Anime I’m Watching This Season

Monster Musume anime 2

I have plenty of anime that I’m watching this season. What are you watching? Is there any you would recommend?

There were certain anime that I enjoyed in the previous season like Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? High School DxD BorN and Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma. There were more that I watched but those three are the ones in particular that I especially liked. However, I found that once I started to review them I was subconsciously analysing my thoughts and feelings as, in my head, I was going to annotate my thoughts.

I wasn’t planning to speak about every episode, it just sort of happened. In a way, that probably did take away some of the enjoyment of watching anime, especially Dungeon Girls. I find that I’m actually enjoying Dungeon Girls ten times more since it stopped airing. Why? Because I can sit back and enjoy it and not concern myself of blogging about each episode.

That’s where this anime summer season comes in. So far, I’m really excited and impressed. I genuinely believe that this is going to be my favourite anime season of all time.

Summer Season List 2015

Street Fighter Food Wars Parody

Bikini Warriors: It’s Not a Bikini If It’s Armour

Bikini Warriors anime

Initial Thoughts: When it came up with that sequence of majestic music and the girls displaying their fighting style I thought that was going to be the opening theme. As soon as it finished I was like “Is that it? Seriously?” Haha.

This is going to be a fun and light-hearted anime. The girls are wearing special armour in the form of bikinis. Haha. I didn’t realise that this was only a five minute episode.

I don’t really know what’s going to happen but I’m more than happy to spend five minutes of my time watching this weekly. =)

Non Non Biyori Repeat

Non Non Biyori Repeat anime

Initial Thoughts: I’ve been looking forward to this for a very long time and I wasn’t disappointed.

I was very confused at first. Why was Renge re-joining the school? Did she move up a year? What happened to Hotaru? Why was Hikage still in the country? I was left very puzzled for the first ten minutes until Hikage got on the train to Tokyo. This is a flashback showing what happened when Renge enrolled into the school. Then it showed Hotaru right at the end moving in. I could then relax and enjoy everything.

It was funny but very unfortunate when Hikage left her mobile phone behind! Haha.

Everything from the characters, the scenery, the music, it’s all as I expected it to be. Relaxing and tranquil. I really like that march that the four girls do in the opening song. I think so far I prefer the opening and ending songs from the first season but I think it’s the case of letting the new songs grow on me. I have no doubt that they will. =)

MONSTER MUSUME EVERYDAY LIFE WITH MONSTER GIRLS

Monster Musume anime

Initial Thoughts: As a Monster Musume fan I was very concerned on how this was going to be adapted. But those concerns completely left me the moment I started to watch this.

It’s much, much better than I thought it was going to be. I didn’t burst out laughing as I normally do with the books but I think that’s because I knew what was coming. However, I still let out light chuckles. I’m really pleased that they kept the charm and have the eyes of the main guy all plain white as that’s how they are portrayed in the manga.

I find this anime really cute and in some ways touching. It’s more than just comedy but there is little to no drama in it and quite frankly that’s my kind of story. I kept almost welling up as I felt touched at Miia’s happiness.

It’s a shame that I had to watch this as soon as it was released, as now I have to wait for next week. I can tell that I’m really going to enjoy watching this show. I can’t wait. =D

Rokka –Braves of the Six Flowers-

Rokka Braves of the Six Flowers anime

Initial Thoughts: I’ve never heard of this show before but I really did enjoy the first episode. The girl with the bunny ears is really cute. I sort of guessed straightaway that she was going to be an outdoors type of Princess. Haha. It’s going to be worth watching this just to watch her bunny ears bounce. =)

SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

Shimoneta Anime

Initial Thoughts: This is incredibly daft, eccentric but very funny. The style of humour and quick pace does remind me of D-Frag. I never thought I would see the day where a perverted girl would walk around wearing a pair of knickers on her head. Haha. It’s a clash of impure thoughts verses pure thoughts. Who will come out triumphant? I can tell already that this show isn’t going to take itself seriously and I’m certainly going to enjoy watching this.

THANKS FOR READING

Miia

Normally I would probably review the first episodes of Non Non Biyori Repeat and Monster Musume straightaway, but I have decided that I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m just going to sit back and bask in each episode as they come. I won’t rule out anime reviews but I will just see how I feel. I will probably continue reviewing Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma weekly. It’s partly because I’ve made a commitment but mostly because I want to. In any case I’ll just see how it goes. =)

Thanks for Reading. =)

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

Advertisements

Monster Musume Volume Five Review

Monster Musume Volume Five Cover

New Year Tidings.^^/

I decided to begin my year of blogging by reviewing one of my manga that I got for Christmas. =D Before I begin I just want to say congratulations to Monster Musume for winning the Best Manga category of 2014.[1] I’m not too bothered about awards but any award that MonMusu[2] wins is always deserved. =)

  1. SYNOPSIS

Kimihito’s life is now in danger. An anonymous someone or something sent him a threatening letter, “Get married and I kill you.” The only clue from the evidence [the threatening letter] is that the writer is named, “D.” In order to draw out the perpetrator Kimihito must go on dates with his liminal guests to act as bait. How will his potential brides to be cope as they go out with him?

