Monster Girl Doctor
How would you rate episode 1 of
Monster Girl Doctor ?
Before we start this review, I think it's best if I do a disclaimer of sorts. I am normally not one to watch shows like Monster Girl Doctor, and as such I don't think it would be fair to review it according to my usual preferences. The show is clearly not trying to appeal to me, and I don't think it would be terribly fair to complain over the next three months about a show not appealing to me when it never set out to. That would be miserable for all of us.
With that in mind, I will do my best to try and review Monster Girl Doctor in terms of what (I think) it is attempting to do. Other than knowing that the premise is at least superficially similar to Monster Musume – and that the original light novels involved one of the artists from that series – I am coming in as a relative novice to this style of show. Maybe I'll end up liking it?
We open on a war-torn battlefield of an ancient war between humans and monsters that has raged for hundreds of years. No one even recalls what the war was started over, but after years of war the exhausted sides draw the conflict to a close. Peace blooms like a flower on the battlefield.
…and then it's a smash cut to a cowgirl breast exam. Our protagonist, one Dr. Glenn, is performing an examination on a cowgirl, which involves both of his hands all over her chest. She is dressed in the same attire I usually wear to a medical appointment – daisy dukes, a bikini top, and cowboy boots – and is apparently quite invested in this examination. As she should be, it turns out – she's pregnant! After her exam, her significant othertaur enters and expresses his excitement, there are congratulations all around, and they exit stage left to make sure others have herd the good news.
Dr. Glenn is assisted in his work by Sapphentite, a pink-hued lamia woman who seems to be an assistant whose capabilities are only rivaled by her jealousy targeted at anyone Dr. Glenn helps. The two soon are shocked when a letter arrives from their old teacher Dr. Cthulhy to invite them to the capital. It seems she needs their assistance, and a short carriage ride later they find themselves at Monster Capital USA where they will be tending to third- and fourth-rate fighters from the arena.
Here we meet the first episode's monster girl in need of primary care, Tisalia Scythia. She is a female centaur and the heir to the illustrious Scythia Transportation group, as well as a skilled fighter. Dr. Glenn inspects her and finds that there is nothing wrong with her, but her two assistants are concerned because she does not seem to be performing well in the arena fights. Her physical is fraught with Ye Olde Tension, which Sapphentite does not appreciate, and she expresses as much later that night when she and Dr. Glenn are having drinks. Dr. Glenn wonders if, perhaps, the problem is one a doctor would not recognize.
The next day, the solution becomes clear. Tisalia comes to the stables to speak to Dr. Glenn who suggests giving her horseshoes, because her hooves are worn down. She objects, but her assistants hold her arms and help Dr. Glenn put horseshoes on her. This turns out to be just what the doctor ordered, and Tisalia wins at her fight the next day. Huzzah and kudos all around.
I'm not sure how to feel about the first episode. The show seems to try and balance quirky character comedy, tender moments, and awooga awooga monster lady bodaciousness. By and large it doesn't exactly knock the ball out of the park but it isn't bad either, it seems competent at all of those areas without necessarily excelling. The characters are likeable enough, and while Dr. Glenn's ability to immediately draw every monster girl to him is baffling to me (is it his jorts and lab coat combo? Is that the secret to his power?), he does seem to be a competent doctor and spends his time trying to help others.
It's hard for me to even comment on the fan service elements. Are they meant to be the cake or the icing? If they are meant to be the primary draw, there does not seem to be enough of it for the run time. But if it is only meant to be a bit of a treat every now and then, I'm not sure the character dynamics are strong enough to hold the viewer's interest. There seems to be a “This is fine” element to everything that is happening. Even the suggestive dialogue is pretty run of the mill as far as anime goes, and beyond the occasional pearls like “Check out my gorgeous waist!” it all seems pretty standard fare, but then maybe this is my ignorance showing.
The only part of the show that I really had major issues with was the horseshoe scene. I mean, it is just a character putting horseshoes on another character, and it is to ultimately help her, but having her shout “I don't want this!” and the lamia tail wrapping stuff… it was a lot. It was, mercifully, a short scene, but wow I did not like the vibe and hope that is the exception rather than the rule.
How would you rate episode 2 of
Monster Girl Doctor ?
This episode opens on another flashback sequence where we see Sapphentite and Glenn meeting as children. It turns out she was part of an effort to bridge the gap between humans and monsters and stayed with Glenn and his family for a year. When the war ended, she left his life again where they (presumably) met once more in medical school.
Back to the present, our plucky peryton pathologists take a trip to Merrow Waterways, a Venice-like city of merfolk. They hop into a gondola pulled by a merjock and take a trip through the shopping district. After a pleasant montage they meet a young merwoman Lulala, who beckons them over to try her small shop. While perusing the wares, she mentions the nearby bridge is a lover's bridge, and shows off her musical talents with a quick song. But it's clear that something is wrong with her as she starts coughing.
Dr. Glenn and Sapphentite begin inspecting her and it turns out she is having an issue with her lungs and gills. Apparently, she spends too much time in the sun, which is drying her out. Dr. Glenn applies a salve to her gills, of course by hand, and recommends she stop being in the sun so much. Lulala is the oldest of four siblings and that simply isn't an option, she has to help her family. Before the conversation can go any further, a local youth falls into the water and Lulala immediately dives in to save him. She does so, plopping the soggy lad back on the dock before succumbing to exhaustion and falling in herself.
Dr. Glenn realizes something is amiss and dives after her, scooping her up for a water-breathing transferal kiss that is as romantic as it is life-saving. Lulala is okay! But in true dramatic fashion, Dr. Glenn begins to fall beneath the waves as well. Thankfully, Sapphentite scoops them both out of the water and into a boat she brought over. Everyone is a-okay, save Sapphentite who is quite upset at the prolonged hugging going on.
The episode ends with Dr. Glenn and Sapphentite attending a show in the center of town. On a fountain display surrounded by the citizens of Merrow Waterways, Lulala is singing the full version of her song. After a lovely rendition, the duo wait until the crowd clears to check on Lulala one last time. She expresses her thanks to Dr. Glenn and swims off as we draw to a close.
I'll admit, I enjoyed this one a bit more than the last episode. I am picking up that there is going to be A Scene™ in each episode where some medical emergency occurs which requires an interesting solution that is meant more for the audience than the patient. This episode's gill ointment application is certainly an… interesting comparison to the first episode's horseshoe scenario. While this was more obviously graphic, it at least lacked the non-consensual overtones of the horseshoe application. Again, I have no idea if this is outrageous or just par for the course, but once again it was only a small moment within the rest of the episode.
In fact, I found myself mostly enjoying this episode. It won't win any awards mind you, but Merrow Waterways was an interesting locale with some fun design work - particularly the structure of the fountain at the end of the episode that accommodates both foot traffic and water traffic. I'm really quite enamored with Sapphentite's character design, particularly the… I'm not sure what to call it… half-veil thing she has going on? It's a really unique piece of clothing that appears original, or at least I haven't seen anything quite like it before. The scenes with Glenn and Sapphentite shopping were pleasant, and Lulala's song was rather lovely; it was to the show's benefit to let us hear it twice. On that note, the opening and ending tracks made their appearance this episode and they have a toe-tapping quality I can't deny, curious to see if they grow on me more in the long run.
Special mention to the absolutely incredible line of dialogue where Dr. Glenn tells the child's mother, "Just be sure to take him to a doctor who specializes in humans." An absolute gem of a line, my stomach hurt after laughing.
Monster Girl Doctor is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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