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Monster Musume No Iru Nichijou

If any of your avid otaku friends have developed new or interesting fetishes involving attractive female mythical creatures lately, this manga is probably the one to be blamed. Think your usual harem-style romance manga, with harpies, centaurs, lamia and mermaids replacing the host of high school or college girls that frequent this genre. 

As absurd as the setting is, it makes for a good read and is a refreshing addition to a genre saturated with generic characters and storylines. Just keep your newfound fetishes to yourself afterwards, it’s better that way.

The story is set in a world where mythical creatures exist. This was kept a secret by the Japanese government till a bill was passed, revealing their existence and allowing them to live alongside humans. 

The ‘Interspecies Cultural Exchange Act’ let these creatures live with human host families, with a number of restrictions and obligations to fulfill. Being a new bill also means that loopholes will be exploited and subpoints are added as the chapters go by, creating new problems for the main character and his harem.

This is where main character Kurusu Kimihito comes in. He didn’t volunteer for the programme but a technical error meant that he had to play host to Miia, a lamia (part-human, part-snake). He continues to play host, though not willingly to new creatures such as a centaur, harpy, a monster made of slime and a mermaid to boot.

Hilarity ensues due to each new addition wanting to be Kimihito’s girlfriend and eventual wife, much like any other harem manga. Various incidents and funny situations occur because of each creature’s unique characteristics too, be it Miia needing to shed her skin or Kimihito scrubbing Cerea’s (the centaur) bottom.

The main thing I appreciated while reading Monster Musume was that Kimihito is not a complete idiot oblivious to his surroundings. Many authors of harem manga employ this technique to drive and flesh out the story, understandably so but frustrating for the reader nonetheless. 

Kimihito understands that the girls in his home are vying for his attention but has clearly stated that he isn’t able to make a decision just yet due to various reasons. Coupled with the mangaka giving each girl equal screentime with Kimihito, it’s easy to see why this series is so popular, especially with the anime’s recent run.

I can’t deny that I continued reading the manga because of the ecchi aspects but the humour kept me hooked onto the series, constantly flipping page after page. Characters broke the fourth wall and noted the absurdity of their situation, be it one of the girls whining that she hasn’t made that many appearances recently to Kimihito being resigned to the fact that his house is basically a United Nations for mythical creatures at one point.

The manga doesn’t take itself too seriously and the lighthearted tone makes it a breeze to read through. Monster Musume is a great pick-me-up, especially if you’ve been feeling burnt out from your typical rom-coms or have been dabbling too much in thought-provoking seinen anime/manga. 

However, the art may put some people off, especially in earlier chapters. Certain panels seem amateurish but the ones that highlight the girls are detailed and polished. I feel as if the mangaka did this deliberately but this is a minor issue for me.

With only 36 chapters out at this point, Monster Musume doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon and I’m looking forward to more exotic creatures being given the ‘attractive anime girl’ treatment. 

The girls introduced thus far were based off common Western mythical creatures. It would be nice to see some being based on traditional Japanese yokai, perhaps?

Written by ET

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