  1. THEME
  • Comedy
  • Ecchi[3]
  • Fantasy
  • Harem[4]
  • Mature
  • Romance
  • Seinen[5]
  • Slice of Life[6]
  1. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

3.1. Technicolor Bathing Beauties

We have four colourful pages right at the beginning. None of which are relevant to the main plot. It’s interesting to note that the bathroom to Kimihito’s house has once again been modified for the sake of his liminal guests. It’s nice that they even have a bath for Suu, since she is technically still residing in Kimihito’s house illegally. Everyone in the story seems to have forgotten about that and accepted her without judgement. Including, I’m assuming, Ms Smith.

3.2. Chapter 19

Miia goes on a date once again with Kimihito, but with a catch… Mero has tagged along. Haha. I wonder if Mero had an ulterior motive to coming along or if she just fancied an outing with Miia and Mr Darling. An aquarium setting did set a good mood and vibe. I mentioned before that Miia is more relaxed if her ‘rivals’ are not present and I feel that this ‘fake’ date represents that. If it wasn’t for Mero, Miia could have smooched with Kimihito. It was rather humorous since Mero misread the mood and situation. Haha. I also learned that eels are actually fish, not serpent. It really does make me curious about Mero’s background. She got into the aquarium for free and she was a special guest on the dolphin show. =D

This is where the drama comes in… I was immediately suspicious and concerned when Miia went out with that… lizard person who turned out to be a Dragonet.[7] Haha. Tionishia, as cute as she is, I don’t think she was the ideal choice for bodyguard duties. She stands out far too much (due to her humongous physique) and took part in the patting of the dolphin. Haha.

Thankfully, Miia was saved, thanks to Kimihito and Mero. I didn’t know she [Drago] was a girl though. I felt that I should have known, given the nature and humour of this manga. The ending was like a light romcom. It was humorous when Kimihito used his jacket to wrap around Miia, but it was already drenched so it was useless. Haha. Buying that serpent pendant for her was a heart-warming moment. They looked like a nice couple in those couple of pages. They looked very natural together and lovey-dovey. I wonder why Mero looked down. It looks like that she’s having second thoughts about being his ‘mistress’. It will be interesting to see what’s going to happen with Mero in future chapters.^^/

By the way, after a few re-reads I noticed that in this chapter Mr Darling wore a T-Shirt that said “Twelve Beast” which is an obvious shout out to Okayado’s other manga, 12 Beast, which is released this coming April. =)

3.3. Chapter 20

I found this to be the funniest chapter of the book. Suu grows big, turning into a slimezilla if you will. This was a highlight for me. It was especially funny when Kimihito and Papi held onto her boobs as if their lives depended on it. I always wanted to see this kind of scene in a manga, and MonMusu delivered my wish. Haha. I’m not sure why Papi needed to hold on though, she can fly. Of course, there was only one way for Kii to shrink back in size and it had to happen in a… sensual way. Haha. Still, good for Kimihito though, he stepped up to the plate and delivered.

That bondage scene at the end… I have no words, only a loud chuckle. XD We found out that Kii is not the one who sent out the threatening letter to Kimihito. So far, we can eliminate Drago and Kii as suspects. At this point, I still think it will be a Dullahan.[8] Let’s see if I’m right. =)

It’s interesting to note that this is the first time that Miia has failed to appear in a chapter.

3.4. Chapter 21

And it’s Cerea’s turn to go out with Kimihito whilst Rachnera lurks behind the scenes. It seems like we have female pairings now, Miia and Mero, Papi and Suu and Cerea and Rachnee. In that regard, it was sort of predictable, but, no less humorous. It was funny to see Cerea gearing herself up in her actual knight’s armour, haha.

I felt a little sorry for Manako as it’s quite clear that she’s conscious of her one eye. I think it’s really cute and enchanting in its own way, but I can see why she would get insecure.

There have been many classical animal puns in this book, since it’s a MonMusu tradition, but my favourite came in this chapter. Cerea blasting the wild boar to save Kimihito, and his response: “Thanks. You really saved my bacon.” …amazing quote and timing. XD

I hate to see Cerea like that though, being insecure. Kimihito did all the right things and said all the right things to wash her insecurities away. She’s more at home when she’s in her knight mode but very awkward when it comes to being intimate. Still, I bet she’s amazing at preparing salads… the ending was most humorous. Miia and Papi didn’t want the salad so they used Suu as a garbage disposal. The other bondage scene was hilarious, Lilith is a masochist, it seems. XD

3.5. Chapter 22

Kimihito’s date with Tio and Zombina were cute and funny. Despite being a giant Tio is very feminine when it comes to personality and taste. It was a nice moment when Kimihito offered to adjust Tio’s dress through the art of sewing. He really is the epitome of the modern man and demonstrated his skills when he sewed Zombina’s hand back to her body. It’s quite evident that Zombina has never been treated like a “normal” girl before. Kimihito is having that effect on all of the liminal girls.

Then we have the date with Manako… I wouldn’t really call this a date but their interaction was nice. It seems that even in the pro office Manako is being victimised because of her one eyeball. It’s quite sad and I can imagine why she would be insecure. Some of the liminals are freakishly strong in various ways but I feel they’re more vulnerable than humans. I’m talking about psychological and confident damage and the likes of Miia, Manako and Zombina, it seems, have all been discriminated in one way or another.

Once again, thankfully, Kimihito breaks the mould and looked Manako straight in the face. This was followed by the person who “secretly” followed Mr Darling.

