Sunday, June 23, 2024

Interviews with Monster Girls: A Breath of Fresh Air?

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As a writer and a fan, I like to think my true experience is in the field of Japanese Culture/Anime/Manga. I spent 5 years total and a majority of my High School career living in Tokyo and I made sure to gain as much knowledge and insight into such a beautiful and remarkable country. Thats why I decided to go back to my roots and do a piece on an area I like to think I know a decent amount about.

Winter 2017 as a season has been, in my opinion extremely unremarkable. The Anime coming out has yet to impress me, and even though I have high hopes for shows like Masamune-Kun Revenge and Akiba’s Trip The Animation in terms of my own taste, nothing really seems like its gonna break through the mold and impress fans.

That doesn’t mean that a few haven’t come close, and for me the one that has caught my attention the most has been Interviews With Monster Girls. Though it’s no One Punch Man or Yuri!!! on Ice, I believe the show can grow into something sweet and adorable, with its fair level of comedic laughs and an interesting take on what I believed to be a one trick pony type of genre. With only 3 episodes out, I’m gonna do a quick dabble on what I like, what I didn’t, and what could be improved in upcoming episodes.

Originally a manga, IWMG is being produced by A-1 Pictures, a very respectable company with their names slapped on major franchises such as Fairy Tail and Your Lie in April. The story follows a world in which beings known as Demi Humans exist. These Humans are like ordinary people, but with traits changed to make them what we know as monsters. These Demi’s are protected by the government and, as the times change, are able to do things like go to school and live normal lives without judgement. Takahashi Tetsuo, a biology teacher at a high school that has 3 Demi’s, takes it upon himself to write his college thesis upon these rare phenomenons.

What I like: One of the most endearing qualities about this show, and ultimately the driving force behind why it took me so long to even attempt to watch this show, was the genre. When one thinks of Monster Girls, I guarantee the first thing that comes to mind is Monster Musume or any amount of hentai based anime. The genre is littered with the same exact show recycled over and over again with only minor changes to which type of creature the MC is trying to get his rocks off too. IWMG doesn’t do this however, and instead tackles the idea from a completely other side. The focus on the daily struggles of these girls to live normal lives in a world that was originally terrified of them makes for adorable character development. Each girl has her own struggles to deal with, struggles that actually monster girls would have, and we get to see how the world tackles it. The 3 main girls are cute beyond belief, and each has amazing qualities that makes the Best Girl debate super hard. I also love the lack of romance in this. There are still adult jokes yes, but I’m not terrified that one of these girls will shag up with the teacher and it makes me have a new view on the genre.

What I didn’t like: With only 3 episodes so far, its hard to really find too many flaws. I do have a bit of an issue on the relationship between Machi, the Dullahan, and Tetsuo. She has a blatant crush on him, and though I’m 100 percent confident that this will never happen, it still is something I wish they could have avoided. It plays as a major point for her development yes, but this could have been done with a number of characters. Currently that’s my only true flaw, but as the season goes on maybe I can find a bit more.

What can improve: I’m really hoping for more strife. This is a world in which judgement is lessened, but it can’t be gone. I want to see these girls attacked for their problems, and see how they can grow into mature adults. I’m all for the beauty of fluff, but the angst could do wonders for their development.

Should you follow it: I honestly think it’s worth keeping an eye on. The episodes are super easy to get into, the characters are lovable, and the plot is refreshing. There is so much potential for this to be an amazing and heartwarming slice of life piece with supernatural elements.

All in all, for 3 episodes worth of content I find myself really hooked. This is an anime where you could sit down with a bowl of popcorn, relax and over just watch without getting too fired up. A sweet relaxing piece with funny jokes and real struggles of monster girls not many people every actually think of. One of my personal favorites being; how can a girl who holds her head in her hand really use the toilet? These are the real struggles you can explore in Interviews with Monster Girls.

Images courtesy of A-1 Pictures

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