Ever since I watched Monster Musume I thought the idea of looking into monster girl (in this case monster humans) rights was really interesting and wanted to see a show actually focus on that. A Centaur’s Life is a world where humans evolved differently so the humans we all are don’t exist. They also treat equality very seriously to the point if you’re caught giving any form of discrimination you go to a correctional clinic. Not exactly what I wanted as it doesn’t focus on the rights but is it still worth checking out?
A Centaur’s Life mostly focuses on Himeno (Hime) Kimihara, the titular Centaur in her daily highschool life along with her friends. These include Kyouko Naraku who is a Satyr, Nozomi Gokuraku a bat, Sassassul Quetzalcoatl an “Antarctican” who are a race of snake people, and Manami Mitama, the class president who is an angel. There are many other reoccurring characters but most episodes focus on these 5.
The show typically takes you standard slice of life style story telling but is not afraid of pushing boundaries such as one episode having Hime, Kyouko and Nozomi looking at each others’ vaginas in order to make Hime more confident or one essentially being a retelling of the Holocaust which the manga even included Angel-Hitler. There’s also episodes that barely (if at all) show Hime. While I can appreciate the risk taking with these kind of episodes they really felt awkward in this type of show. For example in the Holocaust retelling all the races seem to be both the Nazis and the Jewish people. Religion doesn’t seem to exist (we never heard they were discriminated based on it at least) so what was the reason? It felt like the author was just going for shock without giving it too much thought.
Each episode is split in two parts that usually don’t have any continuity between them with one exception. This usually works pretty well for the show as stories are typically quick and to the point and if there is a dud it only took half the episode so the other might be more enjoyable. I will say I wish episode 1 switched the 2 parts as the 2nd half explains the part about evolution I mentioned at the start as well as feels like a better introduction to the show and world in general. I’m guessing this was done so the show could open with an on the lips kiss between Hime and Nozomi with no context whatsoever before showing they’re rehearsing for a play. If you are tired of yuri baiting there are some canon lesbians in the show and I’ve heard there’s more LGBT themes in the manga.
Visually A Centaur’s Life is nothing special. Even character designs are surprisingly basic with few exceptions. In the audio department I liked the ending song but really dislike the opening. It seems like the song is going to end multiple times before it actually does and makes me feel like the song is longer than it actually is. the soundtrack and voice acting aren’t really anything special either.
Overall A Centaur’s Life was a pretty mixed bag. It had some interesting ideas but a lot of aspects were just average. On top of that there wasn’t many standout moments aside from weird or bad ones. Writing was pretty sloppy and the back half of the show takes a lot of focus off Hime (or any centaurs for that matter) but don’t feel like any other characters got particularly well developed because of it. I can’t really suggest watching this unless you’re a huge monster girl fan. Almost everything it does decently something does much better.