I was quite surprised that “D” turned out to be Doppel. I felt that I should have seen it coming. It’s interesting to note that Manako is so far the only person who refers to Kimihito by his real name, everyone else gives him a pet name. He received two more in this book. “Snookums” and “Loverboy”.

I was wrong in the end that the “D” represented Dullahan. However, a mysterious person appears right at the end! Then, it turns out that Doppel never wrote that second threatening letter. Then, we’re left at the end where the scythe of some kind was placed right in front of Kimihito’s neck. Eeek! I’m nervous but excited.

  1. BONUS

We learn some interesting facts about Polt and she features in one of the bonus chapters with the new “D” characters. I find her entertaining and I adore her enthusiasm. I’m glad she made a cameo. Speaking of extra chapters, there’s a 4-koma[9] chapter involving the MON squad and some fun facts about Manako’s suitcase gun. Despite what Zombina thinks, I think it’s a genius invention.

  1. CONCLUSION

We finally have a bit of a plot on our hands. It’s all exciting stuff. Dare I say that this is perhaps my favourite MonMusu book yet? Before, I thought the MON squad liminals were just ok. I didn’t give them much thought as I was enjoying reading about Miia and Mero, the main characters. However, they have really grown on me, especially after reading chapter 22.

All the minor suspense moments did get me nervous. I was convinced all the while that the mysterious “D” was a Dullahan. However, my theory was crushed when the D turned out to be Doppel. But, the true threat came in person… I’m 99% now that that person was a Dullahan. =D

All the girls, as expected through time, grew closer to Mr Darling. It’s still probably a bit premature to guess which route this story will go towards. All of his house guests are his potential brides to be, but, who is to say he’ll marry just one? If there’s a horse race (no pun intended) I would say that Miia and Cerea are probably in the lead. Why Miia? It’s because she genuinely seems to have a connection with Kimihito and we see this every time they go out, alone. Why Cerea? Well, she had a lot of moments of affection when she was dating, well, guarding Kimihito. Haha. That and she’s starting to help out with the food preparations, albeit, salads. Haha.

Just thought that I would mention as well, you can find clues in the chapter covers of which new characters will appear in certain chapters. I didn’t notice this until I re-read this book for the fifth time. In the cover of Chapter 22 you will see an emblem of some sort and writing underneath that says “Dullahan”. So yes, I’m 100% certain and correct. =D

It was wonderful to read and I will choose to give this, Two Thumb’s-Up.^^/ (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

  1. MONMUSU MISTAKE

I like to take this opportunity to admit a mistake. In my past reviews I stated that MonMusu was the acronym for Monster Musume. This is incorrect. The word I meant to use was actually ‘abbreviation’ not ‘acronym’. I knew what I was talking about but I got the words wrong, haha. I could take this opportunity to rectify the past MonMusu reviews, but I won’t. I want to see all of my blog writings as progress, and the past reviews to the current reviews will highlight that fact. =)

THANKS FOR READING

RA201310_pop_kinoko-cs5

I told myself that I wouldn’t really annotate much about MonMusu, but, I genuinely have a lot of say. I really enjoyed reading this and there’s a lot that I want to speak about. I decided that I will not keep the same style when reviewing each anime, manga and film. I will review them base on how much I have to say and want to say. =D

2015 is very peaceful so far. I’m spending most of the time just watching Football (it’s FA Cup week) and playing Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit. =D

Thanks for reading.
Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.

[1] Uk-anime.net. The 2014 UK Anime Network Awards. Best Manga. [Accessed 4th January 2015].

<http://www.uk-anime.net/articles/The_2014_UK_Anime_Network_Awards/3&gt;

[2] MonMusu is the abbreviation for Monster Musume.

[3] This manga contains risqué and sexy moments or lecherous characters.

[4] In this manga all the ladies are gunning after one man and/or lady.

[5] The target audience of this manga is towards an older gentleman with the age range from 18 to 30.

[6] Every day mundane life.

[7] In MonMusu, Drago Dragonet is a dragon with wings, scales and a long tail. Dragonets, in real life, are actually fish.

[8] In certain mythologies Dullahans are headless knights or headless riders. In some popular culture Dullahans either carry their heads if not attached or the heads are completely absent.

[9] 4-Koma (also known as four cell manga and Yonkoma Manga) consist of comic strips of four panels on each page.

Monster Musume Volume Three Review

36962793

Konbanwa.^^/

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for giving your time to read my reviews on Monster Musume. I’m still learning and developing my own style when writing reviews. I do enjoy expressing my feelings, blogging thoughts about my favourite things like Monster Musume as it makes me feel happy. However, it is a massive bonus when the reader takes their time to read what I have to say. For that, I am truly grateful.^^/

MonMusu[1] Volume 2 seems to be especially popular and it has given me extra impetus to blog about Volume 3. =)

Here it is.^^/

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

1. MY SYNOPSIS

Up till now Kimihito has been a host to four liminals; a passionate Lamia, a playful Harpy, a proud Centaur and an illegal species, Slime. Life has been kind to Kimihito; he has liminal guests who adore him and continue to pursue his hand in marriage. The competition is getting tougher though since the arrival of the courteous and gentle Mermaid, Mero.

In the same breath the darker side of the liminals started to show. A group of erotically charged orcs emerged and caused a commotion at a local otaku shop, offering gratuitous demands. Due to the interspecies Cultural Exchanged Accord the police can’t legally touch the orcs… but all is not lost since Ms Smith has a plan to solve this problem, but whether it will work or not is a completely different issue!

