In this Interviews with Monster Girls review, we talk about funny stuff.
The more anime I consume, the more I grow to appreciate the simpler premises that go for a more subdued tone or style. Between heartbreaking shogi dramas and hilarious RPG-world shenanigans, an occasional breather series goes a long way. And one of my favourite from this Winter season is the quirky, yet charming Interviews with Monster Girls.
Our story takes place in an age where demi-humans, also known as ‘demis’, have become a natural part of modern society. Vampires, dullahans, snow women, and succubi coexist with regular humans. At a certain school, biology teacher Tetsuo Takahashi ends up with several demis as students, whom he begins to talk with outside of class in order to better understand the lives of different demis.
To assuage your fears: No, this show is not like Everyday Life with Monster Girls, another show of similar premise that instead took a hyper fetishistic route drowning in fan service.
Why does the Interviews with Monster Girls comedy work so well?
Interviews With Monster Girls on the other hand goes for a more relaxed slice of life comedy, something that the series excels at. The anime exudes a sense of pleasantness through its relatively calm atmosphere. It is still a comedy at its core, however, and the comedic timing and visuals are great at getting a decent chuckle out of me through less extravagant, but still hilarious humour.
Takahashi works perfectly as the straight man for this series. Rather than the loud and explosive punchlines we’re so use to from anime, his routine is much more deadpan and matter-of-fact, and so the surprising authenticity of his delivery makes the punchlines than much funnier. The rest of the cast that he plays off are just as fun to watch, as their different personalities influence the ‘loudness’ of the humour they act out.
The series also has a bit of meat to it as well in how demis actually have some legitimate problems coping with a predominantly human world. I really enjoy how it presents these problems in a matter of fact way that simply needs understanding to solve, rather than resolving some overblown circumstances.
However, this is also the most give-and-take aspect of the series, with some of the dramatic elements just not having as much impact as they could have. Tone shifts in anime are something I’ve grown accustomed to and even begun to enjoy in recent months, but this series just doesn’t handle it as well as its contemporaries.
The technical side of this Interviews with Monster Girls anime could do with some work.
A-1 Pictures’ work on the animation doesn’t exactly stand out, but it’s very competent at what it attempts to do. The soft colour palette and lighting lends to a very relaxing setting, and the character designs are cute, but not overly sugary. The animation also works wonders on the comedy, with its quick-paced editing and downplaying of fanfare creating a brisk and fast-hitting style that got me to literally lol quite a bit.
The soundtrack managed to grab my attention as well with its bubbly serenity, so it came as no surprise that the composer turned out to be Masaru Yokoyama, one of my favourite soundtrack composers working today. Through a combination of acoustic guitar, music box, and other soft instrumentation, the soundtrack props up the series through and through without ever intruding on the narrative.
Despite flubbing some of the more dramatic moments and not having too many standout qualities, Interviews with Monster Girls is still a great show to relax to when you’re looking for a softer bout of comedy. Also, its thoughts on demi-human integration with human society can actually be kind of fascinating at times. So I can definitely give this series a recommendation.
Final Score: 7/10