The Gist: Kana is going on a field trip and needs someone to make her a lunch… so Kobayashi and Tohru have a food wars style kitchen battle to see who is a better lunch preparer. After three rounds, Tohru is effectively disqualified for using food from the other world (like the kissing fruit monster thing pictured above) but it’s all good: Kobayashi feels they can fight so seriously because they’ve become such close friends.
Shortly after that, Elma slips through the gate Tohru used to reach the other world… and proceeds to be the shortest lived rival in anime history. Not because she is killed — Dragon Maid is not that kind of show! Rather, after two very short encounters, Elma joins the ranks of human society and moves on. She even strikes up an office friendship with Kobayashi, though that has as much to do with needing help with the computer and Koba being a softie as giving up her grudge on Tohru…
In a reversal of roles, Tohru becomes envious of Elma for her casual relationship with Koba, but even this doesn’t last so long. Tohru and Koba simply have a heart felt conversation and get over it.
Meanwhile, Lucoa continues to child-molest Shouta in his sleep. Fortunately, these scenes are incredibly short and couched in Shouta’s dreams. Still… wtf Dragon Maid?
The Verdict: Dragon Maid finally lands a solid slice of life episode. A lot of this has to do with Elma being part of Koba’s work, and functions more like a human than the other dragons, which lets us actually experience their interactions in a less narrative way.
Overall, Dragon Maid has a great flow to its scenes. They come in varying lengths, which gives each episode the flavor of several mini-episodes bundled at the edges of two half-length episodes. While other shows like Konosuba are also experimenting with multiple hard transitions within each episode, each of their segments tend to be more consistent in length. This gives Dragon Maid a unique feel and, when the episode is actually good (read: not RAPEY) that uniqueness elevates the quirky flavor.