least for me, this gag became a little annoying. More humor in this vignette comes from the fact that Kobayashi tries to act like she knows everything about amusement parks, even though she’s never been to one. We get to see Kobayashi going through a hall of mirrors, riding a carousel, and going on a teacup ride with Tohru. Probably the worst misfortune for Kobayashi is letting Tohru spin the wheel on the teacup ride, since Tohru wasn’t going to go easy on that. But their last stop, before meeting up with the others, causes Kobayashi to have the happiest expression she’s worn during their entire trip to the amusement park. This vignette was a nice way to end the episode, even if I did become a little annoyed with Saikawa.
After having three episodes that had a strong focus on Ilulu, it was kind of a nice break to have one where she only had an appearance in one vignette… and even in that vignette, Ilulu wasn’t a major focus in the story. I have nothing against Ilulu, but it was starting to feel like the season was going to be focusing on her. Plus, it was nice to see one of the other dragons getting the spotlight this time around.
Additional posts about Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid: