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Centaur no Nayami

July 17, 2017

Was looking forward to “Centaur no Nayami”, the anime adaptation of the “セントールの悩み” manga by Murayama Kei as it brought some refreshing elements to the monster girl genre that is mostly known for harem, ecchi or other fanservice oriented franchises.

On the surface “Centaur no Nayami” might look like your average slice-of-life story in a school setting but instead of humans, all characters are centaurs, mermaids, demons, angels or other hybrids. Throw in some comedy, a bit of yuri fanservice and that would be already sufficient for your decent average anime, luckily “Centaur no Nayami” delivers more than that.

Using its core premise and daily life setting, “Centaur no Nayami” surprises by injecting sociological and political elements, making the audience reflect on our own society. In the original manga, this does lead to a jarring contrast between the lighthearted slice-of-life chapters and those few more serious chapters. Sometimes it felt as if you were reading a different manga altogether.

Considering the opening sequence suggests the anime is a bubbly slice-of-life show about cute monster girls, was quite glad to discover they did include the sociological and political commentary from the manga. The first episode cleverly uses a classroom lesson scene to explain the story’s background and world setting in a simple way, while at the same time making poignant observations about the world these characters live in.

The original art in the manga is fairly simple, a style with clear lines and little clutter, was curious if they could elevate this franchise to a higher level by delivering excellent animation and richly detailed characters and backgrounds or by using exciting visuals. Unfortunately, the animation is rather average overall, although I must specify some key scenes are surprisingly well done, for instance centaur Himeno’s galloping seems spot on.

Those of you who are looking for an average slice-of-life series with cute girls doing cute things, then you’ll likely enjoy “Centaur No Nayami”. If you are looking for a show featuring more interesting themes, I still do recommend you give this anime a try as it may offer enough things to surprise you.

You can watch “Centaur No Nayami” as “A Centaur’s Life” on Crunchyroll.

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