Interviews with Monster Girls Episode 6
by Paul Jensen,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Interviews with Monster Girls ?
It turns out that if you really want to understand a monster girl, you need to talk to the people she lives with. Hikari's parents invite Tetsuo to visit their home, giving him a chance to see how the Takanashi sisters interact with one another outside of school. To no one's great surprise, Hikari and Himari are more or less the same at home as they are in public. They clash and argue constantly, but in a way that shows how much they care about and depend on one another. Back at school, Himari goes through a brief but intense guilt trip when Tetsuo brings up the possibility that Hikari can't see her own reflection in mirrors. The episode wraps up on a calmer note, with Machi taking a nap in the biology prep room while waiting for her ride home.
In terms of personality, the Takanashi parents are bland but pleasant. They lack the quirks and energy of their twin daughters and essentially come across as a responsible pair of adults who've gotten used to the challenges of raising their kids. This doesn't make them overly memorable as characters, but the series does include a few neat details about demi-human home life. Hikari has a separate fridge for her blood packs (though she doesn't always use it responsibly), and we learn that her bright hair color is apparently related to being a vampire. This second piece of trivia leads into arguably the nicest moment in the episode; Tetsuo notices that both Himari and the girls' father have lightened their own hair to make it more visually apparent that Hikari is part of the family. It's not a big deal on its own, but it implies a lot about the relationships within the Takanashi household.
Speaking of relationships, Hikari and Himari continue to be a believable and entertaining pair of sisters. Their polar-opposite personalities are a convenient source of humor, and the show makes good use of that easy dynamic in their conversations. Himari's sense of responsibility over her sister also proves to be a useful starting point for emotional drama; while her freak-out over Hikari's potential trouble with mirrors follows a predictable path, it draws an interesting line in the sand within their relationship. Himari has no problem telling Hikari off for being lazy or irresponsible, but it's a completely different story when it comes to anything involving her being a vampire. It makes me wonder if there's some history here, maybe a past feud between the sisters that got a little too personal for comfort. Even if that's not the case, this is a relationship worth revisiting throughout the season.
Machi's visit to the prep room is perhaps the weakest part of this episode. Part of the problem is that it seems overly contrived. Call me crazy, but you'd think that Machi's parents would let her know directly that Hikari's dad was going to be driving her home at the end of the school day. It's perfectly in character for Hikari to be a pain in the butt and withhold that information, I just find it odd that she'd be the messenger in the first place. The scene as a whole also seems to be lacking in any obvious purpose beyond showing the different demi families helping one another out. It works well enough for a “business as usual” scene, but I would've preferred to skip it in favor of throwing some more screen time at the episode's other storylines.
I wondered last week if Interviews with Monster Girls would continue to examine the interactions between humans and demis, and it looks like that is indeed the case. It's a good sign as far as I'm concerned, since that ongoing struggle to understand one another is a big part of what elevates this series beyond more ordinary slice-of-life stories. Whether it's Tetsuo trying to understand his students, Himari trying to be a good sister to Hikari, or any of the demi characters trying to find their way in the world, those charmingly awkward attempts at making connections continue to sit at the heart of this show's appeal. Keep 'em coming.
Interviews with Monster Girls is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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