001: Demi-chan wa Kataritai
AKA: Interviews with Monster Girls
Aired: Winter 2017
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Supernatural, School
Date watched: Nov 23 2018 – Nov 23 2018
Series watched: Demi-chan wa Kataritai (13 ep x 23 min)
Why I started watching: Satinel really wanted me to watch this.
This first diary entry is long due to the need for backstory. There are several reasons why I’ve never explored television media in general. For starters, I get rather easily emotionally involved in stories, and I don’t like the lack of interactivity. However, possibly the largest reason is that I tend not to do things in moderation – when I decide I want to do something over a long period of time, I jump in with both feet first, often to the exclusion of doing anything else with my spare time. I am not capable of hopping back and forth between major undertakings.
For nearly two decades, I’ve satisfied myself with video gaming that way – different games keep me occupied and mentally focused, and I’d move from one game to another once I finished or got tired of the previous one. At the same time, I did my best to avoid movies, television, and even books to an extent, because I knew that down each way, madness lay in wait for me.
However, animes were an interesting subniche. I have always been extremely interested in Japanese mythology, and in 2017, I started getting hooked onto some really good JRPGs – first NieR: Automata, then Fire Emblem, then Trails in the Sky, then Neptunia. I tried out a good number of them over the next year or so. From there, all I really needed was a little push to stumble across the line dividing JRPGs and VNs from anime itself.
That push came on the morning of Nov 23 2018, when my dear “best friend” linked an episode of this show to me while we were chatting, and ruined my life. I mean, changed my life. Having nothing better to do as I was winding down from a session of grinding achievements in Tales of Berseria, I started watching this interesting little show and promptly binge watched it into the afternoon before I knew what had happened.
I have always had a soft spot for school fiction in anime, partly due to my personal history which we will touch on in future posts. Demi-chan drew me in because of that, but then held my attention with the other aspects of the show – firstly, the supernatural characters twist to the school tale, and secondly what I would later find out was basically the Cute Girls Doing Cute Things genre (despite there being one guy in the main cast), but at the time was simply a fun, feminine-friendly concept that really appealed to me.
They also had a festival scene wearing yukatas, which is something I really like (along with kimonos and cheongsams). That would eventually turn out to be really common in a lot of shows, but as that piece of Japanese culture is not typically shown in gaming, seeing it in media was somewhat new to me. The very end of the last episode also hinted at more possibly coming. This was however also where I did some research and learnt that anime adaptations were often just advertisements of a manga or light novel, and sometimes left incomplete due to various issues and the expectation that you eventually buy the books. Bleh.
The characters of the show really stole my heart, especially Hikari, the middle girl above. She was my first exposure to the Genki Girl trope – a vivacious, vibrant vixen that sparkled in the light and brought the show together with her charming hijinks and cute little fangs. While the cast also included a dullahan and a succubus, the girl on the right was also really interesting to me because she was also right out of Japanese mythology – a snow woman, or yuki-onna. It immediately reminded me of Legend of the Five Rings, as she had a corresponding card there that I liked very much. And here Yuki (snow) was the opposite of Hikari (light) both in name and personality, the introvert of the group who would shine once she was befriended by Hikari. The Slice of Life plot was enjoyable, with the teacher character interviewing the titular demi-human girls studying at the school, and helping them work through school/life problems related to their supernatural natures.
The OP (Original by TrySail) and ED (Fairy Tale by Sangatsu no Phantasia) songs of this show were incredible as well, especially the OP, which was energetic and centered around Hikari, helping to set the mood for each episode. Both songs promptly became the first entrants into my anime music stash, while the show itself became a gateway drug into the world of anime.
Final Score: 10/10