Demi-chan wa Kataritai Ep.8 Review: Mediocre and Rote Slice of Life Fare

demi-chan-wa-kataritai-08-feb-26-2017-12-10-21-am

Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Interviews with Monster Girlseschews the small amount of momentum it regained last week, and grinds almost entirely to an uninspired halt. 

The punchlines to the jokes this week meander into each scene. You see them coming, and they have no meaningful narrative weight. This is especially problematic when the episode doesn’t lean into the strongpoints of its cast.

Except for one brief deviation — a flashback where Sakie twists a bully’s arm, temporarily turning him into a masochist, much to a crowd’s disgust — this episode revolves around Yuki’s gag-manga preference, Machi’s studying aptitude, and Hikari’s arm-nibbling palette.

This episode doesn’t lean into the strongpoint of its cast

Two of those three focal points could appear in any other slice of life show, rather than one about demi-humans. Unsurprisingly, they’re not very interesting as a result. What’s more, each one feels unrelated to any of the forward momentum that Demi-chan built up last week.

feb-26-2017-00-08-45While Yuki and Satou discuss old manga in the hall, we do see a new side of the snow woman though. In trying to hide how much she loves the same jokes as Sakie, Yuki stifles bouts of laughter, playing them off as sneezes. And when she hears about Saki’s history of overcoming her adolescent aphrodisiac development, she completely loses it.

The kickers here are mostly Yuki’s facial expressions. The timing of the cuts are OK, but neither the subject matter or the scenario are very funny. There’s nothing memorable about the three demis hitting the books to get better scores on their next test, either. We see Machi using her head-holster so that she can write freely, and Hikari flits about in an antsy way, struggling to focus.

Where past episodes saw the students overcoming meaningful social challenges to get to this point, now that they’re here, Demi-chan doesn’t seem to have much for them to do.

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This is the third consecutively bland episode in a row for Demi-chan. It’s disappointing given it’s strong first half of the season. Rather than the brain-on entertainment of those first few episodes that had more complex commentary mixed in with its wit, Demi-chan has become brain-off fare as of late.

The story foundation’s there, but the plot doesn’t keep up

The building blocks for a satisfying story are in place, and have been for a while, but the the plot no longer keeps up. And in an anime that’s not especially beautiful or fluidly animated, when the writing droops, so does the whole show.

feb-26-2017-00-02-00Hikari’s buoyant voice still serves as a boon to every scene Kaede Hondo lends her acting to, but no buoy can salvage a sinking ship on its own. Demi-chan has interesting threads it can explore. It teased them before. Wherever they lead though, the producers either thought they couldn’t carry an extra episode, or that the show needed some breathing room before we dig into them. Neither reason make this episode any more satisfying though.

I’m still interested in why the Takanashi sisters are so close and why a detective felt like checking up on Sakie, but I’m no longer convinced that Demi-chan is going to explain those plot points in a compelling way.

The buildup has been fun, and the show’s far from a lost cause this season, but things aren’t looking great if we get too many more filler episodes like this.

Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Interviews with Monster Girlsis streaming on Crunchyroll. Funimation is streaming a simuldub of the show.

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