This week’s Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Interviews with Monster Girls) digs to the heart of Yukki’s socially reclusive nature, finally putting every character on even emotional footing.
In a twisted attempt at making her high school debut, Yukki, didn’t move to standout and rise to the op of the social hierarchy, for the first time in her childhood, she wanted to hide the fact that she is a snow woman.
Yukki, a snow woman who’s tears of sadness freeze and who’s negative emotions chill the air, doesn’t have to worry about her peculiarities effecting other people in a meaningful way. But when a bath time phenomenon see her seemingly freeze hot water into ice instantaneously, her headspace is thrown into a debilitating disarray.
To fix this, Takahashi really nails the scientific approach this week. The number of folklore tomes we see strewn about his office while he’s studying snow women for Yukki’s sake, makes me wonder when this man actually teaches. His merits as a prescribed educator aside, Takahashi takes what he knows from the books and a social science inquisition of Yukki’s lifestyle, and he fashions a foot-bath experiment. Thinking Yukki’s cold sweats are the source of the odd ice, he puts her under emotional duress by getting her to recite bleak legends of mournful and murderous snow women.
The flat, picture book-esqué collages overlaid onscreen as Yukki narrates create an eerie mood with sparse navy blue backgrounds and cold silhouettes that fade in and out of parallel with Yukki and Takahashi’s seated figures. The artistry helps distract from the stiffly awkward nature of the whole exchange. It’s no less bizarre than the other conversations we’ve seen in Demi-chan, but the specific nature of Yukki’s concern isn’t as easy to extrapolate to broader social issues.
The artistry helps distract from the awkward exchange
She wishes she could dissolve away like a fairytale, which is odd because, in theory, she is a fairytale character. In reality though, she’s not much different from any “normal” person. Yukki’s worries about hurting others were born more from fables created in a climate of fear than from a concrete understanding of how her body works.
“I don’t know how dangerous I actually am,” she says. She also doesn’t know how dangerous she isn’t.
Takahashi’s experiment shows her the truth and reveals another Yukki never new about herself. Her tears of happiness don’t freeze. Her benign snow woman powers only manifest off negative feelings. Yukki’s becomes free to chase a normal high school life, and with that, every member of Demi-chan’s cast is at the emotional starting line.
They’re all pretty buddy-buddy, too. Yukki reconciled with everyone she spurned because of her unfounded fear of hurting them. The students and Takahashi have formally established a healthy student/teacher relationship and the polite form of speech they’ll use with each other. And Takahashi’s penchant for interviewing is firmly established as an academic pursuit.
This week’s episode closes with some lighter comedy that’s fitting of the new connections the characters formed over the last few weeks, but it peters out in a amiable sort of way that leaves us little to look forward to.
The only remaining unresolved wrinkles in the show that I can think of are minor ones. The potential relationship between Sakie and Takahashi could carry the plot for a while. She’s a functioning, working adult developing her career, but the inherent frustrations she bears on a daily basis could easily reappear with a more interpersonal focus in a later episode.
The episode peters out in a amiable sort of way
The immediate outlook appears to be honing in on the Takanashi sisters’ relationship, which is still promising. Whatever the promise is between them that was teased last week, it’s something that defines Hikari’s ideology. We’ve only seen the bright, cheerful and justice-oriented faces of Hikari so far, so any additional depth to her character will be welcome. As much as I love a happy, funny-face machine of a character to add levity, there’s definitely potential for more that that out of our vampire heroine.
Will Demi-chan be able to spin those narrative threads in an effective way in the second half of its cour? That’s the biggest question.