[Series Review] “Monster Girls”, A Monster Success?

Anyone who isn’t new to anime will know that every time a new season of shows comes around we are treated with more than a fair amount of programs specifically aimed at titilating the audience. For the most part these shows are, while enjoyed, often brushed away after their run is over and a new set of sexually explicit shows come and take their place. But in the summer season of 2015 we were treated with a rather “monstrous” show formally known as Everyday Life with Monster Girls, or Monster Girls for short.

Now much like its predecessors, Monster Girls makes its trade in providing titilating material for the audience. At the same time, it also tries to incorporate as much slapstick humor and raunchy comedy as possible. And while there are many more attributes that Monster Girls takes from its explicit predecessors, I think that it has refined them in a way that we haven’t really seen before. At least not with this level of “quality”.

How Monster Girls has the same humor, but different

Now at its core Monster Girls is just another ecchi comedy. It’s just this time the subject happens to deal with girls that are monsters. And while that is partly the catch of the show, I don’t think people would have responded so positively to it just for its new angle in perversion. But at the same time, having the girls be monsters opens up some new elements that ultimately break this show out of the seemingly generic mold of commercially produced smut.

Having a world where monster races are slowly being integrated into human society really gives us room for world development that wouldn’t be present in a similar type of show. Monster Girls knows this and usually implements great world building into its comedy and perversion. This makes everything seem real and fresh, plus it scratches some of those itching questions on how a world with monster girls would even operate. Not only that but it gives us the classic comedy of a “fish out of water” scenario.

While we are introduced to a world that is changing due to monster girls, we are also introducing monster girls that know little about this world. So seeing these girls social faux paw’s work as strong comedy just for the fact that it allows their character to be something different. Or at least seem like their actions makes more sense when compared to other harem girls.

Here let’s do a little example where we consider which scenario is funnier. A girl who is dumb and forgetful because… that’s it. Most of the time in a harem show a girl is fitted with a certain personality trait for no rhyme or reason. Her character writing isn’t given any justification for being the way she is. Now lets look how Monster Girls dresses this type of personality. A girl who’s dumb and forgetful because she is a harpy and suffers from a severe case of bird brain. Now its hard to tell without more specific examples, but in the long run it will be the second one that will continue to be funny. Sometimes having that small sense of justification for a characters actions can be inch between rolling your eyes and rolling on the floor laughing. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to develop justifications for a characters actions, and it makes them, dare I say it, seem more like actual characters.

Having good characters really opens up the show for some good Friends/Seinfeld style comedy. The show knows this and manages to pair up certain characters that really play off of each other well, causing the scenes that they are together to be funny. I never thought I’d call the chemistry in a harem show good, but the girls in this show have really good chemistry and use that to makes jokes that don’t have anything to do with sex. It’s just funny stuff. Unfortunately the main character doesn’t contribute to this factor, on the fact that he is a generic as they come. But that’s fine because he’s basically just a MacGuffin anyway. (If you want to expand on what I mean by that you can read my editorial about Harems here)

So while there are many shows that have actual character development, it’s often very scarce in these harem shows. But the other edge that Monster Girls has over other harems is that it’s a harem of Monsters. Having snake’s, centaur’s and harpies just makes the range of jokes and physical comedy more open. And while most of this comedy stems from the main character being pummeled by his monster love interests, there are so many monster girls that there’s enough variety in the way they inflict pain to keep it fresh. That accompanied by the sheer high level or animation and crisp art style certainly help max out the effectiveness of these scenes.

Monster Girls brings a fresh brand of comedy to a stale genre. Its range of jokes is as different as the many types of monster girls that inhabit the show. And they pace the jokes in a nice and quick manner, never letting any one joke run stale.

Getting Your Rocks Off To Monsters

Of course all the sexual content is a big factor when reviewing a show that is using sex as its main hook. When you have it be the crux of your series it better be satisfying, and like most things sex appeal comes down to a preference. So its safe to say that you either like the sexy monster girls or you don’t. I don’t think its possible to ignore the monster bits and just get down with the human parts alone too. So unfortunately the monster parts can be a deal breaker. Personally I wasn’t really intrigued by sexy monsters, but the more I watched the more I grew to like it. All I’m saying is that its worth giving a try. Even if you think you don’t find monster girls sexy, you’ll never know until you hear a lamia explain/demonstrate how they’re species has sex.

