Some people think that slice of life anime with a bland protagonist surrounded by cute girls that he wants to sleep with is a bad thing. In a lot of cases, they are correct, but when the harem consists of a lamia (snek girl), harpy (berb girl), and centaur (horse girl) you’d be hard-pressed to find a more diverse cast for wacky shenanigans.
Release Date: February 12th, 2018 (Standard DVD and Bluray out April 9th)
Format: Collector’s Edition Combo Pack, Blu-ray, DVD
Language: English, Japanese
Episodes: 1-12 + 2 OVAs
Discs: 4 DVD, 2 BD
Run Time: 350 minutes
Kimihito Kurusu is living alone when an agent from the rather recently established interspecies exchange program drops off Miia, the seven-metre-long half-snake, half-human, girl to live with him for the foreseeable future, due to a clerical error. Crazy “sex”-capades ensue, as all girls love a nice guy.
Monster Musume, or Monmusu for short, spends most of its runtime doing two specific things; either a new type of monster girl is introduced, and then usually moves in with Kimihito (Darling), or one of the monster girls’ unique aspects needs to be dealt with, such as skin-shedding or egg-laying. Both of these plot points are to achieve the same end goal, having Darling, and, by extension, the audience, learn more about each of these girls and understand everything about them, even their non-human parts. Some people think of this as an allegory to accepting different races, or disabilities, but it’s more generalised than that; everyone can relate to someone not understanding the little eccentricities you possess.
One of the most interesting characters in the show is Suu, voiced by Mayuka Nomura, who, coincidently, has only had one other significant role, as the main girl of Mujaki no Rakuen. Suu is interesting from both a vocal performance and her monster traits; as she is a slime. As slimes retain more water, their bodies get bigger and bigger, while they also get smarter. While in her smaller form, Suu talks in a fashion similar to a baby, and as she absorbs more water, becomes more articulate. This is almost completely lost in the dub, as Monica Rial (Yona in Yona of the Dawn, Tama in Selector Infected WIXOSS) fails at the basic level of this. Her young voice sounds more like a parent talking to their child, and her older voice doesn’t even have a hint they are the same character. This is such a shame as well; the VAs for Darling, Smith and the main 3 girls used for promotion of the show are so well cast, and each have clear distinguishable voices that stick out from each other.
On the music side of things, the BGM only had one stand out track that’ll stick in your head, “Nani Chirachira Mi Tell No?”. The lackadaisical elevator music-like sound during the low tension scenes has a refreshing feeling between punchlines and ‘dramatic tension.’ The OP, “Saikousoku Fall in Love” sung by the main cast of monster girls, focuses on the love aspect of the show, and pairs nicely with the visuals, that are mostly focused on the girls doing cute things; which it was clearly trying to aim for.
As this is the home media release of a harem show, this is the uncensored version. If you watched this while it was airing, you’d now think this was a completely different release, with nipples flopping onto the screen at least 3 times an episode, with small, big and horse sized breasts there to fit into everyone’s preferred size. As a fan of ecchi this is a big bonus to me, but sometimes reaches the point of boob fatigue; and especially since this is also supposed to be a comedy, having 70% of the punchlines be “Look, boobies!” means this show isn’t for everyone.
The most creative thing MonMusu does that makes it stick out from the crowd, is the “Almost Everyday! Shorts” included on the final disc. These short, approximately 30 second, episodes were released every weekday for 12 weeks during the anime’s initial runtime; yes, 60 episodes. Watching these as the show came out made you feel like MonMusu was really part of your everyday life. The effort Sentai must have expended to acquire these and even dub them all is worthy of praise and is definitely the best part of the release.
Luckily, those shorts aren’t the only digital bonuses included. A short list includes; Clean OP&ED, uncensored Music Videos of full-length opening and ending songs (with toggle-able subs for both romaji and translated lyrics), Character profile PVs, and other promotional videos for the anime, singles, character songs, and sentai trailers. Luckily, both OVAs of the show are also included in the release, one of which wasn’t even out in Japan until 2 years after the show aired so would be the kind of extra not usually included in international releases.