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So what kind of season is it when the two best shows are both ecchi? Well, a pretty good one actually. I’ll talk about Prison School soon, eventually, probably, maybe, but today on The Anime Harvest, Everyday Life with Monster Girls.

So I actually have read the manga on this one, so I guess you could say I’m a total expert who knows what I’m talking about and totally doesn’t bullshit my way through any of this and you love me, sempai. Imagine if, out of nowhere, tomorrow, the government announced that we were not alone on this planet. That somewhere, without the public knowing, there have been dozens of half-human half-animal “monsters” –centaurs, lamias, harpies, mermaids, ect.–and now we’re going to integrate them into our society. The proper reaction to that would be to make sure that you’re awake, and haven’t ingested any hard drugs in the past forty-eight hours. But in Monster Musume that’s pretty much what has happened. And apparently all monsters speak fluent Japanese already (well, almost all).

As part of a push to make this massive social change, the Japanese government has passed the Interspecies Cultural Exchange Act, allowing some monsters permits to live in human society, though with some strict rules. Though there are some special exceptions for certain species, for the most part all monsters must have a host family who takes them in, and they cannot go out alone.

Enter some character that no one needs to remember the name of (though according to Wikipedia, it’s Kimihito Kurusu), Darling. A young man who is the host family for Lamia named Miia, and then a Harpy named Papi, and then a Centaur named Centoria (okay, for a show with this much imagination, that’s kinda pathetic), and several more monsters, all female, as the show progresses. Most of these are unwillingly thrown upon him by a coordinator of the exchange program, Ms. Smith.Monster Musume Miia

So that’s the premise, but how the hell does this show work? What kind of plot line does it have? Well, so far it’s mostly been introducing and adding more character to the harem. Judging by the manga, I trust it will be pretty episodic throughout, meeting more new girls, dealing with them and the certain problems that come up with, well, living everyday life with monster girls. But it’s got a charm to it that most ecchi don’t have. The characters are likeable. They’re not like Ikki Tousen girls where they’re only redeeming quality beneath their vapid personalities is nice tits. But there’s also little to no moe. No, what we have here is an ecchi anime with actual developed characters! And not bad ones at that.

I don’t have much else to say here in this first reaction, other than the opening has a nice little uniqueness to it that really suits the series, and the animation is nothing special but certainly doesn’t hold the show back, so I’m just going to go over the characters introduced so far, starting with Darling.

As the male lead, a lot of the tone of the show rests on him. Is he a Golden Boy lecherous pervert? An obnoxious whiner who seems to find only the bad things about being surrounded by a harem of pretty girls? Or a blandest flavour of vanilla, personality-less self-insert? Well, between the three he kinda leans to the latter, but also takes some health steps away from it. He avoids the girls’ advances because he doesn’t want to be at the centre of a diplomatic uproar, and he not the type of character who makes decisions with his dick. The one time he ever thinks of pursuing Miia, it’s entirely romantic, not tastelessly sexual. He’s no Vash the Stampede, but for an ecchi show, I’ll happily take him.

Next there’s the lamia, Miia, and the best-girl contests can begin. I can never get into the best-girl stuff, because to me it always seems too obvious which one the writer/artist (in this case, Okayado) has already chosen. I guess that shouldn’t matter though. Anyway, Miia, I think, is clearly Okayado pick. She’s a sweat, loving girls who never seems to notice when “Darling” is yelling that he can’t breathe because she’s wrapped around him too tight. There’s really not much to go over; she’s very straightforward waifu material, with a bit of a jealousy problem.Monster Musume Papi

If I did pick a best girl, it would probably have to be Papi, because I’m weird, just like how anyone who picks a “best” out of a bunch of human-animal hybrids is probably weird. She’s a birdbrained harpy (and I totally stole that pun for the show itself). She’s pretty dumb, slow to understand human culture, and also kinda because waifu material. These characters aren’t giving me as much to talk about as I’d hoped…

Thank goodness for Cerea! She’s got a bit more going on, and while she’s not my favourite character, she’s at least the most interesting based on the first two episodes. She brings a lot of her own culture, and as a Centaur is proud and noble. But she’s also the most empathetic, and probably puts the most thought towards understanding Darling’s position as their human host. She feels like the biggest fish out of water, but she’s not floundering. And, prior to meeting Darling, her idea of Japanese culture is manga clichés, so hopefully the can continued into later episodes for some good jokes.MOnster Musume Cerea

And that’s about it. On one last note, for people who aren’t read up on the manga, the ED probably seems a little odd. Just wait and watch. Eventually you’ll understand why it is completely awesome! Until then,

Don’t Lose Your Way