Welcome to the Imouri Anime Review, where people vote for an anime that the Imouri team will review. The anime will be reviewed using these four criteria; Story, Animation, Character Development, and World-Building. Each category will be given of score (1-10), and then an overall score will be determined.
This month we focused on some anime in my personal collection, anime of the fan service variety. The anime choices could be considered too hot to handle. The users from the Secret Anime Club voted for three sizzling anime titles. After voting ended, the anime that got the most votes was Monster Musume: Everyday Life with Monster Girls for the July 2021 review.
Warning: This anime is suitable for Adult viewers. I recommend this if your over 18 and highly into ecchi fan service.
Monster Musume follows the daily life of Kimihito Kurusu, aka Darling, aka Honey, aka Master, aka Beloved. He lives with a group of monster girls under the Interspecies Cultural Exchange Act. The law is designed for the recently discovered liminal race so that each species' culture can be exchanged with humans for better understanding. In the universe of Monster Musume, a liminal race is a cross between humans and a specific species like arachnids or snakes. Agent Smith, the Interspecies Exchange Coordinator, constantly uproots Kimihito's life by adding a new housemate into his home. Her crew continually destroys and remodels his home to fit the needs of the new girls. Ohh, did I mention that the housemates are all hot babes? Now is life is turned upside as multiple lovely ladies try to seduce, court, and even force Kimihito into marrying one of them.
Miia the Lamia
Papi the Harpy
Centorea Shianus aka Cerea, a Centaur
Suu the Slime
Meroune Lorelei aka Mero, a mermaid
Rachnera Arachnera aka Rachnee, the Arachne
All of these girls fight for Kimihito's feelings to see who can be the one to marry or mate with him first. There is often conflict between all the girls, albeit not bad blood, to see who gets Kimihito. Miia is often seen in the middle of most conflicts as she has declared Kimihito hers while the other girls are in the way.
There really is not much to the story of Monster Musume. There is a clear passage of time, but much like Nichijou, another anime I reviewed earlier, the story is really full of funny, sexual moments. Let's be honest, most people watching Monster Musume are not in it for the story plot; they are in it for the PLOT, if you know what I mean. There are more sexual innuendos in a single episode that you can quickly lose count of. The story is just to push a narrative of pure fan service. While there is that passage of time, most of the episodes are of some unexpected situation the girls and Kimihito get into. Often one or multiple girls having their breasts exposed due to a plot device. Overall, this is for entertainment purposes only, and one does not show up for the series story elements.
Story Score: 2/10
Monster Musume has a pretty straightforward animation design. Just like other anime designed in the mid-2010s, the anime focuses heavily on character design. More on character design soon. The background animation is standard, not bad or good. It reminds you of your typical slice of life anime. As for action/fight scenes, they are fast-paced and animated pretty well. I have to note that the animation slightly changes at some points in Monster Musume due to different character scenarios. One example of this is when Suu is fighting another monster, Suu takes the form of a Godzilla-like monster. The background scene is that of a traditional-style giant monster movie filmed in Japan.
The intro Saikōsoku Fall in Love performed by the voice actors of the monster ladies and the outro Hey Smith, performed by the voice actors of Agent Smith and her ladies, is also a lovely bonus to the series. The intro is very fast-paced, energetic, cute, and gets you ready to enjoy the upcoming episode. In each opening, you also get a rapid introduction to the main girls of the series. The outro has a bit of a different feel as the music changes to a rock theme. You are also introduced to a few more monster girls, plus Agent Smith. You learn about those monster girls in later episodes. There is even one episode where the intro and outro are switched.
Saikōsoku Fall in Love Opening
Also, another style of animation I want to point out is Kimihito's face. Most of the time, it's simplistic, but on more serious matters, his face changes animation styles. I find this to be interesting because the series puts more of a focus on the housemates.
One thing I want to point out with the series animation is the girl's jiggle physics. The series does a great job at accentuating the bounciness of all the ladies ' oppai; that's boobs in Japanese for anyone who doesn't know. Plus, all of the sexualized scenes are very articulated. An example of this is when Suu slimes the girls on numerous occasions or how Papi eats ice cream. The animation shines best during all the very erotic scenes, especially since this anime is all about fan service.