2. STORY

The pace and flow of this story was well thought out and applied cleverly. Not only is the timing of the story good, but the comedy and the quirkiness of the characters are well placed too.

At first glance it appears that Suu is nothing more than a background character that just happens to be there for the sake of adding more humour to the story. But actually she has played many pinnacle moments. Because of her the plot unfolded in certain chapters. I will talk more about this in Suu’s character section.

There are no small parts in a story; even the smallest part in the story can create the biggest conflict. Look at that young boy from Home Alone. When the sister did a head count and mistook the neighbours boy for her brother, it led to Kevin McAllister being all by himself. Thus, home alone.

*

Mero is really growing on me- her development was completely unexpected, in a good way. From our point of view, Mero being up to no good was all just in Miia’s head, since we come to learn that Miia has a very hyperactive imagination. Then, when Mero smiled in an unnerving manner, it made us think that Miia was right to be wary. It came to light that it was all in Miia’s imagination and that Mero isn’t after Kimihito, at least not in the normal sense.

*

It’s rather fascinating how the topic; fairy tales was brought up. Mermaids are probably one of the more popular legendary creatures, look at the book and film The Little Mermaid. I for one would be excited to meet one if they existed in real life. It’s clear in Monster Musume that this manga is very self-aware so it’s quite interesting that they delve into fairy tales- more specifically mermaids.

Mero spoke about how mermaids love the story the Little Mermaid. Miia then confessed that she too likes fairy tales and yearned to have her own prince… we see a flashback of Miia reading her fairy tale books, she looked mighty cute when she was little. All of this deep conversation developed a more one-sided rivalry between Miia and Mero. At the end of the chapter it was established that Mero’s ideal love is rather…unique. Turns out, the entire time, she wants to be a mistress rather than a wife. Haha! That was unexpected but in some ways it makes a lot of sense. XD

*

My favourite part of this volume is when Kimihito holds Miia in her arms, like a damsel in distress. He looks very good too. That’s probably the best image I’ve ever seen of him, he looked cool, strong and you could see his eyes. His eyes are never visible unless he’s part of a serious scene. It was a sweet moment too because Miia’s dream of being held came true, right after she dived in to the water to save him, even though he didn’t need to be saved. It was sweet and brave, considering the fact that she’s not good with cold temperatures, especially Mero’s pool.

*

Chapter 12 focused heavily on Ms. Smith and her new MON squad. You could say that it detracts from the main story but I personally think it’s a nice change of pace. So far we’ve been seeing Ms Smith’s useless side but here we are seeing that when confronted with a crisis, she is on the ball. She can be serious when the situation calls for it. I suppose we see more of her familiar side when she’s with Kimihito and co…

*

The baddies were fairly decent.

I usually prefer baddies or catalysts to be serious but due to the themes and style of this manga, they were perverted. XD You have the Orcs who ransacked a shop with silly desirable demands and a ‘TV crew’ who just wanted to get their hands on Papi’s egg so he can become rich. They were perverted and stupid but it would be inappropriate to expect anything else.

I’m sort of hoping that- if this manga gets serious- we’ll have a proper villain introduced who is not cheesy or perverted. He/she would be allowed to be funny but not cheesy. That’s just me though. XD

*

Up until now we just saw baddies who were narrow minded and purse snatchers but here the author is exploring a darker side of both humans and liminals. It looks like that may continue since the creepy director is on the run.

*

I like how Mero’s fetish side is coming to the surface. I can see her visions becoming animated, like she is daydreaming in her own imagination. Rather funny and cute. It’s also funny how Mero trusted Miia’s cooking and fainted, with a creepy grin on her face. You wouldn’t have thought that someone with a high class background would have such an improper fetish. XD

*

The extras and facts at the back are fun to read, I especially enjoyed Mero’s facts. Kimihito appeared to be very conscious about what food he buys since Papi is half bird (chicken) and Mero is a mermaid (fish). It turns out that it was all wasted worrying since Papi eats chicken and Mero likes fish…all perfectly fine with cannibalism. XD!

*

Chapter 14 was very engaging. It had good pacing with a very solid ending. It’s the kind of ending that makes you want to read Volume 4.

I knew the TV crew were dodgy straight away, so did Kimihito. They felt obliged to comply because of the uneasy tensions between humans and liminals.

Paper was certainly important in this chapter. I was as shocked as the characters in that scene when Papi announced that she was going to lay an egg…later revealed that it was unfertilised…Of course, this announcement led to hilarious consequences, poor Kimihito…

I do wonder how harpies and lamias reproduce. Birds and snakes do usually reproduce through eggs. I did see a documentary that certain snakes do mate. The female snakes’ stomach would turn pink, indicating that it’s going through a lovey-dovey season. 😉

It was a pity that the creepy director went on the run, but fortunately he got his come-uppance by a mysterious Arachne.

I feel quite excited yet nervous for Kimihito. It seems clear that she’s going to come after him…

Maybe she’ll join his ever expanding harem? But on the other hand she might become the latest villain.

From my initial impression I think that she’s cynical. I’m just basing this on her mannerisms and demeanour. Her design also suggests that she is. The art isn’t always about the style but the designs within the style. Her clothes are very bold, dark and suggestive.

