Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou… Hah, how does one even start to describe this anime? Monster Musume is an anime that, even though uses the cliché framework of the typical ecchi harem genre (and very simplistic at that), stands out in the multitude of pieces in the genre due to its unorthodox line-up of characters. It’s also noteworthy to notice that this anime stays to just do what it has to offer, which is to provide extremely ecchi fanservice scenarios. It does not try to accomplish other subplots that just won’t blend with the overall perverted, even fetishistic, theme of the anime.
Very simple. The government revealed to the general public that monsters (lamias, harpies, centaurs, etc.) actually exist and made a bold move on passing a law in order to see if humans integrate these monsters in their society. The harem protagonist, Kurusu Kimihito, then finds himself in a growing household composed of him and a bunch of monster girls.
It’s actually pretty hard to determine whether a simple story is subpar or not. But among this simplistic approach in the overall background just to set up this harem of monster girls doesn’t just stop there. There are small chunks of information that just adds flavor to the story’s world to make it believable. Why do the centaur’s breasts have a beyond-human size? Well, apparently, that’s just normal in their physiology since baby centaurs are a lot bigger than baby humans, making them need more nursing from their mothers. Why does the 18-year old harpy look like a loli? Well, harpies need the petite size in order to be able to fly. With these kinds of flavor lore, one can see that this setting also pays attention to detail. Even though some scenes are pretty much out of the blue, as expected of a fan service-oriented anime, it doesn’t have that many plot holes.
It also deals with the expected reactions from human society should monsters actually exist such as discrimination, lack of representation in literature, the lack of spaces intended for the non-human species, and taking advantage of individuals who are not that familiar with how things work in the human community. It’s not just an all-out expression of libido. These kinds of small details drive some sort of plot (if it could be called that) that would lead to the expected ecchi scenes. Pretty linear, but not repetitive.
Again, very simple. And just like your typical harem anime, you have heroines that lack character development so the audience would just differentiate them by their character archetypes. You have a hot-blooded main girl who is pretty much girlfriend-material, an airheaded loli, a borderline conservative and responsible girl who actually fails sometimes on being like that, etc. Then, you also have this array of characters, some of which are throw-ins, who aren’t really part of the harem but engages in suggestive, if not entirely ecchi, scenarios with the protagonist. Predictable, but the monster girl factor makes things more interesting.
Though the lack of character development is mentioned, at least the heroines of the harem have some sort of background, if not a backstory at all, that adds more characteristics to them apart from personality and physical appearance.
One issue to address though is that the characters have ridiculous names, almost Pokémon-like actually because of the similarity of the proper name to the species name. You have Miia the lamia, Centorea the centaur, Zombina the zombie, Doppel the doppelganger, and the list just goes on. Probably, the names are like this due to the overall simplicity the anime is sporting, so there’s that.
Also, even though the protagonist has a legitimate name, it is hardly ever mentioned. This is to give way to six different nicknames given to him by every girl in his harem which gives more ground to the archetypal divide among the heroines. Also, most fans of the anime tend to forget his name and address him as Darling-kun, just like how a certain character, Ms. Smith, addresses him. This illusion of a nameless protagonist most certainly is there to fulfil the fantasy of the audience inserting themselves in the story, since he really is your typical easily relatable harem protagonist.
Now this one is not simple. It’s very rich since fanservice is the main asset of the anime anyway. The opening theme accomplishes in showcasing the fluid and beautiful animation and detail. Though movements and transitions aren’t all that awing, the art itself (and the better animation in the ecchi scenes) compensates for that.
As for the censorship due to the very ecchi scenes, it still is pretty good. It uses convenient blocking and close-ups to censor, which is pretty satisfying for the eyes of an ecchi enthusiast audience since the usage of weird light beams or steam feels forced.
One comical element to notice is that the protagonist tends to regularly change his appearance that doesn’t match the overall art style. He also gets to have white circles for eyes when engaged in the ecchi scenes depicting the awkwardness and his restraint from succumbing to his hormones. The lack of having a definitive facial feature also complements the mention of “namelessness” of him to make the audience insert themselves as expected of any harem anime.
The opening and ending themes give a background on the voices you’d get to hear in the anime, and has the typical cutesy theme in doing so, at least in the opening theme. As for the background music within the episodes, they’re pretty typical, not all that noteworthy.
The voice acting does not rely on a sophisticated script to complement the story. Instead, it showcases intonation and speech patterns relating to the archetypal personality of the character, which is vital for a cast that has a lot of female characters. The opening and ending themes could also attest to this. Also, don’t forget the goosebumps-inducing moaning in some scenes.
Monster Musume is kind of typical but has an intended audience in mind. It is not the anime one watches for the story. It really is just a downright ecchi anime and is a must-watch for the fans of the genre due to its predictable framework yet unorthodox execution.