Overall, the animation is pretty average. There is no wow factor, but it is not bad. It does what it's good at, which is making hyper erotic scenes look great.
Animation Score: 4/10
I can say about Monster Musume because it has some pretty good character development, at least from the girl's perspective. Throughout the series, you learn about the different housemates and how they come to love Kimihito. They all love him in their own unique ways. Some of the housemates are more hyper-sexualized than others. Despite all the housemates, differences throughout the series, they begin to grow on one another. The dynamic slowly turn from straight rivalry/hostility to more of a family environment, but still the rivalry. There are moments throughout the series where the girls trust one another to protect Kimihito or other housemates.
While Miia has some of the biggest rivalries with the other monster babes, she starts to open up and trust Cera, despite Cera being, in her eyes, the biggest rival in the house. You begin to see Papi become a little bit smarter, not by much, but it's certainly there. Papi's growth starts to grow from a more child-like attitude to an actual contender for Kimihito's love.
Cera first viewed the relationship between her and Kimihito as a master and servant style relation, like a knight and its king. But she slowly starts fantasizing about a more housewife role, going as far as fantasizing about her and Kimihito running away and eloping, then having kids, despite her hyper-focused attitude. At first, Cera's relationship with Rachnee was a rocky start, but she grows to trust her, even though she is a hot spider girl.
Rachnee's growth is one of trust with humans. At first, she views humans as repulse because she believes humans only like her top half. That quickly changes when she meets Kimihito. They start to form a bond, albeit a bond in her eyes where she loves to tie him and the other girls up sadomasochist style. Suu also has some significant growth. She starts off as a shy, slime girl, but she becomes more intelligent and more reliable as the series progresses.
There are some characters that I believe do not have good character growth. Agent Smith, Kimihito, and Mero, all the same, to have very little or no growth at all. Kimihito is seen to grow a little bit, being more caring and assertive to the monster girls. Mero and Agent Smith, however, seem to have little to no growth at all. They are just there for more comedic relief.
Overall, I think the character development is pretty good. I would like to see more growth from Agent Smith and Kimihito. But overall, I would say it's fair. It's not crazy character growth, but it's undoubtedly there.
Character Development Score: 6/10
Another strong aspect of the series is world-building. I believe there are two types of world-building happening at the same time in the series. The first one I want to mention is the apparent world of the monster girls. You learn about the cultures of each of the monster girls. Little by little, you begin to understand the liminal race's traditions, lifestyles, and etymology. Even a short segment at the end of each episode gives more details about the liminal race that the episode focused on, such as learning more about different lamias and harpies. It's fascinating that the series put a lot of detail into the world-building aspect, despite having a ton of fan service. Believe me, I don't think any series can make a lamia more sexy, appealing, and loveable.
The second world-building aspect I want to mention is Japan itself and the Interspecies Cultural Exchange Act. Throughout Monster Musume, you clearly see the changing times of Japan due to the introduction of the liminal race. Some shops cater to all liminal races, while other places, such as a gym that are slowly building from the ground up to help cater to specific liminal races. You can even see pushback from certain humans that do agree to the exchanging cultures. Throughout the series, there is a couple who, to be honest, feel like they misrepresent the United States people that find the liminal race and human race exchanging repulsive.
Agent Smith even admits there are loopholes in the Interspecies Cultural Exchange Act that need to be addressed. A new world where humans and the liminal race start to co-exist that is being built before our eyes. Overall, I find the world-building aspect very intriguing and a big part of the series.
World-Building Score: 9/10
We are taking a break for August as I will be primarily out of town throughout the month. However, in September, we will start right back up, and the September theme is School. I have some great choices for the next series to vote on. See you all later!
*Images are from the My Anime List website and the Monster Musume Wiki. Videos are from YouTube that the channel owners listed. Gifs are from Gfycat.com and Knowyourmeme.com. We do not own any of these images. Credit to all artists of the images and credit goes to the creators of the anime series.