Welcome, one and all, to another anime review. This time around, we’re looking at the runner-up in the 2017 Crunchyroll of the Dice tournament, Interviews With Monster Girls.
Background: The series is written and illustrated by Petos and began serialisation in September 2014 in Kodansha’s Young Magazine the 3rd. The anime adaption is by A1 Pictures, whose previous work includes Blue Exorcist, Sword Art Online and the Persona 5 anime.
The story is a simple one: Demi-humans, aka demis, are now a part of human society. Biology teacher Tetsuo Takahashi has always been interested in demis and starts working with a handful of demi students to not only make their assimilation smooth, but to learn more about them.
The Good: Okay, I’m going to start out here by mentioning the characters. On the whole, they’re a likable bunch, but two in particular stand out. The lesser of these is Tetsuo Takahashi. The teacher is a kind-hearted person, and while his desire to learn more about demis sometimes overrides good sense, he really does tend to act with his students’ best interests at heart. Yes, he can be a little dense at times – such as failing to notice that both dullahan Kyoko Machi and math teacher Saki Sato have crushes on him – but he comes across as a genuinely good person. That we have an adult lead rather than a teen lead is also a bonus. The teacher pales in comparison to Hikari Takanashi though. The vampire is the first demi that we encounter, and she is an absolute delight. Easily as kind hearted as our leading man, she’s also cheeky, energetic, and the source of many of the show’s memorable scenes. Even in the slower moments of the series, she continues to entertain, and that makes her a wonderful addition to the cast.
The story itself is a strange one in that there isn’t really a major plotline as such. Most of the show is essentially built around the idea of presenting various ideas as to how demi-humans may live. It’s a nice change of pace from epic storytelling though, and the execution is good. It’s a minor point, but the way that Machi’s crush on her teacher is dealt with is also better than I expected. There was so much potential for the set-up to stray into some dodgy territory, but the show avoids that well. It also avoids the disappointment that I had with Monster Musume – this is not a fan service heavy show, but rather a light-hearted comedy about the lives of those who are not entirely human.
In general terms, the show does a good job of achieving what it needs to. The animation is decent if not stand-out, and both the opening and closing themes (see bottom of the post) are enjoyable. There really is very little to complain about here.
The Bad: One thing prevents this form getting full marks: while never unwatchable, the show doesn’t quite manage to maintain the quality of the first couple of episodes for its duration. The early parts of the series are a joy because we get a focus on a new character pretty much every episode. This means that we get to cover some new ground and watch the early bonds between the characters grow. Once the core cast are in place though, things slow to a more leisurely pace. Like I said, it’s not bad, it just doesn’t quite hold on to the charm quite as tightly.
Sub or Dub: I’ve not seen the dub as yet. The subbed version is great though. In particular, Kaede Hondo did a stellar job brining Hikari to life.
Final View: It may start to lose steam once it hits the half-way mark, but at only 13 episodes in length, the series manages to entertain nonetheless. Interviews With Monster Girls was a big surprise for me; light-hearted, well-natured, and full of genuine laughs.
Final Score: 4 out of 5