So Monster Musume finished airing yesterday and I have to say, I absolutely loved it. I don’t usually get to say that about entries in the harem genre, but Monster Musume was a lot of fun and it felt like a breath of fresh air in a genre mired in tired tropes and archetypes. From here on there will be spoilers, you have been warned.
I think what makes Monster Musume special is that it’s different in a genre where most of the shows all look the same. I’m not saying that same tired archetypes don’t show up in Monster Musume, because they do. However where in a normal harem a character might defined solely by her type of “dere”, Monster Musume adds something extra. Namely each girl starts off by struggling with her identity as monster and her reception by humans, meaning they spend less time being the stereotypical tsundere, kuudere or dandere that forms the other major part of their character. It also makes each of the girls a little more endearing, which is important when romance plays a major role in your story. Also Monster Musume does something so amazing, no harem has ever done it before… it told a harem story without a tsundere (Fuck YES!!!). Tsunderes are, generally speaking, one of the character archetypes I hate most. They annoy me because I have a hard time imagining any harem protagonist would put up with all the bullshit and beatings a tsundere gives out, which in turn makes the story less believable than it already is. Also their behavior is so damn consistent I could write a tsundere character in my sleep. There’s nothing inherently wrong with tsunderes, nor is it bad idea to take some of their characteristics and apply them to a character. But there so many tsunderes out there and so many of them are just this formulaic bossy, bitchy girl who has no other noteworthy characteristics that I usually can’t help rolling my eyes as soon as another one appears. Likewise this show has no imoutou-oniichan, semi-incestuous relationship ( another Fuck YES!!!). There’s clearly still plenty of pandering going on in Monster Musume but it drops much of formulaic character types and interactions that are so annoyingly common in other harem shows in favor of a more straightforward story. I know Monster Musume looks like one of those “wow Japan you crazy” type of shows and if I tried to explain its appeal to a non-otaku I’d probably get some weird stares. But all in all I think it’s a breath of fresh air in a very stale genre, and if you want some of that good old harem ecchi but can’t push your way through all the baggage most such shows have, this might just be for you. I don’t usually get to write glowing positive reviews for the harem genre, this show is a bit of treat, admittedly it’s a weird treat, but it’s a treat all the same.
And that’s all. Hope you enjoyed it.