Sex however isn’t always the thing that you will get off to. Most of the time the things that are sexualized in Monster Girls aren’t inherently sexy. But they manage to turn things like shedding snake-skin, or giving birth to a harpy egg hyper sexualized. And it works, perhaps more than the regular sexy stuff. The show presents something that by all means shouldn’t be sexy but forces you to interpret it as such. This may be just because I’m weird, but I think that if a show can make things that you would never in your wildest dreams thing was sexy, sexy, it deserves some props.

Another thing Monster Girls does well with these sexy scenes is keep them voyeuristic free, most of the time. This really makes the show stand out from other harem shows in terms of whether or not I feel gross for watching it. Monster Girls, while making me a little confused about the boners I’m getting, almost never makes me feel like a creep while watching it and that has to do with one major thing that it does that most harems don’t. It gives the girls sexual agency.

Now what does that mean necessarily? Basically it means that almost every time you see something that is meant to be arousing the female party is, more of less, in control of the situation. This may seem like a moot point, but it helps that the girls are wanting to engage in the acts that you are finding so titilating, as opposed to girls who are being more or less victims to sexual advances of male characters. But Monster Girls is far from perfect and unfortunately slips up in its sexual hijinks. Scarcely in the show you will get a girl being thrown into some sort of sexy situation and there will be male onlookers looking and panting in a very voyeuristic manner. I think this is meant to be played as comedy but since the show usually mixes sex and comedy so well, these scenes seem in congress from the rest of the show. I’m just thankful that they are so scarce.

Monster Girls Toned Down for TV audience

So for the most part Monster Girls fulfills its job, but what if I told you that you weren’t getting the full Monster Girls experience by watching it streaming on Crunchyroll. Well that is indeed the case. Like most ecchi shows the Monster Girls Blu-ray releases will have new cuts of footage revealing even more provocative shots while also revealing nipples in many scenes. And while its understandable that they didn’t have that stuff in the stream (I mean you know this airs on television right), I think that’s it’s a flaw in the way the show is presented. There are many scenes in the anime where its obvious that there is to be more to the scene but it’s just not present because of either Television regulations or incentives to buy said Blu-ray. But while I’m confident that once the home video release comes out in its uncensored glory that all these problems will be solved, I find it rather dumb that the thing I watched on TV wasn’t the whole thing. Now this ultimately didn’t come into consideration when I was scoring the show but I think its something to consider with this show and future broadcasts that you watch. Most of the time you’ll have to buy the home video release to get the real good stuff, thats just the way it is. If your interested in seeing what the uncensored Blu-ray will look like you can check out the NSFW comparison here.

Will Monster Girls have staying power

When you really think about it Monster Girls really won’t change your life or teach you anything. It isn’t suppose to, and that doesn’t make it any worse than a show that does, or tries to. If the contents are presented with the same care and manner that you would see in a show with more serious or thought-provoking lessons, then they are on the same level in my book. And the same reason you would go back to a show like Cowboy Bebop, I dare say that people will come back to Monster Girls in the future. Yes I just compared Monster Girls to Cowboy Bebop. Not because I think they are equals. But the reason you go back and watch Cowboy Bebop is because of how stylized, cool, and refreshing all the characters and story is. And while Monster Girls may not have it down as well as bebop, I think its refreshing and creative enough that there won’t ever be anything that will be able to capture what Monster Girls does in the same way. And hopefully that will give people an excuse to revisit this great show, whenever they feel a tingling in their pants or just want to laugh at its ridiculousness.

Logan Peterson
Logan Peterson
My names Logan and I love writing about Anime. Other art is guchi too. When I'm not writing gonzo reviews I'm writing books. *If interested look up The Dream Sequence on Amazon.* I usually write more editorial stuff than just plain reviews. I like my writing to be more big picture. I feel consumer reviews are a thing of the past and more personal reviews are the most valuable nowadays.