Warning: Contains spoilers!
Hi there. Hi! I just wanted to say “Hello!” since the past few posts have been pretty impersonal. I’ll try to make this post a little more personal—maybe even too personal. Like the time I (placeholder for embarrassing story about myself)
Anyway, this was probably my favorite episode of Interviews with Monster Girls yet. No harem aspect—okay, maybe a tiny one that I’m okay with—with the first half building towards a revelation of a central message in the second half. It’s the same formula as other episodes, but what makes this time work is its adherence to a theme.
I think each episode does try to capture a certain theme, based on the demi and/or issues being discussed. For example, I listed attraction as a theme for Interviews with Monster Girls episode 3, which featured the succubus Ms. Satou. That episode featured a super awkward harem, which in retrospect felt like how Ms. Satou’s super awkward nature as a succubus was portrayed. The very one she was trying to fight. Sorry, Ms. Satou! Even if I look at it that way, I’m not sure it worked.
This time, the theme of cold mirrors the demi Yuki Kusakabe, the Snow Woman. The series has foreshadowed time and again that there’s something more to the Snow Woman’s no-contact sort of approach to other people. We finally figure out why: while depressed one day in the bath about moving to another place to attend high school, she suddenly forms ice crystals, something she’d never seen before. She was afraid that as a snow woman she would suddenly freeze her classmates.
Here are some ways “cold” or the “thawing of cold” appeared in the episode. For some of these, I am injecting some of my own biases as an English speaker and may be reading too much into things.
Leads (That’s “lead” like you’re on to something.)
Yuki has no clue why she is suddenly forming ice crystals in her bath when she didn’t before. Is she turning into a horrible monster?
It takes Takahashi, smart dude and big fan of demis, to figure it out: she sweats out (haha) cold sweat when she’s distressed. Even then, it takes him a few tries and a lot of research to warm up to the right conclusion.
Barriers (Because barriers usually aren’t any good.)
Like the ice wall that she’s so afraid of making, Yuki distances herself both physically and emotionally from her classmates, telling a well-meaning boy not to touch her because she’s a snow woman, even though she’s not feeling well and needs to go to the nurse.
Unlike Kyoko, Yuki doesn’t have the problem of classmates knowing how to approach her. Even the ever-chipper Hikari feels a little nervous around Yuki. It’s only when Yuki approaches others by herself, like that poor boy who has a crush on her, that she’s able to break the ice between them.
Societal and historical
Takahashi muses that the frightening legends surrounding demis came about because people from long ago were either in awe of, or afraid of, demis. Society has slowly removed these barriers, even though the legends remain.
Locations (It’s not always all about the location!)
Before high school, Yuki used to live in a cold, rural town, and never had a problem being a snow woman.
Ironically, though Yuki is in a warmer area now, she’s only starting to experience problems becoming friends with other people.
Natures/Personalities (This section had to come sooner or later.)
There are a number of times in this episode when someone is either intentionally or unintentionally cold. The snow women of legends, luring and freezing unsuspecting men, or simply melting away as per the author’s writing.
Takahashi, who just wants to collect Yuki’s iced-over sweat for research purposes without her permission, and who defines a snow woman as a “crystallization of sweat and tears” in his excitement.
Yuki, who intentionally isolates herself from others, and who is called cold jokingly after she tells Takahashi that no way can he take her sweat to analyze.
This is countered in the episode through the forging of new friendships to both demis and non-demis, and embarrassed apologies.
Ice and Ice Cream (Nummy.)
Yuki cries out ice when she’s sad, but tears when she’s happy.
The episode also uses ice cream to juxtapose her sadness and happiness. At the beginning, Yuki says to Hikari and Kyoko that she doesn’t know if she’ll go out with them for ice cream, but after finding out the truth from Takahashi, joins them and has fun. It’s unclear to me whether she would have gone even if he hadn’t figured anything out.
In the ending credits, the mint chocolate chip ice cream cone that Yuki’s enjoying makes a return.