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She is a female dragon from the Dragon Faction of Order, the opposing faction of Chaos, which Tohru belongs to. She adopts the name Elma Joui (上井 エルマ Jōī Eruma) as her human alias after she finds that she is unable to return to her world.
Elma usually takes the form of a human woman with short black hair, large breasts, blue eyes and a long spiral unicorn-like horn (which she can freely hide). In the anime and Elma OL Nikki, her hair also has purple tips. At work, she wears round glasses. She also wears a business suit which consists of a white shirt, light blue tie, a loose blue sweater, a grey blazer and a dark grey knee-length skirt with light grey socks and black heels. Her casual attire in the anime consists of olive-green skin-tight trousers, a light blue jacket, a dark blue vest and a yellow scarf.
Elma's first outfit, which she also wears in her world while in human form, consists of a light tan scarf with a dark blue (sometimes black) leotard. She wears a purple kimono with pink piping and a dark blue sash over the leotard, with the top pulled down. She has bandages around her legs and sandals. She can be seen with a cobalt blue and turquoise tail (which she can freely hide). Sometimes, she carries around a long, brown trident.
In her dragon form, Elma is a blue sea serpent with a brown horn protruding from her forehead and her brown trident is her tail. She can freely move around in water because she is a water dragon.
As evidenced in the anime and manga, Elma is very persistent in that she tries to bring Tohru back to the other world, despite the latter voicing her opinion that she'd rather stay peaceful living with Kobayashi. Even after getting sent to another continent, her persistence shows as she stomps up to Tohru and demands that the other dragon go back to the other world, to which she is then baited off with a bag of cream bread.
Also, despite being just as strong as Tohru, she has admitted that she cannot travel between worlds due to having been "born differently." Elma is also very indecisive, as shown in the anime where she struggles to pick one specific food combo, to an ice cream combo, and finally to which kind of toothpaste to use.
Elma's most defining personality trait is her gluttonous appetite. Elma has a sweet tooth of sorts, having shown her love of food of all kinds from the cream bread (where she states in the English dub of the anime that she just ate heaven), to after her first day of work, where Kobayashi gives her a piece of hashbrown, in which she screams "YUMMY!!!" afterward, to where she impulsively buys a bag of waffles in episode 13. Because of this side of her, Elma can easily be tempted when presented with food. She is even willing to sometimes go against certain rules by the Harmony Faction despite being a well known member.
Elma is a member of the Harmony Faction of dragons, as such, she holds a fondness for humans and hates their need to fight amongst themselves. In one case, she assumed the identity of Seikai the Miko to maintain peace within a human city. It was as she was pacifying the populace of the city that she first encountered Tohru. The two would form a truce of sorts to observe the human world together, however, they fell out after Tohru learned the humans under Elma began to venerate her as a goddess and wage war on non-believers. Following Tohru destroying the palace built for Elma, they briefly fought and went their separate ways.
After the devastating fight against Tohru, Elma chose to retreat to the Order dragon's base and stay away from humans for some time.
At the end of her debut appearance in the anime, Elma visits Kobayashi's apartment to give Kobayashi a protective charm as a token of gratitude. The next instant, she is blasted out of the apartment by Tohru's beam, ending up at the park.
In episode 10, Elma is invited to Kobayashi's apartment while Kobayashi herself is away at work, due to Elma not being required to turn up for duty. She instead agrees to help Tohru put on a show for the retirement home. First, she auditions for the role of The Little Match Girl, but fails. Then she offers to direct the play, first agreeing with Tohru to cast Kanna as the title character. She then casts Tohru as a bystander, Lucoa as the main character's grandmother, Fafnir as the main character's father and Riko Saikawa as a narrator. The first rehearsal fails, so the other dragons agree to improvise the script, casting Elma as Kuranosuke Oishi from the 47 Ronin.
In episode 11, on the last day of work for the year, Elma is seen drooling at the thought of Nama chocolates. She later plays a Candy Grab game at the shopping district, before attending the First Shrine during New Year's Eve after hearing about the food on offer. Elma later joins the post-midnight feast at Kobayashi's apartment before turning up at the rooftop to watch the first sunrise of the year.
In episode 12, Elma is seen at a coffee shop learning object-oriented programming.
In episode 13, Elma, along with Kanna, Fafnir and Lucoa, senses the arrival of Damocles, who takes Tohru home. She overhears Kobayashi and Takiya's conversation while doing an overtime shift a few days later. When Damocles returns to the human world to confront his daughter again, Elma is briefly seen in her first outfit listening to Damocles' prophecy. At the end of the episode, Elma impulsively buys waffles from a stall.
In the OVA, Elma receives some Nama chocolates from Yamashita at work. She is upset at Kobayashi's haul of chocolates offered by her colleagues; Kobayashi makes up for it by giving Elma some of her own. Later, in her own apartment, Elma decides to make chocolate for everyone else, but ends up eating all the raw chocolate that she was supposed to use as an ingredient. Elma later joins Kobayashi, Takiya and the other dragons on a visit to the spa resort.
Being a dragon of the Harmony faction, she and Tohru are long-time rivals. They regularly bicker with one another, but the two manage to get along without fighting. In one chapter called "Tohru and Elma," it is shown that Elma wants to be friends with Tohru again.
At first, Elma didn't interact with Kobayashi at their first encounter, but she had told Kobayashi to stay quiet as she was about to compliment her (due to being embarrassed by her rumbling belly). However, as they become office mates, Kobayashi started to help Elma through her work and the two start to get along to the point that they became friends. Elma was also worried for Kobayashi after misunderstanding her being the 'pillar of the company', and tries her best to 'beat' Kobayashi to 'save her'.
In Chapter 35, Elma makes it known to Kobayashi that if she ever desires more than Tohru, she would not refuse her offer, implying a possible attraction to Kobayashi.
- Elma is the only dragon of the main cast who lives on her own in the human world.