Just in case it wasn’t clear from the title, this episode focuses on Elma.
In the first vignette, Elma is complaining about working conditions, but finds that she’s working around enough people who have been worn down by the expectations of the workforce and are jaded about her cause. She draws up a proposal, which she shows to Kobayashi. Kobayashi points out flaws with the first draft, so Elma brings her a second draft. Elma takes this to the department head, but it’s shot down immediately. But Elma doesn’t give up, and comes up with a third draft… where she uses her clairvoyance to figure out how everyone is wasting time with bathroom breaks, resting their head on their elbows, etc.
One of the most important things to come out of this vignette, though, is the revelation of who the boss of the company is… Shouta’s father. This is revealed when he summons Kobayashi, Elma, and Takiya to his office. He knows Elma’s true identity, since he is a mage, after all. He wanted to meet the three of them because they’ve been friends with Shouta. While we saw Shouta go see his father at an office in the previous episode to deliver his Father’s Day present, I hadn’t realized that it was the office building where Kobayashi works. What an interesting twist. But I can’t forget to mention that it ends up being a humorous reason why Elma was wanting to unionize the staff in the first place.
The second vignette sees Elma accompanying Kanna, Saikawa, and Shouta on a trip to the mountains. Unfortunately, Elma gets so into relaxing by the water that she doesn’t pay attention to the kids, who wander off when Shouta wants to explore the ley lines of the mountain. Of course, Elma panics when she realizes the kids are gone, and starts to frantically run around to find them. Elma doesn’t want to be taunted by Tohru for failing to do something as simple as keeping an eye on kids. There’s a great scene, though, when Elma encounters a bear in the woods. She uses her power to subdue the bear, and actually makes it quake in fear and cry. That’s not something you expect a bear to do. But Elma panics so much about the kids that she transforms into her dragon form so she can get a better view of the area. Saikawa notices and says it’s the same creature she saw at the river in a previous episode. Fortunately, Shouta is able to use a spell to go unconscious so Kanna can communicate with Elma. I don’t know if Shouta’s spell will make her forget about seeing Elma in this form. But, since Saikawa has now seen Elma in this form for a second time, this could be setting the stage for a running gag. It’ll be interesting to see if this becomes one or not.
The final vignette sees Elma asking Fafnir for a favor, and then asking Tohru to train with her because she’s gotten a little rusty. Fafnir and Kobayashi are witnesses to this sparring match. However, it turns out that Elma is going all out instead of simply training. Elma is upset about how Tohru has become so friendly with humans, and says that if Elma wins, Tohru has to return to their world. As they fight, the two of them share their emotions, and it climaxes with Elma tearfully explaining her views, and Tohru apologizing. However, we know that the rivalry between these two isn’t going to go away that easily, though. But it was amusing when Fafnir leaves because this has gotten so ridiculous to him, and Kobayashi’s just like, “OK, see you later.” I was amused by how nonplussed Kobayashi was to Fafnir’s leaving, especially after her initial emotional reaction with Elma and Tohru began fighting.
I appreciated getting an episode that focuses on one of the characters that isn’t focused on quite so much. Yes, the title of the franchise is “Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid,” so there’s going to be a lot of focus on Tohru, but I appreciate getting the occasional episode where the focus is on someone other than Tohru or one of the dragons living with Kobayashi.
I still can’t believe we’re so far into the Summer 2021 anime season. From what I’m seeing, there’s only supposed to be 12 episodes for this season, so there’s only three more to go. It doesn’t feel like we’ve made it through nine weeks of the Summer 2021 anime season already. I’m looking forward to seeing what else Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S has to offer before it finishes its run.
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