3. THEME

  • Comedy
  • Ecchi[2]
  • Fantasy
  • Harem[3]
  • Mature
  • Romance
  • Seinen[4]
  • Slice of Life[5]

4. ART AND DESIGN

I feel that the art and story blend well together. It’s appropriate for this kind of story with plenty of cheeky situations.

All the characters have glowing presentation to their appearance. Miia is casual, Centorea is formal and Papi is…Papi. XD Mero’s gothic lolita design is pretty cool and gives off the aura of an aristocrat. Her pink hair and mermaid part of the body is very feminine and pleasing on the eye. Pink is definitely a good choice for her, I sort of pictured her fins and hair as aqua/turquoise based coloured, since she’s a mermaid. Pink is definitely the right choice, I feel. =)

I like also how Miia’s headband (representing Lamia’s eyes) varies depending on her hairstyle or what she wears on her head. It sort of reminds me of Sena Kashiwazaki from Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends. She has butterfly clips in her hair, but it changes depending how she styles her hair. Miia is very much the same in this regard.

The colourful pages were especially good. The background in one of them was designed in scales coloured red, obviously representing Miia.

It was a just a cameo but I really like that red haired mermaid that appeared in Mero’s vision. She’s like a carbon copy of Miia.^^

5. CHARACTERS AND RELATIONSHIPS

5.1. MIIA

Miia really is a gem of a character and is my favourite from this manga.

She might be a Lamia but she’s cute, sexy, caring and very hilarious. Someone so cute should not be able to show various facial expressions like she does. Before the competition ensued she was portrayed as someone who is passionate, loving, affectionate, shy, a touch naive and lovey-dovey.

Since the arrival of Papi and Centorea we started to see additional sides to her, funny sides. We’re starting to see vices in the form of jealousy, possessiveness and competitiveness. They tend not to show when she and Kimihito are alone together.

In some ways she has a bit of a vindictive and cunning streak. When she comes up with plans to stay as Kimihito’s “number one” it tends to back fire badly, especially when Kimihito had to carry Mero around.

My favourite moments do actually involve Miia, especially her comedic reactions to situations and they’re so easy to visualise. Every time she goes “waaaah?” I can just picture her shouting “naaniiii?” in Japanase. XD

It’s a shame how terrible she is at cooking. We do learn that her speciality is boiling eggs, mostly because eggs are her favourite food- as she is part snake.

5.2. MERO

On the surface Mero is pure and lady-like.

It is suggested that she could be of noble blood. If she is of noble blood then it makes sense why Ms Smith assigned her to Kimihito’s household. She knows that Kimihito treats his guests with utmost respect and affection. Someone of noble blood would probably have to receive the best treatment in the best possible way, and who more appropriate to be her host then Kimihito?

5.3. SUU

Suu is an absolute brilliant character. I was really excited when a character like Suu was introduced but I find that I like her more the more we learn about her. Her quirks in transforming, reading people’s minds, mimicking and general abilities are very unique.

In fact, it is her uniqueness that has provided many pinnacle moments in the story.

  • Her ‘attack’ on Mero led to Miia being saved by Kimihito and a heart-to-heart between Miia and Mero.
  • She was able to enter Kimihito’s room, when ill, without the worry that she will catch his ‘virus’. Of course that led to many comical situations.
  • She read Kimihito’s mind when he was ill. She ‘nursed’ him back to health.
  • She read the creepy director’s mind which confirmed that he was filming with evil intentions. It wouldn’t have unfolded had it not been for Suu.

You will note that in those situations Suu was nothing more than a background character that made a sudden appearance, i.e., a sudden impact which changed the dynamics of the story line.

It was only Chapter 13 that she played a pivotal role. Not only did she play an important part but we also got to see her personality develop.

It was very touching to see her speech and declaration of love for Kimihito. It seems as though every time we see her, there’s more to her personality. Her feelings started to grow more affectionate to, the more she starts to develop a mind of her own. She had her own personality to begin with; we’re just seeing her grow as an individual, even if she is just a Slime.

5.4. MON SQUAD

The MON (Monster Ops Neutralization) Squad are a very good addition to the series.

You have an overzealous captain, Zombina, who is the undead, or zombie. Her specialism is raiding. It’s appropriate for her to charge into dangerous situations since there’s no danger of her dying.

Then there’s Manako, who is a Cyclops. A very shy type of character who cries easily due to her oversized singular eye.

You then have Doppel who can transform into anyone that she desires. This can be very handy for when she goes under-cover. It especially helps when she pretends to be that pinup type character girl as it certainly fooled the orcs.

I especially like Tionshia. I describe her as a gentle giant. I think she’d be more suited to being on a catwalk rather than as part of the MON squad.

5.5. MS SMITH

It’s very easy to take Ms Smith at face value but I can’t help but wonder if there’s more to her than meets the eye. We’ve seen her in bad light plenty of times but she showed that she can be reliable in dangerous situations.

I question her views towards Kimihito. It’s not clear if she harbours a deep affection for him but it’s clear that she sees him in a positive light. Since the young lad became an impromptu volunteer she became very familiar with him and his house. I don’t think this can be swept under the carpet.

