Interviews with Monster Girls is a slice of life manga that highlights the daily activities of demi-humans, which are nicknamed ‘demis’. Although they’re accepted in human society, they face many hurdles because they are different. Biology teacher Tetsuo Takahashi aims to learn more about them and uncovers the daily struggles of demis as they try to live normal lives.
The cute story is calm and offers sensitive commentary on society, discrimination, and the importance of being understood. It’s also crazy funny!
But one big appeal is the manga’s unique take on popular myths and legends – namely vampires, Dullahan, Yuki-onna, and succubi. Let’s explore the unique re-imagining of each demi lead that can be found in Interviews with Monster Girls by understanding their mythical origins.
In Interviews with Monster Girls: Hikari Takanashi is an energetic vampire who loves teasing her friends. Instead of biting people’s necks, Hikari drinks blood packs sent by the government and tomato juice. She also loves garlic and doesn’t turn to dust under bright light though it can take its toll on her.
In myths: Vampires are undead beings that feed on the life essence of living humans, which is typically blood. Many cultures have their own versions of vampires, but the most well-known vampires come from Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Chinese Jiangshi legend.
In Dracula, vampires are charismatic beings who can control the minds of victims before drinking their blood. The bitten person will also become a vampire. It is believed that a stake through the heart is the only way to kill a vampire, with garlic and holy artifacts warding them away.
The Jiangshi are re-animated corpses that hop around at night and absorb the ‘qi’ of living creatures. They sleep in coffins or hide in caves during the daytime. Mirrors, vinegar, and rice chaff are said to keep a Jiangshi at bay.
In Interviews with Monster Girls: Kyouko Machi is a friendly girl who longs to make friends and wants physical contact with others. She loves it when people hug and carry her head, but feels great discomfort when people touch her blue flame. Kyouko also has a neck, but it’s somewhere in another space dimension.
In myths: The Dullahan is similar to the Grim Reaper. These headless riders carry their rotten head under one arm and a whip fashioned from a human spin in the other. Their wagons are fashioned from skulls, femurs, and human skin. Where a Dullahan stops their horse, that is said to be the location where someone will die.
If you are unfortunate enough to see a Dullahan, you’ll perish the moment they say your name. If you accidentally cross a Dullahan while they are riding or killing another, you will be doused with a basin of blood or have your eyes lashed out with their whip. The only way to ward off a Dullahan is by carrying gold.
3Yuki-onna (Snow Woman)
In Interviews with Monster Girls: Yuki Kusakabe radiates cold, especially when experiencing negative emotions. Despite her cold body, Yuki is susceptible to heat and doesn’t like to be out in the sunlight much. Yuki dislikes her demi nature and avoids people because she fears that she will harm others, but in reality, she can only freeze water and her tears.
In myths: The Japanese yokai have many different version depending on the prefecture. Despite this, there are commonly shared elements. The Yuki-onna is said to be a beautiful woman who possesses long black hair, blue lips, and pale skin that blends into the snow. Yuki-onna only appear during snowstorms and can either be a sorrowful reminder of something that was lost or a deadly force.
Depending on the tale, she may kill any unsuspecting people offering to help or lead others astray into a deep valley. Various causes of death include freezing victims with a single breath or touch, or by pushing someone down a valley.
In Interviews with Monster Girls: Sakie Satou tries her hardest to avoid accidentally seducing men by concealing her sex appeal and by limiting physical contact. Due to an aphrodisiac her body produces, a simple handshake can lead to arousal. Due to this, Sakie becomes uncomfortable with her body and thinks men only speak to her because of the aphrodisiac she produces.
In myths: The succubus can be traced back to Medieval Times. According to the Zohar, Lilith was Adam’s first wife and left the Garden of Eden to mate with the Archangel Samael. Her children would be known as Lilin or succubus, which are night spirits that attack men. They would sleep with men who would then suffer failing health, a deteriorated mental state, and eventually death.
Interviews with Monster Girls has an anime adaptation and the manga is being localized in English by Kodansha Comics.
As a bonus, BookWalker is running a campaign between now and March 20th for manga and light novels that have a Winter 2017 anime adaptation. Users will be able to read Interviews with Monster Girls chapters 1 & 2 for free, and volumes 1 & 2 are going to be on sale for JPY 730 (about $6.42)!
Interviews with Monster Girls © PETOS / Kodansha Ltd.