By Chris Melchin / September 28th, 2015
REVIEW DISCLAIMER: This review contains spoilers for Monster Musume.
|Title||Monster Musume: Everyday Life With Monster Girls|
|Original Run||July 7, 2015 – September 22, 2015|
|Genre||Harem, Ecchi, Fantasy|
Monster Musume is a story about a hapless, ordinary man who finds himself living with an amorous lamia, after an “Interspecies Exchange Act” has been passed in the wake of discovery of mystical creatures that allow them to live in human society. As time goes by, he ends up having more monster girls pushed onto him by his lazy exchange coordinator, until he has a veritable harem living at his house, all clamoring for his attention and affection. The law also forbids any sexual congress between those of different species, with the threat of deportation for the extraspecies girls and jail time for protagonist Kimihito “Darling-kun/Master/Honey” Kurusu.
Until, however, coordinator Ms. Smith tells Darling-kun that an amendment is in the works to allow cross-species marriage, and wants him to choose one of his freeloaders tenants to marry to test if the amendment could work. This was when he only had three girls living with him. By the end of the series, he’s accumulated a total of seven of them: lamia and his first resident Miia, absentminded and childish harpy Papi, the chivalrous centaur Centorea “Cerea” Shianus, the refined mermaid Meroune “Mero” Lorelei, the slime Suu, kinky Arachne Rachnera “Rachnee” Arachnera, and delusional Dullahan Lala. Naturally, hilarity and various sexual shenanigans ensue.
It’s not all fun and games, however. Over the course of the series, as the extraspecies girls venture outside with Kimihito, we get to see that all is not well with general opinions towards the non-humans – particularly towards Miia and Rachnee. People tend to distrust lamias due to her appearance as half-snake, and downright fear Rachnee because of her spider lower half. The show deals with this racism, showing it as it is: not an intentional dislike of the non-humans, but rather ignorance and sometimes instinctual fear. There are also episodes later on that go the opposite way, with some non-humans bearing hatred towards humans because of their mistreatment of them and, in the case of Kii the dryad, the planet itself. Their encounters with Kimihito and his entourage show them and each of his tenants that there are some humans that will always view them just as people, no differently from humans.
That’s what attracts all of them to the protagonist: his simple kindness and acceptance. Miia marvels that he was the first human she encountered who didn’t mistrust her on sight, and Rachnee remarks that everyone else was scared of her based on her appearance while Kimihito was attracted to her. (He’s a leg guy. She has eight legs. Do the math.)
The show also takes a remarkably well-researched approach to their physical traits, basing them on the animals that the non-humans are themselves derived from. Miia, for example, is cold-blooded and primarily eats eggs, and as a carnivore has a much weaker sense of taste than humans. Papi has a small, child-like build so that she can viably fly, and has a very weak short-term memory (read: bird-brained). The list goes on, such as Mero’s gills and Suu’s tendency to get dehydrated and seek any possible source of water. Each girl has her own strengths and weaknesses that come naturally as part of being their race, and they all seem generally well-thought-out, even basing Lala’s traits and delusions off classic Irish mythology about the Dullahan.
All that being said, however, the show is, at its core, ecchi, and uses many of the tropes associated therewith. Kimihito is ultimately a harem protagonist, and basically every non-human girl he meets falls madly in love with him, which comes to a head when he has seven of them living in the same house as him, all competing for his affection and the chance to be the one he decides to marry. Well, most of them; Lala seems content to sit back and wait until he dies so she can reap his soul, while Suu doesn’t initially seem to have the mental capacity to comprehend love and the idea of marriage. This seems to change as she lives with everyone, but it’s hard to say if it’s just mimicry or if she has genuinely developed the ability to have complex emotions. Also, the tendency to attempt to drink others’ sweat right off their bodies when she’s dehydrated throws it all into question even more. Can you guess how she does this? Because you’re probably right. And it happens frequently.
On a drier, more technical side, Monster Musume is a very nice-looking series, with very well-done animation across the board. I never noticed any issues, but it never blew me away the same way that other series have. The music is the same way; neither is bad enough to pull the series down, but both are good enough not to stand out. I wouldn’t go and search out the music to listen to on its own, but it’s all inoffensive as a whole.
I haven’t watched enough ecchi to know if Monster Musume stands out against the big series like High School DxD or any of the To Love-ru series. As a general anime though, it is one of the better comedy series I’ve seen, and one that definitely knows how to get serious when the situation calls for it. The adaptation of the manga is faithful enough, and a second season seems to have been confirmed within the final episode, although it should be noted that the broadcast of the anime is censored while the manga is not. That will be changed when the Blu-ray is released though, something that I will most likely pick up because it’ll be good to watch this series again.
Yeah…that’s why I’ll get it.
|Art & Animation|
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