This is a harem comedy taken, potentially, to the zenith that it could go for. It is less about the fact that this guy has six ladies or 12 ladies or all the ladies in Kankakee chasing after him, but more as what they are. “Monster Musume” (“Everyday Life with Monster Girls” or, “Monsutā Musume no Iru Nichijō””), tells the very bizarre story of the very bizarre world that Kimihito Kurusu (Mr. Dazed and Confused up there) lives in.
After many, many years of vehement denials, the Japanese Government finally copped to the fact that these ‘monster girls’ exist. That revelation ‘occurred’ three years before the ‘start’ of the anime, brought forth by passing a legal bill, the “Interspecies Cultural Exchange Act”. Now, they are officially referred to as “liminals”, although some still call them ‘monsters’ (I prefer the term ‘exotics’, but that’s just me). Society is trying to mainstream them in, so there is no longer a culture shock when you see a dullahan walking down the street. Kimihito is a volunteer or a host family or patsy for one of them, Miia (redhead at one o’clock), who is a lamia (half human, half snake). About three to four feet of her is human; the rest (potentially a total of 30 feet) is her snake appendage.
Agent Smith (and let’s understand that they have played the “Matrix” aspect of it to the teeth with this one: dark glasses, black suit, earpiece, etc., etc., etc.), mistakenly dropped Miia off to him, but he couldn’t turn her away. This now gives Agent Smith (as lazy as they come, oh, and a her), carte blanche to drop off practically every other monster girl that shows up. His entourage eventually gives us:
Three o’clock: Meroune Lorelei “Mero” du Neptune, a mermaid.
Five o’clock: Rachnera “Rachnee” Arachnera, a spider woman (and potentially a black widow at that!)
Seven o’clock: Papi. She’s a harpy (half human, half bird, although it might be more 60-40).
Nine o’clock: Centorea “Cerea” Shianus, a centaur.
Eleven o’clock: Suu, a slime, although that is a bit insulting. More like an amorphous blob.
The series covers not only how Kimihito amasses this sextet (possibly a seventh, but I am uncertain about that), but all the problems and concerns that are generated when they show up. And therein lays the plethora of problems.
Note the title: “Monster Girls”. With the exception of some orcs, there are no guys to see. Aren’t there mermen, male centaurs, snake guys? Perhaps, but (and you may have noticed this) guys do not have boobs, which lead us to the second problem: unrelenting fan service.
With the exception of Papi, all the ladies here have two heaping scoops of fan service, with Centorea leading the pack. She is so large, each one of her boobies needs its own stable. Suu, our slime gal, needs to retain water (and all women know how that feels). So, where can she store them? What part of her would be a good place to put on some more water? That’s right, she can pack some mighty full reservoirs. And now we arrive at the biggest concern: intent.
I made “Ikki Tousen” the top of my fan service list because of intent. It’s not merely that we saw these things, but there was a huge amount of implication made as well as to some kind of canoodling and shenanigans. This series has mounds of boob clutching and jiggly jiggly heaven and nudiditity. I will give a small example. Kii, a dryad, has become tall and menacing, owing to her absorbing toxins through her root system from an illegal dump site in the forest. Those toxins need to be sucked from her! What two parts of her can we use to suck those toxins out? And how much needs to be sucked out? Does anyone know the answer? Yup, yup and yup! There are other examples about as bad/daring, but I won’t discourse them, as part of the humor comes from that. But be prepared for lots and lots of ‘misunderstandings’. Oh, and there are lots of monster girls that are not part of Kimihito’s family who like him as well.
We have MON. Monster Ops: Neutralization. You see, humans cannot harm monsters, but monsters can run amok. BUT nothing stops a monster from icing another monster, thus this swat team, which consists of an ogress, a zombie, a monoeye (as ‘cyclops’ is an offensive term) and a doppelgänger (although ‘shape shifter’ would be a better description). Yet, they all like ‘Darling’ (as Kimihito is referred to), as he treats them all as normal. Look, I’ve been in the dating pool; a dragon lady would be a piece of cake compared to some folks I was with!
The last problem I have is a rather paste-on, phony crisis at the end, wherein our hero is threatened with death by some unknown faction, so to lure out the attacker, he goes on dates with all the monster girls. Hilarity ensures as everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. And with Agent Smith being totally and completely as useful as a sourdough bread boat, well, Bob’s your uncle.
Please understand it is not a terrible show, but I feel that a little less fan service and a bit more social commentary would have elevated things a bit beyond frat-boy humor (you will understand when you see Darling go on a date with Zombina. Talk about things falling apart!). One additional item: at the very end of the show, there is a bestiary. This is a book about wild creatures and animals. We see a ‘page’ from it, describing one of the creatures we have seen in the episode. This is both useful and informative, as there is a lot more going on with these exotics that we have been initially led to believe. It is rather word-dense, so I merely paused the page and read it through, as they have four listings per page.
And I would be remiss in saying that the ‘adventures’ are far from over, as we still have to come across a kobold, a devil, a kitsune, a minotaur, a faun, a…you get the point. Second season, ho!
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (With that much fan service, they had best be cutie pies)
Plot 7 (Standard, with a twist of lime)
Pacing 7 (Gets rather screwball comedy)
Effectiveness 7 (I would have liked a bit more conflict)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 9 (A similar show would be “Eiken”)
Overall 7 (Missed overall opportunities)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Oh, Darling!