Title: Monster Musume no Iro Nichijou aka Everyday Life with Monster Girls
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 7 Jul 2015 – 22 Sep 2015
Synopsis: Kimihito Kusuru definitely didn’t anticipate how complicated his life would become when a girl named Miia came from a foreign land to live with him. That land, it turns out, is populated by monsters and Miia is short for lamia, a kind of snake girl. Entering his life through a species exchange program, her well-being is now his responsibility, whatever that may entail. Adjusting to the behaviors and needs of one monster girl is challenge as is, especially given Miia’s clingy behavior. And her attachment only gets worse when an air-headed harpy named Pappy and a chivalrous centaur name Cerea enter the fray, both vying for her darling Kusuru’s heart.
Setup: If there is innovation to be found in the harem genre, it won’t be here.
Aesthetic: If monster girls is your fetish, you won’t be disappointed.
Humor: Sometimes creative, sometimes dull, sometimes cringe-worthy. Often at least two.
Suu: Should exist in real life.
If my opinions of Eiken and Seikon no Qwasar didn’t make it clear, I’m not one to be particularly impressed by sexploitation as humor. At its most harmless, it’s inane and comically infertile. At its worst, nausea flows like the Nile. Neither do I have much love for harem genre, being a tired insert fantasy reliant on tired characterization based on tired values. It should be no surprise, then, that I find Monster Musume to be both played out and offensive to both good taste and good humor. Now having said all that though, Monster Musume does manage to find a niche that makes it at least entertaining.
There is no mincing words here, the first episodes of this series are atrocious, exemplifying the worst traits of the harem genre. The permeating joke throughout the series is one one the oldest tricks in the fan service book on steroids. Whether by accident or intent, not a minute goes by without a character being sexually assaulted, occasionally crossing into rape territory. Even ignoring the horror of trivializing sexual violence, the jokes fail due to their banal presentation, which somehow makes them more offensive. The only thing that more disturbing is the fact that I found myself laughing, eventually that is.
Everything I have said still applying, Monster Musume manages to get mileage out of its jokes the more it milks its monster girl angle, sometimes quite literally. Put simply, this anime seeks to answer the kinds of anatomical questions about mythological beings that one only asks after their third vodka. Subjects from lamia skin shedding to harpy ovulation are explored, very much in the name of shock value. Absurdity and shamelessness are the show’s most valued assets. With this in mind, the contrast between what works and what doesn’t is fairly sharp. At one end of the spectrum, Cerea is a dead horse of a character whose only traits are her chivalry and untamable breasts. At the other extreme is the slime girl Suu who bypasses genre convention of moé blobs by being a literal a blob. Amusingly, not being weighed down by a human personality gives her greater range than the rest of the cast with regards to her gag, which often involve gagging her darling Kusuru. Were the show exclusively about her exploits, I just might call it brilliant.
Can I call Monster Musume good? No. Can I call it decent? That’s a stretch of the word. Even to call it funny is pushing the envelope when so much of humor falls flatter than Pappy’s chest. It has its merits as eye candy for those who find the presence of monster girls reason enough to watch. But for the casual viewer, guilty appreciation is the only phrase I can use to describe a series which features a mermaid with a Hans Christian Anderson fetish. I bemoan ever saying, “turn off your brain to enjoy,” for Monster Musume. However, it may be a survival mechanism to take in the shock and awe of slime Godzilla suckling a nyad into submission.
The Rating: 5
Reviewed by: Kavik Ryx