Mutual Understanding in Interviews with Monster Girls Episode 4

Warning: Contains spoilers!

When you are perceived as different in society, what identifies you? Maybe it’s the traits that make you “unique.” Or maybe it’s how close to “normal” you are. There’s a curious balance of acknowledgement and empathy, limited not just to how others treat you but also how you treat yourself. Such questions underlie episode 4 of Interviews with Monster Girls.

monstergirlsep4-1

 

Talking with Takahashi about the Snow Woman Kusakabe, the succubus Ms. Satou places a vase of hydrangeas on a table. Although the flowers are never explicitly mentioned, they appear prominently during Takahashi’s and Ms. Satou’s conversation, a palette of bright color against the gray clouds that mute the empty room.

In Japan, the hydrangea stands for a number of things. Apology. Heartfelt emotion. Deeper understanding. Gratitude for understanding. These are elements that haven’t yet appeared in the episode, but five minutes later they will set the tone for the rest of it.

monstergirlsep4-2

At the end of last episode, Kusakabe overheard other girls talking about her behind her back, how she wouldn’t give the time of day to a boy and was probably stuck up. She cried by herself in the stairwell until Takahashi found her.

Kusakabe, however, wasn’t really crying because of their words, but rather because she rued the fact that she was a demi. Being a demi—being so different from normal people—was already an incredibly painful point of contention for her, an unacceptable part of her that is only compounded by the high school girls’ idle gossip.

Thanks to a stand from Hikari, the girls end up apologizing for their behavior. Hikari apologizes for wording things too harshly. Kusakabe apologizes because she realizes she’s still very much bothered by her demi nature, and so avoids contact with others. In the end, as the hydrangeas seemed to foreshadow, these high school girls were able to form a mutual understanding.

monstergirlsep4-3a

But is this enough? When she confronted the girls, Hikari made sure to qualify that she would stand up for anyone who was being bullied, demi or not, and no matter who was doing the bullying. She looked past the demi nature of demis, affirming that despite some differences, demis are still people.

While her intent is good, it also looks past the fact that demis are still demis. The second half of the episode touches upon these issues through a heartfelt conversation between Takahashi and Himari, Hikari’s protective and non-vampire sister.

For example, others, meaning well, say that Hikari “is just like a normal high school girl” despite being a vampire. This statement both implements a stereotype on Hikari and dismisses it. On the other hand, never talking about her vampireness out of politeness is just another rebuttal of her nature.

monstergirlsep4-4

In the end, Takahashi concludes that there’s a precious balance. Too much focus on what makes demis demis, and you won’t see the individual behind them. Too much focus on their humanity, and you won’t understand their troubles.

With the help of Ms. Satou, Takahashi would like to guide these high schoolers on their way. They encourage the demis to talk to one another, or to them if need be. Growing up is difficult, but these demis, like hydrangeas, are already quickly blossoming.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Mutual Understanding in Interviews with Monster Girls Episode 4

  1. remyfool says:

    This was a wonderful post that really elaborated on the subtle symbolism via the hydrangeas Ms. Satou placed on the table.

    While the potential harem aspect is not to my liking, I think the show has returned to handling these delicate subjects with both care and intent. Hopefully this trend continues into next week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alane says:

      Thank you c:

      Mmm I agree with that sentiment. While I think this episode (especially the last half) returned to the series’ meaningful commentary, there were some moments in this episode I wasn’t so keen on. Most notably the ones involving busty dullahans. I did like how the episode was sort of self-aware about this issue at the end and tried to address it, but this is not enough!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Remy Fool says:

        Youse welcome c:

        The show seems to be hit or miss. Most of the time it tries to say something that could be applied to bias or profiling, it’s thoughtful and meaningful. The flubbed moments comes when the harem agenda is forced. At this rate it seems we’ll just have to accept the bad with the good! ;__;

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s