We continue on from where we left off last time, with Yuki overhearing the gossiping girls making mean comments about her; after which Takahashi finds her. After comforting her, Takahashi and Sakie talk about how to deal with this situation. Before Takahashi can take any action, however; he finds that Hikari has already taken matters into her own hands.
Later, Takahashi calls Hikari, Machi, and Yuki to a meeting (with Sakie present) and tells them to band together and support one another (as they are all Demis). Later again, Takahashi bumps into Himari, Hikari’s twin sis. Himari initially dislikes Takahashi’s intense interest in Hikari, believing that he only sees Hikari as some kind of research specimen. However, she soon finds out that this is not the case (although she still has some reservations about him).
I really liked this episode. The girls’ bullying of Yuki was very realistic. In a lot of anime (or media, really), writers tend to over-exaggerate a bully’s actions. While I know that real-life bullies can sometimes be as cruel as what is portrayed in media, most of the time they’re low-key bullies–such as the girls making mean comments about Yuki behind her back. Can I also just say that I really loved how the situation was handled? Hikari doesn’t beat them up, or stoop to their level; she instead just talks to them. I can’t even begin to tell you how refreshing it is to see bulling being handled and resolved in this way. Also, kudos to the writer for not making the bullies complete monsters; as the two girls actually apologize for their behavior instead of existing just to be the easy antagonists for the series.
I also appreciated this “arc” for another reason: This is the first time we see possible prejudice against Demis. Although it turns out not to be the case (the girls were talking bad about Yuki because of her behavior rather than her Demi-status), it really reinforces that there is still some slight stigma towards Demis. And, I mean, isn’t that the case for basically any group that is “different” from the majority? While monsters being used in stories to bring attention to social inequality is far from new, Interviews with Monster Girls handles it with a great deal more respect than in a lot of other, well-meaning media.
I also loved Takahashi’s speech towards the end of the episode, where he talks about Hikari. It really cements what kind of person Takahashi is. Himari’s defensiveness concerning Hikari was also nice to see. Although Himari doesn’t get much screentime compared to her twin sister, it’s obvious that the two of them share a very strong bond.
Overall, I thought that this was a great episode. It appears that Yuki still has some issues to work through, so we’ll be seeing more of her next time.
Out of five: