Monster Musume Volume Four Review

Monster Musume Volume Four Cover

Monster Musume Volume 4 has entered into the New York Times top ten manga charts for the third time since its release. The love and niche for monster girls is really spreading throughout the world. Anime when? 😉 Attack on Titan is dominating as usual. It must be over a year now since Attack on Titan volume 1 was released. Time really flies. =) Witch Craft Works volume 1 arrived yesterday morning. I’m going to give it a good read at some point. =)

Let’s crack on with the review. =D

  1. SYNOPSIS

Kimihito has been tangled up in a bunch of problems since he became a host for the special interspecies programme. Now, he has literally been tangled up in Rachnera’s web, an Arachne[1] who has been on the run since her assault on Kasegi! Granted, he deserved to be “punished” but nonetheless, the law is the law and Rachnera has broken it.

Centorea, the proud Centaur, has certainly become wary of Rachnera’s presence since her arrival and understandably so. Like a knight in shining…Well, a tight fitted blouse, Cerea will do whatever it takes to save her master from this Arachne’s grasp!

  1. THEME
  • Comedy
  • Ecchi[2]
  • Fantasy
  • Harem[3]
  • Mature
  • Parody
  • Romance
  • Seinen[4]
  • Slice of Life[5]
  1. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

The suspense continues from the previous volume.

Rachnera is the perfect symbol of someone who you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Granted, she’s a runaway and broke the law, but, Kasegi and her former family hosts are what caused Rachnee to do what she did. She didn’t do anything bad though, only tying up Kasegi (some shady geezer) and kidnapped Kimihito (who has become accustomed to being kidnapped. Haha). I can sympathise with Rachnee and understand why she was sceptical of humans. I also like her style; I predicted that she was going to be a lecherous type and I was right. =D

I’m picturing her voice as Shizuka Itou, who is the same VA as Akeno Himejima from High School DXD and is playing one of the main roles in the new Sailor Moon anime. She has a wonderful vocal range and often portrays female characters that are quite sexual in nature. She can also play ladies who are mature yet innocent.

It seems that judging a liminal by a human is common, but for a liminal to be judged by another liminal is rather interesting. I.E., Miia and Cerea judging Rachnee due to her “scary” look. By the way, I’m not sure how Miia lost that quick dual against Rachnee, perhaps she got careless? Oh well! It was funny seeing Miia tied up in the manner that she was.

Speaking of Rachnera, it’s a very good job that Kimihito has got a leg fetish, otherwise I don’t think he would be able to win her over. I didn’t even realise that his fetish for legs were genuine. I thought he said that to settle an argument between Miia, Cerea and Papi. Who would have thought? It makes me wonder though, how does Kimihito feel about Cerea’s legs and Papi’s legs? Rachnee has nice shaped legs though, even if she is an Arachne. I actually like her, I like her much more than I thought I would.  Her heart is in the right place, she loves bondage and she saved Cerea and Kimihito from that gang of thugs.

Mero made me laugh; she mistook Rachnee for a crab! XD

I really liked the swimming chapter as it made me laugh the most out of all three. It was funny when Miia got all cocky since Cerea and Mero put on weight but then stopped when she found out that she was going to get weighed herself. Haha. I didn’t think they would have health checks in this manga, especially since they’re usually done in schools.

My two highlights of this volume are two certain moments. One, when Miia pushed Kimihito into the water shouting “booyah!” The second was when she did that amazing jump but landed really hard on the water. It was quirky how she was able to swim backwards and it’s definitely another benefit of being a lamia. Because she’s a snake and she wiggles and slithers it’s no surprise that she has a toned stomach.

The rivalry between the lamia (Miia) and the mermaid (Mero) resumes in this very volume. Granted, the rivalry is a little one-sided. With Miia, what you see is what you get. She makes it no secret when she gets cross or annoyed with someone. Just look how she is with Kimihito, although I do think she slightly holds back with her advances. Apart from that, what you see is definitely what you get.

Polt is a good character, I wondered if she was going to be inducted into Kimihito’s harem. It turns out that she didn’t, or at least, she hasn’t as of yet.

