I like to think of myself as a simple person. I’m easy to please and truly enjoy the little things in life. Things like a great meal, going to bed after a long day, reading about monster girls playing volleyball on the beach. Things everyone likes. Yes, I’m sure you are as thrilled as I am that the lovely monwresu girls of Monster Wrestling: Interspecies Combat Girls are back and they’re not here to mess around. Except it sort of seems like they are this time around.
In case you have forgotten, Monster Wrestling revolves around all-women teams of interspecies wrestling. The main focus is on one select team, Bellezza. Tirol is still the main wrestler, and this volume starts with yet another match. But it already feels different from the first volume, as Tirol is not nearly the shy and timid hellhound Cerberus we were first introduced to. No, the Tirol we meet now is confident, clumsy, and still working on being her best self. But of course, things are never that easy and we’re quickly thrown into different sorts of turmoil throughout the volume and yes, that absolutely includes a beach episode.
One of the biggest complaints I had about the first volume was how it almost didn’t feel connected with the world it was a part of. You would get these small glimpses of a world outside the wrestling confederation but only through tiny snapshots. I was dying to know what else went on in the world. What do the other demi-humans do? Are they as prevalent all over the world? But it’s as if the universe heard my cry and hand-delivered me almost exactly what I wanted.
In volume 2, we get to experience a whole new slot of characters from all over the world. We get monster girls all the way from Russia to Egypt to the United States. The characters all come at us at a machine-gun pace, introducing them in a rapid succession true to wrestling montages. It’s wildly fun and exciting getting to meet all the new characters, which quickly brings me to my next point.
The character designs in volume one were wild and fun while still holding true to a monstrous nature. I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to monster girl designs, mostly because I want them to be monstrous. And boy, does volume two hit hard with the new designs. As always, the art is stellar and really quite beautiful. Taking a look at the ending, we are given a new tournament, a tag-team style competition.
However, it’s no longer teams from around the city or even country. We’re introduced to new wrestling teams and federations from all over the world, and we’re exposed to some really interesting designs. We have mummies and kappas and slime girls, oh my! I was really pleased to see some monster girls that I haven’t seen as much in anime and manga, such as nine-tailed foxes. My favorite girls by far were the ones that left me not entirely sure as to what they were. One looked closer to a Lovecraftian creation, a swirling mass of tentacles wearing nun regalia that was surely headed back to the void after the matches were over. Another was a flame. Like, she was made entirely of flames. Does it get any cooler than that? But if Great Ones and kawaii kappas aren’t quite your thing, fear not.
This volume also introduced us to our chain-smoking vampire princess Elizabeth, who is in charge of the Bellezza federation. Elizabeth felt like a breath of fresh air, albeit maybe tobacco-scented air. She wasn’t overly focused on winning or making someone else proud. She was just there to do her job, and maybe take a cat nap on the side.
As much as it pains me to say it, part of what made me so thrilled with volume two often took away from it as well. While the volleyball beach moments were fun, often they were so sexually charged that you almost forgot what was going on. As with volume one, even with the phenomenal art, there were just a few moments here and there where I wasn’t entirely sure what was happening. Some scenes just ended up being a blob of feathers and tentacles fighting over a volleyball and kicking up sand. It wasn’t enough to turn me off the volume completely, as I was still excited to see some character development from girls we hadn’t seen much in the first volume. But I’m hoping that, as the series continues, it manages to stay closer to fun and raunchy rather than an oversexualized mess.
I was really pleased with the second volume. It was packed with a ton of not only character development, but also new wrestlers to root for as well. The introduction of the different wrestling associations was a perfect segway into the universe, showing us as readers that there’s more to the world than a couple of local wrestling rivalries.
This expanded world leaves readers excited to see where the series can go from here. I truly hope it keeps going in this direction, with equal focus on fun and design while tightening up the plot just a little bit. Readers aren’t going into it expecting the next great series of the world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still hope and cry and cheer with these characters. The art proves both a plus and a minus for the series, as it sometimes gets the better of itself during moments of dynamic movement.
Volume two really picked up from the first, however, it does feel like it takes a little while for the next serious arc to begin, having spent so much time on the beach. That beach segment dances between filler and plot, and while not necessarily a bad thing, it does get a little tiring after a while. Regardless, I will be eagerly awaiting the next volume, now with higher expectations of more phenomenal characters and more interactions between them.
For more information about Monster Wrestling: Interspecies Combat Girls, visit Anime-Planet.
Huge thank you to Yen Press for Providing us a copy to review!