by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 4 of
Interspecies Reviewers ?
Episode 3 was one of the raunchiest broadcast episode of any anime series I've ever seen, and for better or worse, the series doesn't let off the throttle much for episode 4. So what did our intrepid reviewers get themselves into that led to the episode starting off with three of them apparently dead?
The episode is divided roughly evenly into two major parts. The first part seems intent on proving that yes, it is quite possible to get entirely too much of a good thing when it comes to sex, and that's where the seeming deaths at the beginning of the episode come into play. In exploring a back alley, the lead trio and guest reviewer Bruise come across an unbelievably low price for all-you-can-take, unlimited-duration service. Crim, the only one with much sense of self-preservation, stays out of it while the other three attempt to tackle an entire room packed with true succubi so sex-starved that they actually pay to be there (hence why the fee is so low). Using the word “ravenous” here might be an understatement, as even magical bolstering doesn't prevent them from getting wrung dry and tossed out as the experience reaches torturous levels.
While there may be some more crass ways to interpret that whole business, the spirit of this series suggests that this was probably meant as a male harem fantasy turned into a nightmare scenario. Yeah, it can be sexy that the girls are over-eager to jump your bones, but how much can you actually handle? The joke part of it completes when an orc brings dozens of back-ups with him in a coincidental and wholly-unintended rescue of our reviewers. The moral of the story? Be wary about getting in over your head and always bring back-up.
The second part, which involves the main trio's trip to gather more fire stones for the druid(?) who owns the tavern where Crim works/boards, is definitely the more fun half; even just watching how the druid uses vines to perform multiple cooking duties at once and still wake up Crim is a treat. This part takes the odd Japanese practice of Nyotaimori - i.e., serving food off of a naked woman – and puts a novel twist on it: turn it into a yakiniku experience by having the woman's body also be the grill! That's possible in a fantasy setting where salamander girls can exist, which naturally leads to all sorts of innuendo over taking “hot” both literally and in a sexual sense. The series doesn't miss any opportunity to promote the raunchiness here, whether it's sliced meat fried on nipples or frankfurters being cooked in other certain places; it's all just so adorably nasty and perverse. The surprise here is learning that Crim is heat resistant enough to accept the salamander's offer for further services while Zel and Stunk are forced to back off, and gives the experience high marks. Crim may be reluctant, but they're by no means a killjoy. The other joke there is how the scene gets interrupted by apparent self-censoring, only for that to turn out to be the first naked fan service of Meidri on a flash-away to an otherwise-cute, bird-themed bathing scene – but that also means that old human succu-girl Mitsue also get her turn, because the series isn't going to let the viewer off that easy.
The censoring in this episode isn't quite as bad as the last one, but that's not saying much. There will definitely be no shortage of nudity and sexual situations in the eventual uncensored version. The interesting semi-serious touch in the middle is a little more exploration of how effective Stunk and Zel are as adventurers and how little Stunk wants anything to do with his father; this is the second time something about this has popped up, so I have to think it could be an eventual story thread.
Since last episode, one interesting point of commentary has come up in series discussions that I feel deserves special mention. I've seen a few people labeling the series as remarkably “sex-positive” because it is one of the rare ecchi series out there where nearly everything going on is completely consensual. Even if the reviewers ultimately don't find the experiences pleasant, they still willingly signed on for them, and the succu-girls have universally been shown both as willing and getting as much out of it as the reviewers do (sometime more, even). I had to think about that one for a while, as it feels like a weird claim to make for a series that has little aspiration beyond just reveling in its raunchiness and perversity, but upon reflection I do find it to be true so far. It might be accidental, but it's also a facet which may be helping to shield this title from some of the harsher criticism that ultra-ecchi titles commonly get. It is also clearly getting some to watch who might not touch fare like this normally, and that's not a bad thing at all.
Interspecies Reviewers is currently streaming on AnimeLab in Australia and New Zealand.
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