Sure, we could say that she’s taking liberties and uses him as an excuse to get away from work and hang out for coffee and dinner. But, she could use any other hosts as an excuse to get away, so why is it Kimihito? She teases him sometimes through flirting. She assigned a noble like Mero to his household. And she turns a blind eye to any wrong doing that involves Kimihito, including the illegal species like Suu. Is she slacking off, or, is she giving him special treatment?

Whatever should happen I think it is worth keeping an eye on Ms Smith’s relationship with him to see if something happens.

6. BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL / SELF-AWARE

We established that one of the many charms of this manga are the puns and its self-awareness. Miia’s “Fire for fire, slime for slime” was one of those glorious puns. And “Get your filthy fins off my darling2.” Haha

Then you have moments where I feel like the manga breaks the fourth wall. In two of the cases it was Kimihito and Miia who broke the fourth wall.[6]

One where Kimihitio said “look, I don’t care how much the fetishists get off on this…!! I still don’t wanna drown!” when Suu is suffocating him, and the one with Miia…

“Anyone who gets that excited over my skin… is the worst kind of pervert!”

I couldn’t stop laughing when I first read that. I initially interpreted that as Miia insulting herself. However, when I read it again, I actually think it’s a joke between the author and the reader. I think it’s implying that we, the reader, have a ‘fetish’ over Miia’s skin which is why we are reading it.

Regardless, I think it’s hilarious. XD

7. CONCLUSION

The pace of the story was very good throughout.

One story focused on Ms Smith and her crew to give us a glimpse as to what she’s like at work. It was good. Certain characters like Suu were important in order to conclude parts of the stories. If Suu and her uniqueness didn’t exist then none of the stories could have unfolded and have a decent ending, even if they appear to be a background character. The one-sided rivalry between Miia and Mero had an unexpected and funny ending and the ending finished in a dramatic way which whets my appetite to read the next volume.

Most importantly though, I laughed a lot and thoroughly enjoyed it and I am most looking forward to Volume 4. If something makes me laugh and smile then it becomes very precious to me.

I give Monster Musume Volume 3 two thumbs-up.(My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

8. OFF-TOPC RAMBLE: 12 BEAST

12 Beast Volume 1

This week I have learned that Seven Seas are going to release the manga, 12 Beast, on 14th April 2015.[7] [8]

12 Beast is another manga by Okayado and by what I’ve heard and seen, it’s somewhat similar to Monster Musume. I would say it looks more of an adventure fantasy rather than a slice of life like MonMusu. I’m very excited about this announcement and it’s something that I’m looking forward to in 2015, that and Avengers: Age of Ultron. 😉 I like Okayado’s work and style of writing and I get the impression that I’m definitely going to like 12 Beast. =D

For those who are interested, it is now available on Amazon.com.[9]

9. OFF-TOPIC RAMBLE: HIGH SCHOOL DXD

High School DxD

I’m also pleased to hear about the news of High School DxD. The TV Anime is going to have a third series and OVA within the next year. Yen Press publishers have also licensed the spin-off of High School DxD starring Asia and Koneko. It’s called High School DXD: Asia and Koneko’s Secret Contract!?[10] It’s released sometime in December so this is going to go on my Christmas list! =D

I’m twiddling my thumbs in anticipating for the novel to be licensed.^^/

I wonder what the DxD stands for in the title. Does anyone know? Judging by the theme and what I’ve read it’s probably something like “Devil x Dragons” or “Dragon x Dragons”… I’m hoping for the latter, it sounds cool. =D

THANKS FOR READING

 33671041

I learnt I can’t truly share my thoughts unless I spoil it a little…I know I’m not good at keeping secrets but the only way I can share my thoughts is if I don’t hold myself back. So, I do apologise if you didn’t want to be spoilt but it’s important to me that I annotate my feelings without restraint. =)

From now on a “WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY” will be plastered at the top of each review so that you’re aware of the spoilers ahead. =)

Thank you very much for reading.

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

[1] Acronym for Monster Musume

[2] Risqué and sexy moment or lecherous characters

[3] All young females gunning after one man and/or lady

[4] Target audience for young man

[5] Based on everyday mundane life

[6] On a stage of a room there’s usually three walls. The fourth wall is presumed to be there, but it’s invisible. The audience is watching the TV/play on that fourth wall. The fourth wall is “broken” when the actor/performer engages with the audience through the fourth wall. British sitcoms like Miranda and Mrs Brown’s Boys break the fourth wall through their shows.

[7] http://sevenseasentertainment.tumblr.com/post/93331953770/license-2-from-one-of-our-new-york-times

[8] https://twitter.com/gomanga/status/499262048396910592

[9] http://www.amazon.com/dp/1626921776/

[10] http://www.amazon.co.uk/High-School-DXD-Konekos-Contract/dp/0316334855/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1407950639&sr=8-7&keywords=High+School+DxD

Monster Musume Volume Two Review

Image

Konbanwa.^^/

I am delighted to see MonMusu[1] volume 3, which is now on sale, is selling very well. It is now number two in the New York Times, previously number one for three weeks. It was knocked off the top by Dragonar Academy, which is also licensed by Seven Seas.^^/

I’m very impressed with Seven Seas recently, it was announced that they have licensed both D-Frag and No Game No Life. I really enjoyed the D-Frag anime and I get the feeling that I’m going to enjoy the manga. So, I pre-ordered the manga on Amazon. =D

Ahem-

Let’s roll with the review before I get anymore off topic. 😉

 

1. SUMMARY OF THE PLOT… IN MY OWN WORDS

Ms Smith has revealed to Kimihito that the government are looking for test subjects that involve a human marrying a liminal… I’m sure you gather what this will entail. 😉 Basically Kimihito now has the choice of marrying one of his house guests, and likewise, all of his house guests are currently fighting for his affection so they can be his number one lady… alas, things never transpire as smoothly as they or Kimihito would have liked. Until now Kimihito has been holding back his urges since he’s a gentleman and law abiding…but now that he has a choice in the matter, it will beg the question, can Kimihito keep his urges under wraps? You will need to read it to find out.

