「ファンタジーをRPG気分で作ってみた. / 激闘! 腕相撲! 女[ヒロイン]だらけの勝負の行方は」 (Fantasy o RPG Kibun de Tsukutte Mita. / Gekitou! Udesumou! Heroine Darake no Shoubu no Yukue wa)
“We Tried Making a Fantasy Story in RPG Style. / Fierce Fights! Arm Wrestling! How Will the Battle of the Heroines End?”
In comparison with most of the recent episodes, they made the finale one of the most lighthearted episodes they’ve put out. There isn’t any racial strife, political intrigue, or Men in Black in sight with this episode, but they make up for it by ending on a lighter note with a story that Akechi wrote about the main friend group’s RPG exploits and an arm-wrestling contest at school. It reminded me of what the earlier episodes were like when the series was centered more around the slice-of-life adventures of the three main girls and their friends. In a way, it felt more like an OVA to give viewers a digestif to follow a hefty meal, but it was quite the strong digestif with enough playfulness and meta-humor to leave you in higher spirits.
The first part was a clever send-up to classic RPG’s with the main group following a story about their dungeon crawling adventures as they play around with the genre conventions of role playing games. Kyouko was hilarious as the party’s mage who spends a majority of her time drawing summoning circles to conjure up tiny fireballs and tidal waves of salt water. Her ambivalence to do anything about a tentacle blob monster who’s only attack was putting the rest of the girls in compromising positions was a fun tongue-in-cheek approach to the show’s self-awareness of its desire to create fanservice out of nowhere. Other parts of the segment were really funny like Sassassul’s role as the party’s dancer only working for one enemy, or Manami’s appearance as a dominatrix who resides in the aptly named “Office”.
Part 2 furthers the meta-humor this episode played around with by pitting the characters in an arm-wrestling contest. While it could be mistaken for a sequel to Over the Top, it was also comical to see how they comment on character popularity through the contest. It wasn’t the most climactic way to end it, especially with all of the world-building and foreshadowing they had of Antarctican involvement in government affairs, but it was amusing to see some of the slice-of-life aspects of the show shine through in this episode. The characters having specific reasons why they have super strength like Manami carrying the Chi-chan’s or Inukai’s Ekiben Style added a funny twist to the contest.
Determining what the tone of a Centaur no Nayami episode will be has been like a game of Roulette. You’re never sure whether the anime will try to hook you in with the world-building behind the authoritarian society run on absolute equality, or lighten the mood with the day-to-day activities of our main characters. It can be very jarring, especially if you’ve gotten too comfortable with one tone or another. You’ll be on the edge of your seat for some more heavy political commentary, and you’ll get a segment about pool parties and intimates. You’ll itch for some cute creature girls have fun with each other, and suddenly, the episode will bring up the societal implications and consequences of history’s most violent brutality against other races. The series in general is tonally all over the place, but this might be the case more with the anime because a lot of the segments are scattered about with only a couple two-parters matching in tone. Still, I admire what the series is going for by integrating social commentary into a slice-of-life, and using monster girls as a means of sending a message about race in society. It is quite the awkward show, but it is an interesting take on monster girls that is an admirable effort to break the mold, and create an anime that is both comfy and unsettling.