The last chapter was definitely getting juicy. For some reason I’m always anticipating for Kimihito’s relative to show up, and I honestly thought some relative (perhaps a sister) was going to show up on this “date”. Turns out, it was Ms Smith! She looked like she would make a nice couple with Kimihito. She also looks nice in her casual clothes. Why is she so addicted to coffee/caffeine though?

Speaking of Ms Smith, I feel really sorry for Suu. Miia and the others are making Suu conform herself to accommodate a disguise for the other girls. Her disguise for Papi was quite funny; it was also when she kept stealing someone’s water.

How did Kimihito not figure out their disguises though? Miia called him “darling” and Mero reacted when he said her name.

I really liked the reference to Metal Gear Solid that was made. It was most ingenious. Miia pulls off that costume very well.

It turns out that Ms Smith and Kimihito’s “date” was just a red herring. XD I’ve always wondered how Ms Smith really sees Kimihito, and I anticipated that we were going to get some answers. It turns out; we learn something much more important. Kimihito’s life is now in danger. I wonder who sent that death message. I’ll give you my guess two lines down…

A dullahan.^^/

  1. BONUS

We have a juicy colourful special in which Miia and the others try on different bras, all in different shapes and sizes, literally. 😉 It was pleasant to read. In this technicolour side story there’s an underlining moral which is quite significant…and hilarious. XD There is a bonus chapter and more fun facts about the newly introduced characters.

  1. CONCLUSION

The story is actually getting rather exciting. This story is certainly not shy when it comes to showcasing rudeness but it actually has a solid story line and morals if you look beyond the boobs, bums and legs. Haha. The ending was especially exciting and a lot more dramatic then when Rachnera debuted. It’s making me sweat a lot more for Kimihito’s health and well-being. Haha.

It’s very clever how all the characters use puns which refer to their animalistic side. Like, Rachnee using “itsy-bitsy” in a lot of her sentences. Miia also calls Mero a “watery tart.” Haha, poor Mero.

Its biggest factor is probably its fan-service and perhaps borderline softcoreness, but for me, the charm is definitely in the humour. Even after re-reading this volume for more than five times, I never fail to laugh. Like with Tom and Jerry or Only Fools and Horses– I’ve watched the repeats of those shows for years and they always crack me up. The characters are adorable and if possible, I started to like them even more.

Two Thumb’s-Up! (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

MONSTER MUSUME ANIME

Monster Musume Background

Apparently, the official website of Monster Musume was launched only a month ago.[6] The website has been asking fans for their opinion about what scenes (if adapted into an anime) we would definitely not want to be removed.[7] For me, I would want the anime to stay as true to the manga as much as possible. If anything, I would want them to extend the scenes, not cut them out. I could partake in that discussion but I prefer to just sit back and see what happens. I’m sure whatever happens in the future is meant to be. =)

It all depends on which production company will want to acquire the license of Monster Musume. Not all companies have the luxury when it comes to finance or time. I personally propose Aniplex but I can see someone like Xebec producing it.

They’re also running popularity polls on the main website. Again, I’m tempting to partake in the fun poll, but, I don’t really want to go on that site in case I get spoiled. Whilst browsing the main site I downloaded a few wallpapers; the one above of Miia is my new PC wallpaper. =)

THANKS FOR READING

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Boy, I sure went on a tangent towards the end. Haha. Well, I certainly enjoyed my time reviewing this. Now, the question remains… should I buy MonMusu Vol 5, or, add it to my Christmas list? It’s released in November and Christmas is not really that far away. Decisions, decisions…

With that probing thought I bid you all a Sayonara.

Thanks for reading.^^/

Ryan

[1] An Arachne is a half human and half spider.

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

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

[4] The target audience is aimed at males between the ages of 18 and 30.

[5] Every day mundane life.

[6] Monster Musume Official Website. Official Website. Accessed 13 October 2014. <http://www.monmusu.jp/&gt;

[7] Anime News Network. Monster Musume Manga Site Gauges Interest in Anime Adaptatin. Accessed 13 October 2014. <http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-09-12/monster-musume-manga-site-gauges-interest-in-anime-adaptation/.78718&gt;

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Monster Musume Volume Two Review

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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

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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

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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. =)

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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

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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]