Monster Musume
Episode 11

by Paul Jensen, Sep 15th 2015

How would you rate episode 11 of
Monster Musume ?

Well, we made it. The aimless “D” storyline has finally meandered its way to a conclusion, allowing Monster Musume to go back to doing what it does best: being wondrously strange and completely unhinged. You want zombie girls losing random body parts while discussing their favorite horror films? You got it. You want to see the main character have a conversation with a disembodied head? Step right up. The monster girls are back in business.

After several failed attempts to lure the mysterious “D” out into the open, the MON squad takes over the fake date operation. Kimihito goes shopping with Tio, sees a zombie movie with Zombina, and takes a walk in the park with Manako. The mission is finally a success, but “D” turns out to be Doppel and the death threat turns out to be an ill-conceived attempt at forcing Kimihito to hurry up and pick a girl. A second, more poetic letter from D goes unexplained until a scythe-wielding dullahan appears on the scene. Of course, she'd probably be more intimidating if she hadn't quite literally lost her head.

The dates with the MON girls are wrapped up in a hurry, which is a shame. What little we see of the three girls suggests that they're pretty entertaining characters. Tio's boundless energy creates an amusing (and potentially dangerous) contrast with her large frame and super strength, Zombina's love of horror films is inherently funny, and Manako serves as the team's beleaguered voice of reason. Zombina's habit of losing body parts makes for a unique inconvenience, but Manako ultimately offers the most in terms of interesting monster girl observations. As similar as she is to a regular human, that one big eyeball is unsettling enough to sell the idea that people have trouble making eye contact with her. In a social context, it's an interesting challenge for the character to have to deal with, and I wish the show had time to explore it a little further.

As a potential addition to Kimihito's ever-expanding household, Lala the dullahan is a wild card. Her flair for the dramatic is ridiculous enough to be funny, and her dire warnings seem like a good starting point for a fresh story arc. On the other hand, it's a bit late in the season to piece together anything too complex. With only an episode or two left, I can't help but wonder if it would be better for the series to focus on its existing cast instead of throwing someone new into the mix. A rushed finale is hardly the best way to wrap things up.

This episode recaptures the insane charm that's characterized the better parts of Monster Musume. The various red herrings in the “D” saga drew attention away from the bizarre details that help sell this series, leaving recent episodes less compelling as a result. Thankfully, the weirdness is back in abundance here. I love the implication that it's possible to see down Lala's neck when her head isn't on, mainly because it's so much more horrifyingly mundane than covering the opening with some supernatural miasma. Even Kimihito's habit of carrying around a sewing kit is a nice touch, since it seems like a natural response to living with a group of monster girls who are suspiciously prone to wardrobe malfunctions. That kind of simple everyday logic strips away the vague mysteries of non-human characters and helps sell the idea that all these mermaids and centaurs are normal people with normal lives.

While I'm not sure how well a last-minute character introduction will serve Monster Musume, I'm just glad we're done with the “D” storyline. If the show chooses to go out on some goofy dullahan hijinks, then so be it. As long as the finale is memorably weird and curiously well-detailed, it'll be a fitting conclusion to this fascinating journey into monster girl madness.

Rating: B

Monster Musume is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Paul Jensen is a freelance writer and editor. You can follow more of his anime-related ramblings on Twitter.

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