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Once more picking up where the last volume left off, a new girl has joined the Kimihito Household/Harem: Meron Lorelei, a mermaid with a taste for gothic lolita fashion and a bizarre tragedy fetish. Meanwhile, Kimihito comes down with a nasty cold, and the girls have to find some way to take care of him, without coming into contact with the virus itself- as per Ms. Smith's instructions- to prevent an epidemic amongst the Liminal community. Outside the zany escapades of our main hero and heroines, a darker side of this world of humans begins to take shape, with hentai fueled orcs taking over a doujinshi shop in an act of extraspecies terrorism, and greedy humans from the criminal underworld looking to exploit Liminals for their own personal gain.
As with my last review of Vol. 2, I stil l love the story that's being told here, and I personally feel that this is one of the more inventive and enjoyable harem manga out there to date. The characters all have their little quirks and personality traits that make them likeable, the comedic situations are downright hilarious, and the lessons that the series espouses seem fresh and new under Okayado's pen. Something I neglected to mention in my previous review is how I love the choices Okayado has made for the species and depiction of the monster girls he chose for the main harem. Sure, they all have basic humanity to their forms, but for the most part, they're pretty animalistic when you get down to it. And I think that's one of the series strong points in that the girls do look so jarringly bizarre from the typical catgirls and cutesy monster girls in mainstream anime, yet still have such strong character traits and personalities that remind you that they aren't solely sex-objects- despite the fact that the fanservice can be a bit overwhelming at times- and that they're still just as human as everyone else.
Again, I love how much detail Okayado is putting into his world building with this series, and how he addresses the issues that society and politics would inevitably face if put into this situation of trying to integrate a new species of sapient intelligent life into human society. This volume in particular is where it shines through, where the pitfalls of the initial draft of the Interspecies Exchange Accord are addressed and weaponized by the criminal elements on either side of the species divide, leading to some very dark moments from both human and Liminal villains. The informative notes at the back of the volume are also great in this aspect, as they delve more into how each Liminal species functions in terms of biology and anatomical make up, such as how Zombina still has bloodflow even if she is dead, or how Meron's breasts are more like seal blubber in that they keep her body warm in the cold waters of her homeland, or how she uses her pelvic fins like rudders when swimming. And again, while the fanservice can get a bit much at times, one can't help but look at these notes and the other examples of world building in the story itself and not be impressed at how Okayado finds ways to justify these tropes in terms of the Liminals' unique anatomy. It really speaks to his creativity as a writer and artist.
Once more, Seven Seas Entertainment's translation is spectacular. The puns, the translation of the script to english in a way that still keeps true to the original, all of it is just perfect, in my opinion. The decision to change the acronym that spells out MON in the translation from "Monsters Of a Neuro" in the original Japanese to "Monster Ops: Neutralization" in English, as far as I'm concerned, is a good one, and actually sounds like a real military unit that would be drafted to deal with this situation.
Like with the first two volumes, I would definitely recommend this to an adult or young adult audience that's looking for a nice love story with a unique premise, excellent writing, great artwork, and a good understanding of world-building and magical realism. I would also, again, like to urge people to look past the fanservicey covers and artwork, and instead pay attention to the elements I've mentioned already in the story itself, because that's where the real meat of this series lies. Sure, the fanservice is nice eye-candy, but for me, the relationships between Kimihito and the girls is where it's at, and they're all handled incredibly well, and are treated with respect and understanding for either character.
So take a page from this book's message, and don't judge by what's on the cover. Pick it up, read for yourself, and join the fun!