 

2. STORY

I feel that the story now has a clear purpose. The ultimate plot I suppose was eluded to at the end of the volume one book. That purpose involves Kimihito choosing one of his house liminal guests to be his future wife…if he so desires.

This is definitely in my top five all-time favourite manga, even though I’ve already read two volumes of this franchise. I just connected with this story very quickly. It’s my kind of story and I really love the unique characters and their design. Whilst it’s borderline soft-core I feel that they are used at appropriate times. The stimulating art goes extremely well with the comedy. The comedy is used in both the slapstick comedy (visual) and the funny quips and puns used in dialogue (verbally).

If the comedy elements were absent then I don’t think I would have enjoyed this as much. One of the charms of the story is how self-aware it is. The cast often make parody references and puns about their own kind.

At times there was some nail-biting stuff that bought me to the edge of my seat. I was nervous about what was going to happen but by the end of it, my worries soothed. I laughed more than worried when I read this volume.

 

2.1. Harem

Spoiler alert…

Kimihito’s harem is strong and it looks like it’s going to get bigger and stronger than before. Manga that have harem elements usually end with three options.

  1. The main male/female chooses the lady/gentleman at the end.
  2. Open-end
  3. Bigamy or, the main male/female choosing everyone.

It will be interesting to see how the harem route plays out. At the minute Kimihito is opting to go on dates with everyone in order to bond with the girls. So, at this moment in time, it is difficult to tell how this will end. I’m anticipating many more female characters to appear before we have an idea where the story is going.

It showed that the girls are willing to ‘share’ Kimihito whilst under the influence of the full moon.

I personally always prefer either the harem route or the open-ended route. I don’t support the guy being with more than one girl, just because I don’t like seeing any girl get heart-broken.^^

 

2.2. Theme/Genre

  • Comedy
  • Ecchi
  • Fantasy
  • Harem
  • Romance
  • Seinen
  • Slice of Life

 

3. CHARACTERS

3.1. Recurring Characters

I feel that I’ve learned a little bit more about the recurring characters, we got an insight into their hobbies, backgrounds, likes/dislikes and so on. There was quite a bit of extra information plus an additional story at the back of the book.

I really do admire Kimihito for keeping his libido in check but I also admire him for treating the girls very nicely. In this type of harem manga there’s not many guys like Kimihito who would embrace a house full of girls straight away. Yet, he adapted more or less straightaway. He did freak out when it came to marriage but he eventually manned-up and apologised for over-reacting.

Ms Smith is still as useless as ever, but, deep down I know she has a good heart…maybe. XD She was especially funny in chapter 10.

 

3.2. New Characters

3.2.1. Meron Lorelei

Image

A very gentle lady, the kind of gentle character that I felt was needed. All the female cast can be innocent in their own way but none of them are exactly what you would describe as gentle. Meron fits this bill to a tee.

I had some sort of inkling that she was going to be a mermaid, or at least some kind of sea creature. She looks very pretty, especially her fin-like ears. I found them very cute. I bet Miia is going to see her as extra competition, especially since they have similar body figures. 😉 Perhaps they’re going to be strong rivals at some point?

I noticed that she dresses like a maid. I wonder if this is a cheesy pun because the ‘maid’ is part of the ‘mermaid’. I wouldn’t be surprised since all the cast have puns in their names in one way or another.

I like her. It was a nice twist in chapter ten when it came to the whole illegal species drama involving Suu.

I envisage her voice to be soft spoken, sweet, gentle, and well-mannered and a touch curious. Add humble to the equation too. If this turned into an anime then I would propose she would be voiced by either Satomi Akesaka or possibly Rie Murakawa. They both have sweet and polite voices and they add a calming and soft charisma to their characters. =)

 

3.2.2. Suu

Image

Everyone on the internet highly anticipated a slime girl to make an appearance in MonMusu, the same slime that appeared in Okayado’s Hentai one-shots. I too wanted to see that very same slime girl in this manga, and we all got our wish, we all got Suu. =D

I simply adore her, her personality, her design and her overall uniqueness. She is definitely one of the most unique characters that I have ever come across. Because she’s a slime, she has the ability to transform into any form. She can shape herself as petite as Papi, or as curvy as Miia and as busty as Centorea.

She can be very deadly, but at the same time, she is definitely the most innocent. It makes me wonder if she actually has a mind of her own or if she just simply imitates what she sees. Thinking and observing is one thing, but, does she actually harbour any feelings? In my opinion, she does. Her reactions are very positive and cute; she reacted strongly when she and Papi were above the water. She was afraid, and being afraid is an emotion. Emotion is a feeling. So, I deduce that she imitates whilst having feelings.

