Interspecies Reviewers

So, you remember the joke I made at the end of the Redo of Healer review about how not even Interspecies Reviewers had been uploaded to despite its extremely graphic nature? Well, not long after, that prophecy ended up actually being fulfilled, and I thought to myself “Well, I guess now I have an excuse to watch it!” If you haven’t already heard of Interspecies/Ishuzoku Reviewers, it’s quite infamous; before Redo of Healer, this was essentially the de-facto anime that became controversial for being extremely sexual/graphic in nature despite being released as a legitimate anime rather than a hentai. Because of that, not only did it garner widespread attention and generate a lot of controversy, but it was also lifted up onto a pedestal by its supporters, which led to a massive wave of reviews on MyAnimeList in particular giving the show perfect scores and launching it up to such a high overall rating that it became one of the highest rated shows on the whole site. That prompted MyAnimeList to try and reverse the damage that had been done, cracking down on users who made accounts just to give the show a 10/10 rating. If that sounds familiar, it’s because something somewhat similar but at a far smaller and less impressive scale was going on with Redo of Healer for a short time. But let me get something straight right here and now; everything I just listed above is where this show’s similarities with Redo of Healer end. Comparing Interspecies Reviewers to the absolute travesty that was Redo of Healer is nothing short of a fucking crime; but before I get into what makes this show so good, lemme break down the premise for you (and also let me warn you now this is gonna be a very 18+ review right outta the gate). In a fantasy world populated by an overabundance of intelligent humanoid species—elves, fairies, beastmen, demons, etc—there’s no shortage of brothels or their so-called “succu-girls” (the show’s nickname for prostitutes) of all shapes, sizes, and races. Our heroes, the adventurers Stunk, Zel, Kanchal, and Bruise (though the show mainly focuses on Stunk and Zel), are frequent visitors to these establishments, and the show begins with Stunk and Zel having an argument over eachother’s seemingly bizarre preferences. Elves, whose outward appearance stays the same no matter their age, are attractive to humans even as they grow very old, and a particular succu-girl who Stunk frequents happens to be an elven woman old enough to be Zel’s mother. From Zel’s point of view, she’s practically an old hag despite how she looks on the outside; on the other hand, humans at old ages are young by elven standards, not to mention elves and other more magically-inclined races are less pre-occupied with outside appearances and moreso interested in the quality/age of a person’s “mana”, and so Zel frequents a very old human succu-girl that Stunk finds repulsive. They decide to call on Kanchal and Bruise to settle the argument, which Stunk ends up losing by majority vote; then, the intrepid group hits upon an idea. Why not try going to brothels with all different kinds of other races and reviewing the experience so that others can know what it’s like for a human to, say, have sex with a birdwoman? With that, and after they end up recruiting an innocent angel by the name of Crim who gets roped into their sexual escapades, the Interspecies Reviewers are born. Now, lemme answer the first few questions you’re likely asking; just how graphic is it? How much of the show is dedicated to sex scenes? Would it be better off if they just made it a hentai instead? Well, I think those questions lead pretty well into the comparison between this show and Rance. Remember when I compared Redo of Healer with Rance? Much like this show’s relationship with Redo of Healer, they were only comparable on the most pathetic surface level, but this show compares with Rance in a much more positive and meaningful way; despite how admittedly graphic and extremely sexual in nature the show is, it’s an experience that’s enjoyable even without the added benefit of there being good sexual content in it. Sure, the adult imagery/sex scenes in this show are great; they’re well animated, and the show has a very unique looking and charming art style. But at the same time, despite the show’s entire premise focusing around its brothels and succu-girls, actual sex scenes are short-lived and usually meant to give context to the reviews of the main cast during short segments where we get to hear them straight from the mouths of the group. There are a few somewhat longer sex scenes, but never does the show break away from the action and slow things down by stopping the entire show to focus on just a sex scene in the same way that Redo of Healer did, or in the same way that a hentai would. In that sense, I think the show benefits greatly from not actually being a hentai and being able to get away with keeping things softcore while primarily focusing on humour rather than sexual content. In fact, it gives off the same vibe as comedy shows with episodes split into multiple skits, like Joshiraku or Aho-Girl, and I enjoyed it immensely. Furthermore, Redo of Healer is a show that included sex and rape scenes with zero plot-relevance or reason for existing just for the sake of shocking the audience, whereas here there are no false pretenses, the tone is very light and fun and the show wears it’s adult themes on its sleeve, much like the Rance series. The characters are likeable and fun and I quickly grew attached to just about everyone in the main cast (I loved Crim’s slow but steady character progression in particular as they start to fit in with the rest of the group), the humour is very well done with the whole thing reminding me a lot of the legendary Hen Semi (which is fantastic by the way and if you like this show you will like Hen Semi I guarantee), and one of the show’s main draws is the way it actually presents its premise; there is a huge amount of diversity in regards to the sexual misadventures of each episode, and what might be considered sexually deviant in our world is practically normal or even mundane in this one. In much the same vein as other comedic shows, there’s little actual plot as mentioned earlier with my comparison to shows with various skits like Joshiraku or Aho Girl, but there is some sense of narrative cohesion, little tid-bits of background for the characters that we’re given, and small sections of the show that make you curious about the wider world; in fact, the show even jokes multiple times about how action-oriented adventures within the narrative are glossed over, and that’s perfectly fine—Interspecies Reviewers is a show that knows exactly what it is and what it wants to be, and it pulls it off with flying colors. I could go into more detail, but I’d rather try to avoid spoiling too much of the show for you. In general, I honestly have nothing but nice things to say about it, buuuuut—and this is a pretty big but—it’s not for everyone, obviously. You’ll get the most out of it if you go into it with an open mind, and I think prudish people in particular would have a hard time enjoying it. If you don’t mind—or better yet, gel with the adult content on display here and you’re in the market for a good comedy, I would highly recommend you give this one a watch. If you’re not of a mind to watch such an aggressively adult-themed show or if you’re under 18, go ahead and steer clear.

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