Interspecies Reviewers is a Japanese manga series written by Amahara and illustrated by masha. An anime television series adaptation by Passione premiered on January 11, 2020.
Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder! From elves to succubi to cyclopes and more, the Yoruno Gloss reviewers are here to rate the red-light delights of all manner of monster girls.The only thing is, they can never agree on which species are the hottest!
You know, I like sex, but probably not as much as these guys.
Defunct cultures throughout the aeons have tried to make sense of our purpose in the macro. Why are we here? Why do we love? What is the nature of sin? When ruminating on these questions, I can’t help but think, what kind of footnote will anime leave in the Akashic records? I think I’ve finally found my answer.
“Ishuzoku Reviewers” is PEAK culture.
If you’ve been a part of this community for a respectable amount of time, it’s no secret that anime has a skeevy underbelly that your average bear isn’t quick to embrace. But for those of us who have, we can recognize the more scientific appeal of the ecchi. I’m always open to watching the latest ecchi anime, not only for research purposes but because it’s interesting to see just how much further this medium can sink into the depths of depravity.
Ishuzoku doesn't exactly move the needle much farther in regards to what I’ve seen come out of the more extreme entries in this genre. Don’t get me wrong, Ishuzoku has a thick oily film on its surface left by a cheeky porno-stached mangaka duo, as all good ecchi should have. However, despite the overtly lascivious draw of its concept and unabashedly lurid presentation, Ishuzoku is actually not without a sense of purpose or self-awareness.
It flourishes in this strange dichotomy, a plane of existence that teeters between both the politically incorrect and all-encompassing, and it does so with a confounding lack of effort. It indiscriminately acknowledges that people of all shapes and sizes walk the earth and in some form desire copulation. As crazy as it might sound, or as drunk as I might be, this show kind of embraces inclusivity. It’s a stupid show, without a doubt, but it’s stupid in a way that can get you to think critically in ways you may not expect.
I try to keep my political reservations in check when I consume media, I mean, there are such awful things going on in the world right now that a trio of fantasy characters going around having fantasy sex is pretty damn quaint in my book. Not to diminish the perversity of this show, it is very much so what it advertises itself as. Hell, this is pretty on-brand for what people associate with when it comes to the more fetishistic side of anime. For anyone who on principle dislike ecchi anime, the inherent absurdity of this show’s concept just might be enough of a distraction to the ALMOST pornographic content being portrayed on screen, otherwise, expect an unfettered onslaught of smut, ecchi-fans.
Another aspect of Ishuzoku that I feel isn’t being addressed in favor of its surface elements is just how gleefully it takes the piss out of review culture. I’m not quite as dedicated or as skilled at writing reviews as most of my peers regularly clocking in their hours on this site, clearly, but I’ve been around. You’ve heard the phrase “different strokes for different folks”, never has that been more aptly applied to anything than with Ishuzoku, and I mean that in a very literal sense. It does such an excellent job of characterizing just how flippantly people will form their opinions and does so with such a sophomoric irreverence that I can’t help but laugh at the deliberate self-seriousness of these characters getting their rocks off. This is serious business to them, and that’s patently ridiculous, but I’m here typing a review for a friggin cartoon about this shit and for the outside looking in that’s probably just as ridiculous. It’s kind of a big fat middle-finger to the pedantic snobbery of people who critique entertainment mediums as serious art-forms, and I say that as someone who’s no stranger to that.
The real...uhh…“meat” of Ishuzoku’s content comes in the form of the reviews themselves. Stunk, Zel, and Crim all have very different reviewing styles cleverly illustrated by the limitations of their species. As innocuous of a detail as it may seem, the simplicity of having a human struggle to efficiently have sex with something a fraction of his size because he’s too well equipped or the dwarf feeling smothered by the ponderous weight of something more than ten times his size shows me that the writer on top of being a huge pervert is also a bit of a pragmatist.
Technically speaking, I can’t say that Passione has wiped the slate clean, still, I genuinely enjoy the art-design of this show. The character designs are varied and unique and the world feels surprisingly lived-in which can be the crux for a lot of fantasy anime with middling visuals. The music also isn’t really anything spectacular (not that I expected it to be) although the opening theme is fun and anthemic.
So, just how long before one of those pearl-clutching vape-juice huffing "columnists" over at AnimeNewsNetwork conjures a stink-piece on how this show actively champions sex-trafficking and perpetuates a narrative of misogyny in-between sips of Pamplemousse La Croix? Ishuzoku isn’t so much the resuscitation of ecchi that so many of us thought it needed as much as it is the legitimizer that fans of this genre have been waiting for. At just 4 episodes, this is already one of the most impressively written ecchi I’ve ever seen, and even setting aside the fact that it proudly wears its ecchi tag as a badge of honor without pretense, there’s enough there that just makes this a really solid anime. It’s meta, it’s relatable, it’s clever, it has heart, it’s funny, and most importantly it respects the genre it owes everything to.