As strange as this may sound, I actually envisage her with a mature voice. Since she imitates others it makes me wonder if she’ll imitate other people’s voices as well. I don’t necessarily picture Suu imitating voices but more like imitating their tones and expressions. If this turned into an anime then this could be similar to the case with Eucliwood Hellscythe from Is This a Zombie? In that show Eu has about 20 different VAs, since Ayumu keeps on visualising her with different voices each time. XD I can’t see Suu being used in this way though.

Her abilities are superbly unique and if she was as smart as Centorea then I bet she could conquer the world… whilst avoiding water.

 

4. ART

The art is such fun to look at. I like the overall design of the characters and style; it matches very well with this kind of story. I mentioned it above but the comedy and the art really go hand-in-hand. They literally bounce off each other. There are many borderline soft-core moments, and one moment which is definitely rude…but that moment is ‘covered’ up by another panel. So, if you’re thinking of reading it you will need to prepare yourself to see cheeky situations. Haha.

I especially like the characters when they’re pulling funny faces, particularly Miia’s. Looking at Miia grimacing and pulling all kinds of faces literally cracks me up every time. For someone so pretty she shouldn’t be capable of pulling funny faces. XD One minute the visuals show her being very silly and the next it shows her being frisky in the bedroom. Wink, wink.

There are a few inconsistences though- like the penultimate page of chapter 8. Miia’s ear is supposed to be shaded (depicting red) but at the bottom panel it’s just a blank. Sometimes the scales on Miia’s face are absent and not drawn on. It’s a similar case to Naruto from Naruto really. He has whisker marks on his face but sometimes his marks disappear.

Still, little stumbles hardly matter though, at least to me. The whole point of this style is to make the girls attractive and titillating and Okayado does this extremely well.

Strangely, I like how he draws Kimihito, especially his eyes. Usually they’re just round and white, but they become visible if he’s experiencing a strong emotion or he’s in a serious situation. It’s as though we are being told when the situation is serious. Perhaps it’s a form of symbolism? Either that or it’s a cop out since Okayado would prefer giving more detail to the ladies then the guys? And if that’s true who can blame him? XD

 

5. ANIME

I’m certain that Monster Musume will get an Anime adaptation at some point in time, possibly next year. However, the more I think about it, the more I get the impression that it will receive commission for an OVA/special instead of an actual TV series.

Really, it all depends on which studio decides to sign up MonMusu as well as there being many other factors to consider. How are they going to animate it? Who will be the artist? How much funds do they have to produce it? Who is going to voice who? Which composer are they going to hire? In some ways, depending on the choice of studio the Monster Musume anime would be either a hit or miss. It’s all pure speculation though, but I’m definitely crossing my fingers that the right people will commission MonMusu.^^

I think Aniplex, same studio as the Monogatari show, would be best suited for MonMusu. However, I get the impression that it will be a toss between Xebec, Studio Dean and Gonzo.

Saitou Hisashi I think could do a good job at directing Monster Musume. He was the same director who directed Heaven’s Lost Property, Bamboo Blade and Haganai. My reason being, his creativity when it comes to directing and animation.

 

6. CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM… IF ANY

I don’t think I really have the heart to criticise this manga since I always focus on the stuff I really like, but, I’m giving it a shot!

Although I’m used to it by now I must say I find unfortunate that manga is printed in paperback. It’s very sad to see my manga being bent into unnatural shapes. =( Cue the violin music…

Ahem-

The term ‘monster girl’ has been thrown round quite loosely in the story itself, even by the liminal themselves. So really, there’s no real issue here, especially since it’s not a serious story. However, the term ‘monster girl’ seems to be rather demeaning. It’s like saying that the ‘monster people’ are inferior to humans, both in genes and appearance.

I suppose it’s the kind of society where the humans are still getting to know the liminals. Some welcome them with open arms, others, not so much. In some ways this situation is very similar to the case with the Mutants from the X-Men franchise.

Still, none of the ‘monster girls’ seem to take offence so all is good. Haha.

 

7. CONCLUSION

I enjoyed this just as much as the first volume book. Great art, funny scenarios, unexpected twists and good character development all round. I would have given this score higher then two thumbs if it were possible. Since it isn’t I’m just going to give this two thumbs up. =)

Image

 

8. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Okayado., 2014. Monster Musume Volume Two. Los Angeles: Seven Seas.

Okayado Twitter Page., 2014. @Okayado1215. [online] Available at:

<http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=267014&gt; [Accessed 6 June 2014]

Okayado Pixiv Page., 2014. [online] Available at:

<http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=267014&gt; [Accessed 6 June 2014]

 

9. OFF-TOPIC NONSENSE

I just thought I’d share this video that I found on my random browsing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PNr5bYfGBI[2]

This link is actually advertising the Monster Musume manga. It is a rather fun video. Ka-wai-i. XD

 

10. SAYONARA

Image

Hope you folks enjoyed reading my review as much as I enjoyed writing it. I had to keep on restraining some of my opinions since I don’t want to spoil the story…which is a very bad habit of mine. XD

 

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

 

[1] Acronym for Monster Musume

[2] Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou Commercial. Asimofufan. Published 29 Jun 2013. [Accessed 06/06/2014]

How I got into Monster Musume

Image

Konbanwa! ^^/

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.[1] 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[2] 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

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.


[1] A Centaur’s Life is the English name for Centaur no Nayami.

[2] MyAnimeList is one of the world’s largest Anime database.