Monster Girl manga as a proud standalone genre has come a long way. From the dark old times of a few furtive and often re-posted single-page doujin comics, to Monster Musume catching the attention of message board dopes, to (seemingly) becoming the financial backbone of Seven Seas, manga about demi-humans has arrived. With this arrival, the scope and breadth of the titles legally available has also blossomed.
Interspecies Reviewers feels like the logical endpoint of this branching out - a series about a small cast of dedicated experts (sexperts?) who visit demi-human sex workers and then write up their experences to post on the local taverns “Indie Publications” board. Finally, a manga that appreciates the value of zines.
The premise is one ripe with land mines and the potential for turning unsavoury, however the series maintains an upbeat openness, self-assurance and positivity that gives it a firm foundation and a unique charm. The author has clearly found a playpen they can have fun in, and the result is a gleefully smutty manga with a good helping of jokes.
Also nudity. Heck, there is even a chapter which is basically an extended joke at required censorship using convenient sparkles of light to occlude the characters in just the right places.
While there are some outlier elements that are treated with the same open acceptance as the rest of the matrerial (a hermaphrodite character, a visit to a gender-changing resort), the series is still very much focussed on the male point of view. It would be nice if the series found time in later volumes to throw its doors open just that little bit wider and allow a broader range of characters doing the reviewing rather than “cis men + outliers”.
Your reviewer is himself a cis male and so there are likely some other elements I am glazing over in this short evaluation. I dont particulaly intend to pick up further volumes unless they go on sale but still find myself pleasantly surprised by a series that, to repeat myself, could have gone so very lurid and unpleasant.
Note: The first paragraph is a synopsis of the history of Monster Girl manga as I can personally attest - corrections welcome.
Rating: Three Cyclopses (Cyclopii?)