What’s the show? Interviews With Monster Girls (2017).
Oh boy, here we go again with the ‘monster girls’… Don’t you think people are getting tired hearing you go about the same kind of show over and over again? Okay, first of all, sit down, secondly shut up. Interviews With Monster Girls is different, it’s not a harem, it’s not an ecchi, and there’s almost no fan-service.
Almost? Well one of the characters is a succubus…
Of course she is— Hey! No succubus shaming!
Fine, what’s it about then? It’s about high-school biology teacher Tetsuo Takahashi, who is fascinated by monster girls, or demi-humans as they’re called here. He wants to write a book about them but has no experience with them, that is until three demi-chan high school student’s start at his school, as well as a new demi-chan math teacher.
Okay, so his interest in monster girls is purely professional/academic? Well yeah, I mean it starts out that way but as he gets to know the girls, not just as demi-chan’s and what makes them different, but also as complex and flawed young women. He begins to look out for them and does whatever he can to guide them through life, facing the difficulties that come with being such rare individuals but also the kind of dramas that regular human adolescents encounter too.
Sounds serious. Sometimes. I mean it’s still considered a ‘comedy’, but the comedy comes from knowing the characters and watching them interact with one another.
Okay, fair enough. Who are these characters? Well as mentioned before there’s Tetsuo, he’s sort of a gentle giant, very muscular and almost intimidating, but incredibly patient and caring and affable. Then there’s the three demi-chan students, Hikari is a bright and bubbly vampire girl, who probably spends the most time talking with Tetsuo. She has a twin-sister, Himari, who isn’t a demi and there’s a lot of fun moments of ‘misunderstandings’ between the three of them as Hikari frequently miscommunicates the teacher’s helpful actions towards her which leads to a lot of red faces!
And the other two students? There’s Kyoko a dullahan (head separate from the body) who’s studious and kind and also develops a crush on Tetsuo. And then there’s Yuki, who is probably the most different, in that I don’t think her monster type is often explored in Western pop-culture, she’s a snow woman.
A snow woman? How’s that work? Well, she’s basically just a girl who can make things cold; they explain the mythology around her better than I could in a short review, I would say she has it easiest of all the demi-chan’s since aside from having tears and sweat made of ice when she’s upset she’s basically a normal human. But the show does a great job of having you empathise with her particular hang-ups and issues. Also she’s shy and into manga, so that’s a win!
And you mentioned something about a math teacher too? Yes! Sakie Sato, the new math teacher, and also a succubus, her body produces a powerful aphrodisiac and so she’s super paranoid about accidentally exposing any skin (aside from her face and hands of course) in case she accidentally seduces someone.
Well that could be played for laughs I imagine. It could, but the restraint in this show is that with the exception of maybe 2 or 3 small comedic moments, it’s instead played as something that’s almost crippled her life, or her social life at least. Out of all of the demi-chan’s Sakie’s troubles are the most detrimental to her every day life, she gets the very first train in the morning to avoid accidentally touching someone and takes the last train at night plus she lives in a remote house so as not to bother neighbours, it’s a tragic life that’s entirely self-imposed but she does it because she loves teaching but also doesn’t want to cause issues for anyone else.
Well fine, I’ll admit I was quick to judge, this show certainly sounds a lot more complex and interesting than I expected. It’s light hearted but it contains the right amount of depth and lays out character development at a steady but interesting pace, it’s pretty much a show without obvious flaws, well… except one.
Oh? Well I’m probably being picky, but when a show is as good as this, the things that’s are lacking stand out more. I don’t think it’s a detriment to what’s good about the show; it just kind of bothers me as a writer.
Well what is it? So I can’t remember the exact number but it’s frequently mentioned that Kyoko the dullahan is one of only like 3 dullahan’s in the entire world and is the only one in Japan. And I know it was probably done to make her character feel more isolated and not have anyone of her own ‘race’ to talk to but it’s pretty unrealistic to assume she’d be able to live a normal high school life. Being the only of her race in the country would make her so absurdly famous, that even if she wanted to be left alone there would be media and obsessed ‘fans’ following her wherever she went. It just feels like lazy world building on the part of the writer, but that’s just my take on it. I can see why they did it, but I think it’s unrealistic for it.
Complaining about realism in a monster girl anime, that’s a new one… Hey I’m just giving you my thoughts, it was a slight bother while I watched the show and I’m obliged to report it thusly.
Fair enough, so is there a best girl? There’s always a best girl.
I know! I kicked myself the moment I asked it. Who is it? Succubus-chan Sakie! Even though I just wish she’d hurry up and get together with Tetsuo, her character by far has the most pathos, plus I mean, well… she’s so dang hot.
A-ha, keep it in your pants buddy. Sorry.
So final recommendation and score? If you’ve avoided this show because of a fear that it’s something else, then rest assured it’s a (mostly) wholesome, very entertaining, character driven comedy with rich character development and important messages about being yourself, the strength of confiding in others and asking for help and the power of friendships that extend beyond your usual groups. This is a rare demi-chan indeed, 94 out of 100.