Monster Musume is currently one of my favourite manga; as soon as I read the first volume I loved it at first sight. XD
At the time I decided to read the first chapter from the manga; A Centaur’s Life. It has a very unique story and having human girls with animal body parts is certainly a gap in the market. Seven Seas seem to have recognised this and have taken advantage of that gap. Unfortunately I didn’t connect with the story. It wasn’t boring but I didn’t really have the urge to read more. With that I browsed the A Centaur’s Life information page on MyAnimeList to read other fans’ reviews on the series. That was when I traced my eyes along the User Recommendations section and there I discovered a similar manga; Monster Musume.
I saw this picture of a girl affectionately embracing a young boy…but with her snake half of the body. Girls that are half women and half snake tend to have bad reputations probably stemming from old folk tales but she was hugging him very lovingly, I thought that was very sweet and she looked very cute. After reading the synopsis I had an inkling that despite the similarities with A Centaur’s Life I was going to connect with Monster Musume straight away. I read the first five chapters in no time and I literally couldn’t stop laughing and smiling.
I connected especially with the characters. Some of the situations and personalities that are shown are somewhat cliché but those clichés were not necessarily used in a traditional sense. Why? Because we’re not talking about normal human girls but girls with animalistic body parts! The main characters comprise of a Lamia, a Harpy and a Centaur.
Most people who I spoke to about the female characters in Monster Musume instantly thought that they were ugly. Of course, most of their opinions stem from folktales such as Medusa and sirens. Whilst it’s not nice to judge a book by its cover, I can understand where they’re coming from. However, when I showed them the characters images their opinions quickly changed.
Miia, the Lamia, is extremely cute. Sure you could say that her eyes are scary but she is more snake then human. So having snake like eyes is appropriate for Miia, in real life snakes are generally harmless (not every single one of course) unless you corner them/put them in danger. In this story Miia is very shy of humans but has treated the main character male with nothing but affection because of how kindly he treated her.
This is why I love Monster Musume. Whilst the visuals and character designs are beautiful and the story is good there is a good message behind this. Inner beauty. The monster girls are living and breathing just like humans and the subsidiary plot of the story is for the monster girls to co-exist peacefully with humans. So far, the girls are off to a good start and I’m rooting for them. =D
I always yearned to draw/write my own story that involves cat-girls, snake-girls, mermaids and have them all meet and go on adventures with humans. I dropped this idea as I felt that other people would not take kindly to this story- since it’s never really happened before. But yet Monster Musume is selling excellently. In the New York Times best Manga sellers it actually went straight to number one upon its first release! And it stayed there for two weeks. Even a couple of weeks ago the second volume reached number two, losing out to Naruto volume 64.
So really Monster Musume rekindled and inspired my interest to continue on with my own story that involves monster girls. So really I owe a lot to Monster Musume and Okayado (the author) both as an avid fan and as a fellow author.
Next time I’m going to give a full review on Monster Musume Volume One. I’m very much looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you all. =D