by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Interspecies Reviewers ?
Soooo, egg-laying as a fetish. Yeah.
In the real world, a lot of bizarre fetishes exist out there which the average person is best off not knowing about and will regret looking into if they every discover them. Interspecies Reviewers has already explored a bit into how that principle might apply in a fantasy setting, but this is the first episode primarily dedicated to that principle and wow, how the production team handles it is a doozy. The basis here is the stipulation that infertile egg-laying is still a periodic biological process for humanoid lizard, fish, and bird girls, effectively taking the place of the ovulation and menstruation cycles for mammalian-based humanoids. That isn't at all a stretch, though this setting goes further with the concept by putting in the notion that, for birdmaids in particular, egg-laying beyond two in one shot can be a sign of pent-up sexuality; whether this is biological fact or just a commonly-accepted rumor is functionally irrelevant.
Given all of this, that a fetish might develop over the egg-laying, and further that it may be especially prevalent in lizard-based races (like lamia) or fish-based races (like merfolk, who get maybe the episode's best joke in the way they enter into the theater), actually makes perfect sense. That the eggs laid this way might be marketable and desired – even highly-prized by gourmets in some cases – also makes perfect sense for the setting. But man, it's a bit unsettling to watch and think about, even more so when guest reviewer Narugami (the lamia who appeared as the guest reviewer in one earlier episode) is shown first eating one of those eggs and then sucking up a drink loaded with what look like frog eggs. The visuals even push it further with wetness and hints of steam associated with the freshly-laid eggs in some cases. Stunk serves as the stand-in for the audience aghast over this whole business, and he stays resolute about it even when the cute penguin birdmaid (really, that the series pulled this off is a character design feat unto itself) comes out to perform at the egg-laying establishment. Zel and Crim, meanwhile, are similarly aghast at first but have a change of heart over the Penguin Girl.
The jokes here are played up further by the first egg-layers to perform being females from races that none of the regulars would find sexy, but the “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” angle has been one of the underlying themes (and most frequent running jokes) of the whole series so far so that's not unusual. Meidri isn't involved in the theater show, as she steps aside to do her egg-laying in private, but that's still sexed up quite a bit. The one pertinent question that the series doesn't answer is what egg-layers like Meidri who don't sell off their eggs in shows do with them; they are unfertilized, after all, and have a large enough physical presence that they cannot just be ignored. Stunk and Zel cracking about seeking out Meidri's at the end of that segment is the one time so far where the guys seemed like they were deliberately trying to provoke a reaction from her, and she doesn't disappoint.
As unsettling as some of that content can be, it's still quite creative in its development within a fantasy setting. The one problem is that the segment only takes up about three-fourths of the episode. With about five minutes left after the credits roll, the episode opts for an elongated version of Mitsue's Room rather than another vignette and thus wastes the five minutes ranking the popularity of several of the succu-girls who have appeared so far. This allows for some reappearance of featured girls and a surprising runaway winner, but it's also easily the weakest segment in the series so far. That's why I'm not rating this one as high as normal rather than egg-laying business. Yep!
Interspecies Reviewers is currently streaming on AnimeLab in Australia and New Zealand.
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