Despite how simple Interviews with Monster Girls is on the surface I don’t think I’ve ever been as unsure at what a show was trying to go for while still enjoying it. Going in I thought we’d get a typical school anime with either slice of life or rom-com elements but I wouldn’t use either genre to describe this show. There’s barely any romantic tension (which is good since it’s a male teacher, female teacher and 3 female students) and there wasn’t much comedy, about the same as something like CLANNAD or Live Live!. For a little bit I thought it was a commentary on how we treat people different from ourselves using monster girls but if that was the goal it was executed pretty poorly. So what is it?
The story starts off with Hikari Takanashi, a vampire, too energetic to wait for her first day of high school the next day sneaking off to check it out. There she meets Tetsuo Takahashi, the biology teacher and our main character who wants to write his research paper on “Demi-chans” but due to laws he has trouble finding any to interview. Very quickly into the school year however, he is surrounded not only by Hikari but the new math teacher, Sakie Satou, who happens to be a succubus that goes out of her way to not release pheromones, Kyouko Machi, a dullahan that craves contact and Yuki Kusakabe who is the only one that seems to actually dislike being a demi.
The show’s characters are fun and the show finds ways to make them work in interesting situations. Like I stated earlier, the comedy is there but mostly used to support the characters other than being the main focus. In fact, I can remember 3 jokes from the series and all involve Hikari. Admittedly I laughed quite a bit at those jokes but 3 memorable jokes in a 12 episode run is hardly anything to write home about.
The animation was nice to look at, especially Machi’s flame when there was some reason to emphasize it. The music is great including both the OP and ED as well as the soundtrack. The voice acting was also top notch and I was pretty surprised to learn the actors behind the demis (aside from Satou) hadn’t had many roles prior.
I do have a few minor issues with Interviews with Monster Girls, however. In episode 1 Satou is late for her first day yet during her arc it mentions she rides the first train in the morning. She does mention it was delayed for inspection and implies she ended up running to school because the train ended up too crowded but aren’t Japanese trains famous for being on time? Would an inspection actually delay it, never mind by that much? I also felt introducing all the demis in episode 1 was a little cramped, especially since we didn’t really get anything on Yuki until episode 4.
I also really dislike the English title. In Japanese the title is 「亜人ちゃんは語りたい」 or “Demi-chans Want to Talk”. I wouldn’t mind the title as much except the subtitles still say “demi” and “demi-chan” and never “monster girls”. It would have been much better if they either kept the subtitles matching the title or called it “Interviews with Demi(-chan)s” for consistency.
I enjoyed watching Interviews with Monster Girls despite not really knowing what it was aiming to do. Takahashi has a goal established early on (and in the title) but very rarely does he do any sort of talking for his paper. Whatever it is the characters are all great and I enjoyed watching it. I can see people being turned off of the show but I’d still suggest everyone gives it a try, especially if they like monster girls or school anime.