Occasionally insightful, occasionally infuriating, often amusing, Interviews with Monster Girls aka Demi-chan wa Kataritai[1] survived the Winter 2017 season mostly by dint of being the only show I was watching of a Sunday morning. Harsh language and minor spoilers ahead.

Demichan is a not-quite-a-harem show about biology teacher Tetsuo Takahashi and the demi-human students and teacher he’s trying to learn more about. More or less in order of being interviewed the students are moefied versions of a vampire, a dullahan, a yuki-onna and the teacher is a succubus.

At its best Demichan is a useful parable on disability and tolerance. This is very much a show built on establishing, and calling outFantastic Racism as a metaphor for discrimination against disability.

The episode where Tetsuo arranges for the dullahan Kyoko to be given permission to wear a backpack instead of carrying both the regulation bag whilst also carrying her head is one of the best moments of this nature.

Similarly there are a number of other moments that are surprisingly sensitive, and also delivered in a fairly funny way. A spoonful of comedy helps the ethics go down.

That said, there are also some infuriating elements to Demichan: the tiresome student crush on a teacher rears its head again. To be fair, when asked about this Tetsuo explicitly says that the girls are children and that he couldn’t be interested in them that way. On the other hand, this only comes up in conversation with the succubus Sakie in the final episode.

Having it come up in say the 2nd or 3rd episode, and in hearing of the girls, would have been a far stronger message IMO. As it is many of the episodes almost imply the opposite.

Speaking of Sakie, the treatment of her in a couple of episodes is, to be blunt, creepy as fuck. There is a whole lot of rape culture buried in her portrayal along with a hefty dose of victim blaming[2]. The series actually ends with a possibility of a healthy, adult, relationship with Tetsuo. Mainly because although he is affected by her aphrodisiac effect, he’s also enough of a mature man to hide it as much as possible so as not to embarrass her.

There is, inevitably, a fair amount of fanservice in this show. Although much of that is at least from the adult Sakie, which is at least marginally less creepy.

Overall I found Demichan to be fairly amusing and, the extent that the message of tolerance and empathy gets through, worthwhile viewing for a Sunday morning. That said, I’m not likely to revisit it in a hurry. I did quite like the OP:

[1] Per Wikipedia this is literally rendered as “Demi wants to talk”, and the source of the Demi-chan hashtag.

[2] I’m really not comfortable trying to unpack it more than this. I’ll leave that to people who really know what they’re doing in this space.