What’s…that sound…?… Ah, the alarm…
It’s 6:30 A.M. now. Huh? Is someone holding you?
You find yourself face-to-face with a familiar, beautiful teenage girl…
“Miia, it’s morning. Wake up.”, you say.
“Five more minutes…no, five more degrees.”
You look down and find that Miia has wrapped her snake’s tail all around you. You can hardly move!
“Why are you in my bed, anyway?”
“I was cold because the sun hadn’t risen yet, so I thought you’d warm me up, darling. Lamias are cold-blooded after all.”
You sit up saying, “I’ll go draw a bath, so wait a minute.”
Before you could react, something thick and muscular wraps around your neck and pulls you back onto the bed. You find yourself pressed onto something warm and…soft…
“I want you to warm me up, darling.”
You feel something slither all around your body and it starts to get tighter. OwwwWWW! Too tight! You find it hard to breathe as well! You must do something!
As you flail your one free hand about, you grab onto something…
“Ahh! (gasp) Darling, not the tip of my tail…!”
You feel the pressure around your body loosen up. Did you find a weak spot? As you fight the urge to faint, you keep rubbing Miia’s tail tip, causing her to twitch.
You feel a sudden crushing force all over your body. What’s that popping sound?
Moments later, you barely hear Miia saying, “Fine, I’ll get up. You were so feisty this morning, darling. Darling?”
You ache all over and don’t quite feel like getting out of bed just now. Maybe five more minutes…
Everyday Life with Monster Girls (モンスター娘のいる日常, Monsutā Musume no Iru Nichijō) or Monster Musume is a manga and anime written by Okayado (オカヤド).
The story takes place in a modern-day Japan where non-human species go about their livelihoods alongside the usual human citizens. Three years ago, the Interspecies Cultural Exchange Bill was passed after much deliberation between the Japanese government and representatives of the various extra-species races. As a result, the existence of extra-species races was revealed to the world at large and the Japanese government is permitting the integration of extra-species into human society through a cultural exchange program. Under this program, selected individuals from various races are given a limited “diplomatic immunity” and the opportunity to experience life in human society. These individuals can apply for a homestay where they can share living accommodations with a volunteer human host family.
To manage the exchange program and enforce its laws, government-selected coordinators provide counseling to exchange program members, inspect prospective volunteer host families, supervise homestays and address problems relating to such. One such coordinator, and a less-than-stellar example of one, is Kuroko Smith, who has pushed a total of seven houseguests onto the young Kimihito Kurusu despite him not volunteering for the exchange program in the first place.
Kimihito is soon involved in a series of improbable adventures as he learns more about his unusual houseguests, encounters many kinds of extra-species races or gets involved with the extra-species community in Japan. Such events include visiting a gym constructed for extra-species use, meeting his houseguests’ mothers, staying at a hot spring inn run by a yuki-onna (“snow-woman”) and going to an extra-species cultural exchange expo!
Despite the exchange program, there are certain individuals and groups who take advantage of or harm members of extra-species races. While legislation has been enacted to protect human and extra-species alike from crime and violence, Kimihito and his houseguests occasionally run afoul of such rogues.
Kimihito Kurusu (来留主 公人, Kurusu Kimihito), a young Japanese man whose parents work abroad. He is kind, gentle and selfless, which results in his houseguests falling in love with him. Kimihito is very skilled at cooking and sewing and is devoted to making sure that the girls around him are happy, either by offering kind compliments or accommodating their particular needs, such as adjusting clothing to their size. He has also consistently demonstrated near-superhuman durability and tolerance to pain, which has helped him to survive the rough physical handling or accidents he often gets in his life with all sorts of monster girls.
Miia, a lamia (a humanoid with a snake’s tail as its lower body). Cheerful, ditzy and somewhat abrasive, she is the most openly possessive of Kimihito as her boyfriend-to-be. While she might seem naïve, Miia can be rather cunning at times. She is feared in the Kurusu household for her poor cooking skills, since she often improvises her ingredients wildly and the resulting food usually causes severe food poisoning. Miia originally went on the exchange program as a way to find a “tribal husband” to bring back to her home village since all lamias are female. Ms. Smith soon introduced her to Kimihito, with whom she fell in love with due to his kindness and lack of discrimination towards her.
Papi, a harpy. Playful, happy and absent-minded, she is a free spirit who doesn’t let much trouble her. Papi has a very short attention span (leading others to call her a “birdbrain”) and is rather poor at learning. Despite this, she is protective and supportive of those she considers her friends, including children and other non-humans such as Suu. When she first arrived in Japan, Papi flew off when Ms. Smith wasn’t looking. Soon after, she found Kimihito at his balcony and flew off with him so that she could get some ice cream, since extra-species houseguests must be with their human hosts in public. Papi soon became another houseguest at Kimihito’s home.
Centorea Shianus (a.k.a. Cerea), a centaur. Serious, disciplined and chivalrous, she is the very image of the medieval knights she admires. Although she has a gentler side, Cerea can get flustered rather easily. She is an expert warrior skilled in archery, jousting and swordsmanship. Cerea has a fascination with fantasy-style RPG video games and, like all centaurs, she is a vegetarian. Refusing to marry a male centaur (of whom most are muscle-bound brutes), Cerea joined the exchange program to search for a worthy “master” as her host. After getting special permission from Ms. Smith, Cerea galloped through the city and accidentally ran into Kimihito. After an incident in which he protected her from a purse-snatcher (it’s complicated), an impressed Cerea decided that Kimihito was the master she was looking for.
Suu, a sentient slime. Generally innocent and simple-minded, she is able to change her shape at will and learn through mimicking others’ actions or speech. Her body can also absorb foreign substances, resulting in drastic changes to her appearance and personality. Examples of this are poisoned plants (caustic personality), experimental growth fertilizer (growing to the height of a skyscraper along with an increase in intelligence) and minerals from a hot spring (rigid personality). Because of this, Suu is the most unpredictable of the houseguests. She simply appeared in Kimihito’s home one day and gradually endeared herself to the others, particularly Papi. Ms. Smith has pointedly decided that Suu is not her problem, despite Suu not having arrived in Japan through legal channels.
Meroune Lorelei (a.k.a. Mero), a mermaid. Friendly, polite and graceful, she is the daughter of the Queen of the Mermaid Kingdom. Because her lower body is a fish’s tail, Mero has to use a wheelchair to move on land. She is deeply fascinated with romantic tragedy (i.e. a dying lover, unrequited love) and has a taste for gothic lolita fashion. Because of her royal upbringing, Mero has a formal, dignified conduct that can impress people at times. She met Kimihito after she lost control of her wheelchair while going down a hill. Afterwards, Kimihito learned that he was chosen as Mero’s host by Ms. Smith, who had remodeled his home with underwater accommodations.
Rachnera Arachnera, an arachne (a humanoid with a spider’s lower body). Mischievous, seductive and worldly-wise, she is the most mature and level-headed of the houseguests. She enjoys tying up people in her webs in different ways and provoking people, displaying a talent for knowing just the right thing to say. During her stay with her first host family (who were terrified of her arachnid appearance), Rachnera accidentally injured the family’s daughter. After this, the parents illegally sold her off to a shady criminal. Because of this, Rachnera developed a cynical view about humans until the day she heard about Kimihito’s blatant selflessness. She kidnapped Kimihito and talked to him at length, gradually realizing that his kindness and lack of discrimination was genuine. Because of this, Rachnera decided to stay with Kimihito as another houseguest.
Lala, a dullahan (a humanoid with a detachable head). Gloomy, stoic and forthright, she uses dramatic, flowery language and likes to refer to herself as if she were death incarnate. Lala is seen as having “middle school syndrome (中二病, chuunibyou)”, where one (usually someone in mid-teens) likes to pretend to be far more powerful or attractive than they realistically are. In the past, Lala constantly ran away from various host families, which resulted in Ms. Smith often tracking her down. When she met Kimihito, Lala became fascinated with his ability to stay alive despite being constantly in life-threatening situations and decided to stay with him.
Kuroko Smith (墨須黒子, Sumisu Kuroko), a human cultural exchange coordinator. Lazy and irresponsible, she often neglects her duties as a coordinator, pushes her work onto others and never admits to any mistakes that she makes. Because of this, she has pushed several extra-species houseguests onto Kimihito without consulting him. Despite this, Ms. Smith can be very capable whenever she gets serious. She enjoys drinking coffee and particularly likes Kimihito’s instant coffee. Ms. Smith is also the leader of M.O.N. (Monster Ops: Neutralization), a unit of extra-species specialists similar to a SWAT team trained to handle crimes involving extra-species criminals.
Most of the story’s appeal comes from the colorful appearances and personalities of the various extra-species girls, which consists of an eclectic selection of monsters from various legends. The author has put a lot of thought and effort into building many of these characters, who each have their special motives, preferences, habits and outlooks. From this as a starting point, an entire community of monsters has sprung up in the midst of modern-day human society, resulting in a fantastical cultural melting pot.
Since most of the extra-species characters in this story are attractive humanoids, situations in the story sometimes become risqué as images focus on their enticing, seductive bust sizes and curvatures. This usually results in hilarity as Kimihito fights to retain his chastity and uprightness when monster girls try to seduce him. The fact that many of these women possess superhuman strength means that Kimihito is likely to get horribly injured if he does accept their advances. Thankfully, his kindness to others and his own ability to tolerate high amounts of pain allows him to persevere in his friendship with monster girls.
Beneath the cultural differences and different monster abilities, the monster girls of this story behave just like humans. Whether as law-abiding citizens, hermits, criminals or otherwise, extra-species people are all still driven by the same motivations as us. As humans, we all have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, two arms and two legs. How different can we possibly be deep down?
Beneath the surface, different peoples and cultures may be more alike than we think.