A Centaurs Life offers an interesting example of the idea of what you are going to get when you start a show and what actually plays out. In this case you signed up because it looks like it’ll be a monster girl series with a bunch of cute characters enjoying their High School lives. It turns out there is a lot more under the surface which helps the series to benefit. This allows the series to become much more than the sum of its parts.
The story focuses around Himeno who everyone calls “Hime” (princess) because she’s so cute and ladylike. Along with her two friends Nozomi and Kyouko, the three of them go about their High School adventures. This concept would allow for a standard slice of life series but the world which is presented makes the series standout.
The underlying factor is the world is basically held together by a thin structure. The centaurs, demons, angels, merfolk, and snake people of the arctic are all on the verge of a devastating race war and secret organizations are the only thing keeping the world from devolving into chaos. Unlike shows like Monster Musume where everyone is perfectly capable of getting along and there seems to be no major internal tensions, A Centaur Life shows varying ways of portraying how society can pull strings behind the scenes. Propaganda exists in the form of a magical girl series talking about how its best to go with the group ideal. Flashbacks show scenes of World War II with the different species being place in internment camps. When was the last time an anime really tried to portray such intensity in one episode and excessive cuteness in the next?
The visual design of this series helps to mask the hidden intensity which allows this series to stand out. The delicate and charming appearance of the monster girls puts the audience into a sense of security. The intriguing details of the different types of creatures, how they would go about their daily lives and the adaptations which would have to be made.
The music is interesting and uplifting. The opening song, Oshiete Darwin by Purely Monster starts sugary and pop like but twisted into an action ballad. Meanwhile the ending, “Edelweiss” by Asaka showcases gentleness and calm with the beauty of a flower. Along with the insertion songs, this is one fans of anime music will be enjoying for a while.
If you are looking for a series with a mixture of humor but leaves you with some deep thoughts to ponder on this is the series for you. A Centaur’s Life is soft when it needs to be and harsh when you least suspect it. This series easily found a way to become one of the best anime of the year.
A Centaur’s Life is streaming on Crunchyroll.