Saori OnishiSarah Emi BridcuttYoshiaki IwasakiFairouz Ai
Monster Girl Doctor
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2020: M
Also known as: Monster Musume no Oisha-san
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2020
Director: Yoshiaki Iwasaki
Writer: Hideki Shirane
Original creator: Yoshino Origuchi
Actor: Atsumi Tanezaki, Fairouz Ai, Hisako Kanemoto, M.A.O, Maki Kawase, Miho Okasaki, Saori Onishi, Sarah Emi Bridcutt, Sayumi Suzushiro, Shun'ichi Toki, Yu Shimamura, Yukana, Yukiyo Fujii
Keywords: anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Website category: Anime 2020
Review date: 23 September 2022
Monster Musume no Oisha san
It's a lot like Daily Life with Monster Girls, which makes sense since its manga's author is a fan of that series, was inspired by it and has written a novel adaptation of it. Both are harem shows with a bland harem protagonist and lots of female monsters. The main differences are:
(a) this one is set in a fantasy world, not ours, and its protagonist (Glenn) is a doctor.
(b) the set-up's less openly harem-esque. Dr Glenn doesn't live with the girls and certainly isn't in a romantic relationship. The monster girls are simply his patients, colleagues, superiors, etc.
(c) far less fanservice. It's showing no real nudity and absolutely no nipples, whereas Daily Life with Monster Girls was full of both. (In practice, this is actually the biggest difference between the shows. They're aiming for a similar heartwarming tone, but it changes things to make a show all about boobs.)
(d) Daily Life with Monster Girls has a cooler theme song.
Even the specific monster choices overlap. Both have a lamia as Jealous First Girl, a proud centaur with huge boobs, a spider-girl with a bad personality, a slime girl, a mermaid, a harpy, a shy cyclops, etc. Kunai the flesh golem is a more plausible Zombina, since a Frankenstein's monster's limbs would be more detachable than a zombie's.
Personally, I quite like both shows. Their hearts are in the right place. They're thoroughly well-meaning, just wanting to be nice to their casts and help them become happier, healthier people. They do, though, have peculiarities. Daily Life with Monster Girls is explicitly a harem show, with that genre's frustrations. All the girls are in love with Kimihito and he strings them all along, refusing to choose for the sake of reader fantasy. This show doesn't have that, but it does have...
1. Plausibility hiccups. It wants to bring together its cast for episodes, but it's rejected the choice of having them all live together. The ep.4 slaver raid strained my credibility in how it brought together everyone we've met for a police operation that should, theoretically, involve almost none of them. Furthermore, the episode's self-conscious about it and keeps having characters whine about sending each other into danger. That's by far the worst example, but the parade of absolutely everyone in ep.13 only gets away with its self-indulgence because it's the finale.
2. Saphentite Neikes. She's Dr Glenn's colleague and head over heels in love with him, but she's never made a move because... ahem, cough, genre contrivance. We're given at least three reasons, of which the stupidest is that their boss, Cthulhy, has apparently forbidden it. Bullshit. I didn't believe that for a moment and the show itself quietly forgets about it after a while. Then, in addition, Saphentite's jealousy is capable of looking unprofessional. They're doctors. Grow up and let Glenn do his job, please. (Apparently there's a manga adaptation that I know I'd hate, because it ramps up Saphentite's jealousy to absurd levels.)
Incidentally, the animation of Saphentite's movement is both one of the best and worst things about this series. When they get it right, it's beautiful. I loved, loved, loved seeing realistic snake motion. (I used to keep pet snakes.) Saphentite wrapped around a pillar in ep.8 is a delight, for instance. Sometimes, though, the animators give her a human-like bounce-walk that bugged the living shit out of me. I presume she does it deliberately to fit in, but it's still annoying.
3. The approach of the scary giant in ep.8 is well done... but wasted since ep.7's Next Week preview had revealed that she was just another monster girl, so we know she'll just become another of Dr Glenn's patients.
4. Apparently (ep.7) it's hard to make clothes that block light if you're not a spider woman. Uh, no, that's called "not being transparent".
5. Skadi Dragenfelt is a "loli", i.e. designed to appeal to people who like little girls. Usually, this isn't a problem. Her human-ish body's a bit on the small side, but that's not her real body anyway. She's a dragon. She's got horns, wings, scales and an enormous tail. She's hundreds of years old, or possibly even thousands. In the last episode, though, she starts playing up to the "loli" thing and calling Dr Glenn "big brother". He asks her repeatedly to stop, as did I.
6. Occasionally (ep.4, ep.7), someone will ask Dr Glenn a question that makes no sense except as tedious hero-polishing. "Why do you go so far to try to save her?" Uh, because he's a doctor and she's his patient? D'oh.
7. Dr Glenn's characterisation is thin even for a harem hero. He's nice, dutiful, hardworking, etc. of course, but there's the odd moment where he can seem almost simpleminded.
None of those are serious problems, though. I'm nitpicking. It's a likeable show. I don't expect ever to rewatch it and I won't keep it, but I quite enjoyed it. Personally, I'm cheering for Saphentite, but it feels as if the manga creator's favourite is Tisalia the centaur. (I find her speech pattern off-putting and I don't see the attraction of having sex with a horse, but she's an admirable person and her attendants would provide significant, uh, benefits.) Meme needs to fix her self-deprecation issues, but cyclops girls are hot. It's also very hard not to be fond of Skadi Dragenfelt.
I also like the realistic biology. The monster girls' medical problems tend to be tied to their unique physiologies, letting you play a Medical Detective Story challenge with yourself as you watch some episodes. Cthulhy the scylla, for instance, will chew on her own tentacles when stressed. This is a real thing and sick octopi have been known to kill themselves doing this.
It's gentle fun. I can see plenty of flaws, but for me the show survives them. It's nice.