Tetsuo Takahashi is a biology teacher who is fascinated by demi-humans. Unfortunately for him, only about ten percent of the human population are demis, and despite his interest in writing a thesis about them he has never met one thus far. However, at the start of the new school year he manages to meet four of them; Sakie Satou, a succubus; Hikari Takanashi, a vampire; Kyoko Machi, a dullahan; and Yuki Kusakabe, a yuki-onna. Takahashi manages to get friendly enough with the girls to interview them and begins to understand their nature.
This was one of the new anime that I was really looking forward to this season and I’m pleased to announce that it didn’t disappoint. Monster girl shows aren’t usually my bag due to the overt fanservice in titles like Monster Musume, but Interviews With Monster Girls is a fun, good natured slice of life comedy that doesn’t veer into the same territory. I cannot wait to watch more of this show that features an non-sexualised succubus.
All of the characters introduced so far have been likeable. My absolute standout for this episode was Hikari – not surprising since she was the main focus due to being the first demi to agree to talk to Tetsuo. She’s fun, confident and easily excitable, and her vampiric nature was an excellent source of comedy in this episode – as was her relationship with her non-demi twin sister, Himari. Sakie, the succubus maths teacher who chooses to wear baggy clothes so that she can get on with her life normally, was a sympathetic character and I can’t wait to see more of her – the sight gags used in her scenes were great and established her personality really well. We haven’t seen much of Kyoko or Yuki so far but I’m interested in seeing more in the next few episodes.
The visual style works well. The backdrops in the opening scene are really pretty but we don’t get to see much more since the rest of the episode is set inside the school. The opening had some neat, quirky ideas too – a pop-up book style was used to establish each of the girls and the myths behind their demi side. It was a really fun touch that made the opening memorable for me.
What I like most about the premise is that it allows the viewer to see how the girls are inconvenienced by their demi status as well. You could see being a demi-human as an allegory for being part of a marginalised group; for being someone who has a disability, especially. Kyoko is an excellent example of this: she is inconvenienced with a long walk to school every day because the public transport services don’t really cater to her needs – namely that when it’s crowded it’s too dangerous for her to use. Complaining about the unique troubles she faces as a demi-human makes her human classmates uncomfortable which is a reaction that is all too common in real life for marginalised groups as well. This is why I’m excited to see her friendship with Hikari develop: she understands, agrees with her and relates Kyoko’s experiences to her own, bringing them closer together. I really hope that they continue to bring up the issues that demis face in later episodes as well – especially regarding Sakie, who faces some very difficult problems due to her succubus nature.
After how dire a lot of the premieres were up to this point, Interviews With Monster Girls was truly a breath of fresh air. It’s a fun, light comedy with a lot of potential and a unique take on what could have been a generic premise. I’d definitely recommend it.