Interviews with Monster Girls was not quite what I was expecting. With its title and general description, I assumed it would be yet another fanservice-heavy harem comedy. Still, I did not have any more appealing options available, so I gave it a chance. Despite the setup, the show feels more like general slice of life series with comedy, and I would say it is a pretty good one at that.
The show centers around the lives of four “demi-human” girls (demis) and the biology teacher who wants to study them. Demis are rare and the world does not know much about them, and this is what initially gets Mr. Takahashi interested in these girls. Of course, he quickly realizes that they are still individuals with their own unique personalities outside of just being demis.
The first demi that Takahashi meets is Hikari the vampire. With her energetic and mischievous nature, she tends to be a major source of comedy in the serious. Thanks to her infectious enthusiasm, she quickly befriends the rest of the cast and helps bring them together. As a vampire, she does not handle the heat too well, and so she spends much of her time in Takahashi’s air conditioned lab.
Maki’s plight is perhaps the most obvious out of the group. Since she is a dullahan, she has to carry her head everywhere. Naturally, this makes quite a few tasks inconvenient and sometimes even dangerous. Additionally, she has to cope with having a crush on a teacher. She is also so polite that her attempts at jokes seem awkward and she has a good head on her shoulders (figuratively speaking).
Sakie is a mathematics teacher and a succubus. She goes out of her way to avoid crowds and dresses in an unprovocative manner so as to not inadvertently charm men. Since she can never be certain if a man is actually interested in her or if their attraction is just a result of her aphrodisiac effect, she remains single and lonely. When Takahashi does his best to act normal after accidentally bumping into her, Sakie convinces herself that he is immune to her effect. Thinking this is her only chance to experience legitimate love, she quickly becomes enamored and starts awkwardly flirting with him.
Early on in the series, Yuki the snow woman worries that she may freeze people, so she avoids contact with others. Due to her seemingly cold behaviour, certain students start saying nasty things about her behind her back. After a series of positive events, she lets down her barrier and begins living as a mostly normal girl. Though she would never admit it, she is rather fond of puns and dirty jokes.
Takahashi often works with the girls to try to understand the science and lore behind their unusual conditions. However, the science in this show is not always perfect. Most notably, there is a lengthy scene in which a scientist talks in circles while incorrectly describing observation in quantum mechanics. Occasional flaws aside, these serious scenes grounded in reality help balance out the tone of the show.
While most stories dealing with diversity merely emphasize equality, Interviews with Monster Girls goes in a better direction. This series stresses both fair treatment and the importance of remaining aware of the struggles of those who are different. If we ignore our differences because they are inconvenient or forget about them because they are not what truly matters, we can easily become blind to the hardships others must face. This show handles this subject so well that it feels worth watching just for its message alone.
It would be easy to say that this series does not stand out visually. There are no flashy action sequences here. Furthermore, the show has a generic school setting. This makes everything easier to relate to, but it does little to excite the eye. Still, the animations that are present are fluid enough and the art is fairly crisp. The character designs look relatively plain, but the abundance of bright colours helps convey the upbeat tone.
Despite having a succubus in the cast, Interviews with Monster Girls has surprisingly little fanservice. Of the fanservice that is present, a not insignificant portion features Takahashi. This usually appears for the sake of setting up a humorous reaction, but still, sensei’s arms are totally rockin’.
While Takahashi is not the only male in the series, he is the only one in the main cast. Normally this would mean he must be the protagonist, but that is not necessarily the case here. The show follows each of the girls just as often as Takahashi and even lets the audience hear their thoughts. Combined with the relative lack of fanservice, this keeps the show from feeling like it is merely catering to a common male fantasy.
The entire cast of the English dub for Interviews with Monster Girls put in great performances. As I mentioned before, the series has quite a few comedic reactions and the voice providers delivered each one perfectly. Outside of punchlines, every line sounds perfectly natural; none of the dialogue feels awkward. I also watched a few episodes with subtitles for the sake of comparison. I did not hear any particularly amazing performances, but there was nothing to complain about either. The two scripts seem to convey the same ideas, though I would say Funimation‘s phrasing of jokes is funnier than Crunchroll‘s translation.
As this is a slice of life show, the dialogue is typically more important than anything else. This series does have music in the background, but it is nearly imperceptible in most scenes and that is a good thing. Apart from the opening and ending, the only track that stood out was a nice acoustic piece during an otherwise silent montage near the end. From what I heard when I made point of trying to listen, the background music fits the mood well enough.
I enjoyed Interviews with Monster Girls enough that I want to recommend it to everyone. Of course, different people have different tastes and those who do not enjoy the genre will not like this show. This series features some great comedy as well as some genuinely touching moments. It also tackles serious social issues while staying mostly cheerful overall. If you are in the mood for a slower paced comedy or an optimistic slice of life tale, this series is definitely worth watching.