Note: This review contains NSFW images.
Monster Musume has been quite the hit in the West thus far, as evident with the strong sales of both volume 1 (released October 15, 2013) and volume 2 (released January 7, 2014). If you haven’t been able to guess by the title or cover, all the girls are monster girls, which gives this manga a unique twist that other ecchi harem romantic comedies don’t have. This twist provided plenty of laughs, and I found myself breezing through each volume wanting more. So let’s get down to business with a review for both volume 1 and 2.
Our protagonist is Kurusu Kimihito, who is an unwitting volunteer in the government’s “Cultural Exchange Between Species Act.” As a result, a beautiful lamia by the name of Miia comes to live with him. Soon after, a Harpy named Papi and a busty centaur named Centorea join the fray as well.
Volume 1 spends most of its time introducing each of these three heroines. This provides the readers a good opportunity to learn about each girl’s distinct personality. Miia is very sensual, Papi is extremely childlike, and Centorea is very noble and easily embarrassed. I myself was very attracted to Centorea (and not just because of her chest!). I’ve always liked the noble type who doesn’t really know how to show affection or be intimate. For example, Centorea gets quite flustered at the thought of holding hands. It’s quite cute.
Most of the comedy in volume 1 revolves around the fact that despite living with beautiful monster girls, Kurusu is not allowed to be intimate with any of them, as it is against the law. This sets up some hilarious scenes, as Kurusu’s government exchange representative Smith-san is always keeping an eye on him.
Another big part of the comedy is derived from the abundance of puns used in the dialogue. Some examples include: “You shouldn’t have a cockfight out here for everyone to gawk at!” (in reference to Papi) and “Well, what now? You can’t expect me to hoof it!” (an obvious nod to Centorea). I have to really commend Seven Seas Entertainment for the superb translation of the dialogue, and the way they kept each girl’s speech pattern in tact without making it seem forced.
Things take a crazy turn when at the end of volume 1, Smith-san informs Kurusu that he has to marry one of the girls for the purpose of “experimentation.” The humor in volume 2 then shifts to that of crazy sex-starved monster girls, who are now free to consummate their love with Kurusu. There’s plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as Kurusu tries to evade the girls’ various advancements.
In addition, we are also introduced to two new characters: the slime girl Suu and the mermaid Mero. Suu gets a ton of attention in volume 2, and we learn she’s as dimwitted as Papi. There’s also some funny fanservice involving Suu, as she unintentionally violates the other girls due to her love of water (let’s just say the girls get wet a lot in this volume). Mero is not in the volume as much as Suu, as she’s not formally introduced until the end of the volume.
Overall, I immensely enjoyed both volumes of Monster Musume. While the copious amounts of fanservice might turn off some, just realize that this is an ecchi manga. Writer OKAYADO does a great job at making the humor flow. There’s hardly a moment where I wasn’t smiling. His art is also superb. Every panel is detailed, and I really respect how he didn’t decide to “phone it in” for a chapter.
– Nice twist by featuring monster girls
– Lots of humor
– Great art
Rating volume 1 and 2: 5/5
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