Allow me to be perfectly honest when I say I’m still not used to reviewing a series like this where it’s more for relaxation instead of portraying a plot-line or another, more direct means of taking a series in. I usually don’t watch these types of series aside from a small handful of them nor do I properly know how to address them in a way I usually do.
Demi-chan went under my initial radar of things to watch when the series first aired but I was pointed in its direction by a friend’s recommendation and I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy the experience.
Demi-Chan takes place in society where a notable percentage of the populace take on traits of monsters in folklore and legends. While they are formally referred to as demi-humans, they’ve taken on an less categorical nickname as demi’s. Takahashi Tetsuo, a highschool biology teacher finds this prospect of demi-humans intriguing and wished to conduct some research on personal interest. Much to his convenience and surprise, three demi students end up in his guidance as well as one demi-teacher and Takahashi finally gets his interview with his demi-humans and how becomes a proper guiding
Right from the get-go, Demi-chan provides a different view into the whole monster girl setting that removes the normally viewed fetishes and promiscuous settings monster girls tend to occupy. This is a world where monster-girls aren’t literally monster girls but members of the populace that have the characteristics of a given creature and the rest of the scientific inquiries are fulfilled by Takahashi himself.
As this isn’t a plot focused series, all of the meat of the series comes with its characters and thankfully enough, they’re all enjoyable. Voiced by the suavest man in the business, Takahashi is voiced by the one and only Junichi Suwabe whose sultry voice provides us with a teacher’s insight and care upon his students. Takahashi is well characterized through his maturity, over-analytical personality but also with his careful, pragmatic mindset to help his students. Plus he’s absolutely ripped. Even without his voice, Takahashi was fun to watch and realistically respectable since he made it a point to say that he views his students as kids.
The three demi-students start off with Takanashi Hikari, a vampire girl whose energy and liveliness matches with the level of cool and calm Takahashi opens the series with. Hikari is the usual excitable genki-baka girl who laughs a whole lot and openly shows a lot of affection to all around her. Her quirk as a vampire isn’t too much of an interesting point but the dynamic with her family helping to accommodate her lifestyle. Speaking of family, Hikari’s energy is also kept in check by her level-headed younger sister who also helps her around.
Machi Kyouko is the apparently one of the three dullahans in the world and it seems strange to me at least since Japan seems to really love the dullahan myth for some reason. Idiotically enough I can’t name a few examples aside from ones like Durarara and MonMusu but portable heads seems like a favored trait among the monster girl pantheon. Aside from the fire that replaces her neck and the head she carries around, Machi is a simple and homely girl who has issues with people not being able to approach her as she is and avoids talking about her condition. Machi doesn’t really have too much to write about since she’s pretty simple and cute.
Kusakabe Yuki is the last student to be developed on and goes over the largest character change in the series. As a yuki-onna, her reluctance to be involved in socializing with others give off the wrong impression on some girls and Hikari’s intervention along with Takahashi’s guidance has her open up, changing her outlook and personality completely. I definitely expected something of this sort of issue with Kusakabe since the whole yuki-onna myth is of women luring men to their death or falling in love and all that hubbub with their stories they’re associated with. Kusakabe however mostly turns those around and the actual myths are addressed when she wanted to learn how to manipulate her level of temperature control to make summers less strenuous. All and all, my expectations were passed with how well Kusakabe was characterized.
Last but not least is Satou Sakie, the new teacher on the block who happens to be a succubus. Given how much her situation is elaborated upon and how problematic her situation seems to be compared to the others, I began to think how the series might have originally be more focused on older characters instead of the highschool setting we have now. As a succubus who attracts men with a natural aphrodisiac her body creates, Satou suppresses this ability of hers by avoiding most contact with males and generally isolating herself from society when not at work. Satou’s whole deal comes with her loneliness and her desire to romance and settle down, a vision which she soon finds in Takahashi who she takes interest in after multiple run ins and after seeing how well he treated his students.
I already talked about visuals for a highschool setting twice before this so I don’t think I need to spend too much time here. For what it is, Demi-chan’s visuals are appealing and the characters are easily distinguishable. Since this series’ concept of monster girls aren’t in the extremes aside from Machi, there’s not much else to mention in the visuals department aside from accomplishing what it set out to do. On a slightly more notable note, the music was more memorable than the other two highschool series I’ve covered and major props go into the opening which I didn’t skip all that often. However, I cannot say I recall too many tracks that I’d listen to again if I was given the chance to peruse through the soundtrack’s list.
The pacing doesn’t provide all that much for me to dwell on since the series since it’s mostly episodic with levels of character development rolling in from previous episodes. I had the chance to look at some of the manga’s own art and I can definitely say that the anime did more than enough of a job in polishing things up in the transition to animation. Speaking of which, the anime’s progression is also ahead of the manga in terms of material at the time of this writing.
It took me a friend’s recommendation to check the series out and when he did explain the premise to me, I was pretty convinced that this would turn out to be something different. As I’ve already mentioned, I only watch a handful of series like these and I’m still not used to talking about them in this fashion so forgive me if I wasn’t as critical or brief with my rundown since I don’t really know what to look for in what makes these kinds of show great or not. What I can at least say for this series is that it had a great dynamic between its characters and tackled a different side of the whole monster girl spectrum. It’s main character was also notable with his interaction with students and just the whole “Teacher and student” dynamic particularly happens to be a favorite of mine if done decently enough. Overall, I enjoyed the experience but I would still assume many of the people who don’t watch this sort of thing would be convinced otherwise to give it a try since it’s still a rather “non-eventful” series. To those who are interested, it’s an adaptation that goes past the original, as far as I’m concerned.