by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Interspecies Reviewers ?
Interspecies Reviewers has gotten into some pretty weird stuff in its eight episodes so far, but the business in this episode with the “angel mayo” may be some of the weirdest territory that it has traversed yet. And that all happens in what should be one of the most conventional brothel settings so far – relatively speaking, of course.
That is the feature incident of the second of two vignettes for this episode, in which Zel, Stunk, and Bruise (the furry guy) take Crim on the latter's first visit to the ultimate brothel in their world: one staffed by true succubi rather than just succu-girls. This isn't actually the first anime series to use such an institution; KONOSUBA had one in episode 9 of its first season. However, whereas that institution primarily trafficked in erotic dreams, this one is about more straightforward sex. The sheer logistics of it are mind-boggling; a sixty-story tower with over a thousand rooms and a “couple thousand” succubi on call. Even a major metropolitan area where they had little to no competition probably couldn't support that! Of course, “logistics” is definitely not something which ever factors into this series or setting, so it's best not to think about the numbers involved here. The main point is that, between the number of succubi available and their ability to alter their forms to suit the tastes of guests, a venturesome male could get even the most bizarrely specific fetish and physical standard met here, usually with multiple options; in fact, that ends up being one of the main jokes, to Crim's dismay.
Crim also asks the question that I'm sure a lot of viewers were: with as flexible as this place is, and given that true succubi literally live for this kind of thing and prices are comparatively low, why don't the guys come here all the time? Crim finds that point out by the end: the succubi are so aggressive in their sexuality that, like with the demon brothel a couple of episodes back, patrons walk away feeling so drained that they might not be ready for sex again for several days – hence the reasons why the place is popular for visits right before long journeys or quests. This also leads to maybe the funniest line in the whole series so far: the subtitle note explaining that “to prevent children from viewing these indecent images, we have replaced Crim with a bottle of mayo.” (Why a bottle of mayo should not need to be explained to any adult.) I like it when series crack jokes about their own censorship, and of course it's absurd that kids would watch this, but man, the business with the “Angel Mayo” jar is so involved that some of it is still blank-screen censored anyway. The succubus's dialog during it is also classic. If the series is remembered for just one out of the many potentially infamous scenes that it has, it could be this one, and someone has to make “Angel Mayo” and market it as an actual product.
With all of that, it's almost easy to forget about the scenario which takes up the first half: the role-play establishment. It's a place for people who like to act out sexual fantasies, like ravishing a captive female knight or whatnot. That part of the episode is very careful to emphasize that everything which goes on is in a controlled environment where the girls are fully willing participants, are fully capable of disciplining patrons who cross boundaries, and everything is rigged for their safety (they only pretend to be chained to the wall, for instance, and the horse torture device is magically rigged to be harmless). Some of the succu-girls are better actors than others, which naturally throws the kind-hearted Crim off; they're just not cut out for a place like this, as the girls have to assure Crim more than once that nothing off-limits is transpiring. Clearly this is not Crim's type of place, though they don't totally lambaste it, either. This segment also brings up the notion that something equivalent to AVs (adult videos) also exists in this world, transmitted via magic crystals. Because of course this setting would have something like that.
As much fun as this episode is, next episode looks like it'll be the one that I have most been looking forward to since the beginning: the one where the undead come into the picture. For this week, though, I may have to reconsider using mayo as a condiment. . .
Interspecies Reviewers is currently streaming on AnimeLab in Australia